0518-22 NY Times Crossword 18 May 22, Wednesday

Constructed by: Andy Kravis
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): A Puzzle Puzzle

Themed answers are common phrases reinterpreted as steps in solving a (jigsaw) puzzle:

  • 18A Confess one’s true feelings … or Step 1 for solving a jigsaw puzzle? : LAY IT ALL OUT THERE
  • 28A Recover after a heartbreak … or Step 2 for solving a jigsaw puzzle? : PICK UP THE PIECES
  • 50A Look for an ideal partner … or Step 3 for solving a jigsaw puzzle? : FIND THE RIGHT FIT
  • 65A Get some perspective … or what you do once you’ve solved a jigsaw puzzle? : SEE THE BIG PICTURE

Bill’s time: 8m 44s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Sleeper, e.g. : SOFA

“Sofa” is a Turkish word meaning “bench”.

10 Winner’s gesture : V-SIGN

One has to be careful making that V-sign depending where you are in the world. Where I came from, the V-for-victory (or peace) sign has to be made with the palm facing outwards. If the sign is made with the palm facing inwards, it can be interpreted as a very obscene gesture.

15 Apple product since 1998 : IMAC

The iMac is a desktop computer platform that Apple introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is an “all-in-one” design, with the computer console and monitor integrated. The iMac also came in a range of colors that Apple marketed as “flavors”, such as strawberry, blueberry and lime.

16 Grassy plain : LLANO

Llano is the Spanish word for “plain, flat region”.

18 Confess one’s true feelings … or Step 1 for solving a jigsaw puzzle? : LAY IT ALL OUT THERE
28 Recover after a heartbreak … or Step 2 for solving a jigsaw puzzle? : PICK UP THE PIECES 50 Look for an ideal partner … or Step 3 for solving a jigsaw puzzle? : FIND THE RIGHT FIT 65 Get some perspective … or what you do once you’ve solved a jigsaw puzzle? : SEE THE BIG PICTURE

Jigsaws are saws designed for the cutting of irregular curves by hand. The original jigsaw puzzles were created by painting a picture on a sheet of wood and then cutting the picture into small pieces using a jigsaw, hence the name. Today, almost all jigsaw puzzles are pictures glued onto cardboard. The puzzle pieces are now die-cut, and so there’s no jigsaw involved at all.

22 Dirty money : LUCRE

Our word “lucre” meaning “money, profits” comes from the Latin “lucrum” that means the same thing.

23 Holiday celebrating the first day of spring : TET

The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

26 Stop texting after a first date, say : GHOST

A rather insensitive person might break off a relationship simply by cutting off all communication with his or her partner, without any warning. Such a move is referred to as “ghosting” in modern parlance, particularly when the relationship relies heavily on online interaction.

34 Gift of ___ : GAB

Blarney is a town in County Cork in the south of Ireland. Blarney is home to Blarney Castle, and inside the castle is the legendary Blarney Stone. “Kissing the Blarney Stone” is a ritual engaged in by many, many tourists (indeed, I’ve done it myself!), but it’s not a simple process. The stone is embedded in the wall of the castle, and in order to kiss it you have to sit on the edge of the parapet and lean way backwards so that your head is some two feet below your body. There is a staff member there to help you and make sure you don’t fall. The Blarney Stone has been referred to as the world’s most unhygienic tourist attraction! But once you’ve kissed it, supposedly you are endowed with the “gift of the gab”, the ability to talk eloquently and perhaps deceptively without offending. The term “blarney” has come to mean flattering and deceptive talk.

35 Plethora : SLEW

“Plethora” is such a lovely word, I think. It means “a lot of”, and usually in the sense of “too much”. This usage dates back to about 1700, and before that “plethora” was a word used in the medical field to describe an “excess of bodily fluid”.

36 “Again!” : ENCORE!

“Encore” is French for “again, one more time”, and is a shout that an audience member will make here in North America to request perhaps another song. But, the term is not used this way in France. Rather, the audience will shout “Bis!”, which is the Italian for “twice!”

