1218-18 NY Times Crossword 18 Dec 18, Tuesday

Constructed by: Ross Trudeau
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Fashion Police

Today’s themed clues refer to an activity engaged in by the POLICE, and the answers are phrases that end with an item of attire:

  • 35A. Wearers of 17-, 24-, 50- and 59-Across? : FASHION POLICE
  • 17A. Proper attire for taking fingerprints? : DUST JACKET
  • 24A. Proper attire for picking up a series of clues? : TRAIL BLAZER
  • 50A. Proper attire for detaining a perp? : HOLDING TANK
  • 59A. Proper attire for shadowing a suspect? : FOLLOW SUIT

Bill’s time: 7m 16s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Relative of Alt on a keyboard : CTRL

The Control (CTRL) key on a PC keyboard is used to modify the function of other keys. For example, pressing CTRL+C copies a selection to the clipboard, and CTRL+V pastes the contents of the clipboard to a location defined by the cursor. Control keys were introduced on teletypewriters to generate “control characters”, which are non-printing characters that instruct a computer to do something like print a page, ring a bell etc.

10. Pull-up muscles, briefly : LATS

The muscles known as the “lats” are the latissimi dorsi, and are the broadest muscles in the back. “Latissimus” is the Latin for “broadest” and “dorsum” is Latin for “back”.

14. Cookie with its name on it : OREO

If you take a close look at the embossed design on the front and back of an Oreo cookie, you’ll spot the main elements of the Nabisco logo. Those elements are an oval with a cross on top, a cross with two bars. Usually the company name “Nabisco” is inside the oval, but for the cookie it’s the brand name “Oreo”. The current embossed design was introduced 1952.

15. One agreeing with everything you say : TOADY

A toady is someone who is very servile, and somewhat of a parasite. Derived from “toad-eater” the term originally applied to the assistant of a quack, a seller of useless potions that had no actual benefit to health. The toady would eat an apparently poisonous toad in front of an audience, so that the charlatan could “cure” him or her with one of the potions for sale.

16. Sheltered at sea : ALEE

Alee is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing aweather.

17. Proper attire for taking fingerprints? : DUST JACKET

In the world of criminology, there are three classes of fingerprints:

  • Patent prints are those which are obvious, easily spotted by the naked eye.
  • Impressed prints are those made when the fingertips apply pressure to a soft material or surface, such as the skin.
  • Latent prints are those that are invisible to the naked eye, but which can be detected using special equipment and materials.

20. Dramatic “You too?” : ET TU

It was Shakespeare who popularized the words “Et tu, Brute?” (meaning “And you, Brutus?”). They appear in his play “Julius Caesar”, although the phrase had been around long before he penned his drama. It’s not known what Julius Caesar actually said in real life (if anything at all) as he was assassinated on on the steps of the Senate in Rome.

21. Mauna ___ : KEA

Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, the peak of which is the highest point in the whole state. Mauna Kea is in effect the tip of a gigantic volcano rising up from the seabed.

22. Bat for hitting practice fly balls : FUNGO

A fungo bat is lighter and shorter than a regular baseball bat, and tends to be used by coaches during practices. The lighter bat allows for more hits without tiring out the poor coach!

27. Part of m.p.h. : PER

Miles per hour (mph)

30. Conveyance for Calvin and Hobbes : SLED

The comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes” is still widely syndicated, but hasn’t been written since 1995. The cartoonist Bill Watterson named the character Calvin after John Calvin, the 16th century theologian. Hobbes was named for Thomas Hobbes a 17th century English political philosopher.

40. Whose tomb was opened in 1923 : TUT

“King Tut” is a name commonly used for the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun. Tutankhamun may not have been the most significant of the pharaohs historically, but he is the most famous today largely because of the discovery of his nearly intact tomb in 1922 by Howard Carter. Prior to this find, any Egyptian tombs uncovered by archaeologists had been ravaged by grave robbers. Tutankhamun’s magnificent burial mask is one of the most recognizable of all Egyptian artifacts.

49. Job listing abbr. : EEO

“Equal Employment Opportunity” (EEO) is a term that has been around since 1964 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was set up by the Civil Rights Act. Title VII of the Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion.

