0326-19 NY Times Crossword 26 Mar 19, Tuesday

Constructed by: Zhouqin Burnikel
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Opening Day

Themed answers OPEN with DAYS of the week:

  • 62A Start of the baseball season … or what the start of each starred clue is? : OPENING DAY
  • 1A *Like carols and cantatas : SUNG (SUN = Sunday)
  • 16A *Grand Prix locale : MONTE CARLO (MON = Monday)
  • 24A *”You’re beautiful,” in Paris : TU ES BELLE (TUE = Tuesday)
  • 37A *”Yay for us!” : WE DID IT! (WED = Wednesday)
  • 39A *Uma of “Kill Bill” : THURMAN (THU = Thursday)
  • 50A *Friend of Robin Hood : FRIAR TUCK (FRI = Friday)
  • 70A *Fill to excess : SATE (SAT = Saturday)

Bill’s time: 5m 00s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 *Like carols and cantatas : SUNG (SUN = Sunday)

The word “carol” came into English via the Old French word “carole”, which was a “dance in a ring”. When “carol” made it into English, about 1300 AD, the term was used to describe a dance as well as a joyful song. Around 1500 AD, carols that were sung came to be associated with Christmas.

A cantata is a piece of music that is sung, as opposed to a sonata, which is a piece that is played on some instrument, often a piano. A sonatina is in effect a sonata that has been labelled as something lighter and shorter.

13 Mayberry moppet of 1960s TV : OPIE

Opie Taylor is the character played by Ron Howard on “The Andy Griffith Show”. Opie lives with widowed father Andy Taylor (played by Andy Griffith) and his great-aunt Beatrice “Aunt Bee” Taylor (played by Frances Bavier). Ron Howard first played the role in 1960 in the pilot show, when he was just 5 years old. Howard sure has come a long way since playing Opie Taylor. He has directed some fabulous movies including favorites of mine like “Apollo 13”, “A Beautiful Mind” and “The Da Vinci Code”.

16 *Grand Prix locale : MONTE CARLO (MON = Monday)

Monte Carlo is an administrative area in the Principality of Monaco that covers just under a quarter of a square mile. The area is known in particular as the location of the famous Monte Carlo Casino. “Monte Carlo” translates as “Mount Charles”, and was named in 1866 for Charles III of Monaco who was ruling the principality at the time.

Even though the term is used in many competitions, I think that we most associate “Grand Prix” with the series of Formula One motor races. These Formula One Grand Prix races trace their roots back to organized automobile road races from one French town to the next that date back to 1894. “Grand Prix” translates from French as “grand, big prize.”

18 Country west of Afghanistan : IRAN

Before 1935, the country we know today as Iran was referred to as Persia by the Western world. The official name of the country since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 is the “Islamic Republic of Iran”.

19 Ambient music pioneer Brian : ENO

Brian Eno was one of the pioneers of the ambient genre of music. Eno composed an album in 1978 called “Ambient 1: Music for Airports”, which was the first in a series of four albums with an ambient theme. Eno named the tracks, somewhat inventively, 1/1, 2/1, 2/1 and 2/2.

21 Scarecrow’s desire in “The Wizard of Oz” : BRAIN

The movie “The Wizard of Oz” is full of irony. The Scarecrow wants to be intelligent and discovers he is already very smart. The Tin Man wants to be able to love and finds out that he already has a heart. The Lion thinks he is a coward but turns out to be fearless. And the big reveal is that the Wizard of Oz, who is positioned as all-powerful, is actually just a bumbling and eccentric old man.

22 Canadian gas brand : ESSO

The brand name Esso has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

29 Seasickness, e.g. : NAUSEA

Nausea is a sick feeling in the stomach. The term derives from the Greek “naus” meaning “ship”. Originally, “nausea” was associated only with seasickness.

33 Tax ID : SSN

The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an identity number to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So, from 1986 onward, it is a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the age of 5. Sure enough, seven million dependents “disappeared” in 1987.

