0126-19 NY Times Crossword 26 Jan 19, Saturday

Constructed by: Grant Thackray
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 28m 49s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

13. “One Thousand and One Nights” character : GENIE OF THE LAMP

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 …

The marvelous collection of folk tales from the Middle East called “One Thousand and One Nights” is sometimes known as “Arabian Nights” in the English-speaking world. The original collection of tales did not include the three with which we are most familiar in the West. European translators added some stories, including “Aladdin’s Wonderful Lamp”, “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”, and “The Seven Voyages of Sinbad”.

15. Cocktails with Southern Comfort : ALABAMA SLAMMERS

An Alabama Slammer is cocktail that is served over ice in a Collins glass. A common recipe is:

  • ¾ oz. Amaretto
  • ¾ oz. Southern Comfort
  • ¾ oz. Sloe Gin
  • top up with orange juice

Southern Comfort is a brand of liqueur that comprises whiskey flavored with fruit and spice. It was first produced in 1874, by a bartender in New Orleans called Martin Wilkes Heron. Heron originally named his formulation “Cuffs and Buttons”.

17. Pharmacy pickups, informally : SCRIPS

“Scrip” is an informal term meaning “prescription”.

18. Went bananas : LOST IT

The expression “to go bananas” is one that I would have imagined had a clear etymology but that doesn’t seem to be the case. A further surprise is that we’ve only been “going bananas” since the sixties, in the days of flower power. One apt theory about the hippy roots of the phrase is that there was an unfounded belief that ingesting roasted banana peels had a similar hallucinogenic effect as magic mushrooms.

20. “How’s it hangin’?” : SUP?

I think that “sup?” is slang for “what’s up?”

24. Lead-in to science : OMNI-

Omniscience is the quality of having complete knowledge and awareness. The term comes from the Latin “omnis” meaning “all” and “scientia” meaning “knowledge”.

25. Much smaller relative of the rhinoceros : TAPIR

All four species of tapir are endangered. Even though the tapir looks much like a pig, it is more closely related to the horse and the rhinoceros.

27. “Get ___” (1967 hit for the Esquires) : ON UP

The Esquires were an R&B band from Milwaukee that formed in 1957. The band’s biggest hit was “Get on Up” that was released in 1967.

29. #1 song at the end of October in 1962 : MONSTER MASH

“Monster Mash” is a fun novelty song released by Bobby Pickett in 1962. Pickett sings “Monster Mash” in a voice that imitates Boris Karloff.

31. Confection with a hole in the middle : BUNDT CAKE

Here in the US, what we know as Bundt cake takes its name from the ring-shaped pan in which it is usually baked. This pan was introduced in 1950 by the company Nordic Ware, at which time the “Bundt” name was trademarked.

32. Classic video game hero’s catchphrase : IT’S-A ME … MARIO!

Mario Bros. started out as an arcade game back in 1983, developed by Nintendo. The more famous of the two brothers, Mario, had already appeared in an earlier arcade game “Donkey Kong”. Mario was given a brother called Luigi, and the pair have been around ever since. In the game, Mario and Luigi are Italian American plumbers from New York City.

35. Input on eBay : BID

There have been some notable things sold on eBay over the years. For example:

  • Ad space on a guy’s forehead, in the form of a temporary tattoo – $37,375
  • William Shatner’s kidney stone – $25,000
  • A cornflake shaped like Illinois – $1,350
  • A single corn flake – $1.63
  • A box of 10 Twinkies – $59.99
  • The original Hollywood sign – $450,400
  • The meaning of life – $3.26

38. Lo ___ : MEIN

“Chow mein” has two slightly different meanings on the East and West Coasts of the US. On the East Coast, basic chow mein is a crispy dish, whereas on the West Coast it is a steamed dish that is relatively soft. On the East Coast the steamed dish is available, but under the name “lo mein”. On the West Coast, the crispy dish is also on the menu, as “Hong Kong-style chow mein”.

