0130-19 NY Times Crossword 30 Jan 19, Wednesday

Constructed by: Emily Carroll
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Fruitless

Themed answers are FRUITLESS, fruits that make an exit!

  • 35. Unproductive … or, literally, a hint to the answers to this puzzle’s starred clues : FRUITLESS
  • 18. *They get stuffed at Greek restaurants : GRAPE LEAVES
  • 23. *With 50-Across, classic ice cream treats : BANANA …
  • 50. *See 23-Across : … SPLITS
  • 30. *With 44-Across, sour candies : LEMON …
  • 44. *See 30-Across : … DROPS
  • 55. *Garnishes for old-fashioneds : ORANGE PEELS

Bill’s time: 9m 13s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. “Aladdin” prince : ALI

“Aladdin” is a famous tale in “Arabian Nights”, also called “The Book of One Thousand and One Nights”. However, there is no evidence at all that the story was in the original collection. It is generally believed that one Antoine Galland introduced the tale when he translated “Arabian Nights” into French in the early 1700s.

10. Flat-bottomed boat : SCOW

A scow is a flat-bottomed boat with squared-off ends that’s often used for transportation, usually pushed or pulled by a barge. Often a scow can be seen carrying junk or garbage.

15. Beekeeper’s locale : APIARY

An apiary is an area where bees are kept, apiculture is beekeeping, and an apiphobe has a fear of bees. The Latin word for “bee” is “apis”.

17. N.Y. engineering sch. : RPI

The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is a private school in Troy, New York. The university is named after its founder Stephen Van Rensselaer who set up the school in 1824. The goal of RPI has always been the “application of science to the common purposes of life”, an objective set by the founder. Given that, the name for the school’s sports teams is quite apt: the Engineers.

23. *With 50-Across, classic ice cream treats : BANANA …

(50A. *See 23-Across : … SPLITS)
The banana split was created in Latrobe, Pennsylvania in 1904. This particular sundae was the idea of David Stickler, a young apprentice pharmacist at the Tassel Pharmacy’s soda fountain.

24. Judge’s seat : BANC

“Banc” is the French word for bench or seat.

25. Louis, par exemple : ROI

In French, “Louis, par exemple” (Louis, for example) was a “roi” (king).

27. Something divided in W.W. II : ATOM

The first detonation of a nuclear weapon was code named “Trinity”, and was conducted on July 16, 1945 as part of the Manhattan Project. The detonation took place at the Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range located about 25 miles southeast of Socorro, New Mexico.

28. Stand for a speaker : DAIS

A dais is a raised platform for a speaker. The term “dais” comes from the Latin “discus” meaning a “disk-shaped object”. I guess that the original daises had such a shape.

32. Body image, briefly : TAT

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are sometimes referred to as “ink”.

34. Tribal emblems : TOTEMS

“Totem” is a word used to describe any entity that watches over a group of people. As such, totems are usually the subjects of worship. Totem poles are really misnamed, as they are not intended to represent figures to be worshiped, but rather are heraldic in nature often celebrating the legends or notable events in the history of a tribe.

41. Maidenform garment : BRA

Maidenform is a manufacturer of underwear for women that was founded in 1922. The three co-founders were driven to defy the norms of the day that dictated a flat-chested look for women. They produced items that fit the female body, hence the name “Maidenform”.

45. Noted 1970s-’80s Gang leader? : KOOL

The band called Kool & the Gang have been around since the mid-sixties, and is most famous for the hit “Celebration”.

47. Dallas hoopster, for short : MAV

The Mavericks are the NBA franchise in Dallas, Texas. The team was founded in 1980, and the Mavericks name was chosen by fan votes. The choice of “Mavericks” was prompted by the fact that the actor James Garner was a part-owner of the team, and Garner of course played the title role in the “Maverick” television series.

54. Super conductor? : MAESTRO

“Maestro” is often used to address a musical conductor. “Maestro” (plural “maestri”) is the Italian word for “master, teacher”. The plural in English is usually “maestros”.

55. *Garnishes for old-fashioneds : ORANGE PEELS

An Old Fashioned cocktail is usually made from whiskey or brandy that is muddled with sugar and bitters, and then a twist of citrus rind added.

58. Cargo’s place : HOLD

Cargo is freight carried by some vehicle. The term “cargo” comes into English via Spanish, ultimately deriving from the Latin “carricare” meaning “to load on a cart”.

59. Keep tabs on tabbies, say : CATSIT

Tabbies aren’t a breed of cat, but rather are cats with particular markings regardless of breed. Tabbies have coats with stripes, dots and swirling patterns, and usually an “M” mark on the forehead.

