0418-24 NY Times Crossword 18 Apr 24, Thursday

Constructed by: David Kwong
Edited by: Joel Fagliano

Today’s Reveal Answer: A Star Is Born

Themed clues each start with a STAR. That STAR is a “B” OR “N”:

  • 63A Thrice-remade movie … or, when parsed as six words, a hint to the theme clues in this puzzle : A STAR IS BORN … or, A STAR IS B OR N
  • 17A *Allot time : ELECTION DAY (Ballot time)
  • 23A *Acre on the ocean floor : MOTHER OF PEARL (Nacre on the ocean floor)
  • 40A *Ice is found on it : RIVIERA (Nice is found on it)
  • 53A *Ovid of Greek mythology : THE CRETAN BULL (Bovid of Greek mythology)
  • 10D *Assist in a foursome : MCCARTNEY (Bassist in a foursome)
  • 32D *Ascent stage for a bird : HATCHLING (Nascent stage for a bird)

Bill’s time: 12m 45s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

13 Measure of inflation, in brief : PSI

Pounds per square inch (PSI) is a measure of pressure.

16 Money maven, for short : CFO

Chief financial officer (CFO)

I’ve always loved the term “maven”, which is another word for “expert”. Maven comes into English from the Yiddish “meyvn” describing someone who appreciates and is a connoisseur.

17 *Allot time : ELECTION DAY (Ballot time)

Today, a ballot is a piece of paper or equivalent used to cast a vote. Back in the 1500s, a “ballot” was a small “ball” used in the process of voting.

Election day was chosen by Congress back in 1845. The month of November was selected as it suited an agricultural society, following the fall harvest and yet not too far into winter, which could make travel difficult. Tuesday was chosen so that people had time to travel to polling stations. Monday elections might have meant that some would have to start out on Sunday, and that could interfere with Christian services.

22 Mo. without a federal holiday : AUG

The US Congress created the first federal holidays in 1870, but only designated four such holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Independence Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

23 *Acre on the ocean floor : MOTHER OF PEARL (Nacre on the ocean floor)

Nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl, is the strong iridescent material laid down by some mollusks on the inside of their shells, and it’s also what makes up pearls. The creature lays down nacre as a defensive mechanism, protecting the soft tissue of its body from the rough surface of the outer shell. Similarly, it uses nacre to encapsulate harmful debris or a parasite that penetrates the shell, and that’s how a pearl is formed. Cultured pearls are made by inserting a tissue graft from a donor oyster, around which the nacre is laid down.

28 Menu fish : SOLE

Dover sole is the name given to two different species of flatfish. The common sole found in the Atlantic is called “Dover sole” in Europe, taking its name from the fishing port of Dover on the English coast where a lot of the fish was landed. The second species found in the Pacific is known as “Dover sole” on the Pacific coast of America. The Pacific species is called “Dover sole” just because it resembles the European species.

40 *Ice is found on it : RIVIERA (Nice is found on it)

“Riviera” is an Italian word meaning “coastline”. The term is often applied to a coastline that is sunny and popular with tourists. The term “the Riviera” is usually reserved for the French Riviera (the Mediterranean coastline in southeastern France), and the Italian Riviera (the Mediterranean coastline centered on Genoa).

The French city of Nice is on the Mediterranean coast in the southeast of the country. Although Nice is only the fifth most populous city in France, it is home to the busiest airport outside of Paris. That’s because of all the tourists flocking to the French Riviera. Something described as “à la niçoise” is “of Nice”.

48 Days leading up to the next sign, in astrology : CUSP

The word “cusp” comes from the Latin “cuspis” meaning “spear, point”. In the world of astrology, a cusp is an imaginary line separating two signs of the zodiac. For example, some whose birthday is between April 16 and April 26 is said to have been born “on the cusp” between the signs Aries and Taurus.

