0321-19 NY Times Crossword 21 Mar 19, Thursday

Constructed by: Christopher Adams
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Slasher Film

Themed answers are FILM titles that include a SLASH:

  • 25D Movie with graphic violence … or what 17-Across, 22-Down or 39-Down each is? : SLASHER FILM
  • 17A 1982 movie starring Julie Andrews : VICTOR/VICTORIA
  • 22D 2008 movie starring Michael Sheen and Frank Langella : FROST/NIXON
  • 39D 1997 movie starring John Travolta and Nicolas Cage : FACE/OFF
  • 45A Kind of switch : AC/DC
  • 55A Like many radios : AM/FM
  • 7D Third-person pronoun : HE/SHE

Bill’s time: 10m 08s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Happening after doors open on Black Friday : MAD DASH

In the world of retail, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the US. Black Friday is when many stores start the holiday shopping season, and so offer deep discounts to get ahead of the competition.

15 Colorful circles : AREOLAE

An areola (sometimes “areole”) in anatomy is a small ring of color, as in the areola surrounding the nipple, and the areola surrounding the pupil of the eye. “Areola” (plural “areolae”) comes from Latin, meaning “small open space”, and is a diminutive of the Latin word “area”, meaning “open space”.

16 Ronan of “Lady Bird” : SAOIRSE

Saoirse Ronan is an Irish-American actress, having been born in the Bronx, New York and raised in Carlow and Dublin in Ireland. Ronan’s big break came when she was cast in the 2007 film “Atonement” at 12 years of age, a role for which she was nominated for that season’s Best Supporting Actress Oscar. “Saoirse” is the Irish word for “freedom”.

17 1982 movie starring Julie Andrews : VICTOR/VICTORIA

“Victor/Victoria” is a 1982 musical comedy film starring Julie Andrews as a stage performer who appears in the plot as both a male and female character, i.e. Victoria Grant & Count Victor Grazinski. “Victor/Victoria” was directed by Blake Edwards, who is Julie Andrews’ husband.

24 Skeletons in the closet, so to speak : PASTS

The idiom “skeleton in the closet” means “secret to hide”. On the other side of the Atlantic, the concept is more likely to be expressed as “skeleton in the cupboard”.

28 To be, overseas : ETRE

The verb “to be” is “ser” in Spanish and “être” in French.

32 Swimmer Ian who won three gold medals in the 2000 Olympics : THORPE

Ian Thorpe is a retired competitive swimmer from Australia. Thorpe won five Olympic gold medals, and earned himself the nickname “The Thorpedo”.

34 Japanese floor mat : TATAMI

A tatami is a traditional mat used on floors in Japan. The term “tatami” comes from the Japanese word “tatamu” meaning “to fold”, reflecting the fact that the mat is designed to be folded up for storage.

41 Triple ___ : SEC

Triple sec is liqueur made from the dried peels of bitter and sweet oranges. I tend to use it in cocktails calling for Grand Marnier or Cointreau, as it is a cheaper alternative and tastes very similar …

42 Collegiate basketball competition, for short : NIT

National Invitation Tournament (NIT)

43 Like Natalie Portman, by birth : ISRAELI

The actress Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem, Israel. She moved to the US with her family when she was just three years old.

44 It ended during the Napoleonic Wars: Abbr. : HRE

The Holy Roman Empire (HRE) existed from 962 to 1806 AD and was a territory of varying size over the centuries that centered on the Kingdom of Germany. The HRE was a successor to the western half of the Ancient Roman Empire. The empire dissolved in 1806 when Holy Roman Emperor Francis II abdicated after a military defeat by the French under Napoleon at Austerlitz.

47 Label owned by Sony Music : RCA

During WWI, the US government actively discouraged the loss of certain technologies to other countries, including allies. The developing wireless technologies were considered to be particularly important by the army and navy. The government prevented the General Electric Company from selling equipment to the British Marconi Company, and instead facilitated the purchase by GE of the American Marconi subsidiary. This purchase led to GE forming the Radio Corporation of America that we know today as RCA.