61. Murder : crows :: parliament : ___ : OWLS

Here are some colorful collective nouns:

  • A pride of lions
  • A shrewdness of apes
  • A cloud of bats
  • A bench of bishops
  • A clowder of cats
  • A waddling of ducks
  • An army of frogs
  • A knot of toads

63. French possessive : MES

“Mes” is the French for “my”, when applied to more than one object or individual.

Down

1. One going head over heels? : ACROBAT

An acrobat is someone who performs gymnastic feats. The term comes into English via French from the Greek “akrobatos” meaning “going on tip-toe, climbing up high”.

6. Madres’ sisters : TIAS

In Spanish, the “hermana” (sister) of your “madre” (mother) is your “tia” (aunt).

7. Kendrick Lamar’s genre : RAP

Kendrick Lamar is a hip-hop singer from Compton, California. Lamar’s full name is Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, with the singer’s given name honoring Motown artist Eddie Kendricks.

8. South American corn cakes : AREPAS

Arepa is a cornmeal cake or bread that is popular in Colombian and Venezuelan cuisine in particular. Each arepa has a flat, round shape and is often split to make a sandwich.

9. Air race marker : PYLON

A pylon is a tower that is used to mark the turning point in an air race.

10. Roe source : SHAD

The shad is also known as the river herring. The eggs (roe) of the shad are prized as a delicacy in the Eastern US.

13. Anderson who directed “Isle of Dogs” : WES

Film director Wes Anderson’s most famous movie is probably “The Royal Tenenbaums” that was released in 2001, and is not my favorite film by any stretch. However, Anderson’s 2007 release “The Darjeeling Limited”, that I enjoyed.

“Isle of Dogs” is a 2018 animated and stop-action film by Wes Anderson. The movie has a science-fiction storyline, and is set in near-future Japan. All dogs are banished to Trash Island after an outbreak of dog flu threatens to cross into the human population. The voice cast of “Isle of Dogs” is very impressive, and includes Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Frances McDormand, Scarlett Johansson, Yoko Ono and many other A-list names.

24. Paris eateries : BISTROS

“Bistro” was originally a Parisian slang term for a “little wine shop or restaurant”.

29. Indie artist DiFranco : ANI

Ani DiFranco is a folk-rock singer and songwriter. DiFranco has also been labeled a “feminist icon”, and in 2006 won the “Woman of Courage Award” from National Organization for Women.

31. U.F.O. occupants : ETS

One might speculate that an unidentified flying object (UFO) is flown by an extraterrestrial (ET).

34. Emulates Pinocchio : TELLS A LIE

“The Adventures of Pinocchio” is an 1883 children’s novel by Carlo Collodi. It is all about an animated puppet named Pinocchio and Geppetto, his poor woodcarver father. Pinocchio is prone to telling lies, the stress of which causes his short nose to become longer.

36. British bathroom : LOO

It has been suggested that the British term “loo” comes from “Waterloo” (water closet … water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of “lanterloo”, in which the pot was called the loo!

37. Naval bigwig: Abbr. : ADM

A bigwig is someone important. The use of the term “bigwig” harks back to the days when men of authority and rank wore … big wigs.

39. Score at the start of a set : LOVE-ALL

In tennis the score of zero is designated as “love”. Some people believe that this usage originates from the French “l’oeuf” (meaning “the egg”). The idea is that the written character “0” looks like an egg.

41. The original “The Office,” e.g. : BRITCOM

British sitcom (Britcom)

I’d say that in North America, comedian Ricky Gervais is best known as the writer and lead actor in the original version of the TV show “The Office”. Gervais’s role was taken on by Steve Carell in the US rendition of the sitcom.

42. Wearying routine : RAT RACE

We use “rat race” figuratively to describe an endless, pointless pursuit. The term comes from the laboratory, where one might imagine rats racing around a maze in search of some cheese.

46. They loop the Loop : ELS

The historic commercial center of Chicago is known as the Loop. One theory is that the “loop” got its name from the cable loops in the city’s old cable car system. An alternative theory is that term only arose with the construction of the elevated railway “loop” that forms the hub of the city’s “L” system.