39. Party that’s off the hook : RAGER

Pretty wild, off the hook.

40. “Molto ___!” (positive reply in Italy) : BENE

“Molte bene” is Italian for “very well”.

41. Grocery chain that closed in 2015 after 156 years in business : A AND P

The supermarket chain commonly known as A&P is more fully called the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company. The company started out selling tea directly from plantations in China in 1859, and by cutting out the middleman became very successful selling tea at lower prices. A&P moved into groceries, still with the philosophy of undercutting prices, building large stores and even getting into legal trouble for using predatory pricing tactics. The company completely dominated the retail grocery market until competition ate into their share starting in the seventies.

43. Kind of moon : NEW

The phases of the moon have been given the following names, in order:

  • New moon
  • Waxing crescent moon
  • First quarter moon
  • Waxing gibbous moon
  • Full moon
  • Waning gibbous moon
  • Third quarter moon
  • Waning crescent moon
  • Dark moon

44. Underlying, as metabolism : BASAL

One’s basal metabolism is just the basic processes of the body, the one’s essential to maintain life. The basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories needed to maintain that basal metabolism, sufficient energy to maintain function of the vital organs such as heart, lungs, kidneys. Excluded is the energy needed to move around, to eat, or to absorb food.

47. Big name in weaponry : BERTHA

Big Bertha was a very large-bore howitzer developed for the German military just prior to WWI. The shell that the gun fired weighed over 1800 lbs. The English name “Big Bertha” is a loose translation of “dicke Bertha”, which literally means “fat Bertha”. The gun was named for Bertha Krupp, the owner of the Krupp business that manufactured the weapon.

48. Short cut that bypasses a canal? : CESAREAN SECTION

The story that Julius Caesar was born via a Caesarean section (C-section) seems be unfounded. Although such procedures were indeed carried out in Ancient Rome, there are no reports of the mother surviving (and Julius Caesar’s mother did raise her child).

Down

3. Actor Giovanni of “Avatar” : RIBISI

Giovanni Ribisi is the actor who played Frank Jr., Phoebe’s brother on “Friends”. He also had a supporting role in the wonderful movie “Saving Private Ryan”, and a starring spot in “Lost in Translation”.

2009’s epic “Avatar” is a science fiction film from James Cameron, who was director, writer and producer. It was an expensive movie to make and to promote, but was destined to become the highest-grossing film in the history of cinema. 20th Century Fox made a deal with Cameron to produce three “Avatar” sequels.

6. Undergrad deg. for a creative type : BFA

The degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) is primarily designed for students intent on pursuing a career in the visual or performing arts.

7. Letters for potential college students : ETS

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) was founded in 1947, and produces standardized tests for students from kindergarten through college. Perhaps most famously, ETS operates the SAT testing process.

8. Calder Cup org. : AHL

The American Hockey League (AHL) is the so-called development circuit for the National Hockey League (NHL), the equivalent of the minors in professional baseball. The AHL’s playoff trophy is called the Calder Cup, which is named for Frank Calder who was the first president of the NHL.

9. Relative of aqua : TEAL

The beautiful color teal takes it name from the duck called a teal, which has dark greenish-blue (teal) markings on its head and wings.

10. “___ World” (“Sesame Street” segment) : ELMO’S

The “Sesame Street” character named Elmo has a birthday every February 3rd, and on that birthday he always turns 3½ years old. The man behind/under Elmo on “Sesame Street” for many years was Kevin Clash. If you want to learn more about Elmo and Clash, you can watch the 2011 documentary “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey”.

12. Composer of “The Bartered Bride” : SMETANA

Bedřich Smetana was a Czech composer, known as the father of Czech music. Just like Beethoven, Smetana was still composing at the end of his life even though he was totally deaf.

Smetana’s comic opera “The Bartered Bride” was first performed in 1866, in Prague. The bartered bride is Marenka, a young woman from a Bohemian village who has been promised in marriage to a wealthy young man that she has never met. Much confusion ensues, with lots of bartering, but a happy ending.

