0305-19 NY Times Crossword 5 Mar 19, Tuesday

Constructed by: Joe Deeney
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): They Have Spots

Themed answers each have the same clue, “It has spots”:

  • 16A It has spots : PARKING LOT
  • 22A It has spots : LEOPARD PRINT
  • 35A It has spots : COMMERCIAL BREAK
  • 48A It has Spots : DOGGY DAY CARE
  • 57A It has spots : TEA SERVICE

Bill’s time: 5m 31s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Figs. that average 100 : IQS

Although it is correct these days to say that the abbreviation IQ stands for “intelligence quotient”, the term was actually coined by German psychologist William Stern, and so is actually an abbreviation for the German “Intelligenz-Quotient”.

13 Sam played one in “Casablanca” : PIANO

The movie “Casablanca” was released in January of 1943, timed to coincide with the Casablanca Conference, the high-level meeting between Roosevelt and Churchill. The film wasn’t a box-office hit, but gained critical acclaim, winning three Oscars including Best Picture. The signature song “As Time Goes By” was written many years earlier for a 1931 Broadway musical called “Everybody’s Welcome”, and was a hit in 1931 for Rudy Vallee. But today we all remember the Casablanca version, sung by Dooley Wilson (who played “Sam” in the film). Poor Dooley didn’t get to record it as a single, due to a musician’s strike in 1943. The 1931 Rudy Vallee version was re-released that year and became an even bigger hit second time round.

14 Skye of “Say Anything …” : IONE

Ione Skye is an American actress born in Hertfordshire in England. She is best known for portraying the character Diane Court in the 1989 high school romance movie “Say Anything…”, starring opposite John Cusack. Skye is the daughter of the Scottish folk singer Donovan.

20 Fertile soil : LOAM

Loam is soil made up of sand, silt and clay in the ratio of about 40-40-20. Relative to other soil types, loam is is usually rich in nutrients and moisture, drains well and is easy to till. Loam can also be used in constructing houses as it is quite strong when mixed with straw and dried.

21 Jackson of country music : ALAN

Alan Jackson is a country music singer, and a bit of an author too. Jackson married his high school sweetheart in 1979, but they had a parting of the ways about twenty years later due to the pressures on the marriage from Jackson’s career. The pair reconciled, and Jackson wrote a book describing the relationship he has with his wife and his commitment to Christianity. The book is called “It’s All About Him: Finding the Love of My Life”, and it topped the New York Times Bestseller List.

26 Title song on the Beatles’ final studio album : LET IT BE

“Let It Be” was the last album that the Beatles released as an active group playing together. The title song “Let It Be” was written by Paul McCartney, and it is clearly one of his own favorites. McCartney says that he was inspired to write the song after having had a dream about his mother (who had died some years earlier from cancer). In fact he refers to her (Mary McCartney) in the line “Mother Mary comes to me”. Paul’s first wife, Linda, is singing backing vocals on the song, the only time she is known to have done so in a Beatles recording. 18 years after that 1970 recording was made, Paul, George and Ringo sang “Let It Be” at a memorial service for Linda, who was also lost to cancer. Sad stuff, but a lovely song …

29 Mob : HORDE

A horde is a large crowd. “Horde” ultimately derives from the Turkish “ordu” meaning “camp, army”.

30 Vicinity : AREA

A vicinity is an area surrounding a place. The term “vicinity” ultimately comes from the Latin “vicus” meaning “group of houses, village”.

32 Nov. 11 honoree : VET

Veterans Day used to be known as Armistice Day, and is observed on November 11th each year. This particular date was chosen as the Armistice that ended WWI was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

40 Lengua de Mex. : ESP

“Espagnol” is Spanish for “Spanish”.

Spain is the second largest country in the European Union (after France). “Spain” is an anglicized form of the Spanish name “España”, which comes from the Roman name for the Iberian Peninsula “Hispania”.

51 Jump with a turn on ice : AXEL

An axel is a forward take-off jump in figure skating. The maneuver was first performed by Norwegian Axel Paulsen at the 1882 World Figure Skating championships.

52 Jazz’s James : ETTA

“Etta James” was the stage name of celebrated blues and soul singer Jamesetta Hawkins. James’ most famous recording was her 1960 hit “At Last”, which made it into the pop charts. James performed “At Last” at the age of 71 in 2009 on the reality show “Dancing with the Stars”, which was to be her final television appearance. She passed away in 2012.

