0309-19 NY Times Crossword 9 Mar 19, Saturday

Constructed by: Sam Trabucco
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 12m 05s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 “Go to Hades!” : DROP DEAD!

Hades was the god of the underworld to the ancient Greeks. Over time, Hades gave his name to the underworld itself, the place where the dead reside. The term “Hades” was also adopted into the Christian tradition, as an alternative name for hell. But, the concept of hell in Christianity is more akin to the Greek “Tartarus”, which is a dark and gloomy dungeon located in Hades, a place of suffering and torment.

13 Wake-up call : REVEILLE

“Reveille” is a trumpet call that is used to wake everyone up at sunrise. The term comes from “réveillé”, the French for “wake up”.

16 Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” for one : BALLAD

“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is an epic poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge that was first published in 1798. The publication of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is said to mark the beginning of the Romantic period of British literature. Perhaps the lines most often quoted from the poem are:

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where
Nor any drop to drink

17 Modest article of swimwear with a portmanteau name : BURKINI

A burkini is a woman’s swimsuit that covers almost all of the body, leaving just the face, hands and feet visible. The burkini was created by Lebanese-born Australian fashion designer Aheda Zanetti, with the intent of providing clothing in accord with the Islamic tradition of modest dress. The term “burkini” is a portmanteau of “burqa” and “bikini”.

18 Medical breakthrough : VACCINE

A vaccine is a modified virus that is administered to an individual to stimulate the immune system into developing immunity. British physician Edward Jenner came up with the first vaccine, injecting people with the cowpox virus in order to prevent smallpox. The term “vaccination” comes from the Latin “vaccinus” meaning “from cows”, with “vacca” translating as “cow”.

19 Sorority letters : XIS

The Greek letter xi, despite the name, is not the precursor of our letter X. Our X comes from the Greek letter chi.

20 Pianist’s finger-sliding : GLISSANDO

In music, a glissando (plural “glissandi”), is a “glide” from one pitch to another, a rapid “slide” through a series of consecutive notes. On a piano, this can be accomplished by swiping a finger across the keys. On a harp, the effect is achieved with a similar action across the strings.

25 Major exporter of artichokes and gold : PERU

Peru’s name comes from the word “Biru”. Back in the early 1500s, Biru was a ruler living near the Bay of San Miguel in Panama. The territory over which Biru ruled was the furthest land south in the Americas known to Europeans at that time. The Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro was the first European to move south of Biru’s empire and the land that he found was designated “Peru”, a derivative of “Biru”.

27 Decide not to take out : STET

“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

31 Oxymoronic skiing condition : DRY SNOW

The word “oxymoron” is in itself an oxymoron. It derives from the Greek words “Oxys” and “moros” meaning “sharp” and “stupid”.

33 Golfs, for example : VWS

The Volkswagen Golf used to be sold as the Volkswagen Rabbit here in North America. The Golf was introduced in 1974 as a front-wheel drive replacement for the hugely successful Volkswagen Beetle.

34 Understand intuitively : GROK

To grok is to understand. “To grok” is a slang term that’s really only used in “techie” circles. “Grok” is the creation of science fiction author Robert Heinlein, who coined it in his 1961 novel “Stranger in a Strange Land”.

39 Partygoers may get a kick out of it : THE CONGA

The conga line is a dance that originated as a Cuban carnival march. It became popular in the US starting in the thirties. The dance is apparently named after the Congo region of Africa, and it was originated by slaves who were brought from there to Cuba.

43 Bit of resistance : OHM

The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every school kid knows as Ohm’s Law.

50 Took in : GULLED

A gull is someone easily cheated, a dupe. The term “gull” gave rise to the word “gullible”, which is in common use today. Did you know that the word “gullible” has been removed from all online dictionaries?

51 When to wear a cocktail dress, traditionally : AFTER SIX

A sheath dress is designed to fit close to the body, with a length that falls just above or below the knee. A shorter version of the sheath dress is known as a cocktail dress.

52 Page in a film guide : ELLEN

Canadian actress Ellen Page came to prominence playing the female lead in the 2007 hit film “Juno”. Page also played the female lead in one of my favorite films of recent time, namely 2010’s “Inception”.

54 Trueheart of the comics : TESS

In the “Dick Tracy” comic strip, Tess Trueheart was Dick’s love interest and later his wife (and still his love interest, I am sure!).

Down

1 Little bit : DRIB

A drib is a negligible amount, as in “dribs and drabs”. The term “drib” arose in Scotland in the 18th century, and might possibly come from the verb “to dribble”.

2 Brought back : REDUX

The adjective “redux” means “returned, brought back”, and is derived from the Latin “reducere” meaning “to lead back, to bring back”.

5 Capital and largest city of East Timor : DILI

Timor is an island in Maritime Southeast Asia. The island is politically divided into West Timor, belonging to Indonesia, and the independent state of East Timor. The name “Timor” comes from a Malay word for “east”, and is used as Timor lies at the eastern end of the Lesser Sunda Islands.

6 Joie de vivre : ELAN

“Joie de vivre” means “joy of living” in French. We use the phrase to mean the happy, carefree enjoyment of life, like when we finish our crossword puzzles …

8 Grand finale? : DEE

The last letter in the word “grand” is a letter D (dee).

9 Alternatives to tablets : GELCAPS

Gelatin capsules (gelcaps) might be an issue for those on a strict vegan diet. The gelatin used in the capsule is made from collagen extracted from animal skin and bone.

