0413-19 NY Times Crossword 13 Apr 19, Saturday

Constructed by: Debbie Ellerin
