0404-19 NY Times Crossword 4 Apr 19, Thursday

Constructed by: Lewis Rothlein
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Back to Square One

Themed answers start with a word in SQUARE ONE. We have to go BACK TO SQUARE ONE in order to finish that same answer:

  • 58A Where you go for a fresh start … or a hint for four answers in this puzzle : BACK TO SQUARE ONE
  • 16 Saying suggesting that worldly possessions should be enjoyed : YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU
  • 25A Iconic introduction in cinema : BOND, JAMES BOND
  • 36A Instructor’s remark after making a mistake : DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO
  • 48A Insistent refusal : NO MEANS NO

Read on, or jump to …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 13m 16s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Invitation stipulation : BYOB

Bring Your Own Beer/Bottle/Booze (BYOB)

9 Goddess in a chariot pulled by peacocks : HERA

In Greek mythology, Hera was the wife of Zeus and was noted for her jealous and vengeful nature, particularly against those who vied for the affections of her husband. The equivalent character to Hera in Roman mythology was Juno. Hera was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea.

13 ___ Duncan, Obama education secretary : ARNE

Long before Arne Duncan became Secretary of Education, he was a professional basketball player, but not in the NBA. Duncan played for the National Basketball League of Australia, with the Eastside Spectres in Melbourne.

14 Place where beads are made : SAUNA

Those would be beads of sweat.

15 So-called universal donor type, for short : O-NEG

The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same type as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected. However, blood type O-neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, A, B, AB or O, and positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a universal donor.

19 Beloved, in Bologna : CARA

Bologna is a city in northern Italy. The city is home to the University of Bologna that was founded way back in 1088. The University of Bologna is the oldest existing university in the world.

20 Division of a hacienda : SALA

In Spanish, a “sala” (room) is a “división” (division) of a “casa” (house).

21 Actress Scala : GIA

Gia Scala’s most famous role was the mute resistance fighter in “The Guns of Navarone”. Scala was born in Liverpool, England to an Irish mother and Italian father. She lived some years in Italy before moving to New York City. It’s probably good that she played a mute character in “The Guns of Navarone”, as who knows what her accent was like!

22 Like Bill Clinton’s presidency : TWO-TERM

President Bill Clinton was born not as a Clinton, but as William Jefferson Blythe. Bill’s father was killed in a car accident just three months before he was born. His mother remarried a few years later, to Roger Clinton. Bill didn’t formally adopt the Clinton name until he was fourteen years old, although he used it as he was growing up.

25 Iconic introduction in cinema : BOND, JAMES BOND

The character James Bond was the creation of writer Ian Fleming. Fleming “stole” the James Bond name from an American ornithologist. The number 007 was “stolen” from the real-life, 16th century English spy called John Dee. Dee would sign his reports to Queen Elizabeth I with a stylized “007” to indicate that the reports were for “her eyes only”. There’s an entertaining miniseries that aired on BBC America called “Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond” that details Ian Fleming’s military career, and draws some nice parallels between Fleming’s experiences and aspirations and those of his hero James Bond. Recommended …

27 Batman co-creator Bob : KANE

The DC Comics superhero Batman was created in 1939 by Bob Kane and Bill Finger.

28 Longtime Mississippi politico Trent : LOTT

Trent Lott is a political figure who first went to Washington to work as an administrative assistant to Representative William M. Colmer, from Mississippi. After four years working for Colmer, Lott ran for the House seat that Colmer was to leave vacant on his retirement. Colmer endorsed Lott in that election, even though Colmer was a Democrat and Lott ran as a Republican. Lott won the race very handily, launching a 35-year career representing his home state of Mississippi in both the House and the Senate. Lott eventually ran into trouble for remarks he made that were interpreted as being racially motivated, and ended up resigning in 2007.

31 Father of the American Cartoon : NAST

Thomas Nast was an American caricaturist and cartoonist. Nast was the creator of the Republican Party elephant, the Democratic Party donkey, Uncle Sam and the image of the plump and jocular Santa Claus that we use today.

33 2008 political catchphrase : YES WE CAN

The 2008 campaign that resulted in the election of President Barack Obama used the slogan “Change we can believe in”, along with the associated chant “Yes We Can”. The words “Yes We Can” were perhaps borrowed from the United Farm Workers, which organization uses the motto “Sí, se puede”. “Sí, se puede” translates as “Yes, it is possible” and is a phrase very much associated with labor leader Cesar Chavez.

