0918-19 NY Times Crossword 18 Sep 19, Wednesday

Constructed by: John Wrenholt
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Down the Pipe

Themed answers are highlighted in the grid with circled letters. Each is missing the word PIPE:

  • 53A How a perfect pitch comes … or a hint to the missing parts of the shaded answers : DOWN THE PIPE
  • 24A Muffler attachment : TAILPIPE
  • 45A Weapon in Clue : LEAD PIPE
  • 3D Feature of a skate park : HALFPIPE
  • 29D Hat worn by Abraham Lincoln : STOVEPIPE
  • 49D Trachea : WINDPIPE

Read on, or jump to …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 6m 17s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

11 Stir-fry pan : WOK

“Wok” is a Cantonese word, and the name for the frying pan now used in many Asian cuisines.

14 Time’s Person of the Year for 2008 and 2012 : OBAMA

“Time” magazine started naming a “Man of the Year” in 1927, only changing the concept to “Person of the Year” in 1999. Prior to 1999, the magazine did recognize four females as “Woman of the Year”: Wallis Simpson (1936), Soong May-ling a.k.a. Madame Chiang Kai-shek (1937), Queen Elizabeth II (1952) and Corazon Aquino (1986). “Time” named Albert Einstein as Person of the Century in 1999, with Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi as runners-up.

15 Lofty abode : AERIE

An aerie is the nest of an eagle, and is also known as an “eyrie”.

19 Deuce, in tennis : TIE

The origin of the 15, 30, 40 scoring system in a game of tennis is disputed. One theory is that a 60-minute clock face was used to keep score. Points won would advance in quarters, 15, 30, 45 and 60 for game. When the score “deuce” was introduced to avoid a win by a one-point difference, the score of 45 was pushed back to 40, so that 50 could indicate deuce.

20 ___ Leppard : DEF

Def Leppard is a hard rock band from Sheffield in England. Drummer Rick Allen lost his arm in a car crash, severed by an incorrectly-worn seat belt. With the encouragement of the band, he returned to the lineup by using a specially designed electronic drum set. Amazing indeed …

21 Exam with a max. score of 180 : LSAT

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

22 Part of the lymphatic system : SPLEEN

The spleen has a couple of functions in the human body. It removes old red blood cells, and recycles the iron contained therein. The waste product of this recycling is bile. It also holds a reserve of blood that can be released when necessary (if the body goes into “circulatory shock”). Greek and Roman physicians ascribed to the theory that the body had four basic substances, the so-called four humors. All diseases were caused by these four substances getting out of balance. The four humors were:

  • Black bile (melancolia)
  • Yellow bile (cholera)
  • Phlegm (phlegma)
  • Blood (sanguis)

24 Muffler attachment : TAILPIPE

A muffler is a device attached to an internal combustion engine that is designed to reduce noise from the exhaust. We don’t use the term “muffler” on the other side of the Atlantic, opting instead for “silencer”.

32 Tony, e.g. : AWARD

The Tony Awards are more completely referred to as the Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Broadway Theatre. The awards are named for Mary Antoinette “Tony” Perry, who was a co-founder of the American Theatre Wing.

33 Spanish ___ (historic site in Rome) : STEPS

Rome’s Spanish Steps are known locally as the “Scalinata” and are a set of 135 steps that sit above the Piazza di Spagna. The Spanish Steps actually form the widest staircase in Europe. They always remind me of the movie “Roman Holiday”, as that is where Audrey Hepburn enjoyed her gelato.

35 Launch party? : NASA

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

36 Dark-tongued Chinese dogs : CHOWS

The chow chow is a breed of dog that originated in China. The Chinese name for the breed is “Songshi Quan”, which translates as “puffy-lion dog”, a rather apt name given its appearance …

38 Slam : DIS

“Dis” (also “diss”) is a slang term meaning “insult” that originated in the eighties. It is a shortened form of “disrespect” or “dismiss”.

39 Poles, e.g. : SLAVS

The Slavic peoples are in the majority in communities covering over half of Europe. This large ethnic group is traditionally broken down into three smaller groups:

  • the West Slavic (including Czechs and Poles)
  • the East Slavic (including Russians and Ukrainians)
  • the South Slavic (including Bulgarians, Croats and Serbs)

40 Prominent cockatoo feature : CREST

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

44 “The Sheik of ___” (1920s song) : ARABY

“The Sheik of Araby” is a song that dates back to 1921, when it was a Tin Pan Alley hit. It was soon absorbed into the jazz standard repertoire. The inspiration of the song was Rudolph Valentino’s performance in the 1921 movie “The Sheik”.

45 Weapon in Clue : LEAD PIPE

Clue is a board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

46 Late bloomers : ASTERS

Apparently, most aster species and cultivars bloom relatively late in the year, usually in the fall. The name “aster” comes into English via Latin from the Greek word “astéri” meaning “star”, a reference to the arrangement of the petals of the flower.

52 Universal life force : CHI

In Chinese culture, “qi” or “chi” is the life force in any living thing.