37 N.B.A. star Westbrook, to fans : RUSS

Russell Westbrook is an NBA basketball player who was drafted by the Seattle Supersonics just 6 days before the team relocated and became the Oklahoma City Thunder.

39 Long, loose hood : COWL

A cowl is a long garment with a hood that is primarily worn by monks in the Christian tradition. The term “cowl” can also describe the hood itself.

43 Div. for the Tampa Bay Rays : AL EAST

The Tampa Bay Rays MLB team is a relatively young franchise, having been formed in 1998. The initial name of the franchise was the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. While known as the Devil Rays, the team finished last in the league almost every year. The name was changed to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008, and I am told the Rays started into a streak of winning seasons soon after.

46 Tiny bit : IOTA

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, and one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

49 Screening org. : TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency that employs the good folks who check passengers and baggage at airports.

55 Cold-weather cryptid : YETI

The yeti, also known as the abominable snowman, is a beast of legend. “Yeti” is a Tibetan term, and the beast is fabled to live in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet. Our equivalent legend in North America is that of Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch. The study of animals whose existence have not yet been substantiated is called cryptozoology, and a cryptid is a creature or plant that isn’t recognized by the scientific community, but the existence of which has been suggested.

56 One volt divided by one ampere : OHM

The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every school kid knows as Ohm’s Law.

The volt is a unit of electric potential, or voltage. I always think of electrical voltage as something like water pressure. The higher the pressure of water (voltage), the faster the water flows (the higher the electric current that flows).

The unit of electric current is the ampere, which is abbreviated correctly to “A” rather than “amp”. It is named after French physicist André-Marie Ampère, one of the main scientists responsible for the discovery of electromagnetism.

61 Tree that’s a source of salicylic acid, a precursor to aspirin : WILLOW

Most willows (trees and shrubs of the genus Salix) are called just that, “willows”. Some of the broad-leaved shrub varieties are called “sallow”, and the narrow-leaved shrubs are called “osier”. Osier is commonly used in basketry, as osier twigs are very flexible. The strong and flexible willow stems are sometimes referred to as withies.

“Aspirin” used to be a brand name for the drug acetylsalicylic acid. Aspirin was introduced by the German drug company Bayer AG in the late 1800s. As part of the war reparations paid by Germany after WWI, Bayer AG lost the use of the trademark “Aspirin” (as well as the trademark Heroin!) and it became a generic term.

68 Animal that wears red pajamas in a popular children’s book : LLAMA

“Llama Llama” is a series of children’s books penned by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney. The series is remarkably successful, and has been adapted into plays, musicals and an animated Netflix series.

69 Porter alternative : LAGER

Lager is so called because of the tradition of cold-storing the beer during fermentation. “Lager” is the German word for “storage”.

73 “The ___ is silence”: Hamlet : REST

In William Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet”, the title character dies uttering the lines:

O! I die, Horatio;
The potent poison quite o’er-crows my spirit:
I cannot live to hear the news from England,
But I do prophesy the election lights
On Fortinbras: he has my dying voice;
So tell him, with the occurrents, more and less,
Which have solicited—The rest is silence.

Down

1 Something that may be raised on a farm : SILO

“Silo” is a Spanish word that we absorbed into English. The term ultimately derives from the Greek “siros”, which described a pit in which one kept corn.

2 Nation bordering the Arabian Sea : OMAN

Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Oman is a monarchy, and the official name of the state is the Sultanate of Oman. All of the country’s legislative, executive and judiciary power resides with the hereditary sultan.

The Arabian Sea is an arm of the Indian Ocean that lies off the coasts of Oman, Yemen, Pakistan and Iran. It is bounded in the west by Somalia, and in the east by India.

3 Dunaway of “Mommie Dearest” : FAYE

Faye Dunaway won an Oscar for her performance in the 1976 movie “Network”. She also starred in the original version of “The Thomas Crown Affair” in 1968, opposite Steve McQueen. Dunaway had a role in the remake of “The Thomas Crown Affair” with Pierce Brosnan, over thirty years later in 1999.

