0311-19 NY Times Crossword 11 Mar 19, Monday

Constructed by: Trent H. Evans
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Oxymoron

Themed answers are oxymoronic phrases:

  • 17A Zombies : LIVING DEAD
  • 26A Like a concert album : RECORDED LIVE
  • 46A Like a stolen object, when it’s not where it’s supposed to be : FOUND MISSING
  • 62A Supposedly unknown but actually well-known fact : OPEN SECRET

Bill’s time: 5m 25s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Cause of an infant’s crying : COLIC

Baby colic is a condition in which a baby cries for no apparent reason for extended periods. At least one study has shown that breastfed babies are about half as likely to suffer from colic.

10 The first “N” of CNN : NEWS

CNN (Cable News Network) was launched in 1980 by the Turner Broadcasting System, and was the first television channel in the world to provide news coverage 24 hours a day.

14 Chicago air hub : O’HARE

The IATA airport code for O’Hare International in Chicago is ORD, which comes from Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field (OR-D).

16 Lena of Hollywood : OLIN

Lena Olin is a Swedish actress, and clearly someone who had acting in her blood. Her mother was the actress Britta Holmberg and her father the actor and director Stig Olin. Olin had a very successful career in Sweden, often working with the great Ingmar Bergman. Olin’s breakthrough international and English-speaking role was playing opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” released in 1988. Way back in 1974, the lovely Miss Olin was crowned Miss Scandinavia in a beauty pageant for Nordic women held in Helsinki, Finland. Olin’s most famous performance was in “Chocolat” released in 2000, and then she won an Emmy in 2003 for Best Supporting actress in the TV show “Alias”.

17 Zombies : LIVING DEAD

A zombie is a corpse that has been brought back to life by some mystical means. Our modern use of the term largely stems from the undead creatures featured in the 1968 horror movie called “Night of the Living Dead”. Now that film I haven’t seen, and probably never will …

20 Like bread and newlyweds, maybe : TOASTED

The tradition of toasting someone probably dates back to the reign of Charles II, when the practice was to drink a glass of wine to the health of a beautiful or favored woman. In those days, spiced toast was added to beverages to add flavor, so the use of the word “toast” was an indicator that the lady’s beauty would enhance the wine. Very charming, I must say …

21 Pudding ingredient from the cassava root : TAPIOCA

The cassava plant is a woody shrub native to South America grown largely for its carbohydrate-rich tubers. In fact, the cassava is the third largest food source of carbohydrates (for humans) in the world. Ordinarily, that carbohydrate is extracted from the plant and dried as flour, and is known as tapioca.

23 “Dallas” matriarch : ELLIE

Miss Ellie is the matriarch of the famed Ewing family, around which the TV series “Dallas” was written. For most of the series, Miss Ellie was played by Barbara Bel Geddes, and once in a TV movie of Dallas by Molly Hagan. Barbara Bel Geddes left the show in 1984 and was replaced by the celebrated actress Donna Reed. When Bel Geddes decided to return to the show the following year, Reed was fired. This was much to Reed’s chagrin, and so a lawsuit ensued.

32 One-named Grammy winner for “Soldier of Love” : SADE

The singer Sade’s real name is Helen Folasade Adu. Although she was born in Nigeria, Sade grew up and lives in the UK. She was the lead vocalist for the English group Sade, and adopted the name of the band. The band’s biggest hits were “Smooth Operator” (1984) and “The Sweetest Taboo” (1985).

33 Hip-hop’s ___ Wayne : LIL

“Lil Wayne” is the stage name used by rap artist Dwayne Carter, Jr. from New Orleans.

36 ChapStick product : LIP BALM

ChapStick is a brand of lip balm produced by Pfizer, although the brand is so popular that the term “chapstick” tends to be used generically. ChapStick was invented way back in the 1880s by a Dr. Charles Browne Fleet in Lynchburg, Virginia.

40 Recipient of a Medal of Honor or Purple Heart : WAR HERO

The highest military decoration awarded for gallantry is the Medal of Honor. The second highest medal is specific to the service, namely the Distinguished Service Cross (Army), the Navy Cross (Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) and the Air Force Cross. The third highest award is the Silver Star.

