0325-19 NY Times Crossword 25 Mar 19, Monday

Constructed by:Kevin Christian & Andrea Carla Michaels
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: LPs

Themed answers each comprise two words starting with the letters LP:

  • 62D Old records … or a hint for this puzzle’s seven longest answers : LPS
  • 17A Tito Puente’s specialty : LATIN PERCUSSION
  • 23A Material that’s spotted at a fashion show? : LEOPARD PRINT
  • 41A Area of a basketball court near the basket : LOW POST
  • 51A Rocket’s takeoff point : LAUNCHING PAD
  • 61A Court case, e.g. : LEGAL PROCEEDING
  • 3D Mega Millions jackpot : LOTTO PRIZE
  • 31D Wall covering that’s washable with soap and water : LATEX PAINT

Bill’s time: 5m 28s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 After-bath powder : TALC

Talc is a mineral, actually hydrated magnesium silicate. Talcum powder is composed of loose talc, although these days “baby powder” is also made from cornstarch.

5 Mexican “dollar” : PESO

The coin called a “peso” is used in many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. The coin originated in Spain where the word “peso” means “weight”. The original peso was what we know in English as a “piece of eight”, a silver coin of a specific weight that had a nominal value of eight “reales”.

14 “Young Frankenstein” assistant : IGOR

In the world of movies, Igor has been the assistant to Dracula, Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein among others. Igor is almost invariably portrayed as a hunchback.

I am not really a big fan of movies by Mel Brooks, but “Young Frankenstein” is the exception. I think the cast has a lot to do with me liking the film, as it includes Gene Wilder (Dr. Frankenstein), Teri Garr (Inga), Marty Feldman (Igor) and Gene Hackman (Harold, the blind man).

16 Corporate giant in a 2001 bankruptcy : ENRON

After all the trials following the exposure of fraud at Enron, several of the key players ended up in jail. Andrew Fastow was the Chief Financial Officer. He plea-bargained and received ten years without parole, and became the key witness in the trials of others. Even Fastow’s wife was involved and she was sentenced to one year for helping her husband hide money. Jeffrey Skilling (ex-CEO) was sentenced to 24 years and 4 months. Kenneth Lay (CEO) died in 2006 after he had been found guilty but before he could be sentenced. The accounting firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstruction of justice for shredding thousands of pertinent documents and deleting emails and files (a decision that the Supreme Court later overturned on a technicality). But still, Arthur Andersen collapsed under the weight of the scandal and 85,000 people lost their jobs (despite only a handful being directly involved with Enron).

17 Tito Puente’s specialty : LATIN PERCUSSION

After serving in the navy in WWII for three years, musician Tito Puente studied at Juilliard, where he got a great grounding in conducting, orchestration and theory. Puente parlayed this education into a career in Latin Jazz and Mambo. He was known as “El Rey” as well as “The King of Latin Music”.

20 China’s Mao ___-tung : TSE

Mao Zedong (also “Mao Tse-tung”) was born on December 16, 1893 in the Hunan Province of China. As Mao was the son of a peasant farmer, his prospects for education were limited. Indeed he left school at age 13 to work on the family farm but did eventually get to secondary school in Changsha, the provincial capital. In the years following, Mao continued his education in Beijing and actually turned down an opportunity to study in France.

21 Fleming who created James Bond : IAN

Ian Fleming is most famous for writing the “James Bond” series of spy novels. You might also know that he wrote the children’s story “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, which was made into a cute movie released in 1968 and even a stage musical that opened in 2002.

28 Matterhorn or Mont Blanc : ALP

“Matterhorn” is the German name for the famous Alpine peak that lies on the border between Switzerland and Italy. The Italian name for the same mountain is “Monte Cervino”, and the French call it “Mont Cervin”. “Matterhorn” comes from the German words Matte and Horn meaning “meadow” and “peak”. “Cervino” and “Cervin” come from the Latin name for the mountain, i.e. “Mons Silvius” meaning “Forest Mountain”.

Mont Blanc is the highest peak in the Alps. The name “Mont Blanc” translates from French into “white mountain”. The mountain lies on the border between France and Italy, and it has been generally accepted for decades that the summit lies within French territory. However, there have been official claims that the summit does in fact fall within the borders of Italy.

33 “___ favor, señor” : POR

“Por favor” is Spanish for “please”.