40 Like a sleeper cell? : ON SILENT

What we mostly call a “cell phone” here in North America is more usually referred to as a “mobile phone” in Britain and Ireland. My favorite term for the device is used in Germany, where it is called a “Handy”.

46 Actress Blanchett : CATE

Cate Blanchett is a great actress from Australia, and a winner of an Academy Award for playing Katherine Hepburn in “The Aviator”. Winning for that role made Blanchett the first person to win an Academy Award for playing an actor (Hepburn) who had also won an Oscar. Now that, that is trivial information …

47 “A forest bird never wants a ___”: Ibsen : CAGE

Henrik Ibsen was a Norwegian playwright who is considered by many to be the greatest playwright since William Shakespeare. Ibsen was famous for shocking his audiences by exploring subjects that offended the sensibilities of the day (the late 1800s).

53 Part of some Hebrew men’s names : BEN

In Arabic names, “ibn” is a word meaning “son of”. The words “bin” and “ben” are also used for “son of”. The word “bint” means “daughter of”. Similarly, in Hebrew “ben” is used to mean “son of”, and “bat” is used to mean “daughter of”.

54 Preceder of Edison : ALVA

Thomas Alva Edison (TAE) was nicknamed “The Wizard of Menlo Park” by a newspaper reporter, a name that stuck. He was indeed a wizard, in the sense that he was such a prolific inventor. The Menlo Park part of the moniker recognizes the location of his first research lab, in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

63 It’s a two-hour drive north of Pittsburgh : ERIE

Erie is a city in the very north of Pennsylvania, right on the southern shore of Lake Erie. The city takes its name from the Erie Native American tribe that resided in the area. Erie is nicknamed the Gem City, a reference to the “sparkling” water of Lake Erie.

64 Noggin : GOURD

Slang terms for “head” are “bean”, “coconut”, “gourd” and “noggin”.

65 European capital : RIGA

Riga is the capital city of Latvia. The historical center of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, declared as such because of the city’s magnificent examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

66 Tony and Emmy winner Tyne : DALY

The actress Tyne Daly really came into the public eye playing Detective Lacey in “Cagney and Lacey”. From 1999 to 2005, Daly played the mother of the title character in the TV show “Judging Amy”.

Down

1 Feature of Cajun Country : BAYOU

A bayou is a marshy inlet or outlet of a lake or river, usually with stagnant or slow-moving water. The exact origins of the term “bayou” is uncertain, but it is thought perhaps to come from the Choctaw (a Native American people from the southeast) word “bayuk”, meaning “small stream”.

2 Goblinlike creature : ORC

Orcs are mythical humanoid creatures that appear in the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien. Since Tolkien’s use of orcs, they have also been featured in other fantasy fiction and in fantasy games.

3 Rain forest menace : ANACONDA

Anacondas are native to the tropical regions of South America. The green anaconda is one of the world’s largest snakes, growing to 17 feet long and weighing up to 550 pounds! Anacondas are not venomous, and prefer to kill their prey by coiling around it and then squeeeeeezing …

5 Bucolic call : BAA!

The word “bucolic”, meaning “rustic, rural”, comes to us from the Greek word “boukolos” meaning “cowherd”.

7 ___ Day (supplement) : ONE A

One A Day is a line of multivitamins made by Bayer. One A Day was introduced way back in 1940.

17 Number of sides on a triangolo : TRE

In Italian, a “triangolo” (triangle) has “tre” (three) sides.

22 Ring finish, briefly : TKO

Technical knockout (TKO)

23 “Where’s ___?” : WALDO

The series of children’s illustrated books called “Where’s Waldo?” were originally titled “Where’s Wally?” in Britain, where the books originated. The book contains page after page of illustrations with crowds of people surrounding famous landmarks from around the world. The challenge is to find Waldo/Wally, who is hidden in the crowd.

24 Common artwork in New York City subways : MOSAIC

In the Middle Ages, mosaics were often dedicated to the Muses. The term “mosaic” translates as “of the Muses”.

