0818-22 NY Times Crossword 18 Aug 22, Thursday

Constructed by: Adam Wagner
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Inbox Zero

We have a rebus puzzle today, with synonyms of “ZERO” IN several BOXES:

  • 35D Ambitious email goal, and a hint to four squares in this puzzle : INBOX ZERO
  • 18A Paradise : HEAVEN ON EARTH
  • 10D Home of more than 16,000 slot machines : RENO, NEVADA
  • 22A Bland : VANILLA
  • 3D Targets of some waxing : BIKINI LINES
  • 40A Proverbial assessment for whether or not an idea can be taken seriously : LAUGH TEST
  • 32D More likely to get coal, perhaps : NAUGHTIER
  • 64A Hot tub shindig : JACUZZI PARTY
  • 49D Almond confection : MARZIPAN

Bill’s time: 10m 03s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Cleric’s closetful : ALBS

An alb is a white, neck-to-toe vestment worn by priests, usually with a rope cord around the waist. The term alb comes from “albus”, the Latin word for “white”.

11 Common creature in rebus puzzles : BEE

A rebus is a puzzle that uses pictures to represent letters and groups of letters. For example, a picture of a “ewe” might represent the letter “U” or the pronoun “you”, a picture of an “oar” might represent the letter “R” or the conjunction “or”, and a picture of an “awl” might represent the word “all”.

17 Juice veggie : CUKE

Apparently, scientists have shown that the inside of a cucumber (“cuke” for short) growing in a field can be up to twenty degrees cooler than the surrounding air. That’s something that was believed by farmers as early as the 1730s, at which time the phrase “cool as a cucumber” was coined.

23 Antique tint : SEPIA

Sepia is that rich, brown-gray color so common in old photographs. “Sepia” is the Latinized version of the Greek word for cuttlefish, as sepia pigment is derived from the ink sac of the cuttlefish. Sepia ink was commonly used for writing and drawing as far back as ancient Rome and ancient Greece. The “sepia tone” of old photographs is not the result of deterioration over time. Rather, it is the result of a deliberate preservation process which converts the metallic silver in the photographic image to a more stable silver sulfide. Prints that have been sepia-toned can last in excess of 150 years.

25 Night class, perhaps, in brief : ESL

English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

26 Parts of a spine : DISCS

Our intervertebral discs are composed mainly of cartilage. They perform the crucial functions of separating the vertebrae while allowing slight movement, and also absorbing shock. A “slipped disc” isn’t really a disc that has “slipped”, but rather a disc that “bulges”. If that bulge causes pressure on the sciatic nerve then the painful condition known as sciatica can result.

28 Kind of adapter : AC/DC

Anyone with a laptop with an external power supply has an AC/DC converter, that big “block” in the power cord. It converts the AC current from a wall socket into the DC current that is used by the laptop.

30 “Big” thing overseas : BEN

“Big Ben” is the name commonly used for the large bell in the Clock Tower (“Elizabeth Tower” since 2012) of the Palace of Westminster (aka “Houses of Parliament”). Big Ben’s official name is the Great Bell, and there is some debate about the origins of the nickname. It may be named after Sir Benjamin Hall who supervised the bell’s installation, or perhaps the English heavyweight champion of the day Benjamin Caunt. Big Ben fell silent in 2017 to make way for four years of maintenance and repair work to the clock’s mechanism and the tower.

34 Hive-minded? : APIAN

Something described as apian is related to bees. “Apis” is Latin for “bee”.

38 Mars’ counterpart : ARES

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.

47 What a cellist may take onstage, in two senses : BOW

The word “cello” (plural “celli” or “cellos”) is an abbreviation for “violoncello”, an Italian word for “little violone”, referring to a group of stringed instruments that were popular up to the end of the 17th century. The name violoncello persisted for the instrument that we know today, although the abbreviation “‘cello” was often used. Nowadays, we just drop the apostrophe.

50 Tricky billiards shot : CAROM

A carom is a ricochet, the bouncing of some projectile off a surface. “Carom” has come to describe the banking of a billiard ball, the bouncing of the ball off the side of the table.

55 Break into parts and analyze : PARSE

The verb “to parse” means “to state the parts of speech in a sentence”. “Parse” comes from the Latin word “pars” meaning “part”.

58 “This too shall pass,” for one : MAXIM

Our word “maxim” meaning “precept, principle” has been around since the early 1600s. It ultimately comes from the Latin phrase “maxima propositio”, which translates as “greatest premise”.

