0518-24 NY Times Crossword 18 May 24, Saturday

Constructed by: Adrian Johnson
Edited by: Joel Fagliano

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 14m 55s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Where you might shop for the sheer fun of it? : VICTORIA’S SECRET

Victoria’s Secret was founded in 1977 in San Francisco, California. The founder wanted to create an environment where men were comfortable buying lingerie for their wives or girlfriends, an alternative to a department store.

18 Singer Brendon who fronted Panic! at the Disco : URIE

Panic! at the Disco was formed as a pop rock band from Las Vegas in 2004. Two of the original four members left the group in 2009, to form their own band, and Panic! at the Disco was reinvented as a duo. One of the two remaining musicians also moved on, in 2015, leaving just the original lead vocalist Brendon Urie. Urie decided to continue performing as Panic! at the Disco, and treats it as a solo project.

20 Start of a 1950s political slogan : I LIKE …

“I Like Ike” was a political slogan that originated with the grassroots movement to get Dwight D. Eisenhower (Ike) to run for president in the 1952 presidential election.

21 Only U.S. state with a unicameral legislature: Abbr. : NEB

The Platte River used to be called the Nebrakier, which is an Oto word meaning “flat river”. Indeed, the state of Nebraska takes its name from “Nebrakier”. For a while it was also called the River Plate as “plate” is the French word “flat”. Later this became “Platte”, the phonetic spelling of the French “plate”.

A unicameral legislature is one that has one house or chamber. One example of such an arrangement is the government of Israel, which has one chamber known as the Knesset. “Camera” is the Latin for “chamber”.

25 Where Steve Jobs first worked after college : ATARI

Atari was founded in 1972, and was one of the pioneers in the video game industry. One of the company’s early employees was Steve Jobs, who was hired to work on the game design for the arcade game “Breakout”. Jobs was tasked with reducing the number of chips needed for the game and he recruited his friend, Steve Wozniak, to help with the project. Wozniak designed a circuit board that used only 46 chips, a significant improvement over the original design that had over 100 chips.

Steve Jobs certainly was a business icon in Silicon Valley. I don’t think it is too surprising to learn that the brilliant Jobs didn’t even finish his college education, dropping out of Reed College in Oregon after only one semester. Steve Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976, but in 1985 he was basically fired from his own company during the computer sales slump in the mid-eighties. Jobs then founded NeXT Computer, a company focused on supplying workstations to the higher education and business markets. Apple purchased NeXT in 1996, and that’s how Jobs found himself back with his original company.

27 76% of U.S. governors in 2024, a record low : MALES

Wyoming is nicknamed the “Equality State”, and the state’s motto is “equal rights”. Wyoming was the first state to give women the vote, and the first to allow women to serve on juries. It was also the first state to have a female governor, Nellie Tayloe Ross, who took office in 1925. Unofficially, Wyoming is also referred to as the “Cowboy State”.

31 Prepare to cook sous vide, perhaps : SEAL

“Sous-vide” is a cooking method in which the food is sealed in plastic bags and very slowly steamed in a water bath. The term “sous-vide” is French for “under vacuum”.

33 Many a character in the 2018 animated film “Smallfoot” : YETI

“Smallfoot” is a 2018 computer-animated film that is based on a children’s book “Yeti Tracks” by Sergio Pablas. The storyline features many a yeti (bigfoot), and a human (smallfoot).

38 Unlikely socializer : HERMIT

The Greek word for “uninhabited” is “eremos”, which is the root for “eremia” meaning both “desert” and “solitude”. The Greek word eremites then means “a person of the desert”. This was absorbed into Latin as “ermita”, meaning someone who lived in solitude or in an uninhabited area. We use “eremite” to mean the same thing, although the derivative term “hermit” is more common.

40 Like some Scotch : PEATY

Many whiskies are noted for a peaty, smoky flavor. That taste is introduced when the malted grain is dried over a peat-heated fire.

44 Colorful celebration of spring : HOLI

Holi is a Hindu festival, one celebrated in spring, that is also known as the Festival of Colours.

