0320-19 NY Times Crossword 20 Mar 19, Wednesday

Constructed by: Erik Agard, Amanda Chung & Karl Ni
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Disappearing Ink

Themed answers are in a series. The first includes the word INK, and then letters DISAPPEAR one-by-one from INK as we progress down the grid:

  • 56A Liquid evidenced by the answers to this puzzle’s starred clues? : DISAPPEARING INK
  • 16A *Insomniac’s complaint : I CAN’T SLEEP A WINK
  • 23A *Leaving dirty dishes on the counter, say : KITCHEN SIN (from “kitchen sink”)
  • 36A *Sexy detective : HOT PI (from “hot pink”)
  • 46A *Works like an anti-aging serum : MAKES YOUTH (from “makes you think”)

Bill’s time: 7m 23s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Like old-fashioned diapers : CLOTH

“Diaper” is another word that I had to learn when I moved to America. What are called “diapers” over here, we call “nappies” back in Ireland. The term “diaper” is actually the original term that was used in England for the garment, where “diaper” referred to the cloth that was used. The term “diaper” was brought to the New World where it stuck. Back in Britain, “diaper” was displaced by the word “nappy”, a diminutive of “napkin”.

10 “Selma” director DuVernay : AVA

Ava DuVernay is a filmmaker who became the first African-American woman to win the Best Director Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, a feat she achieved in 2012 for her feature film “Middle of Nowhere”. “Middle of Nowhere” tells the story of a woman who drops out of medical school to focus on husband when he is sentenced to 8 years in prison. DuVernay also directed the 2014 film “Selma” about the 1965 voting rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

“Selma” is a 2014 film about the Selma to Montgomery marches of 1965. Directed by Ava DuVernay, the movie stars David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson.

14 “Tiny Bubbles” crooner : DON HO

The singer and entertainer Don Ho apparently had a pretty liberal arrangement with his wife. When Ho was touring with his two backing singers, Patti Swallie and Elizabeth Guevara, all three of them shared a room together. He had two children with each of his roommates, giving a total of ten kids including the six he had with his wife. The arrangement was quite open, it seems, with all ten kids visiting each other regularly. To each his own …

“Tiny Bubbles” was the signature song of singer and entertainer Don Ho. Written by Leon Pober, the song was intended for Lawrence Welk, but the famous bandleader turned it down.

15 Onetime ruler in the Winter Palace : TSAR

The Winter Palace is a magnificent building in St. Petersburg in Russia that was home to the Russian tsars (and tsarinas). Today, the Winter Palace houses the famous Hermitage Museum. I was lucky enough to visit the Palace and museum some years ago, and I have to say that I have rarely been more impressed by a historical building.

16 *Insomniac’s complaint : I CAN’T SLEEP A WINK

Our word “insomnia” ultimately comes from the Latin prefix “-in” meaning “not” and “somnus” meaning “sleep”.

19 Japanese lunch box : BENTO

A bento is a single-person meal that is eaten quite commonly in Japan. A bento can be purchased as a take-out meal, or it may be packed at home. A bento is usually sold as a “bento box”.

22 Alternative to Tide or Cheer : ERA

Era was the first liquid laundry detergent produced by Procter & Gamble.

27 ___ cava : VENA

The superior vena cava is a large vein carrying deoxygenated blood from the upper part of the body to the right atrium of the heart. The inferior vena cava does the same thing for the lower part of the body.

31 Part of a Swiss roll? : FRANC

Not only is the Swiss Franc legal tender in Switzerland, it is also the money used in Liechtenstein and the Italian exclave of Campione d’Italia.

33 Ambulance figure, for short : EMT

Emergency medical technician (EMT)

Our word “ambulance” originated in the French term “hôpital ambulant” meaning “field hospital” (literally “walking hospital”). In the 1850s, the term started to be used for a vehicle transporting the wounded from the battlefield, leading to our “ambulance”.

34 Green stone : JADE

“Jade” is actually the name given to two different mineral rocks, both of which are used to make gemstones. The first is nephrite, a mineral with a varying degree of iron content, the more iron the greener the color. The second is jadeite, a sodium and aluminum-rich pyroxene. As well as being used for gemstones, both jade minerals can be carved into decorative pieces.