38 ___ Lingus (carrier to Dublin) : AER

Aer Lingus is my favorite airline! Well, the service isn’t that great, but when I get on board an Aer Lingus plane I feel like I am back in Ireland. Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland, with “Aer Lingus” being a phonetic spelling of the Irish “aer-loingeas” meaning “air fleet”. These days Aer Lingus can only lay claim to the title of Ireland’s oldest airline as it is no longer the biggest. That honor goes to the controversial budget airline called Ryanair.

40 Big name in newswires : UPI

Founded in 1958, United Press International (UPI) used to be one of the biggest news agencies in the world, sending out news by wire to the major newspapers. UPI ran into trouble with the change in media formats at the end of the twentieth century and lost many of its clients as the afternoon newspapers shut down due to the advent of television news. UPI, which once employed thousands, still exists today but with just a fraction of that workforce.

43 Candy that’s not in-dispensable? : PEZ

PEZ is an Austrian brand of candy sold in a mechanical dispenser. Famously, PEZ dispensers have molded “heads”, and have become very collectible over the years. The list of heads includes historical figures like Betsy Ross and Paul Revere, characters from “Star Wars” and “Star Trek”, and even British royalty like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (“William and Kate”). The name PEZ comes from the first, middle and last letters of “Pfefferminz”, the German word for “peppermint”.

50 12 on a grandfather clock : XII

There are several sizes of longcase clocks, tall and freestanding clocks driven by a pendulum swinging inside a tower below the clock face. A longcase clock over 6 feet tall is called a grandfather, and one below five feet is a granddaughter, One that falls between five and six feet is known as a grandmother. The name of the clock derives from an 1876 song called “My Grandfather’s Clock”.

69 Prime draft category : ONE-A

The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System (SSS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).

70 “Hair” dos : AFROS

The full name of the famed show from the sixties is “Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical”, although the 1979 film adaptation was simply titled “Hair”. This controversial work outraged many when it was first performed in the sixties, as it attacked many aspects of life at the time. For example, the song “Air” is a satirical look at pollution, sung by a character who comes onto the stage wearing a gas mask. The opening lines are “Welcome, sulfur dioxide. Hello carbon monoxide. The air … is everywhere”. How things have changed over the past few decades said he … satirically …

71 Composer Satie : ERIK

Erik Satie was a French composer most famous for his beautiful composition, the three “Gymnopédies”. I have tried so hard to appreciate other works by Satie but I find them so very different from the minimalist simplicity of the lyrical “Gymnopédies”.

72 Corvette Stingray feature : T-TOP

The Chevrolet Corvette was introduced to the world in 1953, and was named after the small maneuverable warship called a corvette. The “vette” has legs. It is the only American sports car that has been around for over 50 years.

Down

2 Turkish title : AGA

“Aga” (also “agha”) is a title that was used by both civil and military officials in the Ottoman Empire.

3 Mega Millions jackpot : LOTTO PRIZE

The Mega Millions lottery game is available in most states of the US, as is its major rival called Powerball.

5 Mushy baby food : PAP

One use of the term “pap” is to describe soft or semi-liquid food for babies and small children. “Pap” comes into English, via French, from the Latin word used by children for “food”. In the 1500s, “pap” also came to mean “an oversimplified” idea. This gives us a usage that’s common today, describing literature or perhaps TV programming that lacks real value or substance. Hands up those who think there’s a lot of pap out there, especially on television …

8 Felix’s partner on “The Odd Couple” : OSCAR

“The Odd Couple” is a play by the wonderfully talented Neil Simon first performed on Broadway, in 1965. This great play was adapted for the big screen in 1968, famously starring Jack Lemmon (as Felix Unger) and Walter Matthau (as Oscar Madison). The success of the play and the film gave rise to an excellent television sitcom that ran from 1970-1975, starring Tony Randall and Jack Klugman. In 1985, Neil Simon even went so far as to adapt the play for an all-female cast, renaming it “The Female Odd Couple”. I’d like to see that one …

11 Habeas corpus, e.g. : WRIT

The Latin term “habeas corpus” translates literally as “you are to have the body”, and is a legal action (i.e. a writ) that is used to release a prisoner from unlawful detention.

13 The “A” in A.D. : ANNO

The Latin word for year is “annus”. We often see it used in Latin phrases, but usually with a different spelling. In “anno Domini”, the “anno” is the ablative case of “annus” as the phrase means “in the year of the Lord”. Another example is “per annum”, in which “annum” is the accusative case as the literal translation of the phrase is “during the year”.