34 Stat for cleanup hitters : RBI

Run batted in (RBI)

39 *Uma of “Kill Bill” : THURMAN (THU = Thursday)

Uma Thurman started her working career as a fashion model, at the age of 15. She appeared in her first movies at 17, with her most acclaimed early role being Cécile de Volanges in 1988’s “Dangerous Liaisons”. Thurman’s career really took off when she played the gangster’s “moll” in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” in 1994. My favorite of all Thurman’s movies is “The Truth About Cats & Dogs”, a less acclaimed romcom released in 1996. She took a few years off from acting from 1998 until 2002 following the birth of her first child. It was Tarantino who relaunched her career, giving her the lead in the “Kill Bill” films.

“Kill Bill” is a 3-part Quentin Tarantino movie (I haven’t seen it, as I really don’t do Tarantino). “Kill Bill” started off as one film, but as the running time was over four hours, it was split into two “volumes”, released several months apart in 2003 and 2004. There has been a lot of talk about making “Kill Bill: Volume 3”.

43 Where Slovakia and Slovenia are: Abbr. : EUR

The continent of Europe was named for Europa, a Phoenician princess of Greek mythology.

45 Herbs with licorice-flavored seeds : ANISES

The essential oil in the anise plant is anethole. Anethole has a licorice-like flavor, and is used extensively in cooking and to flavor several distilled alcoholic drinks.

49 One of the Kennedys : TED

Ted Kennedy was the youngest boy in a family that included older brothers Joseph Jr. (killed in action in WWII), John (assassinated) and Robert (assassinated). Ted went into the US Senate in 1962 in a special election held after his brother became US President. He remained in the Senate until he passed away in 2009, making Ted Kennedy the fourth-longest-serving Senator in history. The 2017 movie “Chappaquiddick” gives some insight, albeit somewhat speculative, about the darker side of Ted Kennedy’s life. It focuses on events surrounding the infamous Chappaquiddick incident in which Kennedy drove off a bridge, resulting in the death of his 28-year-old passenger Mary Jo Kopechne.

50 *Friend of Robin Hood : FRIAR TUCK (FRI = Friday)

Friar Tuck is a character who appears in the legends of Robin Hood. Tuck is a jovial man, found of his food and wine, and a member of Robin’s merry band of outlaws.

59 Original N.Y.C. subway line : IRT

The Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) was the original private operator of the New York Subway when it opened in 1904. The city took over ownership of the system in 1940, but the lines originally operated by the IRT are still known by the IRT moniker.

62 Start of the baseball season … or what the start of each starred clue is? : OPENING DAY

The days of the week are named for celestial bodies and gods

  • Sunday — Sun’s Day
  • Monday — Moon’s Day
  • Tuesday — Tiu’s day
  • Wednesday — Woden’s day
  • Thursday — Thor’s day
  • Friday — Freya’s day
  • Saturday — Saturn’s day

65 Lines on a road map: Abbr. : RTES

Route (rte.)

66 Cappuccino cousin : LATTE

The term “latte” is an abbreviation of the Italian “caffelatte” meaning “coffee (and) milk”. Note that in the correct spelling of “latte”, the Italian word for milk, there is no accent over the “e”. An accent is often added by mistake when we use the word in English, perhaps meaning to suggest that the word is French.

The Order of Friars Minor Capuchin is an order of Roman Catholic friars, an offshoot of the Franciscans. The order split from the Franciscans back in 1520, and were forced to go into hiding from church authorities. The new order was helped by the Camaldolese monks, and in recognition of their assistance, the breakaway monks adopted the Camaldolese hood, known as a capuccio. It is this “capuccio” that gave the order its name, and indeed ultimately gave the name to the Capuchin monkey. The cappuccino coffee is named for the coffee-and-white colored habits worn by Capuchin friars.

