0314-19 NY Times Crossword 14 Mar 19, Thursday

Constructed by: Nancy Stark & Will Nediger
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Black Hat

To make sense of the four themed answers, we need to put the letters HAT in the BLACK square at the center of the grid:

  • 66A Western villain … or a hint to four answers in this puzzle : BLACK HAT
  • 37A “Here’s something for you to think about, you ingrate!” : CHEW ON THAT
  • 39A One who spreads discord : HATEMONGER
  • 8D Incredulous question : YOU DID WHAT?
  • 43D Takedown piece : HATCHET JOB

Bill’s time: 18m 11s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

9 Place where people are going with their drinks? : BAR CAR

That would be a bar car on a train. Choo choo …

15 Norman Bates or his mother, in “Psycho” : ALTER EGO

The top 5 movie villains in the American Film Institute’s list “100 Years … 100 Heroes & Villains” are:

  1. Dr. Hannibal Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs”
  2. Norman Bates in “Psycho”
  3. Darth Vader in “The Empire Strikes Back”
  4. The Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz”
  5. Nurse Ratched in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”

The classic Alfred Hitchcock suspense film “Psycho” released in 1960 is based on a 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch. The Bloch novel in turn is loosely based on actual crimes committed by murderer and grave robber Ed Gein. The female protagonist is named Mary Crane in the novel, but that name was changed to Marion Crane in the movie. Marion Crane, portrayed by Janet Leigh, died in a celebrated and terrifying shower scene

26 Get dressed (up) : GUSSY

To gussy up is to dress showily. The term “gussy” was a slang term that was used to describe an overly-dressed person.

30 ___ it out (fights) : DUKES

“Dukes” is a slang term meaning “fists, hands”. The route taken by “dukes” to become fists seems very tortuous, but might just be true. The term “fork” had been slang for “hand” for centuries (and gives rise to “fork out” meaning “hand over”). The slang term “fork” is expressed in Cockney rhyming slang as “Duke of York”, which is shortened to “duke”. As I said, tortuous …

32 Chinua who wrote “Things Fall Apart” : ACHEBE

Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe was born in the Ibo region in the south of the country. His first novel was “Things Fall Apart”, a book that has the distinction of being the most widely read in the whole of African literature.

33 Order in the court : WRIT

A writ is an order issued by some formal body (these days, usually a court) with the order being in “written” form. Warrants and subpoenas are examples of writs.

34 Concert piece : AMP

An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

39 One who spreads discord : HATEMONGER

The suffix “-monger” indicates a dealer or trader. For example. A fishmonger sells fish, an ironmonger sells hardware, and an ideamonger deals in ideas..

41 Shade provider in Thomas Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” : YEW

Perhaps the most famous elegy in the English language is that written by Thomas Gray, which he completed in 1750. His “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” is the source of many oft-quoted phrases, including:

  • Celestial fire
  • Far from the Madding Crowd
  • Kindred spirit

50 Onetime division of the Chrysler Corporation : DESOTO

The DeSoto brand of car was built by Chrysler from 1928 to 1961. The line was named after the Spanish explorer and conquistador, Hernando de Soto, widely reported as the first European to have crossed the Mississippi River (although Cabeza de Vaca had at least discovered one of the mouths of the Mississippi twenty years earlier).

53 Finding on Snopes.com : MYTH

Snopes.com is the place to go if you want to check the validity or history of an urban legend or Internet rumor. The site was launched in 1995 by Californians Barbara and David Mikkelson.

65 Some IHOP choices : SYRUPS

The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) was founded back in 1958. IHOP was originally intended to be called IHOE, the International House of Eggs, but that name didn’t do too well in marketing tests!

66 Western villain … or a hint to four answers in this puzzle : BLACK HAT

In western movies and television, the bad guys tend to wear black hats, and the good guys wear white. Well, that’s the perception. As a result, we’ve come to use the phrase “black hat” to mean “villain”.

Down

1 Spiritual guide : LAMA

“Lama” is a Tibetan word meaning “chief” or “high priest”.

2 “___! ’tis true I have gone here and there” (start of a Shakespeare sonnet) : ALAS

William Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets. Here is Sonnet 110:

Alas! ’tis true, I have gone here and there,
And made my self a motley to the view,
Gored mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most dear,
Made old offences of affections new;
Most true it is, that I have looked on truth
Askance and strangely; but, by all above,
These blenches gave my heart another youth,
And worse essays proved thee my best of love.
Now all is done, have what shall have no end:
Mine appetite I never more will grind
On newer proof, to try an older friend,
A god in love, to whom I am confined.
Then give me welcome, next my heaven the best,
Even to thy pure and most most loving breast.

5 The radius runs along it : ARM

The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinkie-side”.

