0118-24 NY Times Crossword 18 Jan 24, Thursday

Constructed by: Jon Michnovicz & Carl Michnovicz
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): That Is, or Is This?/p>
We have a rebus puzzle today, with some squares representing both IE and EI. IE is used one direction, and EI is used in the other:

  • 17A Actress who portrayed Scarlett O’Hara and Blanche DuBois : VIVIEN LEIGH
  • 24A Awards that only one college athlete has ever won twice : HEISMAN TROPHIES
  • 40A Atkins, for one : HIGH-PROTEIN DIET
  • 54A Complete reversals : ONE-EIGHTIES
  • 4D What Columbus thought he’d reached in 1492 : THE INDIES
  • 6D Old-fashioned news source : CRIER
  • 23D Ratfink : STOOLIE
  • 27D Source of down : EIDER
  • 39D Cheery refrains from the Seven Dwarfs : HEIGH-HOS
  • 42D Most prying : NOSIEST
  • 51D High-end camera brand : LEICA

Bill’s time: 13m 26s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Rights advocacy org. : ACLU

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has its roots in the First World War. It grew out of the National Civil Liberties Bureau (CLB) that was founded to provide legal advice and support to conscientious objectors. The ACLU’s motto is “Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself”. The ACLU also hosts a blog on the ACLU.org website called “Speak Freely”.

9 “The food of love,” per Shakespeare : MUSIC

Orsino, Duke of Illyria is a character in William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”. The opening lines of the play, spoken by the love-smitten Orsino, are:

If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.

14 Territory reached along the Oregon Trail : UTAH

The Oregon Trail was established by fur trappers and traders as early as 1811. The first migrant wagon train traveled the route in 1836, starting off in Independence, Missouri and going as far as Fort Hall, Idaho. In the coming years, the trail was extended for wagons as far as the Willamette Valley in Oregon.

15 Pirate’s swill : GROG

Edward Vernon was a naval officer with the nickname “Old Grog”. In 1740, Vernon ordered that the daily ration of rum for his sailors should be watered down, in order to reduce discipline problems caused by drunkenness. The diluted rum was sweetened with sugar, and lemon or lime added to help preserve it on long voyages. This recipe, found to reduce scurvy among sailors (because of the citrus) spread throughout the Royal Navy, and “grog” was born. As an aside, George Washington’s older half-brother named the famous Washington Mount Vernon Plantation in honor of Edward Vernon. We use the derivative term “groggy” to mean “unsteady on the feet”, as if under the influence of “grog”.

17 Actress who portrayed Scarlett O’Hara and Blanche DuBois : VIVIEN LEIGH

“Vivien Leigh” was the stage name of English actress Vivian Hartley. Leigh’s two most famous roles were probably Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone with the Wind” and Blanche Dubois in “A Streetcar Named Desire”, for which she won her two Best Actress Oscars. Leigh’s second husband was fellow English actor Laurence Olivier.

As casting proceeded for the movie version of “Gone With the Wind”, Clark Gable was a shoo-in from day one. The role of Scarlett O’Hara was considered very desirable in the acting community, with Bette Davis on the short list, and Katharine Hepburn demanding an appointment with producer David O. Selznick to discuss the role. Vivien Leigh was an unlikely contender, an English actress for the definitive Southern belle role. Selznick was adamant though, and stuck by his preference for Leigh despite a lot of protests.

When Elia Kazan directed the 1951 movie “A Streetcar Named Desire”, he was already very familiar with the play as he had directed the original Broadway stage production. Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter and Karl Malden starred in the film, reprising the roles they had played on stage. Vivien Leigh played Blanche Dubois in the movie, a role she had played on the London stage.

19 Spring zodiac symbol : TWINS

Gemini is the third sign of the Zodiac. “Gemini” is the Latin word for “twins”.

20 Cocktails with brandy and crème de menthe : STINGERS

Stingers are a class of cocktails made from a spirit mixed with crème de menthe. The classic stinger recipe calls for brandy and white crème de menthe, and dates back at least to 1917. The variation that calls for brandy mixed with green crème de menthe is known as a green hornet.