53 How a perfect pitch comes … or a hint to the missing parts of the shaded answers : DOWN THE PIPE

That would be baseball.

57 Loathing : ODIUM

Odium is a strong dislike or aversion. The term is Latin in origin and relates to the Latin word “odi” meaning “I hate”.

59 Ares, to Zeus : SON

The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror) and Eros (Desire). Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, and the Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

60 Rector’s residence : MANSE

A manse is a minister’s home in various Christian traditions. “Manse” derives from “mansus”, the Latin for “dwelling”. The term can also be used for any stately residence.

61 Feast without yeast : SEDER

The Passover Seder is a ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish Passover holiday, celebrating the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. One of the traditions at the meal is that the youngest child at the table asks “The Four Questions”, all relating to why this night is different from all other nights in the year:

  • Why is it that on all other nights during the year we eat either bread or matzoh, but on this night we eat only matzoh?
  • Why is it that on all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs, but on this night we eat only bitter herbs?
  • Why is it that on all other nights we do not dip our herbs even once, but on this night we dip them twice?
  • Why is it that on all other nights we eat either sitting or reclining, but on this night we eat in a reclining position?

Down

1 Cobra feature : HOOD

“Cobra” is the name given to a group of snakes, some of which are in different families. The term is reserved for those snakes that can expand their neck ribs to create a hood. The name “cobra” is an abbreviated form of “cobra de capello” which translates from Portuguese as “snake with hood”.

2 Tony’s counterpart : OBIE

The Obies are the Off-Broadway Theater Awards. The Obies have been presented annually since 1956. The recipients used to be chosen by “The Village Voice” newspaper, but now are jointly administered with the American Theatre Wing.

4 Ballpark figure : UMP

Back in the 15th century, “an umpire” was referred to as “a noumpere”, which was misheard and hence causing the dropping of the initial letter N. The term “noumpere” came from Old French “nonper” meaning “not even, odd number”. The idea was that the original umpire was a third person called on to arbitrate between two, providing that “odd number” needed to decide the dispute.

5 Green-headed duck : MALLARD

The mallard is perhaps the most recognizable of all ducks and is also known as the wild duck. The name “mallard” has the same Latin root as our word “male”, probably reflecting how flamboyant the coloring is of the male of the species relative to the female.

8 Treasure on the Spanish Main : ORO

When one thinks of the word “main” in the context of the sea, the Spanish Main usually comes to mind. Indeed, the use of the more general term “main” to mean “sea”, originates from the more specific “Spanish Main”. “Spanish Main” originally referred to land and not water, as it was the name given to the mainland coast around the Caribbean Sea in the days of Spanish domination of the region.

9 Blimps and zeppelins : AIRSHIPS

There is an important difference between a blimp (like the Goodyear Blimp) and an airship (like a zeppelin). An airship is a rigid structure with an internal framework that helps maintain the shape of the airbag, whereas a blimp uses the pressure of the helium gas inside the airbag to give it shape.

The zeppelin airship was developed by the German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, the design of which was granted a US patent in 1899. When zeppelins went into service, they were operated by the company Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-AG (DELAG), making that company the world’s first commercial airline. DELAG was operating commercial flights even before WWI. Famously, that big spire at the top of the Empire State Building was designed to be a docking point for zeppelin airships. However, after several attempts to use it as such, the idea was abandoned as the updrafts coming up from the streets below made docking too hazardous a maneuver.

18 Garage sale caveat : AS IS

A caveat is a warning or a qualification. “Caveat” is the Latin for “let him beware”.

23 Welcoming wreath : LEI

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

24 Prefix with watt : TERA-

The prefix “tera-” signifies a trillion, and comes from the Greek word “teras” meaning “monster”.

26 Symbol of China : PANDA

The phrase “panda diplomacy” is used to describe China’s practice of presenting giant pandas to other countries as diplomatic gifts. One of the more famous examples of panda diplomacy was the presentation of Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing to the US following President Nixon’s historic visit to China in 1972.

29 Hat worn by Abraham Lincoln : STOVEPIPE

A stovepipe hat is also known as a top hat.

30 Dedicatee of a Beethoven bagatelle : ELISE

“Für Elise” is a beautiful piece of solo piano music by Beethoven that is also known as “Bagatelle in A Minor”. “Für Elise” simply means “For Elise”, but sadly no one knows for sure the identity of the mysterious dedicatee.

A bagatelle is a bauble or trinket and is a word that we imported from French, in which language it has the same meaning.

36 Popular mixer : CLUB SODA

We call carbonated water “club soda”, because Club Soda used to be a brand name. The Club brand of drinks is actually Irish, and is owned by a company now known as C&C. As kids, we grew up on Club Orange and Club Lemon. Club Soda, not so much …

39 “American Idol” quest : STARDOM

“American Idol” is a spin-off show that was created after the amazing success of the British television show “Pop Idol”. Aired on Fox from 2002 to 2016, the show “jumped ship” and moved to ABC starting in the 2018 season.

