0116-19 NY Times Crossword 16 Jan 19, Wednesday

Constructed by: Bruce Haight
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Clue This, Clue That

Each themed answer sounds like a common phrase, a phrase that could start that clue. The actual answer is pointed to by the whole clue. Funny, clever stuff!

  • 17A. “___, do these jeans make me look fat?” : BUTT WEIGHT (sounds like “But, wait …”)
  • 25A. “___! The flight attendant just swatted a bug!” : AISLE BEE (sounds like “I’ll be!”)
  • 36A. “___, would you like to purchase some religious music?” : BUY CHANTS (sounds like “By chance …”)
  • 53A. “___ and those crazy sheep costumes!” : EWE GUISE (sounds like “You guys …
  • 62A. “___! Petr, I’m begging you again to let me get this!” : CZECH PLEAS (sounds like “Check please!”)

Bill’s time: 10m 29s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

13. Billy the Kid vis-à-vis Henry McCarty : ALIAS

I’m guessing that the notorious Wild West outlaw Billy the Kid was of Irish stock as his family name was McCarty. Another indication of an Irish connection is that he also used the aliases William Antrim, Henry Antrim and Kid Antrim, as Antrim is one of the six counties in the north of Ireland.

15. Lecherous person : ROUE

“Roue” is a lovely word, I think, one used to describe a less than lovely man, someone of loose morals. “Roue” comes from the French word “rouer” meaning “to break on a wheel”. This describes the ancient form of capital punishment where a poor soul was lashed to a wheel and then beaten to death with cudgels and bars. I guess the suggestion is that a roue, with his loose morals, deserves such a punishment.

16. Boutique-filled N.Y.C. neighborhood : SOHO

The Manhattan neighborhood known today as SoHo was very fashionable in the early 1900s, but as the well-heeled started to move uptown the area became very run down and poorly maintained. Noted for the number of fires that erupted in derelict buildings, SoHo earned the nickname “Hell’s Hundred Acres”. The area was then zoned for manufacturing and became home to many sweatshops. In the mid-1900s artists started to move into open loft spaces and renovating old buildings as the lofts were ideal locations in which an artist could both live and work. In 1968, artists and others organized themselves so that they could legalize their residential use of an area zoned for manufacturing. The group they formed took its name from the name given to the area by the city’s Planning Commission i.e “South of Houston”. This was shortened from So-uth of Ho-uston to SoHo as in the SoHo Artists Association, and the name stuck.

20. “You’re oversharing!” : TMI!

Too much information! (TMI!)

21. Levine of Maroon 5 : ADAM

Adam Levine is the lead vocalist of the pop rock band Maroon 5. Levine is also one of the coaches on the reality show “The Voice”.

22. Big swigs : BELTS

A belt is a swift swig of hard liquor.

31. Club with travel advice, for short : AAA

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a not-for-profit organization focused on lobbying, provision of automobile servicing, and selling of automobile insurance. The AAA was founded in 1902 in Chicago and published the first of its celebrated hotel guides back in 1917.

44. Myriad : HOST

The term “myriad”, meaning “innumerable”, comes from the Greek “muraid”, meaning “ten thousand”. “Myriad” is one of those words that sparks heated debate about the correct usage in English. “Myriad” can be used both as an adjective and a noun. One can have “a myriad of” engagements around the holidays, for example, or “myriad” engagements around those same holidays.

48. Mr. Rogers : ROY

Cowboy actor and singer Roy Rogers’ real name was Leonard Franklin Slye, and his nickname was “King of the Cowboys”. Roy Rogers married Dale Evans in 1947. Evans’ nickname was “Queen of the West”.

49. The Na’vi in “Avatar,” e.g. : ETS

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 featuring in the film is the female Neytiri. According to Cameron, Neytiri was inspired by the Raquel Welch character in the movie “Fantastic Voyage” and the comic book character Vampirella.

56. Bakery-cafe chain : PANERA

Panera Bread is a chain of bakery/coffeehouses. A Panera restaurant is a good place to get online while having a cup of coffee. Back in 2006 and 2007, Panera was the largest provider of free Wi-Fi access in the whole of the US.

57. Bikini part : STRAP

The origin of the word “bikini”, describing a type of bathing suit, seems very uncertain. My favorite story is that it is named after the Bikini Atoll, site of American A-bomb tests in the forties and fifties. The name “bikini” was chosen for the swim-wear because of the “explosive” effect it had on men who saw a woman wearing the garment!