55 Andre Agassi, e.g. : IRANIAN AMERICAN

Retired tennis professional Andre Agassi has been married to fellow player Steffi Graf since 2001. Agassi wrote an autobiography called “Open”, published in 2009. An amazing revelation in the book is that Agassi’s famous head of hair was actually a wig for much of his playing career. Can you imagine how hard it must have been to play tennis at his level with a rug stuck on?

Down

1 Its wool is the world’s rarest natural fiber : VICUNA

The vicuña is a South American camelid that lives in the Andes. It produces very little wool, and that wool can only be collected every three years. So, vicuña wool is very expensive due to the shortage of supply. And, the vicuña is the national animal of Peru.

2 Turkish inns : IMARETS

Imarets were inns or hostels used by pilgrims throughout the Ottoman Empire. The network of imarets was set up to provide food to anyone in need, so they also served as soup kitchens, as it were.

3 Nun’s habit? : CELIBACY

Nuns are women who have taken religious vows to live a life of prayer, celibacy, and service to their community. The word “nun” comes from the Latin word “nonna,” which means “mother” or “grandmother”. Nuns have been a part of many different religious traditions, including Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam.

5 “The world’s most famous unknown artist,” per Lennon : ONO

Yoko Ono is an avant-garde artist. She met her future husband John Lennon for the first time while she was preparing her conceptual art exhibit called “Hammer a Nail”. Visitors were encouraged to hammer in a nail into a wooden board, creating the artwork. Lennon wanted to hammer in the first nail, but Ono stopped him as the exhibition had not yet opened. Apparently Ono relented when Lennon paid her an imaginary five shillings to hammer an imaginary nail into the wood.

8 A nearly 40-foot-tall statue of her once stood within the Parthenon : ATHENA

The Parthenon is the ruined temple that sits on the Athenian Acropolis. Although the Parthenon was dedicated to the goddess Athena as a sacred building in the days of the Athenian Empire, it was actually used primarily as a treasury. In later centuries, the Parthenon was repurposed as a Christian Church dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and was also used as a mosque after Ottoman conquest.

9 Biblical coins : SHEKELS

The shekel is the currency used today in Israel. The first use of the word “shekel” was in Mesopotamia around 3000 BCE when it probably referred to a specific weight of barley. Each shekel is worth 100 agorot (singular “agora”).

10 Proofreading disclaimer : [SIC]

[Sic] indicates that a quotation is written as originally found, perhaps including a typo. “Sic” is Latin for “thus, like this”. The term is more completely written as “sic erat scriptum”, which translates as “thus was it written”.

11 Morales of the “Mission: Impossible” franchise : ESAI

Actor Esai Morales is best known in the world of film for the 1987 movie “La Bamba”, which depicted the life of Ritchie Valens and his half-brother Bob Morales (played by Esai). On the small screen, Morales plays Lt. Tony Rodriguez on “NYPD Blue” and Joseph Adama on “Caprica”.

It was Tom Cruise’s idea to adapt the “Mission: Impossible” television series for the big screen, and it became the first project for Cruise’s own production company. Cruise took on the starring role of Ethan Hunt, the point man for the Impossible Missions Force (IMF).

14 ___ Okafor, 2004-05 N.B.A. Rookie of the Year : EMEKA

The term “rookie”, used for a raw recruit, first appeared in Rudyard Kipling’s collection of songs and poems called the “Barrack-Room Ballads”, which was originally published in 1892.

15 Spots for bérets : TETES

In French, one wears a “chapeau” (hat), a “béret” (beret) perhaps, on one’s “tête” (head).

23 Blacksmith-turned-agricultural magnate of the 19th century : DEERE

John Deere invented the first commercially successful steel plow in 1837. Prior to Deere’s invention, farmers used an iron or wooden plow that constantly had to be cleaned as rich soil stuck to its surfaces. The cast-steel plow was revolutionary as its smooth sides solved the problem of “stickiness”. The Deere company that John founded uses the slogan “Nothing Runs Like a Deere”, and has a leaping deer as its logo.