48 Good earth : LOESS

Loess is a wind-blown accumulation of silt. The word is German in origin and was first used to describe silt along the Rhine Valley.

50 Formerly : NEE

“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”.

51 Its second ed. contains about 59 million words : OED

The “Oxford English Dictionary” (OED) contains over 300,000 “main” entries and 59 million words in total. The longest entry for one word in the second edition of the OED is the verb “set”. When the third edition was published in 2007, the longest entry for a single word became the verb “put”. Perhaps not surprisingly, the most-quoted author in the OED is William Shakespeare, with his most quoted work being “Hamlet”. The most-quoted female author is George Eliot (aka Mary Ann Evans).

53 1% alternative : SKIM

The fatty component of milk is known as butterfat (sometimes “milkfat”). To be labeled whole milk, the butterfat content must be at least 3.25%. Low-fat milk is defined as milk containing 0.5-2% fat, with levels of 1% and 2% commonly found on grocery store shelves. Skim milk must contain less than 0.5% fat, and typically contains 0.1%.

55 Like many radios : AM/FM

In telecommunications, a radio signal is transmitted using a sinusoidal carrier wave. Information is transmitted using this carrier wave in two main ways, by varying (modulating) the instantaneous amplitude (signal strength) of the carrier wave, and by modulating the instantaneous frequency of the carrier wave. The former is referred to as an AM signal (“amplitude modulation”), and the latter as an FM signal (“frequency modulation”).

60 Common sign-off : XOXO

In the sequence letter sequence “XOX”, the X represents a kiss, and the O a hug. “OOO” is a string of hugs, and “XXX” a string of kisses. Hugs and kisses …

61 Source of the word “kiwi” : MAORI

Unlike many nicknames for people of a particular country, the name “Kiwi” for a New Zealander isn’t offensive at all. The term comes from the flightless bird called the kiwi, which is endemic to New Zealand and is the country’s national symbol. “Kiwi” is a Maori word, and the plural (when referring to the bird) is simply “kiwi”. However, when you have two or more New Zealanders with you, they are Kiwis (note the “s”, and indeed the capital “K”!).

62 River draining 11 countries : NILE

Depending on definition, the Nile is regarded generally as the longest river on the planet. The Nile forms from two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, which join together near Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. From Khartoum the Nile flows north, traveling almost entirely through desert making it central to life for the peoples living along its length.

67 Like many A.T.M.s : NO-FEE

Automatic Teller Machine (ATM)

68 Primetime ___ : EMMY

The Emmy Awards are the television equivalent of the Oscars from the world of film, the Grammy Awards in music and the Tony Awards for the stage. Emmy Awards are presented throughout the year, depending on the sector of television being honored. The most famous of these ceremonies are the Primetime Emmy Awards and the Daytime Emmy Awards. The distinctive name of “Emmy” is a softened version of the word “immy”, the nickname given to the video camera tubes found in old television cameras.

Down

1 Western Conference player, informally : MAV

The Mavericks are the NBA franchise in Dallas, Texas. The team was founded in 1980, and the Mavericks name was chosen by fan votes. The choice of “Mavericks” was prompted by the fact that the actor James Garner was a part-owner of the team, and Garner of course played the title role in the “Maverick” television series.

2 Shapiro of public radio : ARI

Ari Shapiro served very ably as White House correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR) for several years. He then became a co-host of network’s drive-time program “All Things Considered” in 2015.

3 World AIDS Day mo. : DEC

Someone infected by the human immunodeficiency virus is said to be HIV positive. After the initial infection, the person is often asymptomatic for many years. Over time, the virus interferes with the immune system and so increasing the chances of picking up serious secondary infections. Those unfortunate enough to develop a severely compromised immune system are said to suffer from acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

5 Soothing succulents : ALOES

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in relatively dry climates. The plants leaves are full of biologically-active compounds that have been studied extensively. Aloe vera has been used for centuries in herbal medicine, mainly for topical treatment of wounds.

6 1986 #1 Starship hit with the lyric “I’ll never find another girl like you” : SARA

The sixties folk group called Jefferson Airplane gave rise to two spin-off groups that were founded by former Jefferson Airplane band members. The first was Jefferson Starship, and the second was Starship. Confusing, huh?

