1018-21 NY Times Crossword 18 Oct 21, Monday

Constructed by: Freddie Cheng
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer Art Forms

Today’s grid is replete with “ART” FORMS (anagrams of “ART”) hidden in themed answers:

  • 37A Various creative mediums … or a hint to variations found in the shaded squares : ART FORMS
  • 17A Athlete who rarely gets sacked or has a pass intercepted : STAR QUARTERBACK
  • 29A Run-down places : RATTRAPS
  • 33A Figure to aim for, according to personal trainers : TARGET HEART RATE
  • 42A Pastry made with an orchard fruit : PEAR TART
  • 56A Political group symbolized by a donkey : DEMOCRATIC PARTY

Bill’s time: 5m 49s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 State known for lobsters and pine trees : MAINE

There seems to be some uncertainty how the US state of Maine got its name. However, the state legislature has adopted the theory that it comes from the former French province of Maine. The legislature included language to that effect when adopting a resolution in 2001 to establish Franco-American Day.

6 Laziest of the deadly sins : SLOTH

“Sloth”, meaning “indolence, sluggishness”, comes from the Middle English word “slowe”, which is also the root of our contemporary word “slow”. The animal, the sloth, is so named as it exhibits slow-moving behavior.

11 Pal : BUB

“Bub” is American slang, and a term used to address males. “Bub” is possibly a variation of “bud”.

14 St. ___ fire : ELMO’S

Saint Elmo is the patron saint of sailors. More formally referred to as Erasmus of Formia, St. Elmo is perhaps venerated by sailors as tradition tells us that he continued preaching despite the ground beside him being struck by a thunderbolt. Sailors started to pray to him when in danger of storms and lightning. He lends his name to the electrostatic weather phenomenon (often seen at sea) known as St. Elmo’s fire. The “fire” is actually a plasma discharge caused by air ionizing at the end of a pointed object (like the mast of a ship), something often observed during electrical storms.

16 Actress Gasteyer of “Saturday Night Live” fame : ANA

Ana Gasteyer is an actress best known for being a cast member of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) from 1996 to 2002. Gasteyer was famous on SNL for playing Martha Stewart … topless!

21 Stereotypical name for a dog : FIDO

“Fido”, the name for many a dog, is Latin for “I trust”.

22 Like neon gas : NOBLE

The noble gases (also “rare gases”) are those elements on the extreme right of the Periodic Table. Because of their “full” complement of electrons, noble gases are very unreactive. The six noble gases that occur naturally are helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon and radon.

Neon was discovered in 1898 by two British chemists, Sir William Ramsay and Morris Travers. They chilled a sample of air, turning it into a liquid. They then warmed that liquid and separated out the gases that boiled off. Along with nitrogen, oxygen and argon (already known), the pair of scientists discovered two new gases. The first they called “krypton” and the second “neon”. “Krypton” is Greek for “the hidden one” and “neon” is Greek for “new”.

23 Classic cinema name : ODEON

In ancient Greece, an odeon (also “odeum”) was like a small theater, with “odeon” literally meaning “building for musical competition”. Odea were used in both Greece and Rome for entertainments such as musical shows and poetry readings.

32 ___ latte : CHAI

Chai is a drink made from spiced black tea, honey and milk, with “chai” being the Hindi word for “tea”. We often called tea “a cup of char” growing up in Ireland, with “char” being our slang word for tea, derived from “chai”.

41 Bar mitzvah dances : HORAS

The hora is a circle dance that originated in the Balkans. It was brought to Israel by Romanian settlers, and is often performed to traditional, Israeli folk songs. The hora (also “horah”) is a regular sight at Jewish weddings. Sometimes the honoree at an event is raised on a chair during the hora.

A Jewish girl becomes a bat mitzvah at 12 years of age, the age at which she becomes responsible for her actions. Boys become bar mitzvahs at 13. The terms translate into English as daughter and son of the commandments.

47 Start, as a computer : BOOT UP

The verb “to boot”, as used in the world of computers, comes from the phrase “pull oneself up by one’s bootstraps”. The idea is that the software that has to be loaded before a computer can do anything useful is called a “bootstrap load”.

48 Coins of India : RUPEES

The rupee is a unit of currency used in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan. The term “rupee” comes from the Sanskrit word “rupya”, which once meant “stamped, impressed” and then “coin”.

51 Angel’s overhead? : HALO

The Greek word “halos” is the name given to the ring of light around the sun or moon, which gives us our word “halo” that is used for a radiant light depicted above the head of a saintly person.