56 Where Johnny Cash shot a man, in song : RENO

“Folsom Prison Blues” is a song written and recorded by Johnny Cash. Cash wrote it in West Germany while serving in the US Air Force after seeing the movie “Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison”. An iconic (and scary) line in the song is “But I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die”.

I must admit that I am not a big country music fan, but who doesn’t love Johnny Cash? The man had such a unique voice, and indeed unique songs. I think that his biopic, “Walk the Line”, is very cool, as is the title song itself. Recorded back in 1956, “Walk the Line” is relatively creative for “popular” music. The basic rhythm of the song emulates the sound of a freight train, the “boom-chicka-boom” sound. Cash’s guitar has a unique tone to it as it plays this rhythm, achieved by threading a piece of paper between the guitar strings giving the rhythm a bit of a “buzz”. Above the rhythm line, each of the five verses is sung in different keys. You can actually hear Cash hum a note signifying the key change at the start of each verse. With all these modulations, the final verse is sung a full octave lower that the first. A remarkable tune …

57 It has spots : TEA SERVICE

I guess the reference here is to the oft-quoted English phrase “a spot of tea”. Mind you, I’ve only ever heard that said in jest …

60 Onetime maker of Matchbox cars : TYCO

The Matchbox brand of toy cars were introduced in 1953, and how I loved them growing up. They were called Matchbox cars because they were packed in boxes that looked liked regular matchboxes. The brand was English, but the name spread around the world. The brand was so popular that the term “matchbox car” came to mean any small, die-cast toy car, regardless of who made it.

61 Ingredient in gumbo : OKRA

Gumbo is a type of stew or soup that originated in Louisiana. The primary ingredient can be meat or fish, but to be true gumbo it must include the “holy trinity” of vegetables, namely celery, bell peppers and onion. Okra used to be a requirement but this is no longer the case. Okra gave the dish its name as the vernacular word for the African vegetable is “okingumbo”, from the Bantu language spoken by many of the slaves brought to America.

64 Products from Parker and Cross : PENS

The Parker Pen Company was founded in 1888 in Janesville, Wisconsin by George Safford Parker. Parker had repaired and sold fountain pens as a sideline for many years. With this experience, he created pens that were less likely to leak ink and founded his company based on these patented designs.

A. T. Cross is a company that claims to be the oldest manufacturer of fine pens. Cross was founded in 1846 in Providence, Rhode Island by one Richard Cross. Richard passed the company on to his son Alonzo T. Cross, who gave it the current name.

Down

2 Rotary phone feature : DIAL

The first patent for a rotary dial mechanism for a phone was granted in 1898, and the familiar rotary dial phones (with holes for the finger) were introduced by the Bell System in 1919. This form of dialing was called “pulse dialing”. When you dialed the number 5 say, the dial would rotate back to the start position, opening and closing electrical contacts five times and sending five pulses over the telephone line. I used to love rotary dial phones when I was a kid. My grandfather was a telephone engineer and he showed me how to “tap out” the pulses on the “hook” at the top of a pay phone. I was able to make free calls that way. He definitely contributed to the corruption of a minor …

3 “Quite contrary” girl of rhyme : MARY

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, How does your garden grow? With silver bells, and cockle shells, And pretty maids all in a row.

4 Squid’s defense : INK

Octopodes and squid have the ability to release a dark pigment into the water as a means of escape. The dark pigment is called cephalopod ink (the squid and octopus belong to the class cephalopoda). The dark color is created by melanin, the same substance that acts as a pigment in human skin.

5 Privy : TOILET

“Privy” is slang for an outhouse or toilet, and is a term that presumably comes from “private”.

6 Lummox : BIG APE

The word “lummox” comes from East Anglian slang , and describes an ungainly and often clueless person. The term is probably a contraction of “lumbering ox”.

7 Stuffed grape leaves : DOLMA

Dolmas are stuffed vegetable dishes from the Middle East. Strictly speaking, dolmas are made by hollowing out some vegetable before adding a stuffing. The derivative dish called “sarma” is made by wrapping vine or cabbage leaves around a filling. In many cuisines, the name “sarma” has been dropped in favor of “dolma”.

8 Enero a diciembre : ANO

In Spanish, “el año” (the year) starts in “enero” (January) and ends in “diciembre” (December).

11 Book of Islam : QURAN

The Koran is also known as the “Qur’an” and “Quran” in English. “Qur’an” a transliteration of the Arabic name for the holy text of the Muslim faith. The literal translation of “Koran” is “the recitation”.

12 Tube used in heart surgery : STENT

In the world of surgical medicine, a stent is an artificial tube inserted inside a vessel in the body, say an artery, in order to reduce the effects of a local restriction in the body’s conduit.

