0418-20 NY Times Crossword 18 Apr 20, Saturday

Constructed by: Ryan McCarty
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 20m 13s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Who said “Fashion changes, but style endures” : CHANEL

Coco Chanel was a French fashion designer. I’m no fashionista, but if I had to pick a designer whose clothes I really liked, it would be Chanel. She had a way of creating simpler designs that look so elegant on a woman.

13 Distressing character in the Bible? : DELILAH

Delilah is the love and eventually temptress of Samson, according to the Bible. Delilah was engaged by the Philistines to betray Samson by determining the secret of his great strength. Samson lied to her three times, but on the fourth asking he told Delilah the truth, that he did not cut his hair. Delilah then persuaded Samson to shear his locks and so allowed him to be captured by his enemies. Over the centuries, it has been usual to depict Delilah actually cutting off her husband’s hair, but the Bible actually says that she allowed a man to do the deed while Samson was sleeping.

“Distressing”, the removal of “tresses, hair”.

15 Member of the Scooby-Doo gang : DAPHNE

“Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” is a series of cartoons produced for Hanna-Barbera Productions, first broadcast in 1969. The title character is a great Dane dog owned by a young male called Shaggy Rogers. The character’s name was inspired by the famous “doo-be-doo-be-doo” refrain in the Frank Sinatra hit “Strangers in the Night”. Shaggy was voiced by famed disk jockey Casey Kasem. Shaggy and Scooby’s friends are Velma, Fred and Daphne.

16 Warn of disaster : CRY HAVOC

Havoc is great damage or destruction. The term “havoc” comes from the Anglo-French phrase “crier havok”, which was an order given in the late 1500s to soldiers, instructing them to seize plunder.

18 Source of college credit, informally : AP TEST

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school. After being tested at the end of an AP course, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

20 Criminal patterns, in brief : MOS

“Modus operandi” (plural “modi operandi”) is the Latin for “mode of operating”, a term we’ve been using since the mid-1600s. It’s often used by the police when referring to the methods typically employed by a particular perpetrator of a crime, and is usually abbreviated to “M.O.”

24 Flat fees : RENTS

“Flat”, in the sense of an apartment or condominium, is a word more commonly used in Britain and Ireland than on this side of the pond. The term “flat” is Scottish in origin, in which language it used to mean “floor in a house”.

33 Monet’s “Train in the Snow” or “The Magpie” : WINTER SCENE

French artist Claude Monet was one of the founders of the Impressionist movement, and indeed the term “Impressionism” comes from the title of his 1872 painting “Impression, Sunrise”. That work depicts the port of Le Havre, which was Monet’s hometown. Later in his life, Monet purchased a house in Giverny, and famously installed lily ponds and a Japanese bridge in the property’s extensive gardens. He spent two decades painting the water lily ponds, producing his most famous works.

34 Hack job? : CYBER ATTACK

A computer hacker is a computer expert, and in particular one who uses that expertise to solve problems with hardware and software. So, the original use of the term “hacking” was very positive. Since the 1980s, the term “hacker” is more commonly used for an expert in subverting computer security.

35 Bashful friend : DOC

In the original Brothers Grimm fairy tale called “Snow White”, the seven dwarfs were not given any names. The names were added for the 1937 classic Disney film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. The seven dwarfs are:

  • Doc (the leader of the group)
  • Grumpy (that would be me, according to my wife …)
  • Happy
  • Sleepy
  • Bashful
  • Sneezy
  • Dopey

36 Isotopes of element #88 : RADIUMS

The element radium was discovered by Marie and Pierre Curie, in 1898.

37 ___ lane : HOV

In some parts of the country, one sees high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes. Out here in California we refer to them as carpool lanes.

40 “The Sound of Music” character who’s “17 going on 18” : ROLF

“The Sound of Music” is a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical that was made into a celebrated movie in 1965 starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. The musical is based on “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers”, a memoir by Maria von Trapp. The von Trapp family ended up in Stowe, Vermont after the war, and one family descended from the Vermont von Trapps lives in the same town in which I used to live in California.