56 Political group symbolized by a donkey : DEMOCRATIC PARTY

Thomas Nast was an American caricaturist and cartoonist. He was the creator of the Republican Party elephant, the Democratic Party donkey, Uncle Sam and the image of the plump and jocular Santa Claus that we use today.

62 Handmade sign held up by a kid in the bleachers : HI MOM!

At a sports event one might sit in the bleachers. “Bleachers” is a particularly American term used to describe the tiered stands that provide seating for spectators. These seats were originally wooden planks, and as they were uncovered they would be bleached by the sun, giving them the name we use today. Sometimes the fans using the bleachers might be referred to as “bleacherites”.

63 ___ Andreas fault : SAN

The famous San Andreas Fault in California lies along the boundary between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates. The faultline was named in 1885 after a small lake just south of San Francisco called Laguna de San Andreas.

65 Twin Mary-Kate or Ashley : OLSEN

I know very little about the Olsen twins, but I am told that many folks believe Mary-Kate and Ashley to be identical twins. They look very much alike, but are in fact fraternal twins. The sisters were cast as Michelle Tanner on the eighties sitcom “Full House”, taking turns playing the role.

Down

2 Kind of sax : ALTO

The saxophone was invented by Belgian musician Adolphe Sax, hence the name. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if his affliction was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax’s grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

5 Abbr. after a lawyer’s name : ESQ

The title “esquire” is of British origin and is used differently today depending on whether one is in the US or the UK. Here in America the term is usually reserved for those practicing the law (both male and female). In the UK, “esquire” is a term of gentle respect reserved for a male who has no other title that one can use. So a mere commoner like me might receive a letter from the bank, say, addressed to W. E. Butler Esq.

6 Ferdinand and Isabella’s land : SPAIN

Ferdinand II of Aragon married Isabella, the future queen of Castille, in 1469. That marriage, and subsequent actions by the couple, brought together the two largest kingdoms of the Iberian peninsula and paved the way for the birth of Spain as a unified nation centuries later. Ferdinand and Isabella also elevated Catholicism to the level of “national” religion, and indeed established the infamous Spanish Inquisition to maintain that status. And the two became very wealthy, especially after the successful voyages of Christopher Columbus that led to Spanish territorial expansion into the New World.

7 Nonvegan shortening : LARD

Fat, when extracted from the carcass of an animal, is called suet. Untreated suet decomposes at room temperature quite easily so it has to be rendered, purified to make it stable. Rendered fat from pigs is what we call lard. Rendered beef or mutton fat is known as tallow.

8 Germany’s von Bismarck : OTTO

Germany first became a country of her own in 1871 when the Princes of the various independent German states met at Versailles outside Paris to proclaim Wilhelm of Prussia as the Emperor of the German Empire. The man behind this historic development was Wilhelm’s Ministerpräsident, Otto von Bismarck. Von Bismarck was a powerful figure in Prussia and indeed on the world stage, earning him the nickname “Iron Chancellor”.

9 Classic Father’s Day gift : TIE

Father’s Day was added as an official holiday in 1972, although bills to create the holiday had been with Congress since 1913. By rights, the holiday should be called “Fathers’ Day” (note the punctuation), but the bill that was introduced in 1913 used the “Father’s Day” spelling, and that’s the one that has stuck.

10 Charlotte hoopster : HORNET

The New Orleans Hornets joined the NBA in 1988 as an expansion team, originally based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The team was going to be called the Charlotte Spirit, but the name was changed following a “name the team” contest run in the local area. During the Revolutionary War, Lord General Cornwallis had referred to Charlotte as a “veritable nest of hornets” due the city’s resistance to British occupation, which explains the local fans’ fondness for the name “Hornets”. The franchise was moved to New Orleans for the 2002 season, as attendance wasn’t big enough to sustain the team in Charlotte. The NBA returned to North Carolina in 2004 with the establishment of the Charlotte Bobcats. The New Orleans franchise rebranded itself in 2013, becoming the Pelicans. As a result, the Charlotte Bobcats were able to change their name to the Hornets in 2014.

11 Start of a nursery rhyme about bags of wool : BAA BAA …

The old English nursery rhyme “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” is usually sung as:

Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes, sir, yes, sir,
Three bags full;
One for the master,
And one for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.

The tune that accompanies the rhyme is a variant of the French melody “Ah! Vous dirai-je, Maman”, which we know best in English as the tune for “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”.