18 Kind of tide : NEAP

Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon’s gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

31 Wall covering that’s washable with soap and water : LATEX PAINT

Latex is a naturally occurring polymer made by some plants, that can also be made synthetically. About one in ten of the flowering plants in the world make the milky fluid called latex. It serves as a defense against insects and is exuded when a plant is injured or attacked by insects. Latex is collected commercially and is the source of natural rubber, which can be used to make things such as gloves, condoms and balloons.

32 Neighbor of Croatia : SERBIA

Serbia is a landlocked country in southeast Europe. After WWII, Serbia became one of several states making up the nation called Yugoslavia. Serbia became independent again in 2006 as Yugoslavia broke up after the declaration of independence by Montenegro.

The Republic of Croatia is a Balkan country. The Croats declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Croatia became a member of NATO in 2009, and a member of the European Union in 2013.

35 Speed abbr. : MPH

Miles per hour (mph)

39 Like a dangerous raccoon : RABID

“Rabies” is actually the Latin word for “madness”. The name is a good choice for the viral disease, as once the virus spreads to the brain the infected person or animal exhibits very tortured and bizarre behavior including hydrophobia, a fear of water. The virus is passed on to humans most often through a bite from an infected dog. It is curable if it is caught in time, basically before symptoms develop. Once the virus passes up the peripheral nervous system to the spine and the brain, there isn’t much that can be done. We can also use the derivative term “rabid” figuratively, to mean extremely violent, to have extreme views.

The raccoon is native to North America. In captivity, raccoons can live to over 20 years of age, but in the wild they only live two or three years. The main causes for the shorter lifespan are hunting and road traffic.

41 Roman moon goddess : LUNA

“Luna” is the Latin word for “moon”, and is the name given to the Roman moon goddess. The Greek equivalent of Luna was Selene. Luna had a temple on the Aventine Hill in Rome but it was destroyed during the Great Fire that raged during the reign of Nero.

47 Texas city on the Rio Grande : EL PASO

Although there have been human settlements in the El Paso area for thousands of years, the first European settlement was founded in 1659 by the Spanish. That first community was on the south bank of the Rio Grande, and was called El Paso del Norte (the North Pass). Most of the urban development under Spanish rule took place on the south side of the river, with El Paso del Norte acting as the center of governance for the Spanish for the territory of New Mexico. The Rio Grande was chosen as the border between Mexico and the US in 1848, so most of the city of El Paso del Norte became part of the Mexican state of Chihuahua (and is now called Ciudad Juárez ). The area north of the river developed as a US military post, eventually becoming the modern city of El Paso, Texas.

The Rio Grande (Spanish for “big river”) is a waterway that forms part of the border between Mexico and the United States. Although we call the river the Rio Grande on this side of the border, in Mexico it is called the Río Bravo or Río Bravo del Norte (Spanish for “furious river of the north”).

52 Diamond head? : UMP

Back in the 15th century, “an umpire” was referred to as “a noumpere”, which was misheard and hence causing the dropping of the initial letter N. The term “noumpere” came from Old French “nonper” meaning “not even, odd number”. The idea was that the original umpire was a third person called on to arbitrate between two, providing that “odd number” needed to decide the dispute.

53 Chutzpah : NERVE

Our word “chutzpah” meaning “nerve, gall, impudence” is derived from the Yiddish “khutspe”, which has the same meaning.

56 Bit of pond growth : ALGA

Algae are similar to terrestrial plants in that they use photosynthesis to create sugars from light and carbon dioxide, but they differ in that they have simpler anatomies, and for example lack roots.

57 Medieval drudge : SERF

A serf was a member of the lowest feudal class, someone attached to land owned by a lord. “Serf” comes from the Latin “servus”, meaning “slave”.

58 Food thickener : AGAR

Agar (also “agar-agar”) is a jelly extracted from seaweed that has many uses. Agar is found in Japanese desserts, and can also be used as a food thickener or even as a laxative. In the world of science, it is the most common medium used for growing bacteria in Petri dishes.

62 Old records … or a hint for this puzzle’s seven longest answers : LPS

The first vinyl records designed to play at 33⅓ rpm were introduced by RCA Victor in 1931, but were discontinued due to quality problems. The first long play (LP) 33⅓ rpm disc was introduced by Columbia Records many years later in 1948, with RCA Victor following up with a 45 rpm “single” the following year, in 1949.

