0118-20 NY Times Crossword 18 Jan 20, Saturday

Constructed by: Ryan McCarty
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 22m 24s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Careless : SLIPSHOD

Someone of something described as “slipshod” is slovenly in appearance or sloppy. The term probably comes from the idea of someone appearing in one’s slippers, someone who hasn’t made an effort in their dress.

9 Indicator of interest on Match.com : WINK

Match.com is an online dating service. The company was started in 1993 and claims to have over 20 million members worldwide, in the ratio of male to female of 49:51.

16 Winter carnival spectacles : ICE PALACES

An ice palace is a temporary structure, one made from blocks of ice. The first such structure was built on the order of the Empress Anna in Saint Petersburg, Russia in the winter of 1739. That particular ice palace was an elaborate affair, erected during the celebrations following Russia’s victory over the Ottoman Empire. The palace survived for several months, eventually melting at the start of the following summer.

18 Lipstick shade : NUDE

Lipsticks have a remarkably long list of ingredients. Die-hard vegans have to be careful in their choice of lipstick, as most contain beeswax. and the “shimmering” types often contain fish scales. Yuk …

19 Party person, briefly : DEM

The modern-day Democratic Party was founded in 1828 when supporters of Andrew Jackson broke away from the former Democratic-Republican Party during the presidency of John Quincy Adams. That date makes the Democratic Party the oldest voter-based political party in the world. Andrew Jackson became the first Democratic US president, in 1829.

24 Self-described “bluesologist” ___ Scott-Heron : GIL

Gil Scott-Heron was jazz poet and musician who is best remembered as spoken word performer from the seventies and eighties. Scott-Heron’s most famous work is the poem and song “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”, the title of which became a popular slogan for the Black Power movements in the sixties.

28 ___ monster : GILA

A Gila monster is a venomous lizard found in the southwestern US and northern Mexico, and is the only venomous lizard native to America. Gila monsters move along at a snail’s pace so aren’t normally a danger to humans. The name “Gila” is a reference to the Gila River Basin in the American Southwest, where the Gila monster was prevalent.

30 Preventing cyberclutter : ANTI-SPAM

The term “spam”, used for unwanted email, is taken from a “Monty Python” sketch. In the sketch (which I’ve seen) the dialog is taken over by the word Spam, a play on the glut of canned meat in the markets of Britain after WWII. So “spam” is used for the glut of emails that takes over online communication. I can just imagine nerdy Internet types (like me) adopting something from a “Monty Python” sketch to describe an online phenomenon …

37 Opening for a Mughal masterwork : TAJ

The most famous mausoleum in the world has to be the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The Taj Mahal was built after the death of the fourth wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal (hence the name of the mausoleum). The poor woman died in childbirth delivering the couple’s 14th child. When Shah Jahan himself passed away 35 years later, he was buried beside his wife Mumtaz, in the Taj Mahal.

39 Noel abroad : NAVIDAD

“Feliz Navidad” is Spanish for “Happy Christmas”.

43 Canadian hockey great Eric : LINDROS

Eric Lindros is a retired Canadian hockey player. During his NHL career he played for the Philadelphia Flyers, the New York Rangers, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Dallas Stars.

45 “Arbitrage” star, 2012 : GERE

“Arbitrage” is an entertaining drama released in 2012 that stars Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon, two favorite actors of mine. Gere plays a none-too-honest hedge fund manager who gets himself into a lot of trouble.

46 Site of many pitches : KICKSTARTER

Kickstarter.com is an increasingly popular “crowdfunding” website. Kickstarter is a contemporary version of the traditional model in which artists sought out patrons from among their audiences to fund their work. The website brings together individuals willing to fund projects, usually in exchange for some reward from the artist.

50 ___ jokes : DAD

I tell dad jokes all the time, just to annoy the kids …

  • I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. It’s impossible to put down!
  • If you see a robbery at an Apple Store does that make you an iWitness?
  • A termite walks into a bar and asks, “Is the bar tender here?”
  • Two guys walk into a bar, the third one ducks.
  • What’s the best part about living in Switzerland? I don’t know, but the flag is a big plus.

