1119-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 19 Nov 15, Thursday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
Solution to today’s SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications
Solution to today’s New York Times crossword found online at the Seattle Times website
Jump to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: Andrew Zhou
THEME: Auto Complete … each of today’s themed answers needs to be AUTOCOMPLETED, COMPLETED by adding a type of AUTO:

48A. Search engine feature … or what you literally need to do to answer the six starred clues : AUTOCOMPLETE
20A. *TV celebrity who has owned both a clothing line and a wine brand : KATHIE LEE GIF(FORD)
27A. *Nerve center in the abdomen that’s strongly affected by a punch : SOLAR P(LEXUS)
30A. *1965 #1 Beach Boys hit : HELP ME, R(HONDA)
37A. *Have membership in : BELON(G TO)
42A. *Classical ensemble : STRING T(RIO)
44A. *In the year of our Lord : ANNO DO(MINI)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 14m 32s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

6. Sigmatism : LISP
A “sigmatism” is a lisp, a difficultly in pronouncing the letter S. The term comes from “sigma” (S) and “ism”.

10. Sibs … or Sigs, maybe : BROS
Siblings (sibs.) might be brothers (bros.), as are members of the Sigma Chi fraternity (Sigs.).

15. Forum disclaimer : IMHO
In my humble opinion (IMHO)

16. Not exactly old money : EURO
Euro coins are issued by all the participating European states. The reverse side is a common design used by all countries, whereas the obverse is a design specific to each nation. For example, the one euro coin issued by Malta features the Maltese Cross. That Maltese euro is legal tender right across the eurozone. Of course the Irish euro features a harp.

18. Cartoon character created by a marine biologist : SPONGEBOB
SpongeBob SquarePants is a cartoon character in a Nickelodeon television series. Spongebob first appeared in 1999, and he “lives in a pineapple under the sea”. The character was created by
marine biologist, cartoonist and animator Stephen Hillenburg.

20. *TV celebrity who has owned both a clothing line and a wine brand : KATHIE LEE GIF(FORD)
Kathie Lee Gifford is most famous for working alongside Regis Philbin on the talk show “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee”, a stint that lasted for about 15 years.

22. What may give an artistic bias? : EASEL
The word “easel” comes from an old Dutch word meaning “donkey” would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would be made to carry a load.

27. *Nerve center in the abdomen that’s strongly affected by a punch : SOLAR P(LEXUS)
A nerve plexus is a network of intersecting nerves. One example of a plexus in the human body is the celiac plexus, also known as the solar plexus. The celiac plexus is a network of nerves in the abdomen that serves many of the internal organs.

30. *1965 #1 Beach Boys hit : HELP ME, R(HONDA)
“Help Me, Rhonda” is a Beach Boys hit written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, released in 1965. When the song was first issued as a track on the album “Today!”, the song was titled “Help Me, Ronda” (note the spelling of “Ronda”). When the song was released as a single a month later, the title used the spelling with which we are familiar: “Help Me, Rhonda”.

33. Language akin to Tahitian : MAORI
The Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. The Māori are eastern Polynesian in origin and began arriving in New Zealand relatively recently, starting sometime in the late 13th century. The word “māori” simply means “normal”, distinguishing the mortal human being from spiritual entities.

Tahiti is the most populous island in French Polynesia, which is located in the central Southern Pacific. Although Captain Cook landed in Tahiti in 1769, he wasn’t the first European to do so. However, Cook’s visit was the most significant in that it heralded a whole spate of European visitors, who brought with them prostitution, venereal disease and alcohol. Included among the subsequent visitors was the famous HMS Bounty under the charge of Captain Bligh.

35. Place with a lot of monitors, for short : ICU
Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

38. Arctic drifter : FLOE
An ice floe is a sheet of ice that has separated from an ice field and is floating freely on the ocean.

39. It uses the 16-Across: Abbr. : IRE
(16A. Not exactly old money : EURO)
The island of Ireland is politically divided between the the Republic of Ireland in the south and Northern Ireland in the north. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, and covers about one-sixth of the island. The Republic of Ireland is in the eurozone, but the pound sterling is the official currency in Northern Ireland.

42. *Classical ensemble : STRING T(RIO)
Although not a hard-and-fast rule, a string trio usually comprises a violin, viola and cello.

44. *In the year of our Lord : ANNO DO(MINI)
The designations Anno Domini (AD, “year of Our Lord”) and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC without a year “0” in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) used to replace BC.

45. Pair on a ketch : MASTS
A ketch is a sailboat with two masts. The most forward mast is the mainmast, and is the taller of the two. The smaller mast is further aft, and is known as the mizzen mast.

46. 1946 creation originally intended to calculate ballistics tables : ENIAC
The acronym ENIAC stands for Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (although many folks insist that the C was for “Computer”). ENIAC was the first general-purpose electronic computer. It was designed to calculate artillery firing tables, but it ended up being used early on to make calculations necessary for the development of the hydrogen bomb. Given its uses, it’s not surprising to hear that development of ENIAC was funded by the US Army during WWII.