51 Director Johnson : RIAN

Filmmaker Rian Johnson wrote and directed quite a few major films, including “Looper” (2012), “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (2017) and “Knives Out” (2019).

63 Thrice-remade movie … or, when parsed as six words, a hint to the theme clues in this puzzle : A STAR IS BORN … or, A STAR IS B OR N

“A Star Is Born” is a 1937 film starring Janet Gaynor as an upcoming Hollywood actress. “A Star Is Born” was remade three times, in 1954 with Judy Garland playing the lead, in 1976 with Barbra Streisand, and in 2018 with Lady Gaga.

67 First name in objectivism : AYN

The philosophy of objectivism comes in several forms, all holding that reality is objective and independent of the mind. The emphasis is on reality based on the observation of objects and events rather than feelings or thoughts that grow out of literature or art.

Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist born “Alisa Rosenbaum”. Her two best known works are her novels “The Fountainhead” published in 1943 and “Atlas Shrugged” from 1957. Back in 1951, Rand moved from Los Angeles to New York City. Soon after, she gathered a group of admirers around her with whom she discussed philosophy and shared drafts of her magnum opus, “Atlas Shrugged”. This group called itself “The Collective”, and one of the founding members was none other than future Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan. Rand described herself as “right-wing” politically, and both she and her novel “Atlas Shrugged” have become inspirations for the American conservatives, and the Tea Party in particular.

68 Horace’s “Ars ___” : POETICA

The full name of Horace’s work is “Ars Poetica, Epistula ad Pisones” (The Art of Poetry, Letters to the Pisos). The work describes the technical aspects of poetry in ancient Rome, and the term “ars poetica” has come to mean the poetry of that period.

69 Hosp. scan : MRI

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine uses powerful magnetic fields to generate its images so there is no exposure to ionizing radiation (such as X-rays). We used MRI equipment in our chemistry labs at school, way back in the days when the technology was still called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI). Apparently the marketing folks didn’t like the term “nuclear” because of its association with atomic bombs, so now it’s just called MRI.

70 Faddish 1990s disk : POG

The game of pogs was originally played with bottle caps from POG fruit juice. The juice was named for its constituents, passion fruit, orange and guava.

Down

3 Saber-toothed tiger in the “Ice Age” movies : DIEGO

“Ice Age” is a 2002 animated film that has spawned a whole series of movies: “Ice Age: The Meltdown” (2006), “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” (2009) and “Ice Age: Continental Drift” (2012).

4 Summer setting in S.F. : PDT

The California city of San Francisco takes its name from the Presidio of San Francisco and the nearby Mission San Francisco de Asís that were founded in 1776 by Spanish colonists.

7 Alice with a Nobel Prize in Literature : MUNRO

Alice Munro is a short story writer from Canada, who sets many of her works in her native southwestern Ontario. She won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature.

10 *Assist in a foursome : MCCARTNEY (Bassist in a foursome)

The ex-Beatles bass player’s full name is Sir James Paul McCartney. “Paul” was knighted for his services to music in 1997. His fellow Beatle Ringo Starr was knighted for his services to music in 2018.

15 Naturally competitive : TYPE-A

The Type-A and Type-B personality theory originated in the fifties. Back then, individuals were labeled as Type A in order to emphasize a perceived increased risk of heart disease. Type-A personality types are so-called “stress junkies”, whereas Type Bs are relaxed and laid back. But there doesn’t seem to be much scientific evidence to support the linkage between the Type-A personality and heart problems.

18 Musical with Rum Tum Tugger and Mungojerrie : CATS

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s source material for his hit musical “Cats” was T. S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”. Eliot’s collection of whimsical poems was published in 1939, and was a personal favorite of Webber as he was growing up. My wife and I have seen “Cats” several times and really enjoy it …

24 Winter frost : HOAR

The Old English word “har” meant “gray, venerable, old”, and came into English as “hoar” (and later “hoary”) with the same meaning. The term “hoar-frost” dates back to the 13th century, and reflects the similarity of the white feathers of frost to the gray/white of an old man’s beard.