The Purple Heart is a military decoration awarded by the President to members of the US military forces who have been wounded or killed while serving. Today’s Purple Heart was originally called the Badge of Military Merit, an award that was established by George Washington 1782 while he was commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. The Purple Heart is a heart-shaped medal with a gold border bearing a profile of President Washington, and a purple ribbon.

42 Spike who won a 2018 Oscar : LEE

Film director Spike Lee was born in Atlanta, Georgia but has very much made New York City his home and place of work. Most of Lee’s films are set in New York City, including his first feature film, 1986’s “She’s Gotta Have It”. That film was shot over two weeks with a budget of $175,000. “She’s Gotta Have It” grossed over $7 million at the US box office.

43 Where Santa lands : ROOF

Saint Nicholas of Myra is the inspiration for Santa Claus. Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra (now in modern-day Turkey) during the 4th century AD, and was known for being generous to the poor. Centuries after he died, his remains were desecrated by Italian sailors and moved to Bari in Italy. One legend has it that the relics were moved again centuries later and reburied in the grounds of Jerpoint Abbey in Co. Kilkenny in Ireland, where you can visit the grave today. I choose to believe that Santa Claus’s relics are indeed buried in Ireland …

45 Bard of ___ (Shakespeare) : AVON

William Shakespeare is referred to as the Bard of Avon, as he was born and raised in the lovely town of Stratford-upon-Avon in the English Midlands.

66 Who lives at the North Pole, in reality : NO ONE

The geographic North Pole is located in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, although there is almost always a covering of sea ice at that location. The geographic South Pole is located on land, on the continent of Antarctica.

68 Variety of poker : STUD

Stud poker is the name given to many variants of poker, all of which are characterized by the dealer giving each player a mix of cards face-down and face-up. The cards facing upwards are called “upcards”. The cards facing downwards are called “hole cards”, cards only visible to the individual who holds that particular hand. This gives rise to the phrase “ace in the hole”, a valuable holding that only the player with the ace is aware of.

Down

1 Indianapolis footballer : COLT

The Indianapolis Colts professional football team has been in Indiana since 1984. The team traces its roots back to the Dayton Triangles, one of the founding members of the NFL created in 1913. The Dayton Triangles relocated and became the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1930, and then the Brooklyn Tigers in 1944. The team merged with the Boston Yanks in 1945, so then played in Boston. The Yanks were moved to New York in 1949, and then to Dallas in 1952 as the Dallas Texans. The Texan franchise moved to Baltimore in 1953, forming the Colts. The Colts made their last move in 1984, to Indianapolis. Whew!

2 Separator of Indiana and Pennsylvania : OHIO

The state of Ohio takes its name from the Ohio River, and in turn river takes its name from the Iroquois “ohi-yo”, which translates as “large creek”.

3 Volcano’s spew : LAVA

Our word “volcano” comes from “Vulcano”, the name of a volcanic island off the coast of Italy. The island’s name comes from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. The Romans believed that the island of Vulcano was the chimney of the forge belonging to the god Vulcan. The Romans also believed that the eruptions on Mount Etna in Sicily were caused by Vulcan getting angry and working his forge so hard that sparks and smoke flew out of the top of the volcano.

4 Colored part of the eye : IRIS

The iris is the colored part of the eye. It has an aperture in the center that can open or close depending on the level of light hitting the eye.

7 Ginger ___ (soft drink) : ALE

The brand most closely associated with ginger ale is Canada Dry. “Canada Dry Pale Ginger Ale” was first formulated in 1904 by a Canadian chemist called John McLoughlin from Ontario. Prohibition in the United States helped sales of the drink as it was particularly effective in masking the taste of illegally-produced homemade liquor.

10 “Not gonna happen!” : NO DICE!

One suggestion for the origin of the phrase “no dice”, meaning “nothing doing, no way”, refers back to illegal gambling in the early 1900s. When approached by police, illegal gamblers would hide their dice (some even swallowed them). It was well known that city attorneys wouldn’t prosecute unless the police could produce the dice. Apparently there was an idiom at the time, “no dice, no conviction”.

11 Poet T. S. ___ : ELIOT

T. S. Eliot was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, largely due to his “Four Quartets”, a set of four poems that Eliot himself considered to be his life’s masterpiece. He also won a Tony Award in 1950 for Best Play, for “The Cocktail Party”, as well as two posthumous Tony Awards in 1983 for his poems that are used in the musical “Cats”.