58. Hindu festival of colors : HOLI
Holi is a Hindu festival celebrated in spring, and is also known as the Festival of Colours.

60. Critic who wrote “Behind the Phantom’s Mask” : EBERT
“Behind the Phantom’s Mask” is the only work of fiction published by celebrated movie critic Roger Ebert. Published in book form in 1993, the novel began as a syndicated newspaper serial.

61. Well-funded grp.? : 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 wrench control of oil prices from the oil companies and to put it in the hands of the sovereign states that own the natural resource.

62. Some blockers : ENDS
Ends are football players.

Down
2. Kett of old comics : ETTA
“Etta Kett” was a comic strip that first ran in 1925. The strip ceased to be published in 1974, when creator Paul Robinson passed away. The initial intent was to offer tips to teenagers on manners and social graces, hence the name of the title character Etta Kett (sounds like “etiquette”).

5. Clip art? : TOPIARY
Topiary is the practice of training and clipping perennial plants into clearly defined shapes.

6. Fine thread : LISLE
Lisle is a cotton fabric that has been through an extra process at the end of its manufacture that burns off lint and the ends of fibers leaving the fabric very smooth and with a clean edge.

9. Beer ___ : PONG
The game of beer pong is also known as “Beirut”. Beer pong reputedly originated as a drinking game in the fraternities of Dartmouth College in the fifties, when it was played with paddles and a ping pong net on a table. The origin of the “Beirut” name is less clear, but it probably was coined in while the Lebanese Civil War was raging in late seventies and the eighties.

11. Hitch : RUB
The phrase “ay, there’s the rub!” comes from Hamlet’s famous “To be or not to be” soliloquy:

To die — to sleep.
To sleep — perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub!

A “rub” is a difficulty or obstruction. The usage predates Shakespeare, and comes from the game of lawn bowls in which a rub is a fault in the bowling surface.

12. Prize at las Olimpiadas : ORO
In Spanish, a victor wins “oro” (gold) at “las Olimpiadas” (the Olympics).

19. 2003 Lopez/Affleck flop : GIGLI
Everyone wanted to see “Gigli” because it starred the couple of the day, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck. Everyone wanted to see it, but nobody went it seems. Lots of folks have called it the worst film ever made. Apparently “Gigli” made only $6m after costing $54m to produce.

21. Pickup artist’s skill, for short? : ESP
Extrasensory perception (ESP)

24. ___ Barzini, “The Godfather” don : EMILIO
Emilio Barzini (aka “the Wolf”) is the main antagonist in Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather”. In the film adaptation, Barzini is played by actor Richard Conte.

27. Christian Grey’s specialty in “Fifty Shades of Grey” : SADISM
“Fifty Shades of Grey” is an incredibly popular erotic novel by British writer E. L. James. “Fifty Shades of Grey” is the fastest-selling paperback of all time. And there are two other titles to complete the trilogy: “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed”.

28. Mario Puzo sequel : OMERTA
The novelist and screenwriter Mario Puzo, was best known for his book “The Godfather”, which he also co-adapted for the big screen. Puzo also wrote two sequels, “The Last Don” and “Omertà”, that latter being published after his death. His name is less associated with some very famous screenplays that he wrote, including “Earthquake”, “Superman” and “Superman II”. Puzo won two Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay: for “The Godfather” (1972) and for “The Godfather Part II” (1974).

34. It’s sold by the yard : ALE
A yard of ale is a very tall glass, one that is just under a yard (three feet) long. It holds about 60 fluid ounces of beer. I’ve tried drinking out of one, and it is extremely difficult. There is a bulb at the bottom of the glass. When you get towards the end of the drink, that bulb causes a kind of airlock and the remainder of the beer rushes to the top of the glass splashing you in the face.

38. Zine distributors, perhaps : FAN CLUBS
A fanzine (also “zine”) is a fan publication with a very limited circulation, dealing with a very specific subject matter. Fanzines are usually desktop published and distributed electronically or as photocopies.

41. Crunchy vegetable : SNAP PEA
Snap peas are also known as sugar peas. Snap peas are eaten before the seeds mature, and the whole pod is consumed.

47. Alfred who wrote “The Highwayman” : NOYES
Alfred Noyes was an English poet best known for his narrative poem “The Highwayman”, published in 1906. The highwayman in the poem is in love with an innkeeper’s daughter named Bess. Bess dies trying to warn her lover about an ambush, and then the highwayman dies when trying to exact revenge for her death. The highwayman and Bess meet up as ghosts on winter nights.

50. Actor Clive of Cinemax’s “The Knick” : OWEN
English actor Clive Owen first grabbed the public’s eye in his native land in the early nineties, when he played the lead in a popular TV show called “Chancer” about a likable conman. More recently, Owen has been playing Dr. John W. Thackery on the Cinemax medical drama series “The Knick”.

51. Are, in Amiens : ETES
The French for “to be” is “être”, and for “you are” is “vous êtes”.

Amiens is a city in the north of France in the region known as Picardy. Amiens lies on the River Somme, and is the capital city of the Somme department.