43 Swimmer Torres who medaled in five Olympic Games : DARA

Dara Torres is a US swimmer who has won twelve Olympic medals. Torres is also the only American swimmer to have competed in five Olympic Games, and is the oldest swimmer to have made it onto the Olympic team, at 41.

50 Coconut-covered snack cakes : SNO BALLS

The Hostess cakes called Sno Balls are usually pink in color, although in its original form each packet of two cakes contained one white and one pink. Around Halloween you can buy Sno Balls in the form of Scary Cakes and Glo Balls that are colored orange and green. and on St. Paddy’s Day there’s a green one available. Yoo hoo!

55 Cloth dealer, in Britain : DRAPER

When I was growing up on the other side of the pond, a drapery was a shop where one could buy cloth for making clothes or curtains. It was only when I came to America that I heard the term “drapes” used for curtains.

Down

1 Obsolescent music holder : CD CASE

It seems that the derivation of the term “jewel case” (CD box) is unclear. One suggestion is that initial prototypes weren’t very successful, so when a workable design was found it was dubbed the “jewel” case.

2 Border collie, by nature : HERDER

The collie isn’t actually a breed of dog, but rather the name given to a group of herding dogs that originated in Scotland and Northern England. An obvious (and wonderful) example would be the Border Collie. Many dogs classed as collies don’t have the word “collie” in the name of the breed, for example the Old English Sheepdog and the Shetland Sheepdog.

3 Runner-up to Affirmed in every 1978 Triple Crown race : ALYDAR

The very successful racehorse called Affirmed won the Triple Crown in 1978. Affirmed had a famous rivalry with the horse Alydar, with the pair meeting up on ten occasions. Affirmed and Alydar came in first and second in each of the 1978 Triple Crown races.

4 Nero’s zero : NIHIL

“Nihil” is the Latin word for “nothing, and is a term we’ve absorbed into English. “Nihil” is also the root from which we get our term “nil”. Someone described as “nihilistic” is very skeptical and tends to believe in nothing.

Nero was Emperor of Rome from 54 to 68 CE, and towards the end of his reign participated in the Olympic Games in the year 67. The Roman leader raced in a ten-horse chariot, of which he lost control and nearly perished after being thrown from the vehicle. Acting and singing were Olympic events back then, and Nero also took part in those competitions. By all accounts, Nero performed badly in every event in which he vied, and yet somehow still managed to win Olympic crowns that he paraded around Rome on his return from Greece.

5 Fizz : ELAN

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

6 Shrunken head? : LAV

Our word “lavatory” (sometimes “lav”) originally referred to a washbasin, and comes from the Latin “lavatorium”, a place for washing. In the 1600s, “lavatory” came to mean a washroom, and in the 1920s a toilet.

In old sailing ships, the toilet area for the regular sailors was located in the forward part (the head) of the ship. As a result, the term “head” has been used since then for any toilet on board a boat.

7 Certain hand-held … or hand-holding : PDA

Personal digital assistant (PDA)

Public display of affection (PDA)

9 Part of FiOS : OPTIC

FiOS is a service from Verizon that bundles Internet, telephone and television service. All three services are provided over fiber-optic lines, right to the door. I presume that the name FiOS comes from something like “Fiber-Optic Service” …

10 “A mixture of what appears to be ESP and early Christian faith,” per a 1977 New York Times film review : THE FORCE

The Force is a metaphysical power much cited in all of the “Star Wars” movies. We may even hear someone in real life say “May the Force be with you”. Fans of the movie franchise even celebrate May 4th every year as Star Wars Day, using the pun “May the 4th be with you”!

14 1800s migrant : HOMESTEADER

The Homestead Act of 1862 was the first in a series of federal laws that made small plots of farming land available for purchase to particular individuals at a reasonable price. The list of eligible applicants included women, African-Americans and immigrants. Enacted during the Civil War, the law specifically prohibited Southern slave-owners from purchasing the land, as well as anyone who had taken up arms against the US government.