4 By no means basic : ACIDIC

The “opposite” of an acid is a base. Acids turn litmus paper red, and bases turn it blue. Acids and bases react with each other to form salts. An important subset of the chemicals called bases are alkalis, hydroxides of the alkali metals and of ammonium. The term “alkali” is sometimes used interchangeably with “base”, especially if that base is readily soluble in water.

7 Gloomy atmosphere : PALL

A pall is a cloth used to cover a casket at a funeral. Pallbearers actually carry the coffin, covered by the pall. The phrase “casting a pall over”, meaning to create a dark mood, is a metaphorical use of the “pall” over the casket.

11 “This is a library!” : SHH!

Our word “library” ultimately derives from the Latin “liber” meaning “book”.

13 Vice president in the 1990s : GORE

Al Gore was born in Washington DC, and is the son of Al Gore, Sr., then a US Representative for the state of Tennessee. After deferring his military service in order to attend Harvard, the younger Gore became eligible for the draft on graduation. Many of his classmates found ways of avoiding the draft, but Gore decided to serve and even took the “tougher” option of joining the army as an enlisted man. Actor Tommy Lee Jones shared a house with Gore in college and says that his buddy told him that even if he could find a way around the draft, someone with less options than him would have to go in his place and that was just wrong.

14 Opposite of “da” : NYET

“Nyet” is Russian for “no”, and “da” is Russian for “yes”.

19 Some scuba gear : TANKS

The self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) was co-invented by celebrated French marine explorer Jacques Cousteau.

20 Evil clown in a horror film, e.g. : TROPE

A trope is a figure of speech. The term “trope” comes from the Greek word “tropos” that has the same meaning.

25 Intl. group with members on three continents : OPEC

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in 1960 at a conference held in Baghdad, Iraq that was attended by Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Nine more countries joined the alliance soon after, and OPEC set up headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and then Vienna, Austria in 1965. The basic aim of OPEC was to wrest control of oil prices from the oil companies and put it in the hands of the sovereign states that own the natural resource.

27 ___-savvy : TECH

The term “savvy”, meaning “understanding”, comes from the French “savez-vous?”. The French phrase translates as “do you know?”

28 St. ___ Girl (beer brand) : PAULI

St. Pauli Girl beer is brewed in Bremen in Germany. The beer gets its name from the former St. Paul’s Monastery in Bremen, next door to which was located the original brewery. Apparently, St. Pauli Girl is not sold in Germany, because the beer’s formulation isn’t pure enough to pass the nation’s purity laws.

29 Playwright whose work inspired the Peer Gynt Sculpture Park in 56-Down : IBSEN
(56D See 29-Down : OSLO)

Henrik Ibsen’s play “Peer Gynt” is based on a Scandinavian fairy tale “Per Gynt”. The incidental music to the play, written by Edvard Grieg, is some of the most approachable classical music ever written, at least in my humble opinion …

30 Number of hole cards in Texas hold ’em : TWO

The official birthplace of the incredibly popular poker game of Texas hold ’em is Robstown, Texas where the game dates back to the early 1900s. The game was introduced into Las Vegas in 1967 by a group of Texan enthusiasts including Doyle Brunson, a champion often seen playing on TV today. Doyle Brunson published a poker strategy guide in 1978, and this really helped increase the popularity of the game. But it was the inclusion of Texas hold ‘em in the television lineup that really gave the game its explosive surge in popularity, with the size of the prize money just skyrocketing.

31 Relative of a raccoon : COATI

A coati is a member of the raccoon family and is also known as the Brazilian aardvark, or the snookum bear. The coati is native to Central and South America, but can also be found in the southwest of the United States.

32 Dada pioneer Max : ERNST

Max Ernst was a painter and sculptor, and a pioneer in the Dada movement and Surrealism. Ernst was born near Cologne in Germany in 1891 and he was called up to fight in WWI, as were most young German men at that time. In his autobiography he writes “Max Ernst died the 1st of August, 1914”, which was a statement about his experiences in the war. In reality, Ernst died in 1976 having lived to the ripe old age of 85.