11 It may be read to the rowdy : RIOT ACT

The Riot Act was a British law that was in force from 1715 to 1967. According to the Riot Act, government entities could declare any gathering of twelve or more people “unlawful”. Our expression “read the Riot Act to” is derived from the requirement for the authorities to read out the Riot Act proclamation to an unlawful assembly before the Act could be enforced.

12 Sheet music abbr. : ARR

“Arr.” is short for “arranged by”, when written on a musical score.

13 Hit CBS series with three spinoffs : CSI

The “CSI” TV show franchise uses hits from the Who as theme music:

  • “Who Are You” … “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”
  • “Baba O’Riley” … “CSI: New York”
  • “Won’t Get Fooled Again” … “CSI: Miami”
  • “I Can See for Miles” … “CSI: Cyber”

20 Holder of many cones : RETINA

The retina is the tissue that lines the inside of the eye, and is the tissue that is light-sensitive. There are (mainly) two types of cell in the retina that are sensitive to light, one called rods and the other cones. Rods are cells that best function in very dim light and only provide black-and-white vision. Cones on the other hand function in brighter light and can perceive color.

22 2008 movie starring Michael Sheen and Frank Langella : FROST/NIXON

British journalist David Frost is perhaps best known in the US for hosting the television show “Through the Keyhole” and for his celebrity interviews, most notably with former President Richard Nixon. That interview was adapted as a play and then a movie called “Frost/Nixon”. The movie was directed by Ron Howard. “Frost/Nixon” is a little slow, but it is a must see for political history addicts like me.

39 1997 movie starring John Travolta and Nicolas Cage : FACE/OFF

“Face/Off” is a 1997 action movie starring John Travolta and Nicolas Cage as an FBI agent and terrorist who “swap faces”. Yes, that sounds ridiculous, but I find this movie quite entertaining …

53 Annual Austin festival, for short : SXSW

South by Southwest, also known as “SXSW”, is an annual festival that has been taking place in Austin, Texas since 1987. SXSW is a melded event, combining a music festival, a film festival and an interactive festival.

54 ___ nut : KOLA

The nut of the kola tree has a bitter taste, and is loaded with caffeine. Despite the taste, the nut is habitually chewed in some cultures, especially in West Africa where the tree is commonly found in the rainforest. Here in the US we best know the kola nut as a flavoring used in cola drinks.

55 Dictator deposed in 1979 : AMIN

Idi Amin ruled Uganda as a dictator from 1971 until 1979. Amin started his professional career as a cook in the Colonial British Army. Amin seized power from President Milton Obote in a 1971 coup d’état. The former cook eventually gave himself the title “His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular”.

58 Many a university donor, informally : ALUM

An alumnus (plural “alumni”) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural “alumnae”). The term comes into English from Latin, in which an alumnus is a foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or an alumnus.

59 “Ratatouille” rat : REMY

“Ratatouille” is a 2007 animated film produced by Pixar. The hero of the piece is Remy, a rat whose ambition is to become a chef. Remy was voiced by stand-up comedian Patton Oswalt. The veteran actor Peter O’Toole voiced the character Anton Ego, a restaurant critic.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Happening after doors open on Black Friday : MAD DASH
8 Draw : ATTRACT
15 Colorful circles : AREOLAE
16 Ronan of “Lady Bird” : SAOIRSE
17 1982 movie starring Julie Andrews : VICTOR/VICTORIA
19 Elicited with difficulty : TEASED OUT
20 Some mortgage adjustments, in brief : REFIS
23 Run, old-style : HIE
24 Skeletons in the closet, so to speak : PASTS
28 To be, overseas : ETRE
29 Tighten (up) : TENSE
31 Money holder : CLIP
32 Swimmer Ian who won three gold medals in the 2000 Olympics : THORPE
34 Japanese floor mat : TATAMI
36 Helpful people to know : INS
37 Warning sign : RED FLAG
41 Triple ___ : SEC
42 Collegiate basketball competition, for short : NIT
43 Like Natalie Portman, by birth : ISRAELI
44 It ended during the Napoleonic Wars: Abbr. : HRE
45 Kind of switch : AC/DC
47 Label owned by Sony Music : RCA
48 Good earth : LOESS
50 Formerly : NEE
51 Its second ed. contains about 59 million words : OED
52 Miss the mark : ERR
53 1% alternative : SKIM
55 Like many radios : AM/FM
57 A long way off : AFAR
60 Common sign-off : XOXO
61 Source of the word “kiwi” : MAORI
62 River draining 11 countries : NILE
63 8:00-9:00 p.m. in prime time, e.g. : SLOT
64 Deduce : INFER
65 Down in the dumps : GLUM
66 Go down, in a way : WANE
67 Like many A.T.M.s : NO-FEE
68 Primetime ___ : EMMY

