0118-19 NY Times Crossword 18 Jan 19, Friday

Constructed by: Andrew J. Ries
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 20m 27s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Relatives of custard apples : PAPAWS

The papaw (also “pawpaw”) tree is native to North America and has a fruit that looks similar to a papaya. Papaw probably gets its name from the word papaya, but papaw and papaya are two distinct species.

16. Singer of the 1994 #1 hit “Stay” : LISA LOEB

Singer Lisa Loeb was discovered by actor Ethan Hawke, who lived just across the street from her in New York City. Hawke took a demo of her song “Stay (I Missed You)” and gave it to director Ben Stiller, who in turn used it over the ending credits of his 1994 movie “Reality Bites”. The movie was a hit, the song went to number one, and Loeb became the first artist ever to hit that number one spot without having signed up with a record label. Good for her!

18. Many fast pitches : SPIELS

A spiel is a lengthy speech or argument designed to persuade, like a sales pitch. “Spiel” comes to us from German, either directly (“spiel” is the German for “play”) or via the Yiddish “shpil”.

19. Old Asian capital : 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.

20. Young mules and zebras : FOALS

There are seven living species of mammals in the genus Equus, each of which is referred to as “equine”. The seven species include all horses, asses and zebras. All equine species can crossbreed. For example, a mule is a cross between a male donkey and a female horse, and a zorse is a cross between a zebra and a horse.

22. Mast extension : SPRIT

A sprit is a pole that extends out from a mast, one often supporting a special sail called a spritsail.

25. D.C. setting, in part of the year : EDT

Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

32. ___ Point : WEST

West Point is a military reservation in New York State, located north of New York City. West Point was first occupied by the Continental Army way back in 1778, making it the longest, continually-occupied military post in the country. Cadet training has taken place at the garrison since 1794, although Congress funding for a US Military Academy (USMA) didn’t start until 1802. The first female cadets were admitted to West Point in 1976, and as of 2018, about 15% of all new cadets were women.

33. Virginia who was nominated for an Oscar for “Sideways” : MADSEN

“Sideways” is a marvelous 2004 film that is an adaptation of a 2004 novel of the same name. In fact, “Sideways” is the first in a trilogy of comedic wine-themed novels by Rex Pickett, and was followed by “Vertical” (2010) and “Sideways 3 Chile” (2015). The “Sideways” movie stars Paul Giamatti as a depressed teacher and writer accompanying his friend on trip through wine country prior to that friend’s upcoming wedding. Great stuff …

34. 1040 abbr. : IRA

Individual retirement account (IRA)

Here in the US we can choose one of three main forms to file our tax returns. Form 1040 is known as the “long form”. Form 1040A is called the “short form”, and can be used by taxpayers with taxable income below $100,000 who don’t itemize deduction. Form 1040EZ is an even simpler version of the 1040, and can be used by those with taxable income less than $100,000 who take the standard deduction and who also have no dependents. Form 1040 was originally created just for tax returns from 1913, 1914 and 1915, but it’s a form that just keeps on giving, or should I say “taking” …?

35. Abbr. for a compiler : ETC

The Latin phrase “et cetera” translates as “and other things”. The term is usually abbreviated to “etc.”

37. Price add-on in Eur. : VAT

Value-added tax (VAT)

40. Portion : METE

To “mete out” is to distribute by allotments. The verb comes from the Old English word “metan” meaning “to measure”, which is also believed to be the root of our word “meter”.

44. Cause of some bad luck : HEX

“Hexen” is a German word meaning “to practice witchcraft”. The use of the word “hex” in English started with the Pennsylvania Dutch in the early 1800s.

47. First person to broadcast radio waves : HERTZ

When German physicist Heinrich Hertz first demonstrated radio waves in 1887, he used the simplest form of antenna, namely a dipole antenna. A dipole antenna comprises two metal rods that are usually pointing away from each other. ideally, the length of each rod is set at one half of the wavelength off the signal to be received.

49. Binges on Sporcle quizzes, say, with “out” : NERDS

Sporcle.com is a trivia quiz website. The name is derived from the word “oracle” apparently. I like the web site’s mission statement: “We actively and methodically search out new and innovative ways to prevent our users from getting any work done whatsoever.”

58. Big ape : PALOOKA

The word “palooka” was originally used to describe a mediocre prizefighter and dates back to the 1920s. Then there was a comic strip called “Joe Palooka”, and I guess the meanings got melded somehow. Today we use “palooka” as a slang term for an oaf or a clumsy person.

59. One strengthened by locks? : SAMSON

Delilah is the love and eventually temptress of Samson, according to the Bible. Delilah was engaged by the Philistines to betray Samson by determining the secret of his great strength. Samson lied to her three times, but on the fourth asking he told Delilah the truth, that he did not cut his hair. Delilah then persuaded Samson to shear his locks and so allowed him to be captured by his enemies. Over the centuries, it has been usual to depict Delilah actually cutting off her husband’s hair, but the Bible actually says that she allowed a man to do the deed while Samson was sleeping.