14 Cleaners, for short : VACS

The first practical portable vacuum cleaner was invented by James Spangler in 1907. Spangler sold the patent for the design to his cousin’s husband, William Henry Hoover. Hoover then made his fortune from manufacturing and selling vacuum cleaners. Hoover was so successful in my part of the world that back in Ireland we don’t use the verb “to vacuum” and instead say “to hoover”. Also, a hoover is what we call a vacuum cleaner, regardless of who makes it.

21 “Guys and Dolls” composer/lyricist : LOESSER

Frank Loesser was a songwriter who was famous for penning both lyrics and music for the Broadway show “Guys and Dolls” and “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying”. Loesser also wrote the marvelous song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”.

“Guys and Dolls” is a musical with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser. It was first produced on Broadway, in 1950, and ran for 1200 performances. The show was based on a book written by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, which book was inspired by the short stories :The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown” and “Blood Pressure” by Damon Runyon. “Guys and Dolls” was chosen as winner of a Pulitzer in 1951, but the award was cancelled as Abe Burrows was having problems with the House Un-American Activities Committee at the time.

24 Applied, as perfume : SPRITZED

A spritz is a squirt, a brief spray of liquid. The term “spritz” ultimately comes from German, possibly via Yiddish, in which language “spritzen” means “to squirt, spout”. A spritzer is a glass of wine with a spritz of carbonated water, and is a drink we’ve been enjoying since the early sixties.

28 Classic British two-seater : MG MIDGET

My neighbor used to keep his MG Midget roadster in my garage (away from his kids!) back in Ireland many moons ago. The Midget was produced by the MG division of the British Motor Corporation from 1961 to 1979, with the MG initialism standing for “Morris Garages”.

42 Cyclops and Beast, for two : X-MEN

X-Men is a team of superheroes created by Stan Lee for Marvel Comics. Nowadays the X-Men are perhaps best known as the subject of a series of movies, with Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine, and Patrick Stewart playing Professor Xavier (or simply “Professor X”). Some very respected actors have also played the villains that X-Men have to battle. For example, the enemy called Magneto is portrayed by veteran Shakespearean actor Sir Ian McKellen.

44 Running the show, informally : MC’ING

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism used for a Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

48 Waldorf Astoria muralist : SERT

José Maria Sert was a painter of murals from Catalan. He was a good friend of fellow-artist Salvador Dali.

49 Personal organizer nos. : EXTS

Extension (ext.)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Go to Hades!” : DROP DEAD!
9 “Goodness me!” : GOSH!
13 Wake-up call : REVEILLE
14 XX, in Italy : VENTI
15 “Goodness me!” : I DECLARE!
16 Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” for one : BALLAD
17 Modest article of swimwear with a portmanteau name : BURKINI
18 Medical breakthrough : VACCINE
19 Sorority letters : XIS
20 Pianist’s finger-sliding : GLISSANDO
22 Clickers? : TAP SHOES
25 Major exporter of artichokes and gold : PERU
26 Hit lists? : TOP TENS
27 Decide not to take out : STET
28 Significant investment, informally : MIL
31 Oxymoronic skiing condition : DRY SNOW
33 Golfs, for example : VWS
34 Understand intuitively : GROK
36 Dramatic courtroom outburst : IT’S A LIE!
38 Like fairways : MOWN
39 Partygoers may get a kick out of it : THE CONGA
41 Goal of having no unread emails : INBOX ZERO
43 Bit of resistance : OHM
45 Some workers who stretch plastic materials : DRAWMEN
46 Freeze that extends out from a coastline : FAST ICE
50 Took in : GULLED
51 When to wear a cocktail dress, traditionally : AFTER SIX
52 Page in a film guide : ELLEN
53 Adjust, in a way : REORIENT
54 Trueheart of the comics : TESS
55 Common camping equipment : TENT PEGS

Down

1 Little bit : DRIB
2 Brought back : REDUX
3 Ready to move on : OVER IT
4 Eats like a bird : PECKS AT
5 Capital and largest city of East Timor : DILI
6 Joie de vivre : ELAN
7 Remark after an awkward silence : ALRIGHTY THEN
8 Grand finale? : DEE
9 Alternatives to tablets : GELCAPS
10 Computer programs? : ONLINE TV
11 Patron of Scotland : ST ANDREW
12 Places to lie low : HIDEOUTS
14 Cleaners, for short : VACS
16 Certain jazz club improvisation : BASS SOLO
18 Drink with espresso and whipped cream : VIENNA COFFEE
21 “Guys and Dolls” composer/lyricist : LOESSER
23 Escape ___ : POD
24 Applied, as perfume : SPRITZED
28 Classic British two-seater : MG MIDGET
29 Autocracy : IRON RULE
30 Deliberately underestimates : LOWBALLS
32 Take the palm : WIN
35 John who wrote the 1959 best seller “A Separate Peace” : KNOWLES
37 Vanity case? : EGO TRIP
40 Words of enlightenment : AH, I SEE
42 Cyclops and Beast, for two : X-MEN
44 Running the show, informally : MC’ING
47 Bunches : A TON
48 Waldorf Astoria muralist : SERT
49 Personal organizer nos. : EXTS
51 Lost ___ : ART

One thought on “0309-19 NY Times Crossword 9 Mar 19, Saturday”

  1. 20:40, no errors. Several things were unknown to me, including “DRAWMEN” and “KNOWLES”, which slowed me down considerably in the lower left.

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