60 Game face? : AVATAR

The Sanskrit word “avatar” describes the concept of a deity descending into earthly life and taking on a persona. It’s easy to see how in the world of online presences one might use the word avatar to describe one’s online identity.

64 Hot tub shindig : JACUZZI PARTY

“Jacuzzi” is one of those brand names that has become so much associated with the product that it is often assumed to be a generic term. The Jacuzzi company was founded in 1915 by the seven(!) Jacuzzi brothers in Berkeley California. The brothers, who were Italian immigrants, pronounced their name “ja-coot-si”, as one might suspect when one realizes the name is of Italian origin. The company started off by making aircraft propellers and then small aircraft, but suspended aircraft production in 1925, when one of the brothers was killed in one of their planes. The family then started making hydraulic pumps, and in 1948 developed a submersible bathtub pump so that a son of one of the brothers could enjoy hydrotherapy for his rheumatoid arthritis. The “hydrotherapy product” took off in the fifties with some astute marketing towards “worn-out housewives” and the use of celebrity spokesman Jack Benny.

68 Captures a “poisoned pawn” in chess, e.g. : ERRS

In the game of chess, the pawns are the weakest pieces on the board. A pawn that can make it to the opposite side of the board can be promoted to a piece of choice, usually a queen. Using promotion of pawns, it is possible for a player to have two or more queens on the board at one time. However, standard chess sets come with only one queen per side, so a captured rook is often used as the second queen by placing it on the board upside down.

69 Fig. whose first three digits were geographically based until 2011 : SSN

A Social Security number (SSN) is divided into three parts, i.e AAA-GG-SSSS. Originally, the Area Number (AAA) was the code for the office that issued the card. Starting in 1973, the Area Number reflected the ZIP code from which the application was made. The GG in the SSN was the Group Number, and the SSSS number the Serial Number. This is all moot today. Since 2011, SSNs have been assigned randomly. Some random numbers, however, have been excluded from use, i.e. Area Numbers 000, 666 (!) and 900-999.

71 Rx amount : DOSE

There seems to be some uncertainty about the origin of the symbol “Rx” that’s used for a medical prescription. One explanation is that it comes from the astrological sign for Jupiter, a symbol put on prescriptions in days of old to invoke Jupiter’s blessing to help a patient recover.

Down

1 “Grey’s Anatomy” airer : ABC TV

The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) was formed in 1943, created out of the former NBC Blue radio network. Given the initialism “ABC”, it is sometimes referred to as “the Alphabet Network”.

2 Half of the only mother/daughter duo to be nominated for acting Oscars for the same film : LAURA DERN

Actress Laura Dern is the daughter of actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd. Among her many notable roles, Laura Dern played the Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in the 2008 movie “Recount”, and Dr. Ellie Sattler in the 1993 blockbuster “Jurassic Park”.

Diane Ladd is an American actress who was nominated for a Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in the 1990 film “Wild at Heart”. The lead roles in the movie were played by Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern. Laura Dern is Diane Ladd’s daughter in real life, as she was once married to actor Bruce Dern.

“Rambling Rose” is a 1991 film about the lives of a mother and daughter struggling during the Great Depression. The lead roles were played by real-life mother and daughter Diane Ladd and Laura Dern.

6 Country with more immigrants than any other, informally : THE US

Emma Lazarus was a poet from New York City who is best known as the author of an 1883 sonnet “The New Colossus”. “The New Colossus” sits on a bronze plaque inside the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, a fitting location given that the title refers to Lady Liberty.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp! cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

8 Kind of 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.

9 Poison control remedy : EMETIC

An emetic, like syrup of ipecac, is a substance that induces vomiting.

10 Home of more than 16,000 slot machines : RENO, NEVADA

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.

11 Fitness class inspired by ballet : BARRE

Barre is a form of exercise that uses a ballet barre and incorporates classical moves from the world of ballet. The barre program dates back to 1959 when ballerina Lotte Berk introduced it in London.

12 “Cómo ____?” : ESTAS

“Cómo estas?” is Spanish for “how are you?”

13 Kind of alcohol that is a fermented biofuel : ETHYL

Ethyl alcohol is more usually known as ethanol. It is the alcohol found in intoxicating beverages, and nowadays is also used as a fuel for cars. Ethanol is also found in medical wipes and hand sanitizer, in which it acts as an antiseptic.