Dadaism thrived during and just after WWI, and was an anti-war, anti-bourgeois and anti-art culture. The movement was launched in Zurich, Switzerland by a group of artists and writers who met to discuss art and put on performances in the Cabaret Voltaire. The same group frequently expressed disgust at the war that was raging across Europe.

33 Dreamcast console maker : SEGA

Sega is a Japanese video game company headquartered in Tokyo. Sega actually started out in 1940 as Standard Games and was located in Honolulu, which at that time was a city in the US Territory of Hawaii. The owners moved the operation to Tokyo in 1951 and renamed the company to Service Games. The name “Sega” is a combination of the first two letters of the words “Se-rvice” and “Ga-mes”.

The Dreamcast is a video game console released by Sega in the late nineties. It was to become the company’s last game console. Since then, Sega has focused on producing video games as opposed to hardware.

34 Steffi who achieved a Golden Slam in 1988 : GRAF

Steffi Graf is a former World No. 1 professional tennis player from Germany. Graf won 22 Grand Slam singles titles, which was more than any other man or woman until Serena Williams came along. Graf is married to another former World No. 1, namely Andre Agassi.

38 “The Sweetest Taboo” singer, 1985 : SADE

Singer Sade’s real name is Helen Folasade Adu. Although born in Nigeria, Sade grew up and lives in the UK. She was the lead vocalist for the English group Sade, and adopted the name of the band. The band’s biggest hits were “Smooth Operator” (1984) and “The Sweetest Taboo” (1985).

40 Console whose name sounds like a pronoun : WII

Introduced in 2006, Nintendo’s Wii quickly became the biggest-selling game console in the world.

41 Sluggish : LOGY

Something or someone described as logy is dull and heavy. “Logy” might come from the Dutch word “log” that means “heavy, dull”.

47 TV series named second-best of all time by Rolling Stone, but which never won an Emmy : THE WIRE

I didn’t watch the HBO series called “The Wire” when it first aired. We ended up buying all five series on DVD and we watched the whole thing several years ago. It is a great drama series, and I thoroughly recommend it.

48 Story used for storage : ATTIC

An attic or loft is a room or space located below the roof of a building. The term “attic” is a shortened form of “attic story”, the uppermost story or level of a house. This term “attic story” originally applied to a low, decorative level built on top of the uppermost story behind a building’s decorative facade. This use of decoration at the top of buildings was common in ancient Greece, and was particularly important in the Attica style. That Attica style was so called because it originated in the historical region of Attica that encompassed the city of Athens. And that’s how our attics are linked to ancient Greece.

53 Instagram effect : FILTER

Instagram (often abbreviated to “Insta”) is a photo-sharing application, one that is extremely popular. Instagram started in San Francisco in 2010. Facebook purchased Instagram two years later, paying $1 billion. The billion-dollar Instagram company had just 13 employees at the time of the sale …

56 See 29-Down : OSLO
(29D Playwright whose work inspired the Peer Gynt Sculpture Park in 56-Down : IBSEN)

Oslo, the capital of Norway, is an ancient city that was founded around 1048. The medieval city was destroyed by fire in 1624 and was rebuilt by the Danish-Norwegian king Christian IV and renamed to Christiana. In 1877 there was an official change of the spelling of the city’s name to “Kristiana”, and then more recently in 1925 the name was restored to the original Oslo. Things have almost gone full circle and now the center of Oslo, the area that would have been contained by the original medieval walls, has apparently been renamed to Christiana.

58 Charcuterie selection : MEAT

In French, a “charcutier” is a pork butcher, although the term “charcuterie” has come to describe a genre of cooking focused on prepared meats such as bacon, ham, sausage and pâté. Although these meats often feature pork, it is not exclusively so. The word “charcuterie” comes from the French “chair” meaning “flesh” and “cuit” meaning “cooked”.