67 Fraction of a bushel : PECK

In the imperial system of weights and measures, a bushel is a unit of dry volume made up of 4 pecks. In the US system, a bushel is a dry volume of 8 gallons. We have used the term “bushel” to mean “large quantity” since the 14th century.

70 *Fill to excess : SATE (SAT = Saturday)

“Sate” is a variant of the older word “satiate”. Both terms can mean either to satisfy an appetite fully, or to eat to excess.

Down

5 Pet lover’s org. : SPCA

Unlike most developed countries, the US has no umbrella organization with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an organization called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

8 Cartoon collectible : CEL

In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

12 Tubular pasta : PENNE

Cylindrical pasta is known in general as “penne”, and there are many variants. For example, ziti is a particularly large and long tube with square-cut ends. “Penne” is the plural of “penna”, the Italian for “feather, quill”.

21 Small pellets : BBS

A BB gun is an air pistol or rifle that shoots birdshot known as BBs. Birdshot comes in a number of different sizes, from size 9 (0.070″ in diameter) to size FF (.230″). Birdshot that is size BB (0.180″ in diameter) gives the airgun its name.

23 Voice of the Apple Watch : SIRI

The Apple Watch was announced in 2014 and started shipping in 2015. The device works as an extension to a user’s smartphone, although it also has capabilities of its own. I’m not a big fan of smartwatches; I really don’t see the point …

30 Inits. in some personals, once : SWF

Single white female (SWF)

32 Intense promotional campaigns : AD BLITZES

“Blitz”, as it is used in English, means a fast-moving and overwhelming attack. It is a shortened version of the German word “blitzkrieg”. The blitzkrieg was a tactic used by Germany running up to and during WWII. In the original German blitzkrieg, the army and air-force threw everything into a rapid penetration of enemy lines without stopping to reinforce its flanks. The word “blitz” means “lightning” (and “krieg” means “war”).

35 Sweetheart, in modern slang : BAE

“Bae” is a contemporary term of endearment. It is a pet name that is an abbreviation of “babe, baby”, although I’ve also read that it is an acronym standing for “before anyone else”.

38 “The Nutcracker” skirt : TUTU

The word “tutu”, used for a ballet dancer’s skirt, is actually a somewhat “naughty” term. It came into English from French in the early 20th century. The French “tutu” is an alteration of the word “cucu”, a childish word meaning “bottom, backside”.

Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” is one of the most popular ballets in the repertoire, although that popularity really only emerged in the late sixties. It’s “must-see ballet” during the Christmas holidays.

48 Coaching great Parseghian : ARA

Ara Parseghian coached the Notre Dame football team from 1964 to 1974, a period known as “The Era of Ara”.

51 Alex Haley epic : ROOTS
52 Kunta of 51-Down : KINTE

Not only did Alex Haley author the magnificent novel “Roots”, he was also the collaborator with Malcolm X on “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”. His 1976 novel “Roots” is based on Haley’s own family history, and he claimed to be a direct descendant of the real life Kunta Kinte, the slave who was kidnapped in the Gambia in 1767. If you remember the original television adaptation of “Roots”, you might recall that Kunta Kinte was played by LeVar Burton, who later went on to play another famous role, Geordi La Forge on “Star Trek: the Next Generation”.

54 Half of a 45 : SIDE A

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.

60 Little squirt : TYKE

“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.

62 Like Mother Hubbard : OLD

The English nursery rhyme “Old Mother Hubbard” was first printed in 1805:

Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard,
To give the poor dog a bone;
When she came there,
The cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none.

63 Kung ___ chicken : PAO

Kung Pao chicken is a Sichuan stir-fry dish that includes chicken, peanuts, vegetables and chili peppers. The name “Kung Pao” is thought to come from a governor of the Sichuan province whose title was “Gongbao”, meaning “Palace Guardian”.

