0330-19 NY Times Crossword 30 Mar 19, Saturday

Constructed by: Greg Johnson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 15m 35s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Capital known as the City of Trees : BOISE

Boise, Idaho is the largest metropolitan area in the state by far. There are a number of stories pertaining to the etymology of the name “Boise”. One is that French trappers called the tree-lined river that ran through the area “la rivière boisée”, meaning “the wooded river”.

16 Something holding up the works? : EASEL

The word “easel” comes from an old Dutch word meaning “donkey” would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would be made to carry a load.

19 Some suits : CEOS

Chief executive officer (CEO)

21 The third of three X’s : TOE

When I was growing up in Ireland we played “noughts and crosses” … our name for the game tic-tac-toe.

23 Peabrain? : MENDEL

Gregor Mendel was an Austrian monk, and a scientist who achieved fame after his passing when his work in the field of genetics was rediscovered. The conclusions he drew from his studies of garden peas led to him earning the moniker “father of modern genetics”.

24 Nonreligious observance: Abbr. : DST

On the other side of the Atlantic, daylight saving time (DST) is known as “summer time”. The idea behind summer/daylight-savings is to move clocks forward an hour in spring (“spring forward”), and backwards in the fall (“fall back”) so that afternoons have more daylight. Here in the US, DST starts on the second Sunday of March, and ends on the the first Sunday of November.

25 U-Haul competitor : RYDER

The Ryder company was founded in 1933 in Miami, Florida by James Ryder. It started out as a concrete hauling company, but changed its focus a few years later to the leasing of trucks.

The U-Haul company was started by married couple Leonard Shoen and Anna Mary Carty in Ridgefield, Washington in 1945. The Shoens used $5,000 of seed money to build trailers in their garage, and then cleverly recruited gas station owners as franchisees with whom they would split the rental revenue. There are now about 15,000 U-Haul dealers across the country.

30 He works with bugs : IT GUY

Back in 1947, famed computer programmer Grace Hopper noticed some colleagues fixing a piece of equipment by removing a dead moth from a relay. She remarked that they were “debugging” the system, and so Hopper has been given credit for popularizing that term.

32 Lift : PILFER

“Pelf” is money that has been gained by illegal means. The exact origin of the term is unclear, but it is probably related to the verb “to pilfer”.

36 Evening service : VESPERS

In the Roman Catholic tradition, there is an official set of daily prayers known as the Liturgy of the Hours. The traditional list of prayers is:

  • Matins (during the night, or at midnight)
  • Lauds or Dawn Prayer (Dawn, or 3 a.m.)
  • Prime or Early Morning Prayer (First Hour, or 6 a.m.)
  • Terce or Mid-Morning Prayer (Third Hour, or 9 a.m.)
  • Sext or Midday Prayer (Sixth Hour, or 12 noon)
  • None or Mid-Afternoon Prayer (Ninth Hour, or 3 p.m.)
  • Vespers or Evening Prayer (“at the lighting of the lamps”, or 6 p.m.)
  • Compline or Night Prayer (before retiring, generally at 9 p.m.)

38 Old Testament prophet : MICAH

The Book of Micah is one of twelve books in the Bible written by the so-called minor prophets. The name “Micah” translates into English from Hebrew as “Who is like God?”

41 A caddie may retrieve one : DIVOT

A divot is a chunk of grass and earth that is removed by a golf club immediately after striking the ball. “Divot” is derived from a Scottish word for a piece of turf or sod used as a roofing material.

“Caddie” is a Scottish word, as one might expect given the history of the game of golf. “Caddie” is a local word derived from the French “cadet”, meaning a younger son or brother, and also a student officer in the military.

48 “South Park” brother : IKE

“South Park” is an adult-oriented cartoon series on Comedy Central. I don’t do “South Park” …

50 Ancient supercontinent : PANGEA

Pangaea (also “Pangea”) was a supercontinent that existed during the age of the dinosaurs, the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras. Pangaea broke apart due to movement of tectonic plates in the Earth’s crust. All of today’s continents were once part of Pangaea.

55 Some bar signs : NEONS

The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.

56 1965 hit by the Kinks : SET ME FREE

The Kinks were an English band who participated in the British Invasion of America in the sixties, although only briefly. After touring the US in the middle of 1965, the American Federation of Musicians refused permits for the Kinks to book concerts for four years, apparently in response to some rowdy on-stage behavior by the band.

Down

1 Seller of staples : GROCER

Back in the 15th century, a “grocer” was a dealer who bought and sold in “gross”, hence the name.

2 Martin Luther’s crime : HERESY

Martin Luther wrote his “95 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of the Indulgences” in 1517, a document that is often seen as the spark that set off the Protestant Reformation. Luther’s main argument was that the Catholic Church’s practice of granting “indulgences”, forgiveness from punishment for sins, was wrong. It was especially wrong when such indulgences were granted in exchange for money.