26 Fashion editor Wintour : ANNA

Anna Wintour is fashion editor in Britain, and is also the editor-in-chief of American “Vogue”. Lauren Weisberger wrote the book “The Devil Wears Prada” with the tyrannical main character apparently based on Wintour.

29 First name in dance : TWYLA

I love Twyla Tharp’s choreography, and her “patented moves”. Tharp was born in Portland, Indiana in 1941. She was named for Twila Thornburg, the “Pig Princess” of the 89th Annual Muncie Fair in Indiana. That’s one to tell to the grandkids …

30 Convictions : TENETS

A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “he holds”.

33 The dark side : YIN

The yin and the yang can be illustrated using many different metaphors. In one, as the sun shines on a mountain, the side in the shade is the yin and the side in the light is the yang. The yin is also regarded as the feminine side, and the yang the masculine. The yin can also be associated with the moon, while the yang is associated with the sun.

34 One of a 1970s TV family : CONEHEAD

“The Coneheads” first appeared in a “Saturday Night Live” sketch in 1977. The three family members back then were played by Dan Ackroyd (father), Jane Curtin (mother) and Laraine Newman (daughter). The characters became so popular that they were featured in a “Coneheads” movie in 1993.

35 Court V.I.P.: Abbr. : ATT

Attorney (att.)

37 Sleeper that never dreams : SOFA

“Sofa” is a Turkish word meaning “bench”.

38 Quack remedy : SNAKE OIL

There is actually a real snake oil, a Chinese medicine made from fat extracted from snakes. You can buy snake oil at traditional Chinese pharmacies and it is supposed to be very efficacious in the treatment of joint pain. Snake oil was introduced into the US by Chinese laborers working on the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. Medicine salesmen started to ridicule the snake oil as it competed with their own remedies, and in time the term “snake oil” became associated with any cure-all potion.

39 Literary character who says “I will wear my heart upon my sleeve” : IAGO

Iago is the schemer in Shakespeare’s “Othello”. He is a soldier who fought alongside Othello and feels hard done by, missing out on promotion. Iago hatches a plot designed to discredit his rival Cassio by insinuating that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona, Othello’s wife.

44 Mark ___, 1998 P.G.A. Player of the Year : O’MEARA

Mark O’Meara is an American golfer from Goldsboro, North Carolina. He is known as one of the American players who competes in international tournaments more than most, and has a reputation as a real gentleman all around the world.

55 Cognac age indicator : VSOP

Brandy is a spirit distilled from wine. The term “brandy” ultimately comes from the Dutch “gebrande wijn” meaning “burnt wine”. The length of this aging of the spirit defines the various grades of brandy:

  • VS: Very Special … at least 2 years storage
  • VSOP: Very Special (or Superior) Old Pale … at least 4 years storage
  • XO: Extra Old … at least 6 years
  • VSO: Very Superior Old … 12-17 years

Cognac is a famous variety of brandy named after the town of Cognac in the very west of France. To be called cognac, the brandy must be distilled twice in copper pot stills and aged at least two years in very specific French oak barrels.

59 What makes a tumbler spin : KEY

That would be a tumbler in a lock.

60 Samovar : URN

The samovar originated in Russia. It is often a very elegant water boiler, one usually used for making tea. As such, there is often an attachment on top of a samovar to keep a teapot warm.

61 Doctors Without Borders or Oxfam, in brief : NGO

Non-governmental organization (NGO)

Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) is an international aid organization that was founded in France in 1971. The organization is usually referred to as Doctors Without Borders here in North America, but goes by the initialism MSF in much of the world.