22 Doomed to fail, for short : DOA

Dead on arrival (DOA)

23 Co-Nobelist of 1978 : SADAT

Anwar Sadat was the third President of Egypt right up to the time of his assassination in 1981. Sadat won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978, along with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, for the role played in crafting the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1978 at Camp David. It was this agreement that largely led to Sadat’s assassination three years later.

24 Awards that only one college athlete has ever won twice : HEISMAN TROPHIES

The Heisman Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding college football player each season. The trophy was first awarded in 1935, and the following year was given the name Heisman after the death of John Heisman, a noted college football player and football director.

Archie Griffin is a former professional footballer who played running back. Griffin is the only person to have won the Heisman Trophy twice.

29 Some stock in the exotic pet trade : BOAS

Boa constrictors are members of the Boidae family of snakes, all of which are non-venomous. Interestingly, the female boa is always larger than the male.

32 Japan’s ___ Castle : EDO

“Edo” is the former name of the Japanese city of Tokyo. Edo was the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate, a feudal regime that ruled from 1603 until 1868. The shogun lived in the magnificent Edo Castle. Some parts of the original castle remain and today’s Tokyo Imperial Palace, the residence of the Emperor of Japan, was built on its grounds.

37 Country west of Zambia: Abbr. : ANG

Angola is a country in south-central Africa on the west coast. It is the fourth largest diamond exporter in Africa, after Botswana, the Congo and South Africa. Such a valuable export hasn’t really helped the living standard of the country’s citizens as life expectancy and infant mortality rates are among the poorest on the continent.

The landlocked nation of Zambia in Southern Africa was ruled by the British for many years as a colony known as Northern Rhodesia. Northern Rhodesia finally gained independence in 1964, adopting the name Zambia. The new name comes from the Zambezi river, which forms much of the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The famous Victoria Fall lies on the Zambezi, on that border.

38 Katey who played TV’s Peg Bundy : SAGAL

Katey Sagal played Peggy Bundy on “Married … with Children”. Later she took over as star of the show “8 Simple Rules” in the middle of its run, when John Ritter passed away unexpectedly in 2003. Sagal then appeared on the FX drama “Sons of Anarchy”. In 2004, she married Kurt Sutter who created the “Sons of Anarchy” series.

39 Something that a ram and a Ram have in common : HORN

The Los Angeles Rams are the only franchise to have won NFL championships in three different cities, i.e. Cleveland (1945), Los Angeles (1951 & 2021) and St. Louis (1999). The Rams were based in Cleveland from 1936 to 1945, in Los Angeles from 1946 to 1994, in St. Louis from 1995 to 2015, and returned to Los Angeles in 2016.

40 Atkins, for one : HIGH-PROTEIN DIET

Perhaps most notably, the eating of relatively few carbohydrates is central to the diet proposed by Robert Atkins. Atkins first laid out the principles behind the Atkins diet in a research paper published in 1958 in the “Journal of the American Medical Association”. He popularized his diet starting in 1972 with his book “Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution”.

58 “Ol’ Man River” singer, traditionally : BASSO

“Ol’ Man River” is a wonderful song by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein from the musical “Show Boat”. The most famous performances of the song were by Paul Robeson, starting in 1938 when he appeared in a movie version of the stage show. Over the years Robeson changed the lyrics as he sang it at various recitals. The original words used a lot of racial epithets and stereotypical African American slang that he decided to change or omit.

59 Jeremiad : RANT

A jeremiad is a work of literature, sometimes poetic but mainly prose. The tone of the piece is always that of a bitter lament as the author derides the state of society and predicts its downfall. The name “jeremiad” is imitative of the prophet Jeremiah who wrote the Book of Jeremiah and the Book of Lamentations in which he prophesied the fall of the Kingdom of Judah due to the wayward practices of its leaders.

Down

1 Expeditions, e.g. : SUVS

The Lincoln Navigator SUV is basically a spruced-up Ford Expedition.

3 Indigenous race in the “Avatar” movies : NA’VI

In James Cameron’s epic “Avatar”, the “blue people” are the Na’vi, the indigenous species that lives on the lush moon called Pandora. The main Na’vi character featured in the film is the female Neytiri. According to Cameron, Neytiri was inspired by the character played by Raquel Welch in the movie “Fantastic Voyage” and the comic book character Vampirella.