50. Proper attire for detaining a perp? : HOLDING TANK

Perpetrator (perp)

56. Vittles : EATS

“Victuals” is a term for food that is fit for consumption. We tend to pronounce “victuals” as “vittles”, and we use the term “vittles” and “victuals” interchangeably.

58. Sign gas : NEON

The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.

62. Reynolds of “Boogie Nights” : BURT

The actor Burt Reynolds is famous for playing the “Bandit” in “Smokey and the Bandit”, and Lewis Medlock in “Deliverance”, but his critically acclaimed performance was as Jack Horner in the 1997 movie “Boogie Nights”. Off the screen he was quite the man around town, romantically linked to the likes of Tammy Wynette, Lucie Arnaz (daughter of Lucille Ball), Sally Field, Dinah Shore and Chris Evert. He was married to Judy Carne, as well as Loni Anderson.

“Boogie Nights” was released in 1997, and deals with the pornographic movie business. Burt Reynolds plays a director in the industry. It’s not exactly exalted subject matter, but the movie does have an impressive cast (including Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, William H. Macy and Philip Seymour Hoffman).

63. Gary who played Buddy Holly : BUSEY

The actor Gary Busey is perhaps most acclaimed for playing Buddy Holly in the 1978 biographical film “The Buddy Holly Story”. In 1988, Busey was suffered a skull fracture in a motorcycle accident in which he was not wearing a helmet. Busey himself has stated that the resulting brain injury has altered his behavior, causing him to speak and act impulsively.

65. “Planet of the ___” : APES

The “Planet of the Apes” franchise was based on a French novel by Pierre Boulle called “La Planète des singes”. The book was published in English as “Monkey Planet”, but was re-released as “Planet of the Apes” when Hollywood had made its choice for a movie title.

Down

4. Former senator Trent : LOTT

Trent Lott is a political figure who first went to Washington to work as an administrative assistant to Representative William M. Colmer, from Mississippi. After four years working for Colmer, Lott ran for the House seat that Colmer was to leave vacant on his retirement. Colmer endorsed Lott in that election, even though Colmer was a Democrat and Lott ran as a Republican. Lott won the race very handily, launching a 35-year career representing his home state of Mississippi in both the House and the Senate. Lott eventually ran into trouble for remarks he made that were interpreted as being racially motivated, and ended up resigning in 2007.

6. Parrot with a showy crest : COCKATOO

Cockatoos are birds closely related to the true parrots. The name “cockatoo” probably comes from the Malay “kaka” (parrot) and “tuwah” (older sibling).

7. George who played Sulu on “Star Trek” : TAKEI

Mr. Hikaru Sulu was played by George Takei in the original “Star Trek” series. Takei has played lots of roles over the years, and is still very active in television. Did you know that he appeared in the 1963 film, “Pt-109”? He played the helmsman steering the Japanese destroyer that ran down John F. Kennedy’s motor torpedo boat. From destroyer helmsman to starship helmsman …

9. W.S.J. competitor : NYT

“The New York Times” (NYT) has been published since 1851, and is sometimes referred to as “the Gray Lady”. These days a viable alternative to buying the paper is to read the news online. NYTimes.com is the most popular online newspaper website in the country.

“The Wall Street Journal” (WSJ) is a daily newspaper with a business bent that is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company. The WSJ has a larger US circulation than any other newspaper, with “USA Today” coming in a close second place.

10. Alternative to John F. Kennedy : LAGUARDIA

Fiorello La Guardia was the Mayor of New York from 1934 to 1945, racking up three full terms in office. The famous airport that bears La Guardia’s name was built at his urging, stemming from an incident that took place while he was in office. He was taking a TWA flight to “New York” and was outraged when the plane landed at Newark Airport, in the state of New Jersey. The Mayor demanded that the flight take off again and land at a small airport in Brooklyn. A gaggle of press reporters joined him on the short hop and he gave them a story, urging New Yorkers to support the construction of a new commercial airport within the city’s limits. The new airport, in Queens, opened in 1939 as New York Municipal, often called “LaGuardia” as a nickname. The airport was officially relabeled as “LaGuardia” (LGA) in 1947.

11. Basketball Hall-of-Famer Mourning : ALONZO

Basketball player Alonzo Mourning played most of his career with the Miami Heat, and in 2009 was the first person to have his number retired. In 2003, Mourning had a kidney replacement, a donation from a cousin that he had not seen in 25 years.