60. The main cast of “Friends,” e.g. : SEXTET

When the incredibly successful sitcom “Friends” was in development it was given the working title “Insomnia Cafe”. This was changed to “Friends Like Us”, before final going to air as “Friends”.

Down

3. Cuban bread : PESO

Cuba is the only country in the world that has two official currencies. The Cuban peso (CUP) is referred to as the “national currency”. Government workers are paid in CUPs, and CUPs can be used to pay for government-provided services and price-controlled items such as fruit and vegetables. There is also the Cuban convertible peso (CUC) that was introduced in 1994, when its value was pegged to the US dollar. Most products available in stores are imported, and have to be purchased with CUCs. Cubans with access to CUCs, like hotel workers interfacing with tourists, they tend to have better lifestyles than government workers in general.

4. What briefs are delivered in, in brief : ABA

American Bar Association (ABA)

8. Blue group : COPS

“To cop” was northern British dialect for “to seize, catch”, and is still a slang term meaning “to get hold of, steal”. This verb evolved in the noun “copper”, describing a policeman, someone who catches criminals. “Copper” is often shortened to “cop”.

9. Foreign capital whose name sounds like a blood grouping : TAIPEI

“Taipei” sounds like “type A”.

Taipei (officially “Taipei City”) is the capital of Taiwan (officially “the Republic of China”). “Taipei” translates from Chinese as “Northern Taiwan City” and indeed, the capital is situated at the northern tip of Taiwan. The city is nicknamed “City of Azaleas” as flowers are said to bloom better in Taipei than in any other city on the island.

10. Hack’s modern-day rival : UBER DRIVER

Hackney is a location in London, and it probably gave it’s name to a “hackney”, an ordinary type of horse around 1300. By 1700 a “hackney” was a person hired to do routine work, and “hackneyed” meant “kept for hire”, and then “stale, uninteresting”. This morphed into a hackney carriage, a carriage or car for hire, and into “hack”, a slang term for a taxi driver or cab.

11. Say “Hip, hip, hooray!,” say : ALLITERATE

Alliteration is a literary device in which the same sounds are repeated in a phrase. An extreme form of alliteration is a tongue twister, for example:

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers;
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked;
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

21. California title locale of a 1950s-’60s TV series : SUNSET STRIP

I used to watch “77 Sunset Strip” as a lad growing up in Ireland. It is an American show that ran from 1958 to 1964. Two of the central characters are former government secret agents, now working as private detectives. Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. plays Stu Bailey, and Roger Smith plays Jeff Spencer. And who can forget Kookie, played by Edd Byrnes? Years later, Byrnes played smooth-talking TV dance show host Vince Fontaine in the 1978 movie “Grease”.

27. “D4” dice in role-playing games, e.g. : TETRAHEDRA

“D4” is an abbreviation for “four-sided die”.

30. Boomsticks? : TNT

“TNT” is an abbreviation for “trinitrotoluene”. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

36. Paul McCartney or Ringo Starr : SIR

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

Sir Ringo Starr’s real name is Richard Starkey. Before he joined the Beatles, replacing drummer Pete Best, Starkey played with the Raving Texans. It was with the Raving Texans that he adopted the name “Ringo Starr”, because he wore a lot of rings and he thought it sounded “cowboyish”. Back then his drum solos were billed as “Starr Time”.

47. Storied pot stirrers : HAGS

The three witches in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” have some lovely lines as they boil up and evil brew and cast a spell:

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,–
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

48. Figure in Plato’s “Parmenides” : ZENO

Zeno of Elea was a Greek philosopher who lived in Elea, a Greek colony in Southern Italy. Zeno is famous for his paradoxes, a set of problems that really make you think! In the problem known as “Achilles and the Tortoise”, Zeno tells us that Achilles races a tortoise, giving the tortoise a head start (of say 100 meters). By the time Achilles reaches the starting point of the tortoise, the tortoise will have moved on, albeit only a small distance. Achilles then sets his sights on the tortoise’s new position and runs to it. Again the tortoise has moved ahead a little. Achilles keeps on moving to the tortoise’s new position but can never actually catch his slower rival. Or can he …?

50. ___ point : MOOT

To moot is to bring up as a subject for discussion or debate. So, something that is moot is open to debate. Something that is no longer moot, is no longer worth debating. We don’t seem to be able get that right, which drives me crazy …

51. College hoops powerhouse : DUKE

Duke University was founded in 1838 as Brown’s Schoolhouse. The school was renamed to Trinity College in 1859, and to this day the town where the college was located back then is known as Trinity, in honor of the school. The school was moved in 1892 to Durham, North Carolina in part due to generous donations from the wealthy tobacco industrialist Washington Duke. Duke’s donation required that the school open its doors to women, placing them on an equal footing with men. Trinity’s name was changed to Duke in 1924 in recognition of the generosity of the Duke family. Duke’s athletic teams are known as the Blue Devils.