26 Superman portrayer : REEVE

Actor Christopher Reeve was most associated with his portrayal of Superman in the late seventies and early eighties. Reeve became paralyzed from the neck down when he fell from a horse in a jumping event in 1995. He published a best-selling autobiography 1999 called “Still Me”, and sadly passed away in 2004.

27 Athlete with the only vertically mounted marker on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, so his holy name is not walked upon : ALI

Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles is home to the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame, comprising over 2,500 stars embedded in the sidewalk. The thoroughfare was named Prospect Boulevard until 1920, when the town of Hollywood was annexed by the city of Los Angeles.

31 Half of dodici : SEI

In Italian, half of “dodici” (twelve) is “sei” (six).

42 Graceful horse : ARAB

The Arab (also “Arabian”) breed of horse takes its name from its original home, the Arabian Peninsula. Like any animal that humans have over-bred, the horse falls prey to genetic diseases, some of which are fatal and some of which require the horse to be euthanized.

53 2020 Olympics site : TOKYO

The 2020 Olympic Games were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite being held in 2021, in Tokyo, the Games were still labeled the “2020 Olympics”.

56 Devices with shuttles : LOOMS

When weaving with a loom, a shuttle is a tool that carries the thread across the weft yarn, back and forth so that the fabric “grows” in length. The term “shuttle” was probably applied to such a tool because it “shoots” across the fabric. We started to use “shuttle” in the late 1800s to describe transportation that moved back and forth, initially describing a train service.

57 Peter of 1934’s “The Man Who Knew Too Much” : LORRE

The marvelous actor Peter Lorre was born in what is now modern-day Slovakia. Lorre’s real name was Laszlo Lowenstein. He started acting in Vienna when he was quite young, only 17 years old. When Hitler came to power, the Jewish Lowenstein headed to Paris and then London, eventually ending up in Hollywood. Lorre found himself typecast as the wicked foreigner in American movies, but I think he sneered and snarled his way to the bank.

Alfred Hitchcock made two versions of the film “The Man Who Knew Too Much”. The first was made in 1934 while Hitchcock still lived in England. It starred Leslie Banks, Edna Best and Peter Lorre in his first English-speaking role. Hitchcock remade the original in 1956, with James Stewart and Doris Day playing the leads. And by the way, in that movie Doris Day sang the Oscar-winning song “Que Sera, Sera”.

64 Gradually slower, in music: Abbr. : RIT

Rit. (or sometimes ritard.) is the abbreviation for “ritardando”, a musical direction to slow down the tempo.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 It might come in a package : AID
4 Showy accessories on marching band uniforms : PLUMES
10 Big mouth : MAW
13 Measure of inflation, in brief : PSI
14 Bygone : DEFUNCT
16 Money maven, for short : CFO
17 *Allot time : ELECTION DAY (Ballot time)
19 The False Good Samaritan, e.g. : CON
20 Account that’s been overdrawn? : SAGA
21 Delightful diversion : ROMP
22 Mo. without a federal holiday : AUG
23 *Acre on the ocean floor : MOTHER OF PEARL (Nacre on the ocean floor)
28 Menu fish : SOLE
29 It’ll all shake out : SALT
30 Wood commonly used in mid-century modern furniture : ASH
33 One way to come out : AHEAD
36 Aware of : IN ON
39 Limitless quantity : SEA
40 *Ice is found on it : RIVIERA (Nice is found on it)
43 Animal whose name, when capitalized, is a major West African language : EWE
44 Things to piece together : KITS
46 Fireplace bit : EMBER
47 “That being said …” : YET …
48 Days leading up to the next sign, in astrology : CUSP
51 Director Johnson : RIAN
53 *Ovid of Greek mythology : THE CRETAN BULL (Bovid of Greek mythology)
58 Verizon sale of 2021 : AOL
59 Greet the day : RISE
60 Roundup sounds : MOOS
62 You might need a lift to do this : SKI
63 Thrice-remade movie … or, when parsed as six words, a hint to the theme clues in this puzzle : A STAR IS BORN … or, A STAR IS B OR N
67 First name in objectivism : AYN
68 Horace’s “Ars ___” : POETICA
69 Hosp. scan : MRI
70 Faddish 1990s disk : POG
71 Like some coding loops and measuring cups : NESTED
72 Not wavering : SET