58. Actor Neeson : LIAM

Irish actor Liam Neeson got his big break when he played Oskar Schindler in the Spielberg epic, “Schindler’s List”. Neeson was in the news a few years ago when he lost his wife, actress Natasha Richardson, in a tragic skiing accident in 2009.

61. Where Paris took Helen : TROY

According to Greek mythology, Helen (later “Helen of Troy”) was the daughter of Zeus and Leda. When Helen reached the age of marriage, she had many suitors as she was considered the most beautiful woman in the world. Menelaus was chosen as her husband, and he took her back to his home of Sparta. Paris, a Trojan prince, seduced Helen, as she eloped with him and travelled to Troy. This event sparked the Trojan War that waged between the city of Troy and Greece. Because of this war, Helen was said to have “the face that launched a thousand ships”. And because of this phrase, it has been suggested, probably by author Isaac Asimov, that the amount of beauty needed launch a single ship is one “millihelen”.

70. Harness racing gait : TROT

In harness racing, the horses race using one of two specific gaits, i.e. trotting or pacing.

Down

2. Female graduates : ALUMNAE

An alumnus (plural “alumni”) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural “alumnae”). The term comes into English from Latin, in which an alumnus is a foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or an alumnus.

4. Makeshift receptacle for ballots : HAT

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

5. “O mio babbino caro,” e.g. : ARIA

“O mio babbino caro” is a really beautiful aria from Giacomo Puccini’s opera “Gianni Schicchi”.

6. Foundational teachings : DOGMA

A dogma is a set of beliefs. The plural of “dogma” is “dogmata” (or “dogmas”, if you’re not a pedant like me!)

8. Wimbledon unit : SET

The Wimbledon Championships of tennis are held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club located in Wimbledon, a district of London. The Wimbledon Championships started in 1877, and have been played on grass since day one.

9. First name in perfumes : ESTEE

Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, and someone with a great reputation as a salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …

11. The Louvre, originally : CHATEAU

The Musée du Louvre has the distinction of being the most visited art museum in the whole world. The collection is housed in the magnificent Louvre Palace that was the seat of power in France until 1682, when Louis XIV moved to Versailles.

14. Some origami birds : SWANS

Origami is the traditional Japanese art form of paper folding. The best-known example of the craft is the paper crane. The word “origami” is derived from “ori“ (folding) and “kami” (paper).

24. Website for film buffs : IMDB

The website called the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) was launched in 1990, and is now owned by Amazon.com. It’s a great site for answering question one has about movies and actors.

29. Hacker’s goal : ACCESS

A computer hacker is a computer expert, and in particular one who uses that expertise to solve problems with hardware and software. So, the original use of the term “hacking” was very positive. Since the 1980s, the term “hacker” is more commonly used for an expert in subverting computer security.

34. Fraternity letter : PHI

Phi is the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet.

38. Dubious Tibetan sighting : YETI

The yeti, also known as “the abominable snowman”, is a beast of legend. “Yeti” is a Tibetan term, and the beast is fabled to live in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet. Our equivalent legend in North America is that of Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch. The study of animals whose existence have not yet been substantiated is called cryptozoology, and a cryptid is a creature or plant that isn’t recognized by the scientific community, but the existence of which has been suggested.

39. Ostracize : SHUN

The practice of ostracism, freezing out or exclusion, dates back to Ancient Greece. Back then citizens could write the names of men they thought were exceptionally dangerous on tiles that were publicly posted, resulting in a banishment of ten years. “Ostracize” derives from the Greek “ostrakon”, the word for a “tile”.

51. Colorful fish : OPAH

“Opah” is the more correct name for the fish also known as the sunfish, moonfish or Jerusalem haddock. I’ve seen one in the Monterey Aquarium. It is one huge fish …

52. Genie holders : LAMPS

The “genie” in the bottle takes his or her name from “djinn”. “Djinns” were various spirits considered lesser than angels, with people exhibiting unsavory characteristics said to be possessed by djinn. When the book “The Thousand and One Nights” was translated into French, the word “djinn” was transformed into the existing word “génie”, because of the similarity in sound and the related spiritual meaning. This “génie” from the Arabian tale became confused with the Latin-derived “genius”, a guardian spirit thought to be assigned to each person at birth. Purely as a result of that mistranslation the word genie has come to mean the “djinn” that pops out of the bottle. A little hard to follow, I know, but still quite interesting …

62. TV drama of 2000-15 : CSI

The “CSI” franchise of TV shows has been tremendously successful, but has finally wound down. “CSI: Miami” (the “worst” of the franchise, I think) was cancelled in 2012 after ten seasons. “CSI: NY” (the “best” of the franchise) was cancelled in 2013 after nine seasons. The original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, set in Las Vegas, hung in there until 2015 when it ended with a two-hour TV movie. The youngest show in the series was “CSI: Cyber”. It lasted for two seasons, before being canceled in 2016.