18 Causes of some mysterious radar blips, in brief : UFOS

Scientists have been using radio waves to detect the presence of objects since the late 1800s, but it was the demands of WWII that accelerated the practical application of the technology. The British called their system RDF standing for Range and Direction Finding. The system used by the US Navy was called “Radio Detection And Ranging”, which was shortened to the acronym “RADAR”.

28 Director DuVernay : AVA

Ava DuVernay is a filmmaker who became the first African-American woman to win the Best Director Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, a feat she achieved in 2012 for her feature film “Middle of Nowhere”. “Middle of Nowhere” tells the story of a woman who drops out of medical school to focus on her husband when he is sentenced to 8 years in prison. DuVernay also directed the 2014 film “Selma” about the 1965 voting rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

29 Butler of “Gone With the Wind” : RHETT

Famously, Clark Gable played Rhett Butler in the 1939 film adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s novel “Gone with the Wind”. However, Butler wasn’t the first choice for the role. It was offered to Gary Cooper, but he turned it down. Apparently, Cooper said, “‘Gone With The Wind’ is going to be the biggest flop in Hollywood history. I’m glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling flat on his nose, not Gary Cooper”.

32 One-named pop diva : CHER

“Cher” is the stage name used by singer and actress Cherilyn Sarkisian. Formerly one half of husband-wife duo Sonny & Cher, she is often referred to as the Goddess of Pop. In her acting career, Cher was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar of 1984 for her performance in “Silkwood”. She went further in 1988 and won the season’s Best Actress Oscar for playing Loretta Castorini in “Moonstruck”.

34 “___ the night before Christmas …” : ‘TWAS

The poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” was published anonymously in 1823, and is better known today by its first line “‘Twas the night before Christmas”. Most scholars believe that the poem was written by Clement Clarke Moore, a theologian from New York City. Others say that it was written by Henry Livingston, Jr., a poet from Upstate New York.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ’kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash …

38 Sigma’s follower : TAU

Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, and the letter that gave rise to our Roman “T”. Both the letters tau (T) and chi (X) have long been symbolically associated with the cross.

39 Telepathic letters : ESP

The so-called sixth sense is extrasensory perception (ESP).

42 Lion packs : PRIDES

A group of lions is known as a pride. It’s possible that the term “pride”, in this context, derives from the Latin “praeda” meaning “prey”.

43 Shout accompanying a brilliant realization : EUREKA!

“Eureka” translates from Greek as “I have found it”. The word is usually associated with Archimedes, uttered as he stepped into his bath one day. His discovery was that the volume of water that was displaced was equal to that of the object (presumably his foot) that had been submerged. He used this fact to determine the volume of a crown, something he needed in order to determine if it was made of pure gold or was a forgery.

44 Prehistoric human relations? : APEMEN

The term “missing link” is usually applied to the concept that there existed some form of animal that is a hybrid between apes and humans. The idea that there was some “apeman” is discounted these days by the scientific community, who now favor the theory of evolution.

45 Nevada slots city : RENO

The city of Reno’s economy took off when open gambling was legalized in Nevada in 1931. Within a short time, a syndicate had built the Bank Club in Reno, which was the largest casino in the world at the time.

46 Super-miniature dog breed size : TEACUP

The toy group of dogs is made up of the smallest breeds. The smallest of the small breeds are sometimes called teacup breeds.

47 Voting group : BLOC

“Bloc” is the French word for “block”.

54 Siouan people : OTOE

The Otoe (also “Oto”) Native American tribe originated in the Great Lakes region as part of the Winnebago or Siouan tribes. The group that would become the Otoe broke away from the Winnebago and migrated southwestward, ending up in the Great Plains. In the plains the Otoe adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle dependent on the horse, with the American bison becoming central to their diet.

55 “Amazing Grace,” for one : HYMN

“Amazing Grace” is a very, very famous hymn, with words written by John Newton in 1779. The words have been set to a number of different melodies, and what we are used to hearing today is music from a tune called “New Britain”.

Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
T’was blind but now I see

57 Messenger molecule : RNA

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

58 Noodle soup in Hanoi : PHO

Pho (pronounced “fuh”) is a noodle soup from Vietnam that is a popular street food.

