0308-19 NY Times Crossword 8 Mar 19, Friday

Constructed by: David Steinberg
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 15m 14s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 U.S. city named after a Greek island : ITHACA

The city of Ithaca sits right at the southern tip of Cayuga Lake in New York State. Named for the Greek island, Ithaca is famous as home to Cornell University, which is located just south of the city.

Ithaca is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. The island features in Homer’s “Odyssey” as it was the home of the mythological hero Odysseus, who was Ithaca’s king.

15 2011 biopic about an F.B.I. director : J EDGAR

J. Edgar Hoover was the controversial director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from the time of its founding in 1935 until his death in 1972. While being given the credit for establishing the FBI as a first-class crime-fighting organization, he was also criticized by many for exceeding his authority. In particular, he came into conflict with Presidents Truman and Kennedy, both of whom considered dismissing him. Neither took that step however, fearing the political fallout.

16 William Tell’s canton : URI

Supposedly, William Tell came from Uri, a canton in the German part of Switzerland. Altdorf is the capital of Uri and is the city where William Tell shot the apple off his son’s head using a crossbow, at least according to legend. There is a bronze statue of Tell that was erected in the city’s marketplace in 1895 to memorialize the event.

17 Phenomenon characterized by electronic dance music : RAVE CULTURE

As you might imagine, I’ve never been to a rave, and don’t have one upcoming in my diary. And as raves often start at 2 a.m.,then I’m unlikely ever to experience one. A rave is generally an all-night party featuring loud, electronically-synthesized music usually played by a DJ as opposed to a live band.

19 Uncle ___ (commercial figure) : BEN

Uncle Ben’s is a famous brand of rice that was introduced in 1943. It was the biggest selling brand of rice in the US from the fifties through the nineties. As one might imagine, the name “Uncle Ben” is pretty offensive and Mars, who owns the brand now, have tried to distance themselves from the African-American slave/domestic servant image. In 2007 there was a TV campaign showing “Uncle Ben” as Chairman of the Board of the company. But, he is still called Uncle Ben …

20 Puma competitor : ADIDAS

The brand name Adidas dates back to when Adolf “Adi” Dassler started making his own sports shoes in his mother’s laundry room in Bavaria after returning from WWI. With his brother, Adi founded Dassler shoes. The company’s big break came in 1936 at the Berlin Olympics, when Adi persuaded American sprinter Jesse Owens to use his shoes, and with the success of Jesse Owens came success for the fledgling shoe company. After WWII the brothers split, acrimoniously. Adi’s brother, Ru-dolf Da-ssler, formed “Ruda” shoes (later to become Puma), and Adi Das-sler formed “Adidas”.

Puma is a German company that sells athletic shoes worldwide. The company is most famous for its line of soccer boots.

21 Noted Chinese-American fashion designer : VERA WANG

Vera Wang’s first choice for a career was figure skating. Although she a very capable skater, Wang failed to make the 1968 US Olympics team. She switched to the world of fashion, and is now famous for her designs of wedding dresses … and also costumes for figure skaters.

23 Miscellaneous part? : SILENT C

The fourth letter in the word “miscellaneous” is a silent letter C (cee).

27 Source of rules for keeping kosher : MOSAIC LAW

The Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, are traditionally believed to have been written by Moses. As such, they are sometimes referred to as the Law of Moses, or Mosaic Law.

34 What a whole lot of kisses might result in : SUGAR RUSH

The Hershey Company produces over 80 million chocolate Kisses each day, and has been making them since 1907.

35 Stuff in a roll at a Japanese restaurant : SUSHI RICE

Sushi is a Japanese dish that has as its primary ingredient cooked, vinegared rice. The rice is usually topped with something, most often fish, and can be served in seaweed rolls. If we want raw fish by itself, then we have to order sashimi.

39 Song that a hip-hop rivalry might inspire : DISS TRACK

“Dis” (also “diss”) is a slang term meaning “insult” that originated in the eighties. It is a shortened form of “disrespect” or “dismiss”.

41 W.W.E. legend John : CENA

John Cena is a professional wrestler turned rapper and actor. Although wrestling, rapping and “Cena-style” movies wouldn’t be my cup of tea, I have to admire Cena’s philanthropic record. He holds the title for the most wishes granted by a single individual for the Make-A-Wish Foundation that benefits children with life-threatening medical conditions.

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is a company promoting professional wrestling as a form of entertainment.

44 Baltimore Ravens’ grp. : AFC NORTH

The name of the Baltimore Ravens football team has a literary derivation. Baltimore was the home of the writer Edgar Allan Poe, and so the team took its moniker from his most famous poem, “The Raven”. The name was selected in a fan contest. Baltimore’s mascot is a raven named Poe. Prior to the 2008 season, the Raven’s had a trio of avian mascots: Edgar, Allan and Poe.