36 *Sexy detective : HOT PI (from “hot pink”)

Private investigator (PI)

38 Bay ___ : AREA

The San Francisco Bay Area comprises the nine counties that impinge on the San Francisco Bay itself: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma. The region also includes the major cities of San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland.

40 Abbr. in a criminal profile : AKA

Also known as (aka)

41 Like the posts at the top of a blog, typically : NEWER

Many folks who visit this website regard it as just that, a website. That is true, but more specifically it is referred to as a blog, as I make regular posts (actually daily posts) that then occupy the “front page” of the site. The blog entries are in reverse chronological order, and one can just look back day-by-day, reading older and older posts. “Blog” is a contraction of the term “web log”.

45 Fifth book of the New Testament : ACTS

The Acts of the Apostles is the fifth book of the Christian New Testament. It is believed that the author of the Gospel of Luke was the same person who wrote “Acts”.

49 West Coaster’s summer hrs. : PDT

Pacific Daylight Time (PDT)

60 Tiny 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”.

62 Part of N.B. : BENE

“Nota bene” is Latin for “note well”, and is abbreviated to “NB”.

64 “___ Anatomy” : GREY’S

“Gray’s Anatomy” is a very successful human anatomy textbook that was first published back in 1858 and is still in print today. The original text was written by English anatomist Henry Gray, who gave his name to the work. The TV medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” (note “Grey” vs. Gray”) is centered on the character Dr. Meredith Grey, but the show’s title is a nod to the title of the famous textbook.

65 General ___ chicken : TSO’S

General Tso’s chicken is an American creation, and a dish often found on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zongtang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.

Down

3 Ex of the Donald : IVANA

Ivana Zelníčková was born in Czechoslovakia. She married an Austrian named Alfred Winklmayr, in an arrangement that allowed her to leave Communist Czechoslovakia. The marriage was dissolved within two years, and Zelníčková settled in Canada. She was an excellent skier, and was named as an alternate for the 1982 Czech Olympic Team. She was promoting the Montreal Olympics in New York in 1976 when she met Donald Trump. Ivana and Donald’s marriage was very public and well-covered by the media, but not nearly as well-covered as their very litigious divorce in the early nineties.

5 Contents of jewel cases, for short : CDS

It seems that the derivation of the term “jewel case” (CD box) is unclear. One suggestion is that initial prototypes weren’t very successful, so when a workable design was found it was dubbed the “jewel” case.

6 Nabokov novel : LOLITA

Vladimir Nabokov’s novel “Lolita” has a famously controversial storyline, dealing with a middle-aged man’s obsession and sexual relationship with a 12-year-old girl named Dolores Haze. 38-year-old professor Humbert Humbert privately refers to Dolores as “Lolita”. Although “Lolita” is considered a classic today, after Nabokov finished it in 1953 the edgy subject matter made it impossible for him to find a publisher in the US (where Nabokov lived). In 1955, he resorted to publishing it in English at a printing house in Paris. Publication was followed by bans and seizures all over Europe. A US printing house finally took on the project in 1958, by which time the title had such a reputation that it sold exceptionally quickly. “Lolita” became the first book since “Gone with the Wind” to sell over 100,000 copies in its first three weeks in stores.

7 Last year before A.D. : ONE BC

The designations Anno Domini (AD, “year of Our Lord”) and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC without a year “0” in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) used to replace BC.

8 1931 boxing movie for which Wallace Beery won a Best Actor Oscar : THE CHAMP

“The Champ” is a 1931 film about the life of an alcoholic boxer trying to put his life back together. The actor Wallace Beery plays the title role, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor.

15 Contraction that starts “Jabberwocky” : ‘TWAS

Here are the first two verses of “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll, probably the one poem that we all just loved learning to recite at school

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!