4 What Columbus thought he’d reached in 1492 : THE INDIES

The region of the Caribbean known as the West Indies was given the name after the first expedition taken by Christopher Columbus to the Americas. Really a misnomer, the “West Indies” were the territories claimed by Columbus for Spain in the Americas, with the name distinguishing the region from the “Indies” (today’s South Asia and Southeast Asia). When other nations started to claim territories in the area, the name proliferated, as in the British West Indies, the Danish West Indies and the Netherlands Antilles (Dutch West Indies).

6 Old-fashioned news source : CRIER

Town criers make public announcements on the streets, usually shouting “Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!” to attract attention. The term “oyez” derives from the Anglo-Norman word for “listen” and is used in this instance to me “Hear ye!”

7 Records : LOGS

The word “logbook” dates back to the days when the captain of a ship kept a daily record of the vessel’s speed, progress etc. using a “log”. A log was a wooden float on a knotted line that was dropped overboard to measure speed through the water.

9 Charger dodgers : MATADORS

The term “torero” is used to describe all bullfighters. The term “matador” is reserved for the bullfighter whose job is to make the final kill. Aptly enough, “matador” is Spanish for “killer”.

18 World Vision and others, for short : NGOS

Non-governmental organization (NGO)

23 Ratfink : STOOLIE

Stoolies, also called “canaries”, will “sing” to the cops given the right incentive. “Stoolie” is short for “stool pigeon”. A stool pigeon was a decoy bird tied to a stool so as to lure other pigeons. Originally a stoolie was a decoy for the police, rather than an informer, hence the name.

A fink is an informer, someone who rats out his or her cohorts.

25 Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short, in a 1986 comedy : AMIGOS

“Three Amigos” is a 1986 comedy film starring Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short as three silent movie stars who are mistaken for real western heroes by a Mexican village, a parody on the storylines in “Seven Samurai” and “The Magnificent Seven”.

27 Source of down : EIDER

Eiders are large sea ducks. Their down feathers are used to fill pillows and quilts, giving the name to the quilt called an “eiderdown”.

34 Hot shot? : ESPRESSO

Espresso is made by forcing extremely hot water, under pressure, through finely ground coffee beans. The result is a thick and concentrated coffee drink that contains quite a lot of solids and a lot of foam. An espresso machine was first patented in 1884 in Italy, although it was a machine to make the beverage in bulk. The first patent for a machine that made individual measures was applied for in 1901, also in Italy.

39 Cheery refrains from the Seven Dwarfs : HEIGH-HOS

“Heigh-Ho” is one of the best known songs in the classic Disney animated feature “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. It is sung by the seven dwarfs as they head off to mine diamonds and rubies.

Disney’s 1937 masterpiece “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was the first cel-animated feature film. It is still one of the top ten box office hits in North America, adjusting for inflation. The film was a massive, expensive undertaking in the 1930s, and Walt Disney even had to mortgage his house to help with financing.

47 Holy title in Tibet : LAMA

“Lama” is a Tibetan word meaning “chief, high priest”.

48 Early Quechua speaker : INCA

Quechua was the Native-American language adopted by the Incan Empire and favored over other dialects. Today, Quechua is one of the official languages in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, alongside Spanish.