17 Inexperienced gamer, in slang : NOOB

“Noob” is a not-so-nice slang term for a “newbie”, and often refers to someone who is new to an online community.

22 Writer O’Flaherty : LIAM

Liam O’Flaherty was novelist and political activist from Ireland. For what it’s worth, I was a classmate of Liam’s daughter Joyce when I was at university in Dublin.

23 Cousin of an emu : RHEA

The rhea is a flightless bird that is native to South America. The rhea takes its name from the Greek Titan Rhea. It’s an apt name for a flightless bird as “rhea” comes from the Greek word meaning “ground”.

27 Greek god with a bow : EROS

As always seems to be the case with Greek gods, Eros and Aphrodite have overlapping spheres of influence. Aphrodite was the goddess of love between a man and a woman, and Eros was the god who stirred the passions of the male. The Roman equivalent of Aphrodite was Venus, and the equivalent of Eros was Cupid.

34 Some calls from boxing refs : TKOS

Technical knockout (TKO)

37 Clarinet insert : REED

The clarinet is a lovely-sounding instrument, isn’t it? The name “clarinet” comes from the Italian word “clarino” meaning “trumpet”, with the “-et” suffix indicating “small”.

38 Word repeated in “Mi ___ es su ___” : CASA

“Mi casa es su casa” translates from Spanish as “My home is your home”.

44 Home with a dome (in Nome?) : IGLOO

The Inuit word for “house” is “iglu”, which we usually write as “igloo”. The Greenlandic (yes, that’s a language) word for “house” is very similar, namely “igdlo”. The walls of igloos are tremendous insulators, due to the air pockets in the blocks of snow.

In 1899, the Alaska city of Nome was briefly known as Anvil City by locals to avoid confusion with the nearby city of Cape Nome. However, the US Post Office refused to approve the change, and so the name was immediately changed back to Nome.

46 Art museum with many Constables and Sargents : TATE

The museum known as “the Tate” is actually made up of four separate galleries in England. The original Tate gallery was founded by Sir Henry Tate as the National Gallery of British Art. It is located on Millbank in London, on the site of the old Millbank Prison, and is now called Tate Britain. There is also the Tate Liverpool in the north of England located in an old warehouse, and the Tate St. Ives in the west country located in an old gas works. My favorite of the Tate galleries is the Tate Modern which lies on the banks of the Thames in London. It’s a beautiful building, a converted power station that you have to see to believe.

John Constable is the most English of painters, although during his lifetime his work was more popular in France than it was in his native country. His most famous painting is “The Hay Wain” from 1821, which you can see in the National Gallery in London.

John Singer Sargent was an American artist best known for his portrait painting. Sargent trained as an artist mainly in Paris, although he found that he had to leave the city after one of his paintings was deemed “scandalous” by French society. The work was “Portrait of Madame X” (1884), a painting of a noted lady in society that was considered too risque and sensual. After the painting was exhibited, his commissions dried up and Sargent moved to London in order to continue his career. Today the “Portrait of Madame X” is considered by many to be Sargent’s best work.

47 High point in the Old Testament? : ARARAT

Mount Ararat is in Turkey. Ararat is a snow-capped, dormant volcano with two peaks. The higher of the two, Greater Ararat, is the tallest peak in the country. Ararat takes its name from a legendary Armenian hero called Ara the Beautiful (or Ara the Handsome). According to the Book of Genesis, Noah’s ark landed on Mount Ararat as the Great Flood subsided.

48 Sith title in “Star Wars” : DARTH

The Sith are characters in the “Star Wars” universe who use the “dark side” of “the Force”, and as such are the antithesis of the Jedi Knights. Members of the Sith use the title “Darth” before their name, as in Darth Vader. The last made of the six “Star Wars” movies is called “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith”.

49 Yellow-and-white meadow flower : OXEYE

Oxeyes are in the daisy family of plants.

54 Rapper whose name sounds like a drink : ICE-T

Rapper Ice-T must be sick of having his name come up as an answer in crossword puzzles (I know I am!). Born Tracy Marrow, Ice-T has been interested in acting for decades and made his film debut in the 1984 movie about breakdancing called “Breakin’”. He has also played Detective Fin Tutuola in the TV show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” since the year 2000.

57 Blouse, e.g. : TOP

A blouse is a loose-fitting shirt, particularly one worn by women or children. The term “blouse” is French, and originally described a peasant’s smock.