5 Trig. function : TAN

The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio: a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are cosecant, secant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent.

6 Beef : GRIPE

A beef is a complaint or a grievance. It’s not quite clear how “beef” came to have this meaning, but one suggestion is that derives from the habit of soldiers at the end of the 1800s complaining about the quality or availability of beef in their rations.

7 The 23rd one took place in 2010 : US CENSUS

The original census was taken during the days of the Roman Republic, and was a reckoning of all adult males who were fit for military service. The first US Census was taken in 1790, and was conducted by federal marshals.

9 Quenched : SLAKED

To slake is to satisfy a craving, as in slaking one’s thirst.

13 Kelp forest resident : SEA OTTER

Sea otters actually hold hands while sleeping on their backs so that they don’t drift apart. When sea otter pups are too small to lock hands, they clamber up onto their mother’s belly and nap there.

Kelps are large seaweeds that grow in kelp forests underwater. Kelps can grow to over 250 feet in length, and do so very quickly. Some kelps can grow at the rate of 1-2 feet per day.

14 Magazine that’s weekly in France but monthly in the U.S. : ELLE

“Elle” magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. “Elle” is the French word for “she”. “Elle” is published monthly worldwide, although you can pick up a weekly edition if you live in France.

23 He has a Wild Ride at Disneyland : MR TOAD

Mr. Toad is one of the main characters in the children’s novel “The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Grahame. A. A. Milne (of “Winnie-the-Pooh” fame) wrote several plays based on “The Wind in the Willows”, the first of which is “Toad of Toad Hall”. And, Mr Toad’s Wild Ride was (it’s closed now!) one of the original rides at Disneyland when the park opened in 1955.

24 Oracle’s home : DELPHI

In Ancient Greece and Rome, an oracle was someone believed inspired by the gods to give wise counsel. The word “oracle” derives from the Latin “orare” meaning “to speak”, which is the same root for our word “orator”. One of the most important oracles of Ancient Greece was the priestess to Apollo at Delphi.

31 Court venue : GYM

Our word “gymnasium” comes from the Greek “gymnasion” meaning “public place where exercise is taken”. The Greek term comes from “gymnos” meaning “naked”, as that physical training was usually done unclothed in ancient Greece.

32 ___ deck (bodybuilder’s machine) : PEC

“Pecs” is the familiar name for the chest muscle, which is more correctly known as the pectoralis major muscle. “Pectus” is a the Latin word for “breast, chest”.

33 Deg. that requires the study of calculus : DDS

Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)

Calculus or tartar is dental plaque that has hardened on the surface of teeth. Plaque is removed relatively easily by brushing and flossing. Once plaque has hardened into tartar though, a dental hygienist usually needs to intervene.

35 Workplace kudos : GREAT JOB!

Our word “kudos” means acclaim given for an exceptional achievement. “Kudos” is both a singular and plural noun, derived from the Greek “kyddos” meaning “glory, fame”.

36 Minnelli who married Judy Garland : VINCENTE

Vincente Minnelli was a Hollywood movie director. One movie that he directed was 1944’s “Meet Me in St. Louis”, during the filming of which he fell in love with the movie’s star, Judy Garland. The following year, the two were married. A year later, along came their only child, Liza Minnelli. The marriage only lasted another five years.

38 More shabby : MANGIER

Mange is a skin disorder in animals caused by parasitic mites that embed themselves in the skin, perhaps living in hair follicles. The same disorder in humans is called scabies.

40 Hereditary ruler : DYNAST

A dynast is someone who rules by virtue of heredity. “Dynastes” is a Greek word meaning “ruler, chief, master”.

42 Pfizer drug : VIAGRA

Pfizer is a pharmaceutical company based in New York City that was founded in 1849 by cousins Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhart. Pfizer has an impressive list of successful products that includes Lipitor (to lower cholesterol), Viagra (to help with erectile dysfunction) and Celebrex (an anti-inflammatory).

44 Put into beta : TESTED

In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the alpha version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a beta and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as “beta”. The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, hopefully bug-free.

47 Message on the “cake car” in the climactic scene of “Animal House” : EAT ME

The very funny 1978 movie “Animal House” has the prefix “National Lampoon’s …” because the storyline came out of tales that had already appeared in “National Lampoon” magazine. “Animal House” was to become the first in a long line of successful “National Lampoon” films. The main pledges in the movie are Tom Hulce (Pinto), who later played a magnificent “Amadeus”, and Stephen Furst (Flounder), who later played a regular role on television’s “Babylon 5”.

In Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, Alice follows the white rabbit down a rabbit hole and finds a bottle labelled “DRINK ME”. When she drinks the contents, it causes her to shrink. She also sees a cake adorned with the words “EAT ME” written using currants, and when she eats the cake she grows so big she finds it hard to stand up. After eating the cake, she utters the words, “Curiouser and curiouser”.