51 High-end camera brand : LEICA

Leica is a German optics company that is famous for production of lenses and cameras. The 1913 Leica was the first practical camera that could use 35mm film, a size chosen because it was already the standard for film used in motion pictures.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Part of some Italian church names : SANT
5 Rights advocacy org. : ACLU
9 “The food of love,” per Shakespeare : MUSIC
14 Territory reached along the Oregon Trail : UTAH
15 Pirate’s swill : GROG
16 Feeling the need to pace, say : ANTSY
17 Actress who portrayed Scarlett O’Hara and Blanche DuBois : VIVIEN LEIGH
19 Spring zodiac symbol : TWINS
20 Cocktails with brandy and crème de menthe : STINGERS
21 Ape : PARROT
22 Doomed to fail, for short : DOA
23 Co-Nobelist of 1978 : SADAT
24 Awards that only one college athlete has ever won twice : HEISMAN TROPHIES
29 Some stock in the exotic pet trade : BOAS
31 Cow, often : MOOER
32 Japan’s ___ Castle : EDO
33 K-O connector : -LMN-
34 Ones getting the last word in : EDITORS
36 Spot for a hymnbook : PEW
37 Country west of Zambia: Abbr. : ANG
38 Katey who played TV’s Peg Bundy : SAGAL
39 Something that a ram and a Ram have in common : HORN
40 Atkins, for one : HIGH-PROTEIN DIET
44 Tackle box assortment : LURES
45 The “O” of 18-Down : ORG
46 Said nasty things about : SLIMED
48 “We appreciate the contribution” : IT’S A HELP
53 Shouts of accomplishment : TA-DAS
54 Complete reversals : ONE-EIGHTIES
55 Church chorus? : AMENS
56 Really cool, in dated slang : ACES
57 Black-and-white danger : ORCA
58 “Ol’ Man River” singer, traditionally : BASSO
59 Jeremiad : RANT
60 Take a ___ : SEAT

Down

1 Expeditions, e.g. : SUVS
2 Coming to blows, say : AT IT
3 Indigenous race in the “Avatar” movies : NA’VI
4 What Columbus thought he’d reached in 1492 : THE INDIES
5 Radiant : AGLEAM
6 Old-fashioned news source : CRIER
7 Records : LOGS
8 “Gross!” : UGH!
9 Charger dodgers : MATADORS
10 Open on Christmas, say : UNWRAP
11 What a provocateur aims to do : STIR THE POT
12 “Money ___ object” : IS NO
13 Concern for a dermatologist : CYST
18 World Vision and others, for short : NGOS
21 Utensil for peeling : PARER
23 Ratfink : STOOLIE
24 Soars near the shore, maybe : HANG GLIDES
25 Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short, in a 1986 comedy : AMIGOS
26 Away from : NOT AT
27 Source of down : EIDER
28 Scattered, as seed : SOWN
29 Uninspiring : BLAH
30 Prefix with directional : OMNI-
34 Hot shot? : ESPRESSO
35 Challenged : DARED
39 Cheery refrains from the Seven Dwarfs : HEIGH-HOS
41 Big-game hunting targets in the classic short story “The Most Dangerous Game” : HUMANS
42 Most prying : NOSIEST
43 Aerodynamic resistance : DRAG
46 Take a ___ : STAB
47 Holy title in Tibet : LAMA
48 Early Quechua speaker : INCA
49 What “T” stands for in video game ratings : TEEN
50 Peut-___ (French “maybe”) : ETRE
51 High-end camera brand : LEICA
52 Stressor for some H.S. sophomores : PSAT
54 Dip stick? : OAR

8 thoughts on “0118-24 NY Times Crossword 18 Jan 24, Thursday”

  1. 28:16 The “Vivien Leigh” answer is what clued me in to the rebus….although once again I kept looking for a non existent reveal clue/answer.

  2. 23:39. All the IE/EI rebuses got to be a little tedious, but eventually I got them all. I only put one (IE) in each square as I didn’t see the need for both until I saw the HEISMAN/THE INDIES intersection. I kept it at one, and the NYT app let me get away with it thankfully.

    Bill – I think 39A is referring to the horn of the animal ram and a Dodge Ram pick up truck as those both have a HORN…albeit different types of HORNs – one for butting and one for honking.

    I like the GROG-groggy connection. Never occurred to me.

    Best –

  3. 18:55, no errors. In the rebus squares, I put whichever two-vowel combination was appropriate for the “Across” entry and the app was okay with that. (It was still a bit tedious to enter them all, but … no big deal … 🙂.)

  4. 17:11 no errors. I also did not double fill the IE/EI squares. And I was also looking for a reveal like the start of a shout from dyslexic farmer MacDonald with a big O showing up somewhere. 😊

  5. No errors despite two against one and a wierd or weird rebus.
    I always thought the seven dwarfs sang hi ho hi ho but I must have been wrong🤪
    Stay safe😀

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