60 Brand originally called Froffles : EGGO

Eggo is a line of frozen waffles and related products made by Kellogg’s. When they were introduced in the 1930s, the name “Eggo” was chosen to promote the “egginess” of the batter. “Eggo” replaced “Froffles”, the original name chosen by melding “frozen” and “waffles”.

62 Sumptuous and expensive : LUXE

“Luxe” is another word for “luxury”. The term came into English via French from the Latin “luxus” meaning “luxury”.

63 Minerals ending in -ite, often : ORES

Physically speaking, a mineral differs from a rock in that the former has one chemical composition and the later is an aggregate of several minerals. The study of minerals is known as mineralogy.

64 Mae who said “To err is human, but it feels divine” : WEST

Comic actress Mae West can be quoted so easily, as she had so many great lines delivered so well. Here are a few:

  • When I’m good, I’m very good. When I’m bad, I’m better.
  • When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I’ve never tried before.
  • I’ll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure.
  • Marriage is a great institution, but I’m not ready for an institution yet.
  • I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.
  • Why don’t you come on up and see me sometime — when I’ve got nothin’ on but the radio.
  • It’s better to be looked over than overlooked.
  • To err is human, but it feels divine.
  • I like my clothes to be tight enough to show I’m a woman, but loose enough to show I’m a lady.
  • I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond.
  • Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

66 “All right, I’ve heard plenty” : TMI

Too much information (TMI)

67 Vim : PEP

“Vim”, “zip“ and “pep” are all words that mean “energy, power”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Sleeper, e.g. : SOFA
5 Suddenly spoke (up) : PIPED
10 Winner’s gesture : V-SIGN
15 Apple product since 1998 : IMAC
16 Grassy plain : LLANO
17 “Here we go again …” : OH BOY …
18 Confess one’s true feelings … or Step 1 for solving a jigsaw puzzle? : LAY IT ALL OUT THERE
21 Eventually : ONE DAY
22 Dirty money : LUCRE
23 Holiday celebrating the first day of spring : TET
24 Lowdown : INFO
26 Stop texting after a first date, say : GHOST
28 Recover after a heartbreak … or Step 2 for solving a jigsaw puzzle? : PICK UP THE PIECES
34 Gift of ___ : GAB
35 Plethora : SLEW
36 “Again!” : ENCORE!
37 N.B.A. star Westbrook, to fans : RUSS
39 Long, loose hood : COWL
42 Word before loose or tight : HANG …
43 Div. for the Tampa Bay Rays : AL EAST
46 Tiny bit : IOTA
49 Screening org. : TSA
50 Look for an ideal partner … or Step 3 for solving a jigsaw puzzle? : FIND THE RIGHT FIT
54 Eat dirt? : ERODE
55 Cold-weather cryptid : YETI
56 One volt divided by one ampere : OHM
59 Performer’s comment to the audience : ASIDE
61 Tree that’s a source of salicylic acid, a precursor to aspirin : WILLOW
65 Get some perspective … or what you do once you’ve solved a jigsaw puzzle? : SEE THE BIG PICTURE
68 Animal that wears red pajamas in a popular children’s book : LLAMA
69 Porter alternative : LAGER
70 Residents of Splitsville? : EXES
71 Choose to participate : OPT IN
72 Run into a hitch? : ELOPE
73 “The ___ is silence”: Hamlet : REST