24 No longer done : PASSE

“Passé” is a French word, meaning “past, faded”. We’ve imported the term into English, and use it in the same sense.

27 Khan who founded Khan Academy : SAL

“Khan Academy” is a not-for-profit organization that aims to provide a “free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere”. Founded by educator Sal Khan in 2006, the academy mainly teaches mathematics and science through the medium of YouTube videos. Check out some of the videos. They are really excellent …

29 Many an auditor, for short : CPA

Certified public accountant (CPA)

32 More likely to get coal, perhaps : NAUGHTIER

Santa checks his list of those who are naughty or nice.

Apparently, the tradition of putting coal in the Christmas stocking of a poorly-behaved child comes simply from the proximity of the stocking (hanging on the fireplace) to a source of coal!

33 Prefix meaning “10” that’s associated with 12 : DEC-

December is the twelfth month in our calendar but was the tenth month in the old Roman calendar, hence the name (“decem” is Latin for “ten”). Back then there were only ten months in the year. “Ianuarius” (January) and “Februarius” (February) were then added as the eleventh and twelfth months of the year. Soon after, the year was reset and January and February became the first and second months.

35 Ambitious email goal, and a hint to four squares in this puzzle : INBOX ZERO

“Inbox zero” is a rigorous approach to handling emails that was developed by productivity expert Merlin Mann. Mann touts his approach inbox management as “how to reclaim your email, your attention, and your life”.

39 Jiffy : SEC

“Jiff”, or “jiffy”, meaning “short time, instant” is thought originally to be thieves’ slang for “lightning”.

41 First X or O : TIC

When I was growing up in Ireland we played “noughts and crosses” … our name for the game tic-tac-toe.

44 State gemstones of Utah and Texas : TOPAZES

Topaz is a semiprecious stone made from silicate containing aluminum and fluorine. Topaz is the state gemstone of Utah, and the rare blue topaz is the state gemstone of Texas.

46 Pat (down) : TAMP

To tamp is to pack down tightly by tapping. “Tamp” was originally used specifically to describe the action of packing down sand or dirt around an explosive prior to detonation.

49 Almond confection : MARZIPAN

Marzipan is a scrumptious confection made from almond meal sweetened with sugar or honey. The former English name was “marchpane” meaning “March bread”. We now use the term “marzipan”, which is the German name.

52 Indian princes : RAJAS

“Raja” (also “rajah”) is a word derived from Sanskrit that is used particularly in India for a monarch or princely ruler. The female form is “rani” (also “ranee”) and is used for a raja’s wife.

54 Bits in a salad, perhaps : BACON

“Bacon” is an Old French word that we imported into English. The term ultimately comes from the Proto-Germanic “bakkon” meaning “back meat”.

56 Small, oily fish : SPRAT

A sprat is a forage fish that travels in large schools with other species of fish, and that looks like a baby sardine. Although sprats are found all over the world, they are particularly associated with the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe.

59 Stately estate : 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 Large vat : TUN

A tun is a barrel, often a large barrel used in winemaking. The term “tun” came to be a measure of volume, originally 252 gallons of wine. The weight of such a volume of wine was referred to as a “tun”, which evolved into our contemporary unit “ton”.

63 Part of a Mad. Ave. mailing address : NY, NY

Madison Avenue became the center of advertising in the US in the twenties, and serves as the backdrop to the great TV drama “Mad Men”. There aren’t many advertising agencies left on Madison Avenue these days though, as most have moved to other parts of New York City. The street takes its name from Madison Square, which is bounded on one side by Madison Avenue. The square in turn takes its name from James Madison, the fourth President of the United States.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Cleric’s closetful : ALBS
5 One working on a tablet, say : ETCHER
11 Common creature in rebus puzzles : BEE
14 It’s on the hook : BAIT
15 Google’s streaming device : CHROMECAST
17 Juice veggie : CUKE
18 Paradise : HEAVEN ON EARTH
19 Attempts to be a team player? : TRIES OUT
21 Accessory for dinner and a show? : TV TRAY
22 Bland : VANILLA
23 Antique tint : SEPIA
25 Night class, perhaps, in brief : ESL
26 Parts of a spine : DISCS
28 Kind of adapter : AC/DC
30 “Big” thing overseas : BEN
31 Smooths, in a way : SANDS
34 Hive-minded? : APIAN
38 Mars’ counterpart : ARES
40 Proverbial assessment for whether or not an idea can be taken seriously : LAUGH TEST
42 Pay to play : ANTE
43 It’s a start : ONSET
45 Seal the deal : ICE IT
47 What a cellist may take onstage, in two senses : BOW
48 Tag along : COME
50 Tricky billiards shot : CAROM
52 Take the wrong way? : ROB
55 Break into parts and analyze : PARSE
58 “This too shall pass,” for one : MAXIM
60 Game face? : AVATAR
62 Cheesy dish served “Detroit-style” : PAN PIZZA
64 Hot tub shindig : JACUZZI PARTY
66 In public : SEEN
67 1972 Gilbert O’Sullivan hit with a melancholy title : ALONE AGAIN
68 Captures a “poisoned pawn” in chess, e.g. : ERRS
69 Fig. whose first three digits were geographically based until 2011 : SSN
70 Showing a conceited attitude : SNOTTY
71 Rx amount : DOSE