13. Titles with tildes : SENORS

The tilde (~) diacritical mark is very much associated with the Spanish language. We use the name “tilde” in English, taking that name from Spanish. Confusingly, the word “tilde” in Spanish is used more generally to mean “accent mark, diacritic”, of which a “~” is just one. What we call a “tilde” in English is usually referred to as a “virgulilla” or “tilde de la eñe” in Spanish.

22. Thrash about : FLAIL

To flail about is to swing wildly, either literally or figuratively. The verb comes from the noun “flail”, which is an implement for threshing grain.

23. Co. with brown trucks : UPS

United Parcel Service (UPS) is based in Sandy Springs, Georgia and has its own airline that operates out of Louisville, Kentucky. UPS often goes by the nickname “Brown”, because of its brown delivery trucks and brown uniforms.

33. Caboose, e.g. : END

The word “caboose” originally came from Middle Dutch and was the word for a ship’s galley. When the last car in a train in North America was given a stove for the comfort of the crew, it took on the name “caboose”. The term has also become slang for a person’s backside.

37. Balance sheet heading : PAYABLES

The balance sheet of a company is a snapshot (single point in time) view of a company’s financial position. The balance sheet lists all the company’s liabilities, all of its assets, and all of its ownership equity. The assets of a company, less its liabilities equals the ownership equity. The term “balance” is used because assets always balance out with the sum of liabilities and shareholder equity.

43. Wino, e.g. : SOT

Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning “fool”. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.

44. Sports org. since 1946 : THE NBA

The National Basketball Association (NBA) was founded in 1946 as the Basketball Association of America (BAA). The NBA name was adopted in 1949 following a merger with the rival National Basketball League (NBL). Of the four major sports leagues in North America, the NBA has the highest average annual salary per player.

46. “An Inconvenient Truth” author : AL GORE

Former Vice President Al Gore was a joint recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 in recognition for his work in climate change activism. He also won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for his book on climate change called “An Inconvenient Truth”. The documentary of the same name that was spawned by the book won an Academy Award. In addition, Gore won an Emmy as co-owner of Current TV, an independent news network.

52. Arkansas River city : TULSA

Tulsa is the second-largest city in the state of Oklahoma (after Oklahoma City). Tulsa started out as a settlement established by the Loachapoka and Creek Native American tribes in 1836. These early settlers called their new home “Tallasi” meaning “old town”, and this name morphed into “Tulsa” that we use today.

59. “Freeze! ___!” : FBI

What we know today as the FBI was set up in 1908 as the BOI, the Bureau of Investigation. The name was changed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1935. The Bureau was set up at the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt. President Roosevelt was largely moved to do so after the 1901 assassination of President McKinley, as there was a perception that anarchists were threatening law and order. The FBI’s motto uses the organization’s initialism, and is “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity”.

61. Prop for Wile E. Coyote : TNT

Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner are two much-loved cartoon characters from Warner Bros. Wile E. Coyote was created first, and Road Runner was invented as someone for Wile E. to play off. I love this cartoon; definitely one of the best …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Relative of Alt on a keyboard : CTRL
5. Be part of, as a play : ACT IN
10. Pull-up muscles, briefly : LATS
14. Cookie with its name on it : OREO
15. One agreeing with everything you say : TOADY
16. Sheltered at sea : ALEE
17. Proper attire for taking fingerprints? : DUST JACKET
19. Enter : GO IN
20. Dramatic “You too?” : ET TU
21. Mauna ___ : KEA
22. Bat for hitting practice fly balls : FUNGO
23. Red, white and blue team : USA
24. Proper attire for picking up a series of clues? : TRAIL BLAZER
27. Part of m.p.h. : PER
28. Took a load off : SAT
29. Hicks and Judge of Major League Baseball : AARONS
30. Conveyance for Calvin and Hobbes : SLED
32. Sushi garnish : ROE
34. Accomplished : DID
35. Wearers of 17-, 24-, 50- and 59-Across? : FASHION POLICE
40. Whose tomb was opened in 1923 : TUT
41. Stop (up) : DAM
42. Weaponizes : ARMS
44. Psychological wound : TRAUMA
47. Cry made with a fist pump : YES!
49. Job listing abbr. : EEO
50. Proper attire for detaining a perp? : HOLDING TANK
53. More of an ___ than a science : ART
54. Barely beat (out) : EDGED
55. Massage : RUB
56. Vittles : EATS
58. Sign gas : NEON
59. Proper attire for shadowing a suspect? : FOLLOW SUIT
62. Reynolds of “Boogie Nights” : BURT
63. Gary who played Buddy Holly : BUSEY
64. Wedge, for one : IRON
65. “Planet of the ___” : APES
66. “You can skip me” : I PASS
67. Outbox folder : SENT