17 Cat or top hat, in Monopoly : TOKEN

There are eight tokens included in the game of Monopoly as of 2013. These are the wheelbarrow, battleship, race car, thimble, boot, Scottie dog, top hat and cat. The latest to be introduced was the cat in 2013, replacing the iron. The battleship and the cannon (aka howitzer, now retired) had been added to the Monopoly game as part of a recycling exercise. The pieces were intended for the game “Conflict” released in 1940, but when Parker Bros. pulled “Conflict” off the market due to poor sales, they added their excess battleships and cannons to Monopoly.

26 Ralph who wrote “Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!” : NADER

Ralph Nader has run as a third-party candidate for the office of President of the United States four times now, in every election from 1996 to 2008. Nader’s name was first first linked with the presidential race in 1971, when the famous Dr. Benjamin Spock offered to stand aside as candidate in the 1972 race if Nader would agree to run, but he declined.

31 Grounds for discussion? : FORUM

The Latin “forum” (plural “fora”) translates as “marketplace, town square”. “The Roman Forum” is the most famous example of such a space. The Forum is at the heart of the city of Rome is surrounded by the ruins of several ancient government buildings, and has been referred to as the most celebrated meeting place in the world.

32 Alliterative ice cream flavor : RUM RAISIN

Alliteration is a literary device in which the same sounds are repeated in a phrase. An extreme form of alliteration is a tongue twister, for example:

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers;
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked;
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

33 H, as in Athens : ETA

Athens is the capital city of Greece and is one of the world’s oldest cities, with a history that goes back around 3,400 years. In its heyday, Classical Athens was a remarkable center for the arts and philosophical debate, and was home to Plato and Aristotle. Athens is often called “the cradle of Western civilization” and “the birthplace of democracy”. The city was named for the Greek goddess Athena.

34 Highest-grossing film before “Star Wars” : JAWS

“Jaws” is a thrilling 1975 movie directed by Steven Spielberg that is based on a novel of the same name by Peter Benchley. The film has a powerful cast, led by Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw. “Jaws” was perhaps the first “summer blockbuster” with the highest box office take in history, a record that stood until “Star Wars” was released two years later.

35 ___-12 (N.C.A.A. conference) : PAC

“Pac-12” is an abbreviation for the Pacific-12 Conference, a college athletic conference in the western US. The Pac-12 has won more NCAA National Team Championships than any other conference. The Pac-12 was founded in 1915 as the Pacific Coast Conference (PCC). Over time as it grew, the conference went by the names Big Five, Big Six, Pacific-8, Pacific-10 and became the Pacific-12 in 2011.

42 Allen or Hawke : ETHAN

Ethan Allen was one of the founders of the state of Vermont. Allen was also a hero in the American Revolutionary War, famous for leading (along with Benedict Arnold) the small band of men known as the Green Mountain Boys that captured Fort Ticonderoga. And yes, the Ethan Allen store and furniture line is named for Ethan Allen the patriot, even though he had nothing to do with the furniture business.

Ethan Hawke is a Hollywood actor who made his breakthrough in a supporting role in “Dead Poet’s Society”, playing opposite Robin Williams. Hawke was married to Uma Thurman, with whom he has two children.

47 The Krusty ___ (SpongeBob SquarePants’s workplace) : KRAB

The Krusty Krab is a fast food restaurant frequented by SpongeBob Squarepants on his animated TV show.

49 Bends at a barre : PLIES

The French word for “bent” is “plié”. In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent. A “demi-plié” is a similar move, but with less bending of the knees.

A barre is a handrail used by ballet dancers for warm-up exercises and to provide support when practicing certain moves.

50 “Book ’em, ___!” : DANNO

Danny Williams is a character on the TV show “Hawaii Five-O”, both in the original version that first aired in 1968 and in the remake that was first broadcast in 2010. The original “Danno” is played by James McArthur. In the remake, Danno is played by Scott Caan, son of Hollywood actor James Caan. Book him, Danno!

51 Rug rats : TYKES

“Tyke” has been used playfully to describe a young child since at least 1902, but for centuries before that a tyke was a cur or mongrel, or perhaps a lazy or lower-class man.

55 Rainbow flag initialism : LGBT

The best-known rainbow flag is the one representing gay pride. Such usage of the rainbow flag was popularized in 1978 by artist Gilbert Baker. The varying colors of the flag represent the diversity of the gay community.