Oxfam was founded in 1942 in Oxford, England, and was originally called Oxford Committee for Famine Relief. The original mission of Oxfam was to persuade the British government to allow food into Greece during WWII in the days the country was occupied by the Axis Powers. The name OXFAM was adopted in 1965. Prior to that date, OXFAM was quite simply the organization’s telegraph address (remember telegraphs?).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Showy accessories : BOAS
5 Invitation stipulation : BYOB
9 Goddess in a chariot pulled by peacocks : HERA
13 ___ Duncan, Obama education secretary : ARNE
14 Place where beads are made : SAUNA
15 So-called universal donor type, for short : O-NEG
16 Saying suggesting that worldly possessions should be enjoyed : YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU
19 Beloved, in Bologna : CARA
20 Division of a hacienda : SALA
21 Actress Scala : GIA
22 Like Bill Clinton’s presidency : TWO-TERM
25 Iconic introduction in cinema : BOND, JAMES BOND
27 Batman co-creator Bob : KANE
28 Longtime Mississippi politico Trent : LOTT
31 Father of the American Cartoon : NAST
32 What one gets after many years of work : OLD
33 2008 political catchphrase : YES WE CAN
36 Instructor’s remark after making a mistake : DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO
40 Like a sleeper cell? : ON SILENT
41 Power ___ : NAP
43 Head: Ger. : KOPF
46 Actress Blanchett : CATE
47 “A forest bird never wants a ___”: Ibsen : CAGE
48 Insistent refusal : NO MEANS NO
51 Agreed to, in a way : SHOOK ON
53 Part of some Hebrew men’s names : BEN
54 Preceder of Edison : ALVA
57 What goes above and beyond? : EAVE
58 Where you go for a fresh start … or a hint for four answers in this puzzle : BACK TO SQUARE ONE
63 It’s a two-hour drive north of Pittsburgh : ERIE
64 Noggin : GOURD
65 European capital : RIGA
66 Tony and Emmy winner Tyne : DALY
67 Length : SPAN
68 Give an appointment to : SLOT

Down

1 Feature of Cajun Country : BAYOU
2 Goblinlike creature : ORC
3 Rain forest menace : ANACONDA
4 House rules may not apply here : SENATE
5 Bucolic call : BAA!
6 Just for ___ : YUKS
7 ___ Day (supplement) : ONE A
8 One way to get out of jail : BAIL BOND
9 The way : HOW
10 Puzzle : ENIGMA
11 Adjusts, as laces : RETIES
12 Dumbstruck : AGHAST
14 Like an overcast night sky : STARLESS
17 Number of sides on a triangolo : TRE
18 ___ Express (Delhi-to-Agra train) : TAJ
22 Ring finish, briefly : TKO
23 “Where’s ___?” : WALDO
24 Common artwork in New York City subways : MOSAIC
26 Fashion editor Wintour : ANNA
29 First name in dance : TWYLA
30 Convictions : TENETS
33 The dark side : YIN
34 One of a 1970s TV family : CONEHEAD
35 Court V.I.P.: Abbr. : ATT
37 Sleeper that never dreams : SOFA
38 Quack remedy : SNAKE OIL
39 Literary character who says “I will wear my heart upon my sleeve” : IAGO
42 French politico Marine Le ___ : PEN
43 Gnarly, as a tree trunk : KNOBBED
44 Mark ___, 1998 P.G.A. Player of the Year : O’MEARA
45 What a doodle might be in : PENCIL
47 Subs (for) : COVERS
49 Man’s nickname that sounds like a pest : NAT
50 Trying tasks : SLOGS
52 Nautical propeller : OAR
55 Cognac age indicator : VSOP
56 Cool shade : AQUA
59 What makes a tumbler spin : KEY
60 Samovar : URN
61 Doctors Without Borders or Oxfam, in brief : NGO
62 “Let’s ___!” : EAT

9 thoughts on “0404-19 NY Times Crossword 4 Apr 19, Thursday”

  1. 29:46. Embarrased to say that I had done 2 theme answers and even the rebus in them before I realized the “back to square one” aspect of them. Sheesh.

    Didn’t know GIA Scala, but I do remember “The Guns of Navarone”. Great movie. I also had to take TWYLA on faith.

    Best –

  2. 39:29 with one error….had yaks for yuks …..never heard the expression either way.
    I notice Bill didn’t comment on it either and my iPad didn’t want to accept the word yuks

  3. No errors. Pretty difficult but still doable. I got the BACK TO SQUARE ONE first so I knew pretty much what to look for in the four (actually, eight) other answers. Since I don’t attempt anything beyond Thursdays, this was a good way to finish out on the week for me. See you all back again on Monday.

  4. Yeah, this one was tough, indeed!!! I was really happy to get through this in one piece and with no errors. My “aha moment” was figuring out 8D and 25A simultaneously with the rebus square. Rebuses are still the bane of my existence, but I’ve come to expect them on Tricky Thursdays.

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