49 Poke holes in, so to speak : DEBUNK

The word “bunk” is short for “bunkum”, the phonetic spelling of “Buncombe”, which is a county in North Carolina. Supposedly, a state representative made a dull and irrelevant speech that was directed to his home county of Buncombe, bringing the term “bunkum” into the language with the meaning of “nonsense”. The derivative word “debunk” first appeared in a novel by William Woodward in 1923, when he used it to describe “taking the bunk out of things”.

50 Big name in camping gear : REI

REI is a sporting goods store, with the initialism standing for Recreational Equipment Inc. REI was founded in Seattle by Lloyd and Mary Anderson in 1938 as a cooperative that supplies quality climbing gear to outdoor enthusiasts. The first full-time employee hired by the Andersons was Jim Whittaker, who was the first American to climb Mount Everest.

53 Something to do at home? : BAT

That would be baseball.

54 Island WSW of Kauai : NIIHAU

The Hawaiian island of Niihau lies about 17 miles southwest of Kauai, and has a population of just over 100 people. Niihau is privately owned and so only a few tourists are welcome, and only in the past few decades. The lack of access led to the island earning the nickname “the Forbidden Isle”.

Down

1 Do a certain hybrid winter sport : PARASKI

Paraskiing is skiing across snowy terrain while being pulled along by a parachute.

3 Kind of eggs : DEVILED

Deviled eggs are hard-boiled eggs that have been shelled and sliced in two. The egg’s yolk is mixed with primarily mayonnaise and mustard, and then spooned into the hard-boiled egg white. The eggs are then sprinkled with paprika and served cold. Some people make deviled eggs on Halloween, dropping an olive slice in the middle so that the whole thing resembles an eyeball! The term “deviled” has been used for zesty or spicy foods since the 1700s.

7 Product from Panasonic : HDTV

Not so long ago, Panasonic was called Matsushita Electronics, the name it took from its founder when the company started in 1918. The products manufactured back then were lamp sockets, and in 1927 the company introduced a bicycle lamp. Even after the company became famous for producing electrical and electronic goods, Matsushita had a very successful line of Panasonic bicycles, as the founder was raised in a family with a bicycle shop and he was passionate about cycling.

8 It’s not a good fit : AGUE

An ague is a fever, one usually associated with malaria.

11 President until 2011 : MUBARAK

Hosni Mubarak was the fourth President of Egypt, taking over after Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981. Mubarak resigned in 2011 in the early months of the Arab Spring after 18 days of public demonstrations. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2012 and is reported to be extremely sick in detention, and is perhaps even on life support.

24 1997 action thriller starring Nicolas Cage : CON AIR

“Con Air” is an entertaining action movie that was released in 1997. The film tells the story of a bunch of convicts being transported by air who escape and take control of the plane. If you take a look at the movie’s closing credits you’ll see the words “In Memory of Phil Swartz”. Swartz, a welder with the special effects team, was killed in a tragic accident when a static model of the plane used in the movie fell on him.

28 Junípero ___, father of California history : SERRA

Junípero Serra was a Spanish missionary, a founder of several missions out here in California. Among those associated with Serra is the Mission in Carmel, where Serra’s remains are buried, and Mission San Juan Capistrano, the chapel of which is believed to be the oldest standing building in the state.

29 It has a large horn : AFRICA

The Horn of Africa is that horn-shaped peninsula at the easternmost tip of the continent, containing the countries Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia as well as Somalia. The Horn of Africa is also known as the Somali Peninsula.

34 Lazy ___ : SUSAN

A lazy Susan is a circular tray at the center of a dining table that can be rotated by those partaking in the meal. The term “lazy Susan” was introduced in the early 1900s, first appearing in an article in the magazine “Good Housekeeping”. Before this designation, the device had been called a “dumbwaiter”, a term we now use for a small elevator used for transporting food from a kitchen to a dining room.

3 Flowery girl’s name : PETUNIA

The flowering plants known as petunias are in a genus that related to the tobacco plant. The name “petunia” comes from the obsolete French word “petun” meaning “tobacco plant”.

40 Renowned Broadway deli : ZABAR’S

Zabar’s is a famous food store and deli in Manhattan that shows up a lot in TV shows and movies. Zabar’s ran into a some problems a few years ago when a journalist reported that the store’s lobster salad, which had been a hit for 15 years, did not in fact contain any lobster. The spread is now called “Zabster Zalad”.

43 Sleep study subject : REM

“REM” is an acronym standing for rapid eye movement sleep. REM sleep takes up 20-25% of the sleeping hours and is the period associated with one’s most vivid dreams.