56 Letters at a filling station? : DDS

Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)

57 Org. with ties to Sinn Fein : IRA

Sinn Féin is a political party in Ireland, and one of the largest parties in both the Northern Ireland Assembly and in the Oireachtas (the parliament of the Republic of Ireland). The party has the stated aim of uniting Ireland north and south. “Sinn Féin” is Irish for “we ourselves”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 What you might do if you skip a step : TRIP
5 Like old-fashioned diapers : CLOTH
10 “Selma” director DuVernay : AVA
13 Four-star review : RAVE
14 “Tiny Bubbles” crooner : DON HO
15 Onetime ruler in the Winter Palace : TSAR
16 *Insomniac’s complaint : I CAN’T SLEEP A WINK
19 Japanese lunch box : BENTO
20 Root beer brand : IBC
21 Half-___ (coffee option) : CAF
22 Alternative to Tide or Cheer : ERA
23 *Leaving dirty dishes on the counter, say : KITCHEN SIN (from “kitchen sink”)
27 ___ cava : VENA
28 Firefighter tool : AXE
29 Limit : CAP
31 Part of a Swiss roll? : FRANC
33 Ambulance figure, for short : EMT
34 Green stone : JADE
35 Rain heavily : POUR
36 *Sexy detective : HOT PI (from “hot pink”)
38 Bay ___ : AREA
39 Force on the ground : ARMY
40 Abbr. in a criminal profile : AKA
41 Like the posts at the top of a blog, typically : NEWER
43 Growling dog : CUR
44 Showy neckwear : BOA
45 Fifth book of the New Testament : ACTS
46 *Works like an anti-aging serum : MAKES YOUTH (from “makes you think”)
49 West Coaster’s summer hrs. : PDT
52 Fed-up feeling : IRE
53 Certain library loan : DVD
54 Lessen, as fears : ALLAY
56 Liquid evidenced by the answers to this puzzle’s starred clues? : DISAPPEARING INK
60 Tiny bit : DRIB
61 Off the table? : EATEN
62 Part of N.B. : BENE
63 First word of many California city names : SAN
64 “___ Anatomy” : GREY’S
65 General ___ chicken : TSO’S

Down

1 Group making a reservation? : TRIBE
2 Go-kart, e.g. : RACER
3 Ex of the Donald : IVANA
4 Confined, with “up” : PENT
5 Contents of jewel cases, for short : CDS
6 Nabokov novel : LOLITA
7 Last year before A.D. : ONE BC
8 1931 boxing movie for which Wallace Beery won a Best Actor Oscar : THE CHAMP
9 “___ on it!” : HOP
10 “Yeah, whatever” : AS IF I CARE
11 With 12-Down, actress Joan whose last name consists of two different conveyances : VAN …
12 See 11-Down : … ARK
15 Contraction that starts “Jabberwocky” : ‘TWAS
17 Cat or top hat, in Monopoly : TOKEN
18 Oil crisis? : ACNE
24 Completely jumbled : IN CHAOS
25 Wiped out : EXTINCT
26 Ralph who wrote “Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!” : NADER
27 Not stay the same : VARY
30 Split tidbit : PEA
31 Grounds for discussion? : FORUM
32 Alliterative ice cream flavor : RUM RAISIN
33 H, as in Athens : ETA
34 Highest-grossing film before “Star Wars” : JAWS
35 ___-12 (N.C.A.A. conference) : PAC
37 “As you wish,” to a spouse : OKAY, DEAR
42 Allen or Hawke : ETHAN
44 Rush-hour sound : BEEP
45 Actress Hepburn : AUDREY
47 The Krusty ___ (SpongeBob SquarePants’s workplace) : KRAB
48 Egg-shaped : OVATE
49 Bends at a barre : PLIES
50 “Book ’em, ___!” : DANNO
51 Rug rats : TYKES
55 Rainbow flag initialism : LGBT
56 Letters at a filling station? : DDS
57 Org. with ties to Sinn Fein : IRA
58 Part for tuning a guitar : PEG
59 Connections : INS

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