17 Relatives of accordions : CONCERTINAS

A concertina operates much like an accordion, with the main difference being that the concertina has buttons/keys on both ends, and the accordion only on one end.

31 Ad ___ : LIB

“Ad libitum” is a Latin phrase meaning “at one’s pleasure”. In common usage, the phrase is usually shortened to “ad lib”. On the stage, the concept of an ad lib is very familiar.

39 One of the Seven Sisters : 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.

The Seven Sisters are a group of (traditionally women’s) colleges in the northeast of the country that were founded to parallel the all-male (as they were then) Ivy League colleges. The seven are:

  • Mount Holyoke
  • Vassar
  • Wellesley
  • Smith
  • Radcliffe
  • Bryn Mawr
  • Barnard

41 Unbroken : FERAL

“Feral”, meaning existing in a wild or untamed state, comes from the Latin word “fera” meaning “wild animal”.

47 Tower on a mountain : T-BAR

A T-bar is a ski lift on which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair standing (not sitting!) either side of a T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling along the skiers as they remain standing on their skis (hopefully!). There’s also a J-bar, which is a similar device but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.

49 Workplaces for L.P.N.s : ERS

Licensed practical nurse (LPN)

51 Its “concise” version has almost 1,700 pages: Abbr. : OED

Work started on what was to become the first “Oxford English Dictionary” (OED) in 1857. Several interim versions of the dictionary were published in the coming years with the first full version appearing, in ten bound volumes, in 1928. The second edition of the OED appeared in 1989 and is made up of twenty volumes. The OED was first published in electronic form in 1988 and went online in 2000. Given the modern use of computers, the publishing house responsible feels that there will never be a third print version of the famous dictionary.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Who said “Fashion changes, but style endures” : CHANEL
7 Little pointer : PRO TIP
13 Distressing character in the Bible? : DELILAH
15 Member of the Scooby-Doo gang : DAPHNE
16 Warn of disaster : CRY HAVOC
18 Source of college credit, informally : AP TEST
19 Contribute to the mix : ADD IN
20 Criminal patterns, in brief : MOS
22 Searches (through) : SIFTS
23 Word after Christmas or fur : … SEAL
24 Flat fees : RENTS
26 Joint venture : CO-OP
27 Stumble : ERR
28 Tank tops? : GAS CAPS
30 Old parent company of NBC : RCA
31 Reward for a bad N.B.A. team : LOTTERY PICK
33 Monet’s “Train in the Snow” or “The Magpie” : WINTER SCENE
34 Hack job? : CYBER ATTACK
35 Bashful friend : DOC
36 Isotopes of element #88 : RADIUMS
37 ___ lane : HOV
40 “The Sound of Music” character who’s “17 going on 18” : ROLF
42 Hangs in the balance : PENDS
43 Swimmer Torres who medaled in five Olympic Games : DARA
44 Strange : ALIEN
46 Chang-___ Lee, 2011 Pulitzer finalist for “The Surrendered” : RAE
47 Sets right : TRUES
48 “Sure, we can chat now” : I’M FREE
50 Coconut-covered snack cakes : SNO BALLS
52 Pouty cry : NO FAIR!
53 Women’s soccer powerhouse : TEAM USA
54 Seems crooked : SMELLS
55 Cloth dealer, in Britain : DRAPER