Down

1 Does like : APES
2 It follows the Hijri calendar : ISLAM
3 Saber-toothed tiger in the “Ice Age” movies : DIEGO
4 Summer setting in S.F. : PDT
5 Bloomers worn around one’s head? : LEI
6 Visitor from a faraway place : UFO
7 Alice with a Nobel Prize in Literature : MUNRO
8 Words before time or story : END OF …
9 Roguish sorts : SCAMPS
10 *Assist in a foursome : MCCARTNEY (Bassist in a foursome)
11 One way to run : AFOUL
12 Anna May ___, Hollywood’s first Chinese American film celebrity : WONG
15 Naturally competitive : TYPE-A
18 Musical with Rum Tum Tugger and Mungojerrie : CATS
24 Winter frost : HOAR
25 For grades K-12 : ELHI
26 Superman portrayer : REEVE
27 Athlete with the only vertically mounted marker on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, so his holy name is not walked upon : ALI
30 “Don’t ___” : ASK
31 Half of dodici : SEI
32 *Ascent stage for a bird : HATCHLING (Nascent stage for a bird)
34 Sightsee? : AIM
35 Name that’s an anagram of BREAD : DEBRA
37 Be beholden to : OWE
38 Clear : NET
41 Attachment to a bit : REIN
42 Graceful horse : ARAB
45 Seek retribution, in a way : SUE
49 Small brawl : SCRAP
50 Joint, so to speak : PRISON
52 Deadened : NUMB
53 2020 Olympics site : TOKYO
54 Perfume name with an accent : ESTEE
55 Milk sources : TEATS
56 Devices with shuttles : LOOMS
57 Peter of 1934’s “The Man Who Knew Too Much” : LORRE
58 “Yesterday!” : ASAP!
61 Cross fit? : SNIT
64 Gradually slower, in music: Abbr. : RIT
65 Suffix with coward : -ICE
66 Heavy-hearted : SAD

10 thoughts on “0418-24 NY Times Crossword 18 Apr 24, Thursday”

  1. 44:32, maybe I just need more sleep, but I never would have figured out the gimmick. Just glad to finish….

  2. 24:03 and no errors! Wow, obscure gimmick. I didn’t get the gimmick either Duncan, but l solved the puzzle nonetheless. Ended up spending almost 5 minutes sussing out the SW corner. THECRETANBULL gave me fits.

  3. Amen to all of the above. It was all there, but just couldn’t suss the b*or*n clue. Still, battled my way to success in about 5 times Bill’s speed.

  4. This dude won’t write about Islam, an Asian actress, and an African language but WILL write about Paul McCartney and Ayn Rand. Pretty obvious what’s going on here with this Karen.

    1. Always remember that it’s best to remain silent and have others wonder if you are an idiot than to speak and remove all doubt….

  5. 40 min, no errors

    Not sure how I figured out answers without knowing the clue.

    Now that I put a “B” or an “N” in front, it becomes a little more obvious.

    Never heard of a POG.

  6. I connected with the missing-first-letter-replaced-by-asterisk bit , and completed the grid, but never put 2 and 2 together to decode the meaning of the theme revealer @63A.
    That was a real curve ball. I got caught looking and went down on strikes trying to crack it.
    The part where the letters ‘B’ and ‘N’ count as 2 of the 6 ‘words’ escaped me. Swing and a miss.
    X-words 4 fun

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