Down

1 “Grey’s Anatomy” airer : ABC TV
2 Half of the only mother/daughter duo to be nominated for acting Oscars for the same film : LAURA DERN
3 Targets of some waxing : BIKINI LINES
4 Inures : STEELS
5 Bounce off the walls : ECHO
6 Country with more immigrants than any other, informally : THE US
7 Fruit container : CRATE
8 Kind of lane : HOV
9 Poison control remedy : EMETIC
10 Home of more than 16,000 slot machines : RENO, NEVADA
11 Fitness class inspired by ballet : BARRE
12 “Cómo ____?” : ESTAS
13 Kind of alcohol that is a fermented biofuel : ETHYL
16 Litter maker : CAT
20 Bladders, e.g. : SACS
24 No longer done : PASSE
27 Khan who founded Khan Academy : SAL
29 Many an auditor, for short : CPA
30 Xiao long ___ (soup dumplings) : BAO
32 More likely to get coal, perhaps : NAUGHTIER
33 Prefix meaning “10” that’s associated with 12 : DEC-
35 Ambitious email goal, and a hint to four squares in this puzzle : INBOX ZERO
36 Misters : ATOMIZERS
37 Still shrink-wrapped, say : NEW
39 Jiffy : SEC
41 First X or O : TIC
44 State gemstones of Utah and Texas : TOPAZES
46 Pat (down) : TAMP
49 Almond confection : MARZIPAN
51 Brought up : RAISED
52 Indian princes : RAJAS
53 Some tracks : OVALS
54 Bits in a salad, perhaps : BACON
56 Small, oily fish : SPRAT
57 Face-plant : EAT IT
59 Stately estate : MANSE
61 Large vat : TUN
63 Part of a Mad. Ave. mailing address : NY, NY
65 Back : AGO

6 thoughts on “0818-22 NY Times Crossword 18 Aug 22, Thursday”

  1. 26:34. Took me forever to get into this one and figure it out. Am I the only one here again?

    Crazy day. For reasons I won’t bother to go into, I have to prove I lived in the U.S. in a 5 year span that happened to be between graduate school and when I purchased my first house. It’s almost impossible. The company I worked for doesn’t keep those records anymore, all my tax records go away after 7 years, my old apartments don’t keep records that old, my bank doesn’t either. It’s crazy. Even my old passport only shows I was a citizen; it doesn’t show that I resided here. It’s like I didn’t exist.

    Finally, I discovered I have to go down to the Social Security office and ask for a detailed report of where I worked and what years…and they’ll charge me $91 for the privilege. Sheesh.

    Ready for the weekend

    Best-

    1. Think about it… and you’ll find that it happens in many other cases. …
      A government agency is asking you for information that another government agency already has . But they don’t talk to each other.

  2. Jeff, you’re not alone, just took me twice as long and I started later. 54:35, all I can say is “whew!”

  3. 34:49, no errors. Had difficulty coming to grips with the rebus entry ‘AUGHT’. Have heard the word naught before, this was new to me. Those Brits need to learn to speak proper English…

  4. Got the theme and thought I did fine. I got hoodwinked at 64A and 44D.

    I was absolutely convinced the ZIP was at the cross of 64A and 44A. After all, TOPAZ has a Z in it. I forced it like watching an idiot try to force a round peg in a square hole. All the time, the answer was next door at MARZIPAN (not MARPAN)… wow, did I fall for that.

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