53 Here’s one pour vous : UNE

In French, here’s “une” (one) “pour vous” (for you).

54 Diner’s booking, slangily : RES

Reservation (“res”)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Firearms without serial numbers : GHOST GUNS
10 Capital known as the City of Trees : BOISE
15 Part of a wedding weekend : REHEARSAL
16 Something holding up the works? : EASEL
17 It was discovered on Mars in 2018 : ORGANIC MATERIAL
19 Some suits : CEOS
20 Take a furtive look : PEEK IN
21 The third of three X’s : TOE
22 “Cómo es ___?” (Spanish for “What’s the deal?”) : ESO
23 Peabrain? : MENDEL
24 Nonreligious observance: Abbr. : DST
25 U-Haul competitor : RYDER
27 Not up : SAD
28 Substantial : MEATY
30 He works with bugs : IT GUY
32 Lift : PILFER
33 They’re chewable but not meant to be eaten : DOG TOYS
36 Evening service : VESPERS
37 County in northeast England : DURHAM
38 Old Testament prophet : MICAH
39 Feature of many a general’s statue : STEED
40 Political commentator Pfeiffer : DAN
41 A caddie may retrieve one : DIVOT
45 To give: Sp. : DAR
46 Matched (up) : SYNCED
48 “South Park” brother : IKE
49 Hair clump : MAT
50 Ancient supercontinent : PANGEA
51 “Shoot!” : RATS!
52 “What a dang shame” : IT JUST AIN’T RIGHT
55 Some bar signs : NEONS
56 1965 hit by the Kinks : SET ME FREE
57 “Money says …” : I’D BET …
58 Perch for a deer hunter : TREESTAND

Down

1 Seller of staples : GROCER
2 Martin Luther’s crime : HERESY
3 “Glad to hear it!” : OH GOOD!
4 They’re blue on maps : SEAS
5 Trig. function : TAN
6 Beef : GRIPE
7 The 23rd one took place in 2010 : US CENSUS
8 Catholic celebration : NAME DAY
9 Quenched : SLAKED
10 “It’s ___ real” : BEEN
11 Part of many a rowing club logo : OAR
12 “Can I come out now?” : IS IT SAFE?
13 Kelp forest resident : SEA OTTER
14 Magazine that’s weekly in France but monthly in the U.S. : ELLE
18 No later than : ‘TIL
23 He has a Wild Ride at Disneyland : MR TOAD
24 Oracle’s home : DELPHI
26 This or that : EITHER
28 Totally screw up? : MISADD
29 Extended warranty fig. : YRS
31 Court venue : GYM
32 ___ deck (bodybuilder’s machine) : PEC
33 Deg. that requires the study of calculus : DDS
34 Like movie rental stores : OUTDATED
35 Workplace kudos : GREAT JOB!
36 Minnelli who married Judy Garland : VINCENTE
38 More shabby : MANGIER
40 Hereditary ruler : DYNAST
42 Pfizer drug : VIAGRA
43 “Well, that was weird” : OK THEN
44 Put into beta : TESTED
46 Didn’t go anywhere : SAT
47 Message on the “cake car” in the climactic scene of “Animal House” : EAT ME
49 Cute-sized : MINI
50 It’s often spoken with one hand at the edge of one’s mouth : PSST!
51 Falling-out : RIFT
53 Here’s one pour vous : UNE
54 Diner’s booking, slangily : RES

8 thoughts on “0330-19 NY Times Crossword 30 Mar 19, Saturday”

  1. 20:15, no errors.

    Re 50A: I’m more familiar with the spelling “Pangaea”. In fact, I would probably have said “Pangea” was wrong. Silly me … 😜.

  2. 30:29. Never thought of the word GROCER coming from “gross”, but it makes sense. I didn’t know PANGEA at all, but it seems like something I should know. Oh well, I do now.

    Best –

  3. Not much luck until I punched in TREESTAND at the bottom. Got some traction and worked my way up. No errors and fun to finish without the one-square blues.

  4. 28:47, 3 errors: (M)AN; S(O)NCED; (M)(O)NAST. I knew SONCED didn’t look right, but SYNCED/DYNAST just didn’t come to me before I threw in the towel. Didn’t care for use of foreign languages.

    As a fan of the Kinks in the ’60s (a group with several top 10 recordings) #23 SET ME FREE just didn’t register with me as one of their ‘hits’. Matter of interpretation, I guess.

    FYI: MR. TOAD’s Wild Ride is still operating in Fantasyland, at Disneyland, California. It was closed in the Magic Kingdom in Disney World, Florida; and replaced with a Winnie the Pooh themed ride.

  5. No errors. One of those puzzles that took awhile to find a way into. Ended up working from the bottom up. Satisfying to finish unscathed.

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