47 Office letters that bring happiness? : TGIF

“Thank God It’s Friday” (TGIF) is a relatively new expression that apparently originated in Akron, Ohio. It was a catchphrase used first by disk jockey Jerry Healy of WAKR in the early seventies. That said, one blog reader wrote me to say that he had been using the phrase in the fifties.

52 PC hookup, for short : LAN

Local Area Network (LAN)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Things cotton pickers pick : PODS
5 U.S. city named after a Greek island : ITHACA
11 Kitten sound : MEW
14 Over : ANEW
15 2011 biopic about an F.B.I. director : J EDGAR
16 William Tell’s canton : URI
17 Phenomenon characterized by electronic dance music : RAVE CULTURE
19 Uncle ___ (commercial figure) : BEN
20 Puma competitor : ADIDAS
21 Noted Chinese-American fashion designer : VERA WANG
23 Miscellaneous part? : SILENT C
25 Mischievous boy of myth : EROS
26 Intent : KEEN
27 Source of rules for keeping kosher : MOSAIC LAW
32 “___ be great …” : IT’D
33 Red or white container : WINE FLASK
34 What a whole lot of kisses might result in : SUGAR RUSH
35 Stuff in a roll at a Japanese restaurant : SUSHI RICE
36 Snap : PIC
39 Song that a hip-hop rivalry might inspire : DISS TRACK
40 Absolute nobody : ZERO
41 W.W.E. legend John : CENA
42 Aquarium accessory : AERATOR
44 Baltimore Ravens’ grp. : AFC NORTH
49 Poke holes in, so to speak : DEBUNK
50 Big name in camping gear : REI
51 Condition whose first two letters are oddly appropriate : MEGALOMANIA
53 Something to do at home? : BAT
54 Island WSW of Kauai : NIIHAU
55 Phone : RING
56 Place where farm animals rootle : STY
57 Baby : INFANT
58 Seasoning in stuffing : SAGE

Down

1 Do a certain hybrid winter sport : PARASKI
2 Slimming down : ON A DIET
3 Kind of eggs : DEVILED
4 1912 Olympics locale : SWEDEN
5 “Hmm, sounds like a good idea” : I JUST MIGHT
6 Letterhead abbr. : TEL
7 Product from Panasonic : HDTV
8 It’s not a good fit : AGUE
9 Nicholas ___, author of the 2010 best seller “The Shallows” : CARR
10 The “A” of 52-Down : AREA
11 President until 2011 : MUBARAK
12 Up to this point, old-style : ERENOW
13 Oscar’s first Best Picture (1927-28) : WINGS
18 Food bank item : CAN
22 Origin of the word “flannel” : WELSH
24 1997 action thriller starring Nicolas Cage : CON AIR
28 Junípero ___, father of California history : SERRA
29 It has a large horn : AFRICA
30 “Whew! That was fortunate for me” : I LUCKED OUT!
31 Liquor store purchase : CASE
33 Become too scared, with “out” : WUSS
34 Lazy ___ : SUSAN
35 Vegas : SIN CITY
3 Flowery girl’s name : PETUNIA
37 Laundry job : IRONING
38 Fancy restaurant fee : CORKAGE
39 Take down : DEFEAT
40 Renowned Broadway deli : ZABAR’S
41 Pasta and such, informally : CARBS
43 Sleep study subject : REM
45 Westin competitor : OMNI
46 Pull (in) : REIN
47 Office letters that bring happiness? : TGIF
48 What might follow a crack : HA HA
52 PC hookup, for short : LAN

10 thoughts on “0308-19 NY Times Crossword 8 Mar 19, Friday”

  1. 1 hr and 2 min with 1 error… I had pip for Plc ….other than that I finished a David Steinberg puzzle . I repeat , I finished a David Steinberg puzzle….I repeat..”….

  2. Finally broke through without the “one square pick-a-letter curse”
    that’s hounded me the past few Fri/Sat/Suns. Maybe a bit easier than a normal Friday, but I’ll take it.

  3. 27:00, no errors. Although a native New Yorker, I had not heard of ZABAR’S; wanted to put in KATZES. I guess it’s become one of those places tourists flock to, and locals avoid. Also agree with @Diana, have heard of ‘cotton bolls’ but not ‘cotton PODS’. Quick search of the interwebs revealed that cotton pods are indeed sold in hobby stores for floral arrangements, etc.

  4. Did pretty good for a Friday. But I too tried bols. After all it’s the bol weevils not pod weevils. And I still don’t get 8 down.

  5. @ sushi ref. 8 down:
    Ague = chills, fever, convulsions.
    Convulsions = having a fit (ala epileptic seizure).
    Not a good “fit” = ague.
    My guess, anyway. FWIW.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.