13. Who stabs the beast in “Beauty and the Beast” : GASTON

“Beauty and the Beast” is a fairy tale was that was written by novelist Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont. Titled “La belle et la bête” in French, the story was first published in 1756. The “beauty” in the tale is named “Belle”.

16. Curry of the N.B.A. : STEPH

Steph Curry is a professional basketball player who was named the league’s MVP in 2015, the same season that he led the Golden State Warriors to their first NBA championship since 1975. Steph’s father is former NBA player Dell Curry, and the older brother of current NBA player Seth Curry.

20. The guy of your dreams? : SANDMAN

The sandman is a mythical character from folklore who is said to induce sleep and bring good dreams by sprinkling sand on the eyes of children.

25. It comes in cyan, magenta, yellow or black : TONER

Four-color printing uses four different color inks: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. The black ink is also known as the “key”. The first letters of the colors (with black being ”key”) give the more common name for four-color printing, namely CMYK.

29. Quiet : MUM

The phrase “mum’s the word” has been around since the early 1700s. “Mum” has been used to mean “silent” for centuries, the idea being that “mum” is the sound made when the lips are tightly sealed.

30. “It’s a Wonderful Life” studio : RKO

The Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” was released in 1946, and is a Frank Capra movie starring James Stewart and Donna Reed. The film’s screenplay was adapted from a short story called “The Greatest Gift” by Philip Van Doren Stern. Remember the famous swimming pool scene? That was shot in Beverly High School gym, and the pool is still in use today.

31. U2, e.g. : BAND NAME

Irish singer Bono is a Dubliner who was born Paul David Hewson. As a youth, Hewson was given the nickname “Bono Vox” by a friend, a Latin expression meaning “good voice”, and so the singer has been known as Bono since the late seventies. His band’s first name was “Feedback”, later changed to “The Hype”. The band members searched for yet another name and chose U2 from a list of six names suggested by a friend. They picked U2 because it was the name they disliked least …

32. Statement in an old Apple ad : I’M A PC

The “Get a Mac” ad television campaign that ran from 2006 to 2009 featured just two men standing against a white background. The guy on the left called himself a PC, and was played by author and actor John Hodgman. The guy on the right called himself a Mac, and was played by actor Justin Long.

34. Sites of congestion : SINUSES

In anatomical terms, a sinus is a cavity in tissue. Sinuses are found all over the body, in the kidney and heart for example, but we most commonly think of the paranasal sinuses that surround the nose.

37. Dana of “China Beach” : DELANY

Actress Dana Delany came to the public’s attention playing the lead in the TV show “China Beach” from 1988 to 1991. More recently, she played the lead in the drama series “Body of Proof” from 2011 to 2013.

“China Beach” is a drama TV series set during the Vietnam War that aired in the late eighties and early nineties. The show’s storyline revolves around the women who worked at an evacuation hospital. The name “China Beach” was a nickname given to a beach in the city of Da Nang, Vietnam by American soldiers during the conflict.

40. A sidecar may be added to it : BAR TAB

The sidecar is actually my favorite cocktail. It was invented around the end of WWI, possibly in the Ritz Hotel in Paris. It’s a simple drink to make, and contains brandy, cointreau or triple sec, and lemon or lime juice. It’s really the brandy version of a margarita (or vice versa).

42. Founder of the Reform Party : PEROT

Ross Perot graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1953, as president of his class. Perot served his 4-year commitment but then resigned his commission, apparently having become somewhat disillusioned with the navy. He was ranked number 101 on the Forbes 400 List of Richest Americans in 2012, and at that time was worth about $3.5 billion. Back in 1992, Perot ran as an independent candidate for US president. He founded the Reform Party in 1995, and ran as the Reform Party candidate for president in 1996.