Down

1 Obsolescent music holder : CD CASE
2 Border collie, by nature : HERDER
3 Runner-up to Affirmed in every 1978 Triple Crown race : ALYDAR
4 Nero’s zero : NIHIL
5 Fizz : ELAN
6 Shrunken head? : LAV
7 Certain hand-held … or hand-holding : PDA
8 Knocks : RAPS
9 Part of FiOS : OPTIC
10 “A mixture of what appears to be ESP and early Christian faith,” per a 1977 New York Times film review : THE FORCE
11 Shelved, for now? : IN STOCK
12 Upscale provider of grooming services : PET SPA
14 1800s migrant : HOMESTEADER
17 Relatives of accordions : CONCERTINAS
21 Best in class : STAR STUDENT
24 Dump : RATTRAP
25 Espionage gadgets : SPYCAMS
28 One who’s finished : GONER
29 Technical data : SPECS
31 Ad ___ : LIB
32 Press coverage : INK
33 John ___, English philosopher and theologian who made an early translation of the Bible : WYCLIFFE
34 Stereotypically lenient parent : COOL MOM
35 Spots for snakes : DRAINS
37 Call to account : HAUL UP
38 Ominous phrase : OR ELSE
39 One of the Seven Sisters : VASSAR
41 Unbroken : FERAL
43 Reality show staple : DRAMA
45 Masculine name that sometimes follows Mac- : NEIL
47 Tower on a mountain : T-BAR
49 Workplaces for L.P.N.s : ERS
51 Its “concise” version has almost 1,700 pages: Abbr. : OED

15 thoughts on “0418-20 NY Times Crossword 18 Apr 20, Saturday”

  1. Well, I needed a little help from my pal Google today (sigh). Wycliffe and Rolf (D’oh). Kept thinking of the girls instead. 37:56. Ugh. Bring on Sunday’s puzzle.

  2. 35:22. Agreed – a very difficult puzzle. I was able to get the corners via ALYDAR, AP TEST, SNOBALLS and IM FREE. The center gave me the most trouble, but I knew LOTTERY PICK immediately. ALYDAR I remember, strangely, because Johnny Carson always made fun of him for finishing second all the time.

    Guess Who – I suggest you watch the movie “Wordplay” and see what the times of the elite solvers are like. Meanwhile – you should probably go back to your mom’s basement and get ready to rev up those go carts when the track opens up again.

    Best –

    1. (Explanatory Note) … Jeff’s comment to “Guess Who” was in response to a post by our resident troll that Bill later deleted.

  3. 1:05:35 Tough one for me…no surprise. My usual enemy, northwest, reared it’s ugly head again. I mean “lav” seemed a bit of a stretch, but my putting “turret” in for tank top shot me in the foot for a while…. I guess I’m a musical fossil, since I still use vinyl and CD’s so I don’t think of them as obsolete

  4. They got me.. Probably should call it a DNF cuz I had 3 lookups. Still had 3 errors after that. Personal rule, if I’m stuck for more than 60 minutes, I go to Google.. I enjoyed it.

    HOV, WYCLIFFE, RADIUMS and CONCERTINAS got me good. Just couldn’t get over that hump.. Its like on the tip of my tongue and then … Nothing. Aaaargh

  5. Difficult, yet enjoyable. Actually thought I had it until I checked in here. Had SABERATTACKS/SOULMOM which left me with WACLIFFE and RULF which didn’t sound right. A little post-completion editing might have helped a bit, but that’s hindsight. CRYHAVOC? Bit of a reach IMO.

  6. After almost 2 hours I spelled Vassar with an E and had no idea what 53A was and I guess Bill didn’t either but teamuse seemed more apt than team USA until just now when my spell checker straightened me out (I was looking at it as one word) As usual my bad.
    Stay safe

  7. Well, Bill, according to my husband, in the morning I’m at least four of the seven dwarfs — grumpy, sneezy, sleepy, and dopey!

  8. 26:14, no errors. About 10 minutes in, I felt like I was in an inextricable web of my own weaving. Like DuncanR I initially entered TURRETS in 28A. Also started with SORTS in 22A; TRIP in 26A; HIGH in 31A (as in high draft pick) and HOC in 31D. For 39D was trying to remember if I knew the names of any of the Pleiades.

  9. A slow start. Member of the Scooby-Do gang. Do I choose “SHAGGY “or “DAPHNE”? Is 8D “FIBER” or “OPTIC”.
    Had a lot of trouble with that upper right quadrant. I had “COUP” fo 26A (“Joint venture”) which sounded reasonable, but I kept trying to force “UNSTUCK” into 11D. Finally hit me that 26A had to be CO-OP (taking a hyphen). Gag me!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.