51 Dalmatian, for one : CROAT

Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea, with most of its area falling in modern-day Croatia.

54 Shaded area : UMBRA

A shadow usually has three distinct parts called the umbra, penumbra and antumbra, with the terms most often used with reference to the shadows cast by celestial bodies. The terms can also be used to describe the levels of darkness in sunspots. The umbra (Latin for “shadow”) is the innermost, darkest part of a shadow. The penumbra (“almost shadow”, from Latin) is a lighter part of a shadow, where part of the light source “leaks” around the body casting the shadow. The antumbra phenomenon is experienced when the object casting the shadow is sufficiently far away from the viewer so that it appears smaller than the light source, with an annular ring around it. When the eye is in the shadow cast by an object that has light passing around it, the eye is in the antumbra.

55 Deerstalker feature : EARFLAP

A deerstalker is a hat that is associated with hunting, and stalking deer in particular, hence the name. The deerstalker is also very much associated with Sherlock Holmes, and by extension with the stereotypical detective.

Down

1 Reached feetfirst : SLID INTO

That could be baseball.

2 Part of a fancy place setting : LACE DOILY

There was a draper in London in the seventeenth century named Doiley, and he gave his name to the lace fabric that he sold, which in turn gave its name to the ornamental mat that we call a “doily”. I can’t stand doilies …

4 It’s not hard to swallow : PAP

One use of the term “pap” is to describe soft or semi-liquid food for babies and small children. “Pap” comes into English, via French, from the Latin word used by children for “food”. In the 1500s, “pap” also came to mean “an oversimplified” idea. This gives us a usage that’s common today, describing literature or perhaps TV programming that lacks real value or substance. Hands up those who think there’s a lot of pap out there, especially on television …

6 Chlorine, for one : HALOGEN

The halogens are a group of elements in the periodic table consisting of fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine and astatine. The term “halogen” was the name that was originally proposed for chlorine when it was first discovered.

Chlorine is a yellow-green gas that is very poisonous at high concentrations. As such, chlorine gas was used in WWI, earning the shameful title of the world’s first gaseous chemical weapon. Chlorine was mistakenly believed to be an oxide for many years, until English chemist Sir Humphry Davy correctly concluded that the gas was an element. Davy coined the name “chlorine”, from the Greek “chloros” meaning “”green-yellow”.

7 So-called “African unicorns” : OKAPIS

The okapi is closely related to the giraffe, although it does have markings on its legs and haunches that resemble those of a zebra. The okapi’s tongue is long enough to reach back and wash its eyeballs, and can go back even further to clean its ears inside and out.

8 Stick-on : DECAL

A decal is a decorative sticker. “Decal” is a shortening of “decalcomania”. The latter term is derived from the French “décalquer”, the practice of tracing a pattern from paper onto glass or perhaps porcelain.

11 Things can only get better from here : NADIR

The nadir is the direction pointing immediately below a particular location (through to the other side of the Earth for example). The opposite direction, that pointing immediately above, is called the zenith. We use the terms “nadir” and “zenith” figuratively to mean the low and high points in a person’s fortunes.

14 Baste, e.g. : SEW

To baste is to sew loosely, just holding a join in a fabric together temporarily using large running stitches.

17 Majority of 15-Across : SHIITES

The Islamic sects of Sunni and Shia Muslims differ in the belief of who should have taken over leadership of the Muslim faithful after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Followers of the Sunni tradition agree with the decision that the Prophet Muhammad’s confidante Abu Bakr was the right choice to become the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. Followers of the Shia tradition believe that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet Muhammad’s own family, and favored the Prophet’s son-in-law Ali.

27 Flimflammer : CON

A flimflam is a confidence trick. The term “flimflam” has been in use since the 1500s, would you believe?

28 Old World grazer : GNU

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

31 Settled a debt, informally : PONIED UP

“To pony up” means “to pay”. Apparently, the term originated as slang use of the Latin term “legem pone” that was once used for “money”. “Legem Pone” was the title of the Psalm that was read out on March 25 each year, and March 25 was the first payday of the year in days gone by.