26 “The Man Who Fell to Earth” director, 1976 : ROEG

Nicolas Roeg is a film director from England with quite the pedigree when it comes to association with great movies. He contributed to 1962’s “Lawrence of Arabia”, and he himself directed noted films like “Walkabout” (1972), “Don’t Look Now” (1973) and “The Man Who Fell to Earth” (1976).

The 1976 British film “The Man Who Fell to Earth” is perhaps most famous for its star, David Bowie. The movie was directed by Nicolas Roeg, and is based on a 1963 novel of the same name written by Walter Tevis.

28 “The Lord of the Rings” antagonist : SAURON

In J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”, Sauron is the actual “Lord of the Rings”. Sauron was the Dark Lord Morgoth’s trusted lieutenant.

30 Chophouse choice : FILET

A fillet is a boneless cut of meat or fish. The term “fillet” comes from the Old French “filet” meaning “small thread, filament”. Apparently, we applied the term to food because the piece of fish or meat was tied up with string after it was boned. Here in the US, we tend to use the French spelling “filet”.

32 Largest city on the Pacific coast of the Americas : LIMA

Lima is the capital city of Peru. It was founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, who named it “la Ciudad de los Reyes” (the City of Kings). He chose this name because the decision to found the city was made on January 6th, the feast of the Epiphany that commemorates the visit of the three kings to Jesus in Bethlehem. Lima is home to the oldest university in all of the Americas, as San Marco University was founded in 1551 during the days of Spanish colonial rule.

35 Certain drag racer : NITRO CAR

“Laughing gas” is a common name for nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is used as an anesthetic, particularly by dentists. It is also used in motor racing to increase the power output of engines. Laughing gas was first synthesized by the English chemist Joseph Priestley, but it was Humphry Davy who discovered its potential as an anesthetic. Once it was realized that the gas could give the patient a fit of the giggles, “laughing gas parties” became common among those who could afford them.

Back in the 18th century, “drag” was slang for a wagon or buggy, as it was “dragged” along by a horse or horses. In the 1930s, the underworld adopted “drag” as slang for an automobile. This sense of the word was imported into automobile racing in the 1940s, giving the name to “drag racing”. A drag race is basically a competition between two cars to determine which can accelerate faster from a standstill.

37 Cowpoke’s friend : PARDNER

“Cowpoke” is a term used nowadays for any cowboy, but it was originally limited to the cowboys who prodded cattle onto railroad cars using long poles.

39 Sobriquet behind 154 sonnets : THE BARD

William Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets. Here is Sonnet 110:

Alas! ’tis true, I have gone here and there,
And made my self a motley to the view,
Gored mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most dear,
Made old offences of affections new;
Most true it is, that I have looked on truth
Askance and strangely; but, by all above,
These blenches gave my heart another youth,
And worse essays proved thee my best of love.
Now all is done, have what shall have no end:
Mine appetite I never more will grind
On newer proof, to try an older friend,
A god in love, to whom I am confined.
Then give me welcome, next my heaven the best,
Even to thy pure and most most loving breast.

A sobriquet is an affectionate nickname. The term “sobriquet” is French, in which language it has the same meaning.

41 Cross state lines? : TIRADE

The term “tirade” describes a long and vehement speech, and is a word that came into English from French. “Tirade” can have the same meaning in French, but is also the word for “volley”. So, a tirade is a “volley” of words.

43 Disburses : SPENDS

To disburse is to pay out. The term “disburse” comes from the old French terms “des” and “bourse” meaning “out of purse”.

45 Portrayer of Mrs. Which in 2018’s “A Wrinkle in Time” : OPRAH

“A Wrinkle in Time” is a book by Madeleine L’Engle. Published in 1962, it is described as a science fantasy. Included in the book’s cast of characters are Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, all of whom turn out to be supernatural beings who transport the antagonists through the universe. “A Wrinkle in Time” was adapted into a 2018 movie of the same name starring Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling as the three “Mrs” characters.