63. Benzoyl peroxide target, informally : ZIT

Benzoyl peroxide is used as an acne treatment, as well as for dyeing hair, for whitening teeth and in the preparation of flour.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Lid attachment : LASH
5. Mixes in : ADDS
9. Make art on glass or metal : ETCH
13. Billy the Kid vis-à-vis Henry McCarty : ALIAS
15. Lecherous person : ROUE
16. Boutique-filled N.Y.C. neighborhood : SOHO
17. “___, do these jeans make me look fat?” : BUTT WEIGHT (sounds like “But, wait …”)
19. Perfectly : TO A T
20. “You’re oversharing!” : TMI!
21. Levine of Maroon 5 : ADAM
22. Big swigs : BELTS
23. Part of a movie that can be spoiled : ENDING
25. “___! The flight attendant just swatted a bug!” : AISLE BEE (sounds like “I’ll be!”)
28. Smooth sailing site : CALM SEA
30. Place with treatments : SPA
31. Club with travel advice, for short : AAA
32. Pay attention to : HEED
33. Mark that’s just above average : C-PLUS
35. Place where you can get stuck : RUT
36. “___, would you like to purchase some religious music?” : BUY CHANTS (sounds like “By chance …”)
40. Not just any : THE
43. Peer through a window, maybe : SEE IN
44. Myriad : HOST
48. Mr. Rogers : ROY
49. The Na’vi in “Avatar,” e.g. : ETS
50. Meet (with) at midday, say : DO LUNCH
53. “___ and those crazy sheep costumes!” : EWE GUISE (sounds like “You guys …”
56. Bakery-cafe chain : PANERA
57. Bikini part : STRAP
58. Actor Neeson : LIAM
60. “On the other hand …” : YET …
61. Where Paris took Helen : TROY
62. “___! Petr, I’m begging you again to let me get this!” : CZECH PLEAS (sounds like “Check please!”)
65. Break in the action : LULL
66. Really cool, in slang : SICK
67. “Me, too!” : SO AM I!
68. Slippery : EELY
69. Teensy : ITTY
70. Harness racing gait : TROT

Down

1. Research assistant, informally : LAB TECH
2. Female graduates : ALUMNAE
3. Not get used : SIT IDLE
4. Makeshift receptacle for ballots : HAT
5. “O mio babbino caro,” e.g. : ARIA
6. Foundational teachings : DOGMA
7. “Obviously, Sherlock!” : DUH!
8. Wimbledon unit : SET
9. First name in perfumes : ESTEE
10. Windows strip : TOOLBAR
11. The Louvre, originally : CHATEAU
12. Spot where one might get grilled : HOT SEAT
14. Some origami birds : SWANS
18. Advantage : EDGE
22. Quarry noise : BLAST
24. Website for film buffs : IMDB
26. Upscale kitchen feature : ISLAND
27. Told, as tales : SPUN
29. Hacker’s goal : ACCESS
34. Fraternity letter : PHI
37. Exhaust : USE UP
38. Dubious Tibetan sighting : YETI
39. Ostracize : SHUN
40. Part of a bridge : TRESTLE
41. “Amen!” : HOW TRUE!
42. “Puh-leeze!,” in facial form : EYE ROLL
45. Lease term, often : ONE YEAR
46. Loud subgenre of punk : SCREAMO
47. “Bingo!” : THAT’S IT!
51. Colorful fish : OPAH
52. Genie holders : LAMPS
54. In a jovial way : GAYLY
55. Choose : ELECT
59. Ugh-worthy : ICKY
62. TV drama of 2000-15 : CSI
63. Benzoyl peroxide target, informally : ZIT
64. Fate : LOT

13 thoughts on “0116-19 NY Times Crossword 16 Jan 19, Wednesday”

  1. I really enjoyed this puzzle. The theme was clever and I only got stuck once. Came back from yoga and figured it out!

  2. So far as anyone knows, there are no such things as “ETs”. It’s all fictional. So we Earthlings have a right to think as we do until something comes along to prove otherwise.

    I got this puzzle with no errors but it was difficult for me. When they get this hard and this tricky I start to not enjoy them. Nevertheless, I realize that I have to keep pushing my boundaries so, for that, I am grateful.

  3. Very much with all the above. Found this one very clever and enjoyable. (And it reinforces my respect for Bruce Haight’s work.)

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