32 Contraption that might have honey and borax : ANT TRAP

Borax is also known as sodium borate, and is a salt of boric acid. Borax is a white powder that dissolves easily in water. The compound has many uses, for example as an antifungal agent, water-softening agent and as an antiseptic. Actor and future US president Ronald Reagan used to tout 20 Mule Team Borax that was used as a laundry product.

41 Senile sort : DOTARD

A dotard is a person who is in his or her dotage, someone who has become senile.

44 Lord’s workers : SERFS

A serf was a member of the lowest feudal class, someone attached to land owned by a lord. “Serf” comes from the Latin “servus”, meaning “slave”.

46 Single-serve coffee holder : K-CUP

A K-Cup is a single-portion cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate in which the beverage is prepared in situ. K-Cup packs are used with brewing machines made by Keurig, a manufacturer of coffee brewers based in Reading, Massachusetts. Personally, I use a Nespresso machine …

53 Shade : TAD

Back in the 1800s, “tad” was used to describe a young child, and this extended into our usage of “small amount” in the early 1900s. The original use of “tad” for a child is very likely a shortened version of “tadpole”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Careless : SLIPSHOD
9 Indicator of interest on Match.com : WINK
13 Some naturally heated pools : LAVA LAKES
15 Home of about 10% of the world’s oil reserves : IRAN
16 Winter carnival spectacles : ICE PALACES
18 Lipstick shade : NUDE
19 Party person, briefly : DEM
20 Do some showing off with one’s bike : POP A WHEELIE
22 Pair at the altar : I DOS
24 Self-described “bluesologist” ___ Scott-Heron : GIL
25 Gets in deep? : INTERS
26 Green people : NOVICES
28 ___ monster : GILA
29 Attached, as a hook : TIED ON
30 Preventing cyberclutter : ANTI-SPAM
34 Like bygone days : OLDEN
35 Relative of slate : BLUESTONE
36 “That stings!” : YOW!
37 Opening for a Mughal masterwork : TAJ
38 Husbands one’s resources : STINTS
39 Noel abroad : NAVIDAD
42 Huffs : SNITS
43 Canadian hockey great Eric : LINDROS
45 “Arbitrage” star, 2012 : GERE
46 Site of many pitches : KICKSTARTER
50 ___ jokes : DAD
51 Dalmatian, for one : CROAT
52 Show some moves on the dance floor : TEAR IT UP
54 Shaded area : UMBRA
55 Deerstalker feature : EARFLAP
56 Checkered things : PASTS
57 Got in a lather : SUDSED

Down

1 Reached feetfirst : SLID INTO
2 Part of a fancy place setting : LACE DOILY
3 Post-breakup declaration : I’VE MOVED ON
4 It’s not hard to swallow : PAP
5 Sharp rebuff : SLAP
6 Chlorine, for one : HALOGEN
7 So-called “African unicorns” : OKAPIS
8 Stick-on : DECAL
9 Leisure activity for which you need glasses : WINE TASTING
10 “Winner winner chicken dinner!” : I RULE!
11 Things can only get better from here : NADIR
12 Mini/midi midpoint : KNEES
14 Baste, e.g. : SEW
17 Majority of 15-Across : SHIITES
21 Joins up : ENLISTS
23 Pieces of chalk? : SIDEWALK ART
27 Flimflammer : CON
28 Old World grazer : GNU
30 R&B/soul singer with the 1981 hit album “Breakin’ Away” : AL JARREAU
31 Settled a debt, informally : PONIED UP
32 Contraption that might have honey and borax : ANT TRAP
33 Tinkered (with) : MESSED
35 “Emergency calls” may save you from them : BAD DATES
37 Shade : TINT
40 Things that get overlooked? : VISTAS
41 Senile sort : DOTARD
44 Lord’s workers : SERFS
46 Single-serve coffee holder : K-CUP
47 ___ Thomas, the Soul Queen of New Orleans : IRMA
48 Cookout discards : COBS
49 Tick off : RILE
53 Shade : TAD