54 Spanish opposite of “pobre” : RICO

In Spanish, most would say it’s better to be “rico” (rich) than “pobre” (poor).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Where you might shop for the sheer fun of it? : VICTORIA’S SECRET
16 “No more fooling around!” : I MEAN IT THIS TIME!
17 Reprimand : CALL ON THE CARPET
18 Singer Brendon who fronted Panic! at the Disco : URIE
19 Go after : SEEK
20 Start of a 1950s political slogan : I LIKE …
21 Only U.S. state with a unicameral legislature: Abbr. : NEB
22 Wasn’t upstanding : LEANED
24 Grps. that rarely meet in the summer : PTAS
25 Where Steve Jobs first worked after college : ATARI
27 76% of U.S. governors in 2024, a record low : MALES
29 Laughs (at) : SCOFFS
31 Prepare to cook sous vide, perhaps : SEAL
33 Many a character in the 2018 animated film “Smallfoot” : YETI
34 Make toast? : RUIN
36 [Uh-oh] : [GULP]
38 Unlikely socializer : HERMIT
40 Like some Scotch : PEATY
42 Official administrations : OATHS
44 Colorful celebration of spring : HOLI
48 Fall over : TRIP ON
50 Shill for, informally : REP
51 Goes first : OPENS
53 Was selected to face, as in a tournament : DREW
54 Hotel room amenity : ROBE
55 Andre Agassi, e.g. : IRANIAN AMERICAN
58 A wedding couple might be seen on one : SAVE THE DATE CARD
59 “I’m speechless” : THERE ARE NO WORDS

Down

1 Its wool is the world’s rarest natural fiber : VICUNA
2 Turkish inns : IMARETS
3 Nun’s habit? : CELIBACY
4 Related thing : TALE
5 “The world’s most famous unknown artist,” per Lennon : ONO
6 Use a finger bowl : RINSE
7 PC support squads : IT TEAMS
8 A nearly 40-foot-tall statue of her once stood within the Parthenon : ATHENA
9 Biblical coins : SHEKELS
10 Proofreading disclaimer : [SIC]
11 Morales of the “Mission: Impossible” franchise : ESAI
12 Printing shortcut : CTRL-P
13 Hit the heck out of the ball : RIP IT
14 ___ Okafor, 2004-05 N.B.A. Rookie of the Year : EMEKA
15 Spots for bérets : TETES
22 Exalt : LIFT UP
23 Blacksmith-turned-agricultural magnate of the 19th century : DEERE
26 “The Man Who Fell to Earth” director, 1976 : ROEG
28 “The Lord of the Rings” antagonist : SAURON
30 Chophouse choice : FILET
32 Largest city on the Pacific coast of the Americas : LIMA
35 Certain drag racer : NITRO CAR
37 Cowpoke’s friend : PARDNER
38 Crowd energizer at a hip-hop concert : HYPE MAN
39 Sobriquet behind 154 sonnets : THE BARD
41 Cross state lines? : TIRADE
43 Disburses : SPENDS
44 Raise : HOIST
45 Portrayer of Mrs. Which in 2018’s “A Wrinkle in Time” : OPRAH
46 Time out : LEAVE
47 ___ beauty : INNER
49 Have because of : OWE TO
52 One might display a menu : SITE
54 Spanish opposite of “pobre” : RICO
56 “So you confess!” : AHA!
57 Remote button: Abbr. : REW

5 thoughts on “0518-24 NY Times Crossword 18 May 24, Saturday”

    1. Agree. Didn’t see Bill’s comment until I read yours. At almost 1,100 square miles Lima, Peru is more than twice the size of Los Angeles. That surprised me.

    2. Well, that’s an embarrassing “oops”. Thx for pointing it out. More haste, less speed …

  1. 16:59, 2 errors: URI(L); TAL(L). Fell into the trap, short/tall are relative terms. Never heard of Brendon URIE. Watched a clip of a Panic! at the Disco on YouTube. I can see why I never heard of them; it’s been a long time since my 15th birthday…

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