13 Golfer Sam with a record 82 P.G.A. Tour wins : SNEAD

Sam Snead was probably the most successful golfer never to win a US Open title, as he won a record 82 PGA Tour events. Snead did win seven majors, but never the US Open. He was also quite the showman. He once hit the scoreboard at Wrigley Field stadium with a golf ball, by teeing off from home plate. Snead’s best-remembered nickname is “Slammin’ Sammy”.

18 Neuter, as a male horse : GELD

“To geld” is to castrate a male animal. “Geld” comes from the Old Norse word “gelda” meaning “castrate”.

22 One finishing a road : PAVER

Back in Ireland, the “pavement” is what we call the “footpath” (because the footpath is “paved”, often with “paving” stones!). It’s very confusing when you arrive in this country from Ireland, and a little dangerous when one has been taught from a young age to “walk on the pavement” …

24 Driver’s licenses and passports, for short : IDS

Identity document (ID)

27 Falco of “The Sopranos” : EDIE

Actress Edie Falco won three Emmy Awards for playing Carmela Soprano on HBO’s outstanding drama series called “The Sopranos”. Falco also won an Emmy in 2010 for playing the title role in “Nurse Jackie”, an excellent black comedy.

30 Ore-___ (brand of tater tots) : IDA

Ore-Ida’s founders came up with the idea for Tater Tots when they were deciding what to do with residual cuts of potato. They chopped up the leftovers, added flour and seasoning, and extruded the mix through a large hole making a sausage that they cut into small cylinders. We eat 70 million pounds of this extruded potato every year!

33 Jeans maker Strauss : LEVI

Levi Strauss was the founder of the first company in the world to manufacture blue jeans. Levi Strauss & Co. opened in 1853 in San Francisco. Strauss and his business partner were awarded a patent in 1873 for the use of copper rivets to strengthen points of strain on working pants.

38 “Skip to My ___” : LOU

“Skip to My Lou” is a children’s dance that can also be used at a barn dance as an icebreaker. Couples dance to the tune, with an extra male in the middle of the group. The odd man “steals” a lady with whom to dance, leaving her partner to find another. The word “lou” is the Scottish for “love”.

44 Only four-term prez : FDR

Since the days of President George Washington, there was an informal tradition that a US President could hold office for two terms, but would not run for a third. Franklin D. Roosevelt was the only president to break with this tradition. President Roosevelt was elected to office four times, and died a few months after starting his fourth term. It was President Roosevelt’s decision to ignore the term limit tradition that led to the adoption of the Twenty-Second Amendment of the Constitution, which provides that “no person shall be elected to the office of President more than twice”.

48 Middle-of-the-month day : IDES

There were three important days in each month of the old Roman calendar. These days originally depended on the cycles of the moon but were eventually “fixed” by law. “Kalendae” were the first days of each month, originally the days of the new moon. “Nonae” were originally the days of the half moon. And “idus” (the ides) was originally the day of the full moon, eventually fixed at the 15th day of a month. Well, actually the ides were the 15th day of March, May, July and October. For all other months, the ides fell on the 13th. Go figure …

51 Pack of lions : PRIDE

A group of lions is known as a pride. It’s possible that the term “pride”, in this context, derives from the Latin “praeda” meaning “prey”.

58 Former Yankee slugger, familiarly : A-ROD

Professional baseball player Alex Rodriguez earned more nicknames than just “A-Rod”. He has been called “the Cooler” by some players as there was a perception that teams went cold when he joined them and hot when he left. He has also been called “A-Fraud” by teammates because of another perception, that he is over-demanding. Rodriguez was in a world of hurt not so long ago, for using illegal performance-enhancing drugs. He retired from the baseball in 2016.

59 Jay who preceded Jimmy Fallon : LENO

“The Tonight Show” has had six permanent hosts so far:

  • Steve Allen (1954-57)
  • Jack Paar (1957-62)
  • Johnny Carson (1962–92)
  • Jay Leno (1992–2009, 2010–14)
  • Conan O’Brien (2009–10)
  • Jimmy Fallon (2014–present)

60 Ratatouille, e.g. : STEW

Ratatouille is a lovely vegetable dish from France. It gets its name from the French word “touiller” meaning “to stir up”.