Down

1 Something that may be raised on a farm : SILO
2 Nation bordering the Arabian Sea : OMAN
3 Dunaway of “Mommie Dearest” : FAYE
4 By no means basic : ACIDIC
5 Like a frisky puppy : PLAYFUL
6 Feeling crummy : ILL
7 Gloomy atmosphere : PALL
8 “Quit it!” : ENOUGH!
9 Medicinal rinse : DOUCHE
10 Elects : VOTES IN
11 “This is a library!” : SHH!
12 “Yeah, right” : I BET
13 Vice president in the 1990s : GORE
14 Opposite of “da” : NYET
19 Some scuba gear : TANKS
20 Evil clown in a horror film, e.g. : TROPE
25 Intl. group with members on three continents : OPEC
27 ___-savvy : TECH
28 St. ___ Girl (beer brand) : PAULI
29 Playwright whose work inspired the Peer Gynt Sculpture Park in 56-Down : IBSEN
30 Number of hole cards in Texas hold ’em : TWO
31 Relative of a raccoon : COATI
32 Dada pioneer Max : ERNST
33 Dreamcast console maker : SEGA
34 Steffi who achieved a Golden Slam in 1988 : GRAF
38 “The Sweetest Taboo” singer, 1985 : SADE
40 Console whose name sounds like a pronoun : WII
41 Sluggish : LOGY
44 N.F.L. Hall-of-Famer Michael : STRAHAN
45 Word that might be said while pointing : THOSE
47 TV series named second-best of all time by Rolling Stone, but which never won an Emmy : THE WIRE
48 Story used for storage : ATTIC
51 What skullcap mushrooms aren’t : EDIBLE
52 Call back : REDIAL
53 Instagram effect : FILTER
56 See 29-Down : OSLO
57 “A little ___?” : HELP
58 Charcuterie selection : MEAT
60 Brand originally called Froffles : EGGO
62 Sumptuous and expensive : LUXE
63 Minerals ending in -ite, often : ORES
64 Mae who said “To err is human, but it feels divine” : WEST
66 “All right, I’ve heard plenty” : TMI
67 Vim : PEP

10 thoughts on “0518-22 NY Times Crossword 18 May 22, Wednesday”

  1. 11:37. Do people still do jigsaw puzzles? I guess I just assumed there was some online way to do them more easily these days. They seem unbelievably tedious, and I never understood their appeal. However, I know people that swear there’s a lot of thought and strategy involved in putting them together? Really?

    I wonder what “contaminants” are in St Pauli Girl that keep it from being sold in Germany.

    Temps are already in triple digits here in Las Vegas. But it’ll be cool again here soon….perhaps October…

    Best –

  2. 15:48. I usually target the shorter entries first, when solving a puzzle. Today the long entries dropped early.

  3. 21:00, no errors. The place I get the puzzle from (Seattle Times) has their puzzle seriously messed up, but went ahead and got through it.

    As for jigsaw puzzles, see the comments on this one. Me and Nonny actually found crossword-related jigsaws before. But I figure jigsaw is a lot like any other puzzle type, there’s things that appeal to people more. Like me, I don’t get why people are into fill-ins, word-finds (both too simple in my mind, actually wrote a program to actually make word-finds – as solving them are so rote as to be simple to code), or sudoku (simple trial and error), but a lot are. I don’t begrudge what people like. But I’ll say everything has a strategy.

    As far as online jigsaw stuff goes, most of what I’ve played is really simple (9-15 sections), timed, and nothing really tactile – the “piece” pictures lay on top of one another and you don’t see the bottom, so you’re basically just making guesses based on the shape and where you think it might go in the final picture.

    1. I thought there might be more discussion stemming from that but didn’t find it. Regardless, I was like Nonny described on the puzzle I got. The sad thing in a lot of cases is that jigsaw puzzles, especially fancy ones can be lucrative (think Ebay), but one has to assemble them to see if all the pieces are there – not to mention dropping them on the floor, losing them, and so on while you do the puzzle.

      I think I officially retired after I assembled my crossword one.

  4. I guess Noone else thought there was a problem with the printed version? Or was that part of the jigsaw theme?

    The down clues were all misnumbered starting at 30D. And there was no clue for 67D. Made for quite a “jigsaw” in and of itself.

    Good news is I had no errors.

  5. No errors but it seemed like a Friday to me.
    I was not familiar with the word cryptid and the dictionary wasn’t either…even the Google spell checker questioned it.
    Stay safe😀

    1. Found this in Merriam-Webster:
      cryp·​tid | \ ˈkrip-təd \
      plural cryptids
      Definition of cryptid
      : an animal (such as Sasquatch or the Loch Ness Monster) that has been claimed to exist but never proven to exist
      Says it was first used with this meaning in 1983

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