7 Politico who called the press “nattering nabobs of negativism” : AGNEW

Vice President Spiro Agnew used the following lines in a speech to the California Republican state convention in 1970:

In the United States today, we have more than our share of the nattering nabobs of negativism. They have formed their own 4-H Club — the ‘hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history.’

Agnews’ “nattering nabobs of negativism” were members of the media.

11 Animal that shares its name with a king of Thrace in the “Iliad” : RHESUS

The Rhesus macaque is also known as the Rhesus monkey. As it is widely available and is close to humans anatomically and physically, the Rhesus macaque has been used in scientific research for decades. The Rhesus monkey was used in the development of rabies, smallpox and polio vaccines, and it also gave its name to the Rhesus factor that is used in blood-typing. It was also Rhesus monkeys that were launched into space by the US and Soviet space programs. Humans and macaques share about 93% of their DNA and had a common ancestor about 25 million years ago.

Thrace is a historical and geographic region of southeast Europe, largely lying in southeastern Bulgaria. The region took its name from the Thracian people, an ancient race that used to inhabit the area. Included in the region is the European side of the city of Istanbul.

12 Sights along the Champs-Élysées : CAFES

The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets in the world. It is the main thoroughfare in Paris, home to the Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Concorde. The name “Champs-Élysées” is French for Elysian Fields, a place where the righteous went after death according to Greek mythology.

23 Burgoo, e.g. : STEW

Burgoo is a stew that is popular in the American Midwest and South, in particular. The term “burgoo” was used for a thick porridge back in the late 18th century, and it’s possible that “burgoo” gave rise to our adjective “gooey” meaning “sticky”.

24 Kind of purse that sags : HOBO BAG

A hobo bag is rather unstructured-looking, a crescent-shaped bag with a long strap and soft sides that tends to slump when set down. It’s called a hobo bag because the shape resembles that of the bundle carried by archetypal hobos on the ends of sticks resting on their shoulders.

31 A geisha might be found in one : KIMONO

The lovely Japanese kimono is a garment worn by men, women and children. The word “kimono” translates simply as “thing to wear”, with “ki” meaning “wear” and “mono” meaning “thing”.

The Japanese term “geisha” best translates as “artist” or “performing artist”.

34 Shivering fit : AGUE

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

35 Self-referential : META

In recent decades the prefix “meta-” has started to be used as a standalone adjective. In this sense “meta” means “self-referential”, describing something that refers to itself. For example, “This sentence starts with the word ‘this’ and ends with the word ‘this’” might be called a meta sentence. A movie that is about the making of the very same movie could also be described as meta.

36 Place for a king and queen : PROM

A prom is a formal dance held upon graduation from high school (we call them “formals” over in Ireland). The term “prom” is short for “promenade”, the name given to a type of dance or ball.

38 Overdo the flattery : TOADY

A toady is someone who is very servile, and somewhat of a parasite. Derived from “toad-eater” the term originally applied to the assistant of a quack, a seller of useless potions that had no actual benefit to health. The toady would eat an apparently poisonous toad in front of an audience, so that the charlatan could “cure” him or her with one of the potions for sale.

40 Prefix with particle : NANO-

Nanoparticles are extremely small particles, between 1 and 100 nanometers in size. One reason that nanoparticles are of scientific interest is that they have physical properties that are intermediate between bulk materials and atoms or molecules. Nanoparticles are small enough that the properties of the atoms at the particle’s surface affect its behavior.

45 Numbers game : SUDOKU

Number puzzles similar to our modern-day Sudoku first appeared in French newspapers in the late 1800s. The format that we use today was created by Howard Garns, a 74-year-old freelance puzzle constructor from Connersville, Indiana and first published in 1979. The format was introduced in Japan in 1984 and given the title of “Sūji wa dokushin ni kagiru”, which translates to “the digits are limited to one occurrence”. The rather elaborate Japanese title was eventually shortened to Sudoku. No doubt many of you are fans of Sudoku puzzles. I know I am …

49 “Got it” : ROGER

The term “roger”, meaning “yes” or “acknowledged”, comes from the world of radiotelephony. The British military used a phonetic alphabet in the fifties that included “Roger” to represent the letter “R”. As such, it became customary to say “Roger” when acknowledging a message, with R (Roger) standing for “received”.

54 Unpleasant find in a sweater : MOTH

The larvae of several types of moth are noted for eating fabrics made from natural fibers such as wool or cotton. Many people store woolens in cedar chests believing that the scent of the wood prevents a moth infestation. In fact, the only known effective repellent is the naphthalene found in mothballs, which might be a health concern for humans. One way to kill moth larvae in fabric is to freeze the garment for several days at a temperature below -8 degrees centigrade.

60 Suggested qty. : RDA

Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII, and were replaced by Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs) in 1997.