43 Meyers of late-night TV : SETH

Seth Meyers is an actor and comedian who is perhaps best-known for his appearances on “Saturday Night Live” (SNL), for which program he served as head writer. Meyers now hosts his own late night talk show on NBC.

48 Serengeti herd : GNUS

The gnu is also known as the wildebeest, and is an antelope native to Africa. “Wildebeest” is a Dutch meaning “wild beast”.

The Serengeti is a region in Africa that is located in northern Tanzania and southwest Kenya. The name “Serengeti” comes from the Maasai language and means “Endless Plains”.

49 Trachea : WINDPIPE

The windpipe (also “trachea”) connects the lungs to the pharynx, the cavity of the mouth. The trachea is lined with special cells that secrete mucus which is then moved upwards by tiny hairs (cilia). The mucus traps dirt and dust particles inhaled with the air and cilia move the mucus contaminant away from the lungs’ delicate air sacs, into the mouth. Cigarette smoke overwhelms the mucus and cilia, so that smoke particles make it all the way into the lungs. Not a good thing …

50 Vaulted recess : APSE

The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

51 Certain animals playing in “Home on the Range” : DEER

The words of “Home on the Range” came before the music, from an 1870s poem called “My Western Home” penned by a Dr. Brewster Higley of Kansas. The music was added by Daniel Kelley, a friend of Higley. And now, a version of the song is the state song of Kansas.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Bor-r-ring” : HO-HUM
6 Part of a parade : FLOAT
11 Stir-fry pan : WOK
14 Time’s Person of the Year for 2008 and 2012 : OBAMA
15 Lofty abode : AERIE
16 Reverence : AWE
17 Stable base for a drilling rig : OIL PLATFORM
19 Deuce, in tennis : TIE
20 ___ Leppard : DEF
21 Exam with a max. score of 180 : LSAT
22 Part of the lymphatic system : SPLEEN
24 Muffler attachment : TAILPIPE
25 See-through : SHEER
26 Forerunners of cellphones : PAGERS
29 Feisty : SPIRITED
32 Tony, e.g. : AWARD
33 Spanish ___ (historic site in Rome) : STEPS
34 “Bravo!” : OLE!
35 Launch party? : NASA
36 Dark-tongued Chinese dogs : CHOWS
37 Bed smaller than a queen : TWIN
38 Slam : DIS
39 Poles, e.g. : SLAVS
40 Prominent cockatoo feature : CREST
41 “A little thing that makes a big difference,” per a popular saying : ATTITUDE
43 Props (up) : SHORES
44 “The Sheik of ___” (1920s song) : ARABY
45 Weapon in Clue : LEAD PIPE
46 Late bloomers : ASTERS
48 Comes down with : GETS
49 Bankroll : WAD
52 Universal life force : CHI
53 How a perfect pitch comes … or a hint to the missing parts of the shaded answers : DOWN THE PIPE
56 Overly : TOO
57 Loathing : ODIUM
58 Wash off : RINSE
59 Ares, to Zeus : SON
60 Rector’s residence : MANSE
61 Feast without yeast : SEDER

Down

1 Cobra feature : HOOD
2 Tony’s counterpart : OBIE
3 Feature of a skate park : HALFPIPE
4 Ballpark figure : UMP
5 Green-headed duck : MALLARD
6 Like some errors and attractions : FATAL
7 Split : LEFT
8 Treasure on the Spanish Main : ORO
9 Blimps and zeppelins : AIRSHIPS
10 Tones down : TEMPERS
11 Tall landmark in many a town : WATER TOWER
12 Boo-boo : OWIE
13 Eager : KEEN
18 Garage sale caveat : AS IS
23 Welcoming wreath : LEI
24 Prefix with watt : TERA-
25 Gushes : SPEWS
26 Symbol of China : PANDA
27 Be in store for : AWAIT
28 Business often combined with a minimart : GAS STATION
29 Hat worn by Abraham Lincoln : STOVEPIPE
30 Dedicatee of a Beethoven bagatelle : ELISE
31 Dings : DENTS
33 Of questionable repute : SHADY
36 Popular mixer : CLUB SODA
37 Trampled : TROD
39 “American Idol” quest : STARDOM
40 They may follow shots : CHASERS
42 Boiling blood : IRE
43 Meyers of late-night TV : SETH
45 “I can take it from here” : LET ME
46 Stops procrastinating : ACTS
47 “Get outta here!” : SHOO!
48 Serengeti herd : GNUS
49 Trachea : WINDPIPE
50 Vaulted recess : APSE
51 Certain animals playing in “Home on the Range” : DEER
54 Have the best time, say : WIN
55 Kind of filling : PIE

3 thoughts on “0918-19 NY Times Crossword 18 Sep 19, Wednesday”

  1. 7:26. I have a background in physics so Einstein being called the person of the century sits fine with me. However, I’ve heard a pretty plausible case that you could say Churchill is as well, although I think that was for his being the most indispensable person of the 20th century. Interesting discussion regardless.

    Best –

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