Down

1 Western Conference player, informally : MAV
2 Shapiro of public radio : ARI
3 World AIDS Day mo. : DEC
4 More eccentric : DOTTIER
5 Soothing succulents : ALOES
6 1986 #1 Starship hit with the lyric “I’ll never find another girl like you” : SARA
7 Third-person pronoun : HE/SHE
8 Parenthesized comments : ASIDES
9 Food truck offering, maybe : TACO
10 Figure, as a sum : TOT UP
11 It may be read to the rowdy : RIOT ACT
12 Sheet music abbr. : ARR
13 Hit CBS series with three spinoffs : CSI
14 Spill the ___ (dish out gossip) : TEA
18 Line on a leaf : VEIN
20 Holder of many cones : RETINA
21 Like some cuisines : ETHNIC
22 2008 movie starring Michael Sheen and Frank Langella : FROST/NIXON
25 Movie with graphic violence … or what 17-Across, 22-Down or 39-Down each is? : SLASHER FILM
26 Some board game equipment : TIMERS
27 Jazzes (up) : SPICES
29 Souvenir shop purchases : TEES
30 List shortcut : ET AL
33 Information on a ticket : PRICE
35 Light on one’s feet : AGILE
38 “ER” role for Paul McCrane : DR ROMANO
39 1997 movie starring John Travolta and Nicolas Cage : FACE/OFF
40 Like many pipes nowadays : LEAD FREE
46 Knock down : DEMOTE
49 Like butterscotch : ORANGE
53 Annual Austin festival, for short : SXSW
54 ___ nut : KOLA
55 Dictator deposed in 1979 : AMIN
56 Swampland, e.g. : MIRE
58 Many a university donor, informally : ALUM
59 “Ratatouille” rat : REMY

8 thoughts on “0321-19 NY Times Crossword 21 Mar 19, Thursday”

  1. 12:38, no errors. I couldn’t find a way to put in the slashes, so I just made each one a rebus with the word “SLASH”, which worked. (My current streak is back up to 200 days and, of course, it was vitally important to preserve that! 😜)

  2. The /SLASH/ schtick herein is clever, literal, and twas new to moi.

    1A Black Friday … “the point in the year when retailers begin to turn a profit, thus going from being “in the red” to being “in the black”

    55 Dictator deposed in 1979 : AMIN … and he also played accordion.

  3. 39:58 no errors…..My paper printed 64 & 65 across as being connected which really threw me until I figured it was a misprint…..Just what someone who struggles with crosswords needed.

  4. 38min. 28 on the internal puzzle and 10 on the fill.
    Cant believe I recalled Frost/Nixon and Face/Off but had trouble with Victor/ Victoria one of my faves.
    I incorrectly assumed they were slasher flics so that slowed me down.

  5. 18:46, no errors. Needed crosses for many entries, such as SAOIRSE, wasn’t even sure that was a first or last name. Also first guessed IRA instead of ARI, and NUTTIER before DOTTIER. Have always had a blind spot toward the order of the center vowels in MAORI and ISRAELI.

  6. To DASH (1A) or to SLASH (25D)? That is the question. Should’ve slashed but didn’t. Fan of SAOIRSE, so no problem there.

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