53. Mastoiditis specialists, for short : ENTS
Ear, Nose and Throat specialist (ENT)

56. Any one of the Marquises : ILE
The Marquesas Islands are known in French as the “Iles Marquises”. The Marquesas are a group of volcanic islands in French Polynesia in the Southern Pacific. In the 1500s the population of the Marquesas has been estimated at over 100,000. Then along come Western explorers, and western diseases. The Marquesas were hit the hardest by the introduction of diseases to which they had no resistance. By 1900 the ravaged population had been reduced to just over 2,000 people.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Lead on : TEMPT
6. Sigmatism : LISP
10. Sibs … or Sigs, maybe : BROS
14. In ___ diagnosis : UTERO
15. Forum disclaimer : IMHO
16. Not exactly old money : EURO
17. Like some learning curves : STEEP
18. Cartoon character created by a marine biologist : SPONGEBOB
20. *TV celebrity who has owned both a clothing line and a wine brand : KATHIE LEE GIF(FORD)
22. What may give an artistic bias? : EASEL
23. ___ star : GUEST
27. *Nerve center in the abdomen that’s strongly affected by a punch : SOLAR P(LEXUS)
30. *1965 #1 Beach Boys hit : HELP ME, R(HONDA)
32. Friendliness : AMITY
33. Language akin to Tahitian : MAORI
35. Place with a lot of monitors, for short : ICU
36. Studies : DENS
37. *Have membership in : BELON(G TO)
38. Arctic drifter : FLOE
39. It uses the 16-Across: Abbr. : IRE
40. Moved about sinuously : EELED
41. Altarpiece figure : SAINT
42. *Classical ensemble : STRING T(RIO)
44. *In the year of our Lord : ANNO DO(MINI)
45. Pair on a ketch : MASTS
46. 1946 creation originally intended to calculate ballistics tables : ENIAC
48. Search engine feature … or what you literally need to do to answer the six starred clues : AUTOCOMPLETE
54. Kill, as time : WHILE AWAY
57. Interpose : PUT IN
58. Hindu festival of colors : HOLI
59. Simple : MERE
60. Critic who wrote “Behind the Phantom’s Mask” : EBERT
61. Well-funded grp.? : OPEC
62. Some blockers : ENDS
63. Jerks : ASSES

Down
1. Boar’s head feature : TUSK
2. Kett of old comics : ETTA
3. Satisfy : MEET
4. Warms up : PREHEATS
5. Clip art? : TOPIARY
6. Fine thread : LISLE
7. Push : IMPEL
8. One going on foot? : SHOE
9. Beer ___ : PONG
10. Strengthen : BEEF UP
11. Hitch : RUB
12. Prize at las Olimpiadas : ORO
13. Show utter despair, in a way : SOB
19. 2003 Lopez/Affleck flop : GIGLI
21. Pickup artist’s skill, for short? : ESP
24. ___ Barzini, “The Godfather” don : EMILIO
25. Back up : SECOND
26. Following, as one’s word : TRUE TO
27. Christian Grey’s specialty in “Fifty Shades of Grey” : SADISM
28. Mario Puzo sequel : OMERTA
29. Passenger ships : LINERS
30. Bit of attire at an initiation ceremony : HOOD
31. Directional ending : -ERN
33. Endure a temperature of 110°, say : MELT
34. It’s sold by the yard : ALE
37. Seek change? : BEG
38. Zine distributors, perhaps : FAN CLUBS
40. Go after : ENSUE
41. Crunchy vegetable : SNAP PEA
43. Like some instructions that are important to read : ITALIC
44. Object : AIM
46. Environmentally friendly greeting : E-CARD
47. Alfred who wrote “The Highwayman” : NOYES
49. Gentle : TAME
50. Actor Clive of Cinemax’s “The Knick” : OWEN
51. Are, in Amiens : ETES
52. Exhaust : TIRE
53. Mastoiditis specialists, for short : ENTS
54. “___, me?” : WHO
55. 30-minute flight, e.g. : HOP
56. Any one of the Marquises : ILE

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5 thoughts on “1119-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 19 Nov 15, Thursday”

  1. Once I got the theme, I kept trying to fit "autocorrect" into the theme across. I suppose autocorrect is more of a smartphone thing than a search engine thing. Since "GTO" is part of the theme, we probably need to say they are wither makes or models of autos.

    Generally a pretty solid grid. I noticed the use of "ass" or "asses" more lately. I guess that's more accepted now.

  2. 25:54. No errors, but I couldn't "autocomplete" HELP ME R…". (Which is embarrassing, given that I drive a Honda CR-V!) Somehow, I never became aware of that Beach Boys song. (Come to think of it, though, I can't name any of their other songs, either … )

    I'm not a big fan of autocompletion and autocorrection. For me, they are mostly a source of error and a huge distraction.

    Re Bill's comments for 33a: Some of us might argue that the word "paradoxically" should be omitted from the beginning of the penultimate sentence … 🙂

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