63 Relative of an ostrich : EMU

Even though emu meat is classified as a red meat because of its color, it has a fat content that is comparable to other poultry.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Cause of an infant’s crying : COLIC
6 Back talk : SASS
10 The first “N” of CNN : NEWS
14 Chicago air hub : O’HARE
15 Voice below soprano : ALTO
16 Lena of Hollywood : OLIN
17 Zombies : LIVING DEAD
19 Eat fancily : DINE
20 Like bread and newlyweds, maybe : TOASTED
21 Pudding ingredient from the cassava root : TAPIOCA
23 “Dallas” matriarch : ELLIE
25 Had a role in a movie or play : ACTED
26 Like a concert album : RECORDED LIVE
31 Fragrance : ODOR
32 One-named Grammy winner for “Soldier of Love” : SADE
33 Hip-hop’s ___ Wayne : LIL
36 ChapStick product : LIP BALM
40 Recipient of a Medal of Honor or Purple Heart : WAR HERO
42 Spike who won a 2018 Oscar : LEE
43 Where Santa lands : ROOF
45 Bard of ___ (Shakespeare) : AVON
46 Like a stolen object, when it’s not where it’s supposed to be : FOUND MISSING
50 Perfect grade : A-PLUS
53 Wear away, as soil : ERODE
54 In a crass way : CRUDELY
56 Freestyle skiing jumps : AERIALS
61 Purchase before popping the question : RING
62 Supposedly unknown but actually well-known fact : OPEN SECRET
64 Beat narrowly, with “out” : EDGE
65 What clocks keep : TIME
66 Who lives at the North Pole, in reality : NO ONE
67 No. 1 ___ (tournament favorite) : SEED
68 Variety of poker : STUD
69 Establish, as a university chair : ENDOW

Down

1 Indianapolis footballer : COLT
2 Separator of Indiana and Pennsylvania : OHIO
3 Volcano’s spew : LAVA
4 Colored part of the eye : IRIS
5 Tallest player on a basketball team, typically : CENTER
6 Equestrian’s seat : SADDLE
7 Ginger ___ (soft drink) : ALE
8 Measure after the governor’s signature : STATE LAW
9 Soft drink : SODA
10 “Not gonna happen!” : NO DICE!
11 Poet T. S. ___ : ELIOT
12 Facial reaction to pain : WINCE
13 Golfer Sam with a record 82 P.G.A. Tour wins : SNEAD
18 Neuter, as a male horse : GELD
22 One finishing a road : PAVER
24 Driver’s licenses and passports, for short : IDS
26 Toilet paper unit : ROLL
27 Falco of “The Sopranos” : EDIE
28 Deal (with) : COPE
29 Spherical body : ORB
30 Ore-___ (brand of tater tots) : IDA
33 Jeans maker Strauss : LEVI
34 Remove wrinkles from : IRON
35 What “L” stands for in pant sizes : LONG
37 Got up : AROSE
38 “Skip to My ___” : LOU
39 Interminably expensive project : MONEY PIT
41 Possesses : HAS
44 Only four-term prez : FDR
46 Wasn’t exact with, as facts : FUDGED
47 Made a ghostly sound : MOANED
48 Middle-of-the-month day : IDES
49 Tranquil : SERENE
50 Land measures : ACRES
51 Pack of lions : PRIDE
52 Sudden move in fencing : LUNGE
55 Land parcels : LOTS
57 Symbol on a computer screen : ICON
58 Former Yankee slugger, familiarly : A-ROD
59 Jay who preceded Jimmy Fallon : LENO
60 Ratatouille, e.g. : STEW
63 Relative of an ostrich : EMU

10 thoughts on “0311-19 NY Times Crossword 11 Mar 19, Monday”

  1. Very easy. I did not catch on that the theme was going to be a series of oxymorons until the fourth one began to fill in. Cute puzzle. Really liked it.

  2. Bill-

    Growing up on the banks of the Ohio River (WV side), we were taught in school that “Ohio” meant “River of whitecaps”. Perhaps large creeks would likely produce whitecap waves.
    I wonder.

  3. Bill, your new ‘Search’ area is awesome. I’m working on some rather old puzzles that I saved and I find the calendar search very easy to navigate.

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