59 Old TV hookup : VCR

Video Cassette Recorder (VCR)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Allow in : ADMIT
6 Cause for cake and candles, in brief : B’DAY
10 Figs. that average 100 : IQS
13 Sam played one in “Casablanca” : PIANO
14 Skye of “Say Anything …” : IONE
15 Border : ABUT
16 It has spots : PARKING LOT
18 “___ #1!” : WE’RE
19 Like a fox : SLY
20 Fertile soil : LOAM
21 Jackson of country music : ALAN
22 It has spots : LEOPARD PRINT
26 Title song on the Beatles’ final studio album : LET IT BE
29 Mob : HORDE
30 Vicinity : AREA
31 Potential new job requirement, informally : RELO
32 Nov. 11 honoree : VET
35 It has spots : COMMERCIAL BREAK
40 Lengua de Mex. : ESP
41 Juiceless, as a battery : DEAD
42 What “:” means in an analogy : IS TO
43 Congressional hirees : AIDES
45 Totally stumped : AT A LOSS
48 It has Spots : DOGGY DAY CARE
51 Jump with a turn on ice : AXEL
52 Jazz’s James : ETTA
53 “Forget ___” (advice after a breakup) : HIM
56 Where Johnny Cash shot a man, in song : RENO
57 It has spots : TEA SERVICE
60 Onetime maker of Matchbox cars : TYCO
61 Ingredient in gumbo : OKRA
62 Throbbed : ACHED
63 “Listen here!” : HEY!
64 Products from Parker and Cross : PENS
65 Scampers : TROTS

Down

1 Google Play purchases : APPS
2 Rotary phone feature : DIAL
3 “Quite contrary” girl of rhyme : MARY
4 Squid’s defense : INK
5 Privy : TOILET
6 Lummox : BIG APE
7 Stuffed grape leaves : DOLMA
8 Enero a diciembre : ANO
9 Still : YET
10 “To the best of my knowledge” : I BELIEVE SO
11 Book of Islam : QURAN
12 Tube used in heart surgery : STENT
15 Employee of the Month, e.g. : AWARD
17 Inexperienced gamer, in slang : NOOB
22 Writer O’Flaherty : LIAM
23 Cousin of an emu : RHEA
24 Honeycakes : DOLL
25 Small complication? : PROB
26 Wedding dress material : LACE
27 Greek god with a bow : EROS
28 Source of day workers for an office : TEMP AGENCY
31 Unburden (of) : RID
33 Takes the cake? : EATS
34 Some calls from boxing refs : TKOS
36 Small vortex : EDDY
37 Clarinet insert : REED
38 Word repeated in “Mi ___ es su ___” : CASA
39 Tick off : RILE
44 Home with a dome (in Nome?) : IGLOO
45 Substitutes for : ACTS AS
46 Art museum with many Constables and Sargents : TATE
47 High point in the Old Testament? : ARARAT
48 Sith title in “Star Wars” : DARTH
49 Yellow-and-white meadow flower : OXEYE
50 Pine (for) : YEARN
53 Cheerful greeting : HI HO
54 Rapper whose name sounds like a drink : ICE-T
55 Pharmaceuticals, briefly : MEDS
57 Blouse, e.g. : TOP
58 Barely make, with “out” : EKE
59 Old TV hookup : VCR

12 thoughts on “0305-19 NY Times Crossword 5 Mar 19, Tuesday”

  1. IIRC, before Tyco cheapened them down, Matchbox cars were made my Lesney, which unfortunately didn’t fit….not even close….

  2. 16 minutes but I fudged. Looked over the clues for gimmees before I started. Then dove in with pen. Tuesdays are rarely pencil worthy.

  3. @Bill—-Thanks for the comments on Johnny Cash. I am a big fan. Every time I listen to him sing “I Walk the Line” I await that last verse to see if he can hit that low E on the word “mine”. He not only does it but he does it with ease. Cash was blessed with a great voice and musical talent to go along with it.

  4. 9:03, 3 errors: I(K)S; AB(O)T; (K)(O)RAN. Last 2 days seem to be a step up in difficulty from the usual Monday/Tuesday grids.

  5. Got most of it done, but had NEWB instead of NOOB, so that ruined that area. Also EDGE instead of ABUT. I often get caught off guard with words that can be either a noun or a verb like BORDER.

    I had HOHO instead of HIHO. Almost changed it (didn’t care for eitber one), but also could not make sense of TEASER VICE.

  6. Actually liked the “spots” theme, including the spot of tea. Carelessly left the K in KURAN, not thinking of the IQ cross.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.