54. 1040 abbr. : SSN

Social Security number (SSN)

56. Work on hooks, say : BOX

That would be the “sport” of boxing.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Relatives of custard apples : PAPAWS
7. Real-life : ACTUAL
13. Nickname of the subzero 1967 N.F.L. Championship Game : ICE BOWL
15. Within reason : DOABLE
16. Singer of the 1994 #1 hit “Stay” : LISA LOEB
18. Many fast pitches : SPIELS
19. Old Asian capital : EDO
20. Young mules and zebras : FOALS
22. Mast extension : SPRIT
23. Post, e.g. : SEND OUT
25. D.C. setting, in part of the year : EDT
26. Farm extension? : -STEAD
29. Overspent? : BONE-TIRED
32. ___ Point : WEST
33. Virginia who was nominated for an Oscar for “Sideways” : MADSEN
34. 1040 abbr. : IRA
35. Abbr. for a compiler : ETC
36. Able to get out of the hole : SOLVENT
37. Price add-on in Eur. : VAT
38. Consideration for a costume designer : ERA
39. Norton Sound and such : INLETS
40. Portion : METE
41. Time-killing office game involving a trash can : PAPER TOSS
43. Did crew work : OARED
44. Cause of some bad luck : HEX
45. Web service : HOSTING
47. First person to broadcast radio waves : HERTZ
49. Binges on Sporcle quizzes, say, with “out” : NERDS
50. “Code Black” figures, for short : MDS
53. Digs loads : ADORES
55. Loaf : LIE ABOUT
57. Music to a punster’s ears : GROANS
58. Big ape : PALOOKA
59. One strengthened by locks? : SAMSON
60. The main cast of “Friends,” e.g. : SEXTET

Down

1. Laundry room accumulation : PILE
2. Biting : ACID
3. Cuban bread : PESO
4. What briefs are delivered in, in brief : ABA
5. Bolted (down) : WOLFED
6. Fall for an idol : SWOON
7. Google ___ : ADS
8. Blue group : COPS
9. Foreign capital whose name sounds like a blood grouping : TAIPEI
10. Hack’s modern-day rival : UBER DRIVER
11. Say “Hip, hip, hooray!,” say : ALLITERATE
12. In case : LEST
14. Complete failure : LEAD BALLOON
17. Needle point? : BLOOD VESSEL
21. California title locale of a 1950s-’60s TV series : SUNSET STRIP
23. Gathered dust : SAT
24. Time of one’s life : TEENS
26. Gather dust? : SWEEP
27. “D4” dice in role-playing games, e.g. : TETRAHEDRA
28. Modern team-building activity : ESCAPE ROOM
30. Boomsticks? : TNT
31. Behind the times : DATED
33. Rental unit, often : MONTH
36. Paul McCartney or Ringo Starr : SIR
40. Parenting, e.g., for short : MAG
42. Theater crowd? : EXTRAS
43. Likely to move faster : ON SALE
46. “Don’t get any ___” : IDEAS
47. Storied pot stirrers : HAGS
48. Figure in Plato’s “Parmenides” : ZENO
50. ___ point : MOOT
51. College hoops powerhouse : DUKE
52. Attempts, e.g. : STAT
54. 1040 abbr. : SSN
56. Work on hooks, say : BOX

9 thoughts on “0118-19 NY Times Crossword 18 Jan 19, Friday”

  1. 41:49. I knew just enough and guessed just well enough to finish this one…finally. Very clever cluing IMO. I guessed ESCAPE ROOM after just a few letters, and that was a big boost.

    Quite a journey for “hack” to come to mean a cab driver.

    Best –

  2. 35:53, no errors. Slowed down by several ‘head-scratcher’ clues, but everything made sense once all the blocks were filled.

  3. No errors but it took quite awhile. After I tried lint instead of pile, the NE corner was able to rope-a-dope me for too darn long.

  4. I’m having trouble getting 4-D to make sense — briefs are “delivered in” the Am. Bar Assoc. — ?? Can someone explain?

    1. A legal brief is a type of document that would be written and delivered in court, presumably by a member of the ABA.

  5. Thanks, Dave — I’m still not happy with the clue — maybe delivered “by” the ABA? I don’t get “delivered in.” Oh well…

  6. DNF after 1:27:58, 4 errors. Mainly the cynical nonsense in the upper right, but the whole puzzle was filled with a lot of guessing and “yeah, whatevers”. Terrible experience.

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