Hanoi (“Hà Nội” in Vietnamese) was the capital of North Vietnam, and Saigon the capital of South Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, Hanoi was made capital of the reunified state. Saigon, the larger metropolis, was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoi is located in the delta of the Red River, and is just over 50 miles from the Gulf of Tonkin in the South China Sea.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 State known for lobsters and pine trees : MAINE
6 Laziest of the deadly sins : SLOTH
11 Pal : BUB
14 St. ___ fire : ELMO’S
15 Outdoor lounging area : PATIO
16 Actress Gasteyer of “Saturday Night Live” fame : ANA
17 Athlete who rarely gets sacked or has a pass intercepted : STAR QUARTERBACK
20 Pig : HOG
21 Stereotypical name for a dog : FIDO
22 Like neon gas : NOBLE
23 Classic cinema name : ODEON
26 It’s inhaled on an ocean cruise : SEA AIR
27 Frenzies : MANIAS
29 Run-down places : RATTRAPS
31 2, 4, 6 and 8, but not 1, 3, 5 and 7 : EVENS
32 ___ latte : CHAI
33 Figure to aim for, according to personal trainers : TARGET HEART RATE
40 Moistens : WETS
41 Bar mitzvah dances : HORAS
42 Pastry made with an orchard fruit : PEAR TART
47 Start, as a computer : BOOT UP
48 Coins of India : RUPEES
49 Stuff of little substance : FLUFF
50 Woman’s name derived from the Greek for “peace” : IRENA
51 Angel’s overhead? : HALO
53″That’s really nice!” : OOH!
56 Political group symbolized by a donkey : DEMOCRATIC PARTY
60 ___ out a living : EKE
61 Not with the times : UNHIP
62 Handmade sign held up by a kid in the bleachers : HI MOM!
63 ___ Andreas fault : SAN
64 Histories that may be checkered or sordid : PASTS
65 Twin Mary-Kate or Ashley : OLSEN

Down

1 Fine lattice : MESH
2 Kind of sax : ALTO
3 “It’s curtains for me!” : I’M A GONER!
4 Conjunction used in logic : NOR
5 Abbr. after a lawyer’s name : ESQ
6 Ferdinand and Isabella’s land : SPAIN
7 Nonvegan shortening : LARD
8 Germany’s von Bismarck : OTTO
9 Classic Father’s Day gift : TIE
10 Charlotte hoopster : HORNET
11 Start of a nursery rhyme about bags of wool : BAA BAA …
12 Detach, as a seatbelt : UNCLIP
13 Bread makers : BAKERS
18 Causes of some mysterious radar blips, in brief : UFOS
19 Pig in the wild : BOAR
24 Microwave notification : DING
25 Simplicity : EASE
26 Mix with a spoon : STIR
27 Ran across : MET
28 Director DuVernay : AVA
29 Butler of “Gone With the Wind” : RHETT
30 Penlight batteries : AAAS
32 One-named pop diva : CHER
34 “___ the night before Christmas …” : ‘TWAS
35 Holier-than-___ : THOU
36 Housetop : ROOF
37 Various creative mediums … or a hint to variations found in the shaded squares : ART FORMS
38 Sigma’s follower : TAU
39 Telepathic letters : ESP
42 Lion packs : PRIDES
43 Shout accompanying a brilliant realization : EUREKA!
44 Prehistoric human relations? : APEMEN
45 Nevada slots city : RENO
46 Super-miniature dog breed size : TEACUP
47 Voting group : BLOC
49 Tosses, as a coin : FLIPS
51 Disbelieving laughs : HAHS
52 “Look ___ this way …” : AT IT
54 Siouan people : OTOE
55 “Amazing Grace,” for one : HYMN
57 Messenger molecule : RNA
58 Noodle soup in Hanoi : PHO
59 Feel sick : AIL

4 thoughts on “1018-21 NY Times Crossword 18 Oct 21, Monday”

  1. 8:23 but it felt even longer. First puzzle in about 10 days. Been in three different cities for vacation, a wedding and business (just today). FINALLY heading home this evening.

    It always surprises me how quickly I get rusty on these things. Now I have 9 more to catch up on.

    Best –

  2. How odd: I would have said that I commented on this one five weeks ago, but I don’t see it here (and, oddly enough, there are no comments from the usual crew, either). October 18th seems to have been a “special” day … 😜. Further evidence for this is that my notes for the day show a time of 10:15 (!), followed by the comment “(Tired!)”. Hmmm … 🤨.

  3. Quick Monday run.. @jeff, u make me tired just thinking of your running around.

    Never saw any shaded areas today.

    Also had to look up TEA CUP DOG..
    They are quite small.

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