The Reform Party of the USA was founded in 1995 by Ross Perot with the intent of creating an alternative to the Republican and Democratic Parties. The Reform Party’s biggest success was the election of Jesse Ventura as Governor of Minnesota.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. They’re better than all the rest : WORLD BEATERS
13. “One Thousand and One Nights” character : GENIE OF THE LAMP
15. Cocktails with Southern Comfort : ALABAMA SLAMMERS
17. Pharmacy pickups, informally : SCRIPS
18. Went bananas : LOST IT
19. Food that’s eaten perpendicularly to how it’s usually made : TOAST
20. “How’s it hangin’?” : SUP?
23. Dishonor : SHAME
24. Lead-in to science : OMNI-
25. Much smaller relative of the rhinoceros : TAPIR
27. “Get ___” (1967 hit for the Esquires) : ON UP
28. Clear : NET
29. #1 song at the end of October in 1962 : MONSTER MASH
31. Confection with a hole in the middle : BUNDT CAKE
32. Classic video game hero’s catchphrase : IT’S-A ME … MARIO!
35. Input on eBay : BID
38. Lo ___ : MEIN
39. Party that’s off the hook : RAGER
40. “Molto ___!” (positive reply in Italy) : BENE
41. Grocery chain that closed in 2015 after 156 years in business : A AND P
43. Kind of moon : NEW
44. Underlying, as metabolism : BASAL
45. Trims : PRUNES
47. Big name in weaponry : BERTHA
48. Short cut that bypasses a canal? : CESAREAN SECTION
52. By popular vote : DEMOCRATICALLY
53. Gets ready for dinner : SETS THE TABLE

Down

1. Start of many a speech : WELCOME
2. Going off : ON A RANT
3. Actor Giovanni of “Avatar” : RIBISI
4. Performed a pas de chat, e.g. : LEAPT
5. Whip wielders, for short : DOMS
6. Undergrad deg. for a creative type : BFA
7. Letters for potential college students : ETS
8. Calder Cup org. : AHL
9. Relative of aqua : TEAL
10. “___ World” (“Sesame Street” segment) : ELMO’S
11. Emphasizes forcefully : RAMS HOME
12. Composer of “The Bartered Bride” : SMETANA
13. Who stabs the beast in “Beauty and the Beast” : GASTON
14. First, in Latin : PRIMUS
16. Curry of the N.B.A. : STEPH
20. The guy of your dreams? : SANDMAN
21. Overshadow : UPSTAGE
22. Workers making preparations to retire? : PIT CREW
25. It comes in cyan, magenta, yellow or black : TONER
26. Bring up, as an old grievance : REAIR
29. Quiet : MUM
30. “It’s a Wonderful Life” studio : RKO
31. U2, e.g. : BAND NAME
32. Statement in an old Apple ad : I’M A PC
33. Got misty, with “up” : TEARED
34. Sites of congestion : SINUSES
35. “Hush, now!” : BE STILL!
36. Way behind on payments : IN A HOLE
37. Dana of “China Beach” : DELANY
40. A sidecar may be added to it : BAR TAB
42. Founder of the Reform Party : PEROT
44. ___ Fitzpatrick, author of the 2009 best seller “Hush, Hush” : BECCA
46. Ticks : SECS
47. “So ___” : BE IT
49. “Without tradition, ___ is a flock of sheep without a shepherd”: Winston Churchill : ART
50. “Pass” : NAH
51. ___ Genevieve (Missouri county or its seat) : STE

6 thoughts on “0126-19 NY Times Crossword 26 Jan 19, Saturday”

  1. 51:50 with 3 errors. I had imapS for imapc and tonic for toner. Judging by Bill and Daves time I am calling this a win for me even with 3 goofs

  2. No errors, but it took a while. Had trouble with the north west by trying to cram in Atlanta instead of Alabama. Once I sorted that out
    I wrapped it up quickly. Never heard of an Alabama slammer; the only memory I have of Southern Comfort is a bad one.

  3. No errors, probably around 30 minutes. Easier than many of the Saturday puzzles although I did the top part last.

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