64 Chatty travel companion : GPS

Global positioning system (GPS)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 *Like carols and cantatas : SUNG (SUN = Sunday)
5 Breathing room : SPACE
10 Put a limit on : CAP
13 Mayberry moppet of 1960s TV : OPIE
14 Tissue layers : PLIES
15 “What ___ we here?” : HAVE
16 *Grand Prix locale : MONTE CARLO (MON = Monday)
18 Country west of Afghanistan : IRAN
19 Ambient music pioneer Brian : ENO
20 Used a doorbell : RANG
21 Scarecrow’s desire in “The Wizard of Oz” : BRAIN
22 Canadian gas brand : ESSO
24 *”You’re beautiful,” in Paris : TU ES BELLE (TUE = Tuesday)
27 Words of commitment : I DO
29 Seasickness, e.g. : NAUSEA
30 Moon ___ (apt anagram of ASTRONOMER) : STARER
33 Tax ID : SSN
34 Stat for cleanup hitters : RBI
37 *”Yay for us!” : WE DID IT! (WED = Wednesday)
39 *Uma of “Kill Bill” : THURMAN (THU = Thursday)
42 “Groovy!” : FAB!
43 Where Slovakia and Slovenia are: Abbr. : EUR
45 Herbs with licorice-flavored seeds : ANISES
46 Rustic shelter : LEAN-TO
49 One of the Kennedys : TED
50 *Friend of Robin Hood : FRIAR TUCK (FRI = Friday)
53 Bulletproof garment : VEST
56 Many, casually : LOTSA
57 Toy in windy weather : KITE
59 Original N.Y.C. subway line : IRT
61 Move like mud : OOZE
62 Start of the baseball season … or what the start of each starred clue is? : OPENING DAY
65 Lines on a road map: Abbr. : RTES
66 Cappuccino cousin : LATTE
67 Fraction of a bushel : PECK
68 Half-___ (do in a perfunctory way) : ASS
69 Gave medicine : DOSED
70 *Fill to excess : SATE (SAT = Saturday)

Down

1 A handful of : SOME
2 Slightly ahead : UP ONE
3 Spanish boys : NINOS
4 Figure out : GET
5 Pet lover’s org. : SPCA
6 Nursery buy : PLANT
7 Pellet projectors : AIRGUNS
8 Cartoon collectible : CEL
9 That: Sp. : ESO
10 Sources of urban noise pollution : CAR ALARMS
11 Be useful to : AVAIL
12 Tubular pasta : PENNE
15 Newcomer at the office : HIREE
17 Like beaches during storms : ERODED
21 Small pellets : BBS
23 Voice of the Apple Watch : SIRI
25 Dawn’s direction : EAST
26 Beach headwear : SUN HAT
28 Point in the right direction : ORIENT
30 Inits. in some personals, once : SWF
31 Brewed drink : TEA
32 Intense promotional campaigns : AD BLITZES
35 Sweetheart, in modern slang : BAE
36 ___ and outs : INS
38 “The Nutcracker” skirt : TUTU
40 Lopsided : UNEVEN
41 Theme park feature : RIDE
44 Houston N.B.A. team : ROCKETS
47 Makes more bearable : EASES
48 Coaching great Parseghian : ARA
50 Trees and shrubs : FLORA
51 Alex Haley epic : ROOTS
52 Kunta of 51-Down : KINTE
54 Half of a 45 : SIDE A
55 Stretch of land : TRACT
58 Headed for overtime : TIED
60 Little squirt : TYKE
62 Like Mother Hubbard : OLD
63 Kung ___ chicken : PAO
64 Chatty travel companion : GPS

11 thoughts on “0326-19 NY Times Crossword 26 Mar 19, Tuesday”

  1. 8:06. Should have been published on Thursday (opening day), but this wasn’t a Thursday style puzzle I suppose. I actually got BAE this time. I’ve still never heard it used in real life, but now it’s in my crossword head.

    Best –

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