51. Raid targets : PESTS

Raid insecticide has been killing bugs since 1956.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. “Aladdin” prince : ALI
4. Sandal feature : T-STRAP
10. Flat-bottomed boat : SCOW
14. Scoundrel : CAD
15. Beekeeper’s locale : APIARY
16. Sharpen, as one’s skills : HONE
17. N.Y. engineering sch. : RPI
18. *They get stuffed at Greek restaurants : GRAPE LEAVES
20. Enemies from way back : OLD FOES
22. Consider carefully : PONDER
23. *With 50-Across, classic ice cream treats : BANANA …
24. Judge’s seat : BANC
25. Louis, par exemple : ROI
27. Something divided in W.W. II : ATOM
28. Stand for a speaker : DAIS
30. *With 44-Across, sour candies : LEMON
32. Body image, briefly : TAT
33. Ages and ages : EONS
34. Tribal emblems : TOTEMS
35. Unproductive … or, literally, a hint to the answers to this puzzle’s starred clues : FRUITLESS
37. Not yet bankrupt : AFLOAT
40. Goal for an actor : ROLE
41. Maidenform garment : BRA
44. *See 30-Across : … DROPS
45. Noted 1970s-’80s Gang leader? : KOOL
46. Revolutions can divide them : ERAS
47. Dallas hoopster, for short : MAV
48. Wedding gown designer Di Santo : INES
50. *See 23-Across : … SPLITS
52. ___ Beanies (bygone toys) : TEENIE
54. Super conductor? : MAESTRO
55. *Garnishes for old-fashioneds : ORANGE PEELS
57. Subway unit : CAR
58. Cargo’s place : HOLD
59. Keep tabs on tabbies, say : CATSIT
60. Breast Cancer Awareness mo. : OCT
61. Murder : crows :: parliament : ___ : OWLS
62. Carves : ETCHES
63. French possessive : MES

Down

1. One going head over heels? : ACROBAT
2. Seaport near Buenos Aires : LA PLATA
3. Emphatic denial : I DID NOT!
4. Add, as an extra : TAG ON
5. Dispersed : SPREAD OUT
6. Madres’ sisters : TIAS
7. Kendrick Lamar’s genre : RAP
8. South American corn cakes : AREPAS
9. Air race marker : PYLON
10. Roe source : SHAD
11. Soldier’s request before entering a firefight : COVER ME
12. Like quaint schoolhouses : ONE-ROOM
13. Anderson who directed “Isle of Dogs” : WES
19. Wall off : ENCLOSE
21. Relatives, casually : FAM
24. Paris eateries : BISTROS
26. Connections : INS
29. Indie artist DiFranco : ANI
31. U.F.O. occupants : ETS
33. Blackboard chore : ERASING
34. Emulates Pinocchio : TELLS A LIE
35. One dressed to impress : FOP
36. British bathroom : LOO
37. Naval bigwig: Abbr. : ADM
38. Home to many Greeks, informally : FRAT ROW
39. Score at the start of a set : LOVE-ALL
41. The original “The Office,” e.g. : BRITCOM
42. Wearying routine : RAT RACE
43. Puts in order : ASSORTS
45. Not give up on : KEEP AT
46. They loop the Loop : ELS
49. One crying “Uncle!,” perhaps : NIECE
51. Raid targets : PESTS
53. Partner of odds : ENDS
54. Fit together well : MESH
55. “What have we here?!” : OHO!
56. Abbr. sometimes written twice in a row : ETC

14 thoughts on “0130-19 NY Times Crossword 30 Jan 19, Wednesday”

  1. 9:32, no errors. Didn’t really understand the theme until I came here … and I still think it’s a bit of a stretch … but the puzzle was enjoyable … 😜.

  2. 12:02. Amusing theme that I didn’t get until the blog. I didn’t know James Garner was once one of the owners of the Dallas Mavericks. Thankfully, they didn’t call them the Dallas Rockford Files….

    Best –

  3. Bill. I thought I was doing well at 23 minutes for a Wednesday puzzle until I saw your 9 minutes. Wow. I don’t often try for speed but I really worked at it nonstop today.
    But, really, I prefer the wordplay and internal puzzles more than competition.
    As someone once said “Don’t compete-
    Create!

  4. A nice puzzle, but how does ‘fruitless’ apply to ‘banana split’??

    It works for lemon drops, grape leaves and orange peels, but a banana split is made of (duh) bananas. A banana is a fruit. If the author is going by the literal definition of banana as a berry, a berry is still a fruit.

  5. Bill, your “reveal answer” is from the previous day’s puzzle. Today’s puzzle was enjoyable. 12 minutes, no errors. Love your blog.

  6. @jim…see Bill’s explanation. They are all fruit that exit in some way. So the bananas are “splitting” the scene, or splitsville, as they would say in the 60s.

  7. I get the theme, but think it’s a bit wobbly. No real problems, but needed the crosses to get AREPAS and INES.

  8. No errors although I did not catch on to the theme until reading the comments. I was asking the same question—-Isn’t there a banana in a banana split?

  9. @dale…my take was that the second word was somewhat of a synonym for leaving; drops, leaves, splits, peel. Rather than whether it actually contained fruit or not.

  10. Thanks, Pat and Brian (and Bill), for your explanations. Makes sense to me now (duh). The puzzle also would have made sense if bananas were not a fruit.

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