61 Inc. alternative : LLC

A limited liability company (LLC) is a company structure that limits the liability of the owner or owners. It is a hybrid structure in the sense that it can be taxed as would an individual or partnership, while also maintaining the liability protection afforded to a corporation.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Kept for a rainy day : LAID AWAY
9 Place where people are going with their drinks? : BAR CAR
15 Norman Bates or his mother, in “Psycho” : ALTER EGO
16 Advice for relaxing : EXHALE
17 Top-level list : MAIN MENU
18 Judge appropriate : SEE FIT
19 Ninny : ASS
20 One of the choices on a computer’s 17-Across : EDIT
22 Brown or blacken : SEAR
23 Welcome at the front door : SHOW IN
26 Get dressed (up) : GUSSY
27 Portable workstation : LAPTOP
30 ___ it out (fights) : DUKES
32 Chinua who wrote “Things Fall Apart” : ACHEBE
33 Order in the court : WRIT
34 Concert piece : AMP
37 “Here’s something for you to think about, you ingrate!” : CHEW ON THAT
39 One who spreads discord : HATEMONGER
41 Shade provider in Thomas Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” : YEW
42 Coalition : BLOC
44 Mindlessly : ON AUTO
45 Request during a physical checkup : SAY “AH”
46 Beginning of many workdays : NINE AM
47 [I don’t care] : SHRUG
50 Onetime division of the Chrysler Corporation : DESOTO
52 Sweatshirt part : HOOD
53 Finding on Snopes.com : MYTH
54 “Are you ___?” : MAD
57 “Ciao” : I’M GONE
59 Manage to detach by hitting : JAR LOOSE
63 Have a quick look-see, say : PEEK IN
64 Language of the pre-Roman Empire : OLD LATIN
65 Some IHOP choices : SYRUPS
66 Western villain … or a hint to four answers in this puzzle : BLACK HAT

Down

1 Spiritual guide : LAMA
2 “___! ’tis true I have gone here and there” (start of a Shakespeare sonnet) : ALAS
3 “That so?” : IT IS?
4 Place where plots are hatched : DEN
5 The radius runs along it : ARM
6 Small : WEE
7 Politico who called the press “nattering nabobs of negativism” : AGNEW
8 Incredulous question : YOU DID WHAT?
9 Worst in a competition : BEST
10 Can : AXE
11 Animal that shares its name with a king of Thrace in the “Iliad” : RHESUS
12 Sights along the Champs-Élysées : CAFES
13 Aid for a fugitive : ALIAS
14 Take another shot at : RETRY
21 Habituate : INURE
23 Burgoo, e.g. : STEW
24 Kind of purse that sags : HOBO BAG
25 In public : OPENLY
26 “What are you waiting for?!” : GET ON IT!
27 Frilly : LACY
28 Long : ACHE
29 “Close call!” : PHEW!
31 A geisha might be found in one : KIMONO
34 Shivering fit : AGUE
35 Self-referential : META
36 Place for a king and queen : PROM
38 Overdo the flattery : TOADY
40 Prefix with particle : NANO-
43 Takedown piece : HATCHET JOB
45 Numbers game : SUDOKU
47 Where many cabins are found : SHIPS
48 Comfortable and welcoming : HOMEY
49 “Got it” : ROGER
51 Will, more emphatically : SHALL
53 Clothing department : MEN’S
54 Unpleasant find in a sweater : MOTH
55 ___-Pacific : ASIA
56 Ding : DENT
58 Edge : NIP
60 Suggested qty. : RDA
61 Inc. alternative : LLC
62 Symbol of strength : OAK

17 thoughts on “0314-19 NY Times Crossword 14 Mar 19, Thursday”

    1. @Naomi … As a verb, “worst” can be used to mean “defeat”, so if you worst all of your opponents in a competition, you’re the best. (English! Ya just gotta love it! … 😜)

      Definitely a late-week clue!

  1. 9A Place where people are going with their drinks? : BAR CAR
    To literal me, the Bar Car is where people are going TO GET / FOR
    (vs with) their drinks.
    For 9D Worst in a competition, the best I though of is REST (there’s the winner and all the REST / also-rans), yet that didn’t work across.

  2. 1 hr and 4 min with5 errors all in the upper right corner.
    I think bar car and best are lousy clues and when I saw two against one I should have figured ther would be some ego contests going on somewhere in this puzzle
    END OF RANT. JACK OUT

  3. Won’t say how long this took, but I finished with no errors. Like others, I had issues with some of the cluing but it’s late-week after all.

  4. 19:17, no errors. Anytime I can come close to Bill’s time feels like a triumph. Several extremely twisted clues today. BARCAR was a good example. Agree with @Joseph regarding the more common interpretation of the clue. However, when people sit in the BARCAR with their drinks, and the train is heading to Chicago (for example), the BARCAR is “A place where people are going (to Chicago) with their drinks”. Like I said: twisted.

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