Down

1. Cousin of a pollock : COD
2. Unvarnished identity : TRUE SELF
3. Pull-off spot : REST AREA
4. Former senator Trent : LOTT
5. ___ loss : AT A
6. Parrot with a showy crest : COCKATOO
7. George who played Sulu on “Star Trek” : TAKEI
8. It can’t be improved upon : IDEAL
9. W.S.J. competitor : NYT
10. Alternative to John F. Kennedy : LAGUARDIA
11. Basketball Hall-of-Famer Mourning : ALONZO
12. Model Chrissy who wrote the best seller “Cravings” : TEIGEN
13. Titles with tildes : SENORS
18. Sticks (out) : JUTS
22. Thrash about : FLAIL
23. Co. with brown trucks : UPS
25. New Jersey river or bay : RARITAN
26. Black cat running across your path, it’s said : BAD OMEN
31. Ones far from the honor roll : D-STUDENTS
33. Caboose, e.g. : END
36. Like summers in Washington, D.C. : HUMID
37. Balance sheet heading : PAYABLES
38. Word with comfort or feature : CREATURE
39. Reappearance above water, as for a submarine : EMERSION
43. Wino, e.g. : SOT
44. Sports org. since 1946 : THE NBA
45. Became uncomfortable, as some underwear : RODE UP
46. “An Inconvenient Truth” author : AL GORE
48. Distort : SKEW
51. Put into categories : GROUP
52. Arkansas River city : TULSA
57. “No guarantees” : AS IS
59. “Freeze! ___!” : FBI
60. Jewish cries : OYS
61. Prop for Wile E. Coyote : TNT

12 thoughts on “1218-18 NY Times Crossword 18 Dec 18, Tuesday”

  1. Syndicated Puzzle posted in today’s paper does not coincide with the answers given on your post today. There is no number to the puzzle in the paper so can’t look it up that way.

    1. Lucy –
      Just go to the link right below the puzzle above that says “..Syndicated NY Times Crossword”, click on it and it will take you to today’s syndicated puzzle.

  2. 10:25, no errors.

    @Lucy … Try doing a Google search on “nytcrossword xxx”, where “xxx” is either a clue or an answer from the puzzle in your paper (preferably one that seems a bit unusual). You may not find your puzzle on Bill’s site directly, but, if you find it on another site, along with a date, you can then look it up on Bill’s site.

  3. 12:03. Decent theme. A FUNGO bat is indeed thinner and lighter than a regular bat, but it’s actually longer. It makes hitting the sweet spot easier.

    Best –

  4. 10:46, no errors. Got educated today, learning EMERSION as opposed to immersion.

    P.S. @Bill: I am sure that changing your website was not precipitated by my desire to get those annoying E-Plane pop-up ads off the page. But they are finally gone, and, for that, I am appreciative.

  5. No errors. I found this puzzle to be kind of “ho-hum”. I wasn’t impressed with the theme very much. Maybe it doesn’t have anything to do with the puzzle and is more about the mood I am in. Just a thought.

  6. No errors and no big pauses during the solve. Cute theme for a Tuesday, and a little more difficult than average I thought.

  7. What a rarity!!! A Thursday NYT Puzzle without guile. The mildest of puns, that raise a smile and not elicit a groan. No monkey business, just a nice bit of mental activity.

    This should be the norm. Hat’s off to Ross Trudeau (sorry I don’t have a theme fill to go with the “hat”)

    1. Ah, spoke too soon; this was a Tuesday grid. It just got mixed into a pile and I filled it out on a Thursday. Oh well…. it’s still a nice grid, no matter when it appeared.

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