63 Long-running CBS forensic series : CSI

The “CSI” franchise of TV shows has been tremendously successful, but has finally wound down. “CSI: Miami” (the “worst” of the franchise, I think) was cancelled in 2012 after ten seasons. “CSI: NY” (the “best” of the franchise) was cancelled in 2013 after nine seasons. The original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, set in Las Vegas, hung in there until 2015 when it ended with a two-hour TV movie. The youngest show in the series was “CSI: Cyber”. It lasted for two seasons, before being canceled in 2016.

65 Prefix with conservative : NEO-

By definition, a neoconservative (neocon) is a formerly left-aligned politician who has moved to the right, and who now supports the use of American power and military might to bring democracy, liberty, equality and human rights to other countries.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 After-bath powder : TALC
5 Mexican “dollar” : PESO
9 “Holy moly!” : YOWZA!
14 “Young Frankenstein” assistant : IGOR
15 ___ and crafts : ARTS
16 Corporate giant in a 2001 bankruptcy : ENRON
17 Tito Puente’s specialty : LATIN PERCUSSION
20 China’s Mao ___-tung : TSE
21 Fleming who created James Bond : IAN
22 “Wishing won’t make ___” : IT SO
23 Material that’s spotted at a fashion show? : LEOPARD PRINT
28 Matterhorn or Mont Blanc : ALP
29 Golfer’s goal : PAR
30 Slippery fishes : EELS
33 “___ favor, señor” : POR
34 Mothers, informally : MAMMAS
38 ___ Lingus (carrier to Dublin) : AER
40 Big name in newswires : UPI
41 Area of a basketball court near the basket : LOW POST
42 Lead-in to “la-la” : TRA
43 Candy that’s not in-dispensable? : PEZ
44 Like the hooves of wild horses : UNSHOD
45 Kind of tide : EBB
46 What children should be (but not heard), they say : SEEN
48 Dove’s sound : COO
50 12 on a grandfather clock : XII
51 Rocket’s takeoff point : LAUNCHING PAD
56 “Right away!” : ASAP!
59 So-so : MEH
60 Sound from a goat : MAA
61 Court case, e.g. : LEGAL PROCEEDING
67 Get a grip on : GRASP
68 What you might use to get a grip on something : VISE
69 Prime draft category : ONE-A
70 “Hair” dos : AFROS
71 Composer Satie : ERIK
72 Corvette Stingray feature : T-TOP

Down

1 “Shop ___ You Drop” (old game show) : ‘TIL
2 Turkish title : AGA
3 Mega Millions jackpot : LOTTO PRIZE
4 Invigorating, as autumn air : CRISP
5 Mushy baby food : PAP
6 Before, in poetry : ERE
7 Take it all off : STRIP
8 Felix’s partner on “The Odd Couple” : OSCAR
9 “Affirmative” : YES
10 Kind of inspection : ON-SITE
11 Habeas corpus, e.g. : WRIT
12 Arboretums : trees :: ___ : animals : ZOOS
13 The “A” in A.D. : ANNO
18 Kind of tide : NEAP
19 Prefix with cycle : UNI-
23 Drink, like a cat or dog : LAP UP
24 Gets hitched in haste : ELOPES
25 San ___ (San Francisco suburb) : RAMON
26 Sketches : DRAWS
27 Bird’s home : NEST
31 Wall covering that’s washable with soap and water : LATEX PAINT
32 Neighbor of Croatia : SERBIA
35 Speed abbr. : MPH
36 Person who sponges : MOOCH
37 “Same here” : AS DO I
39 Like a dangerous raccoon : RABID
41 Roman moon goddess : LUNA
47 Texas city on the Rio Grande : EL PASO
49 “I guess the joke’s ___” : ON ME
52 Diamond head? : UMP
53 Chutzpah : NERVE
54 Group singing hymns : CHOIR
55 Gal of “Wonder Woman” : GADOT
56 Bit of pond growth : ALGA
57 Medieval drudge : SERF
58 Food thickener : AGAR
62 Old records … or a hint for this puzzle’s seven longest answers : LPS
63 Long-running CBS forensic series : CSI
64 Hair-raising cry : EEK!
65 Prefix with conservative : NEO-
66 Dental problem that braces can fix : GAP

9 thoughts on “0325-19 NY Times Crossword 25 Mar 19, Monday”

  1. 6:26, no errors. Chutzpah, as it was explained to me, is the epitome of nerve. The example I was given: A man, on trial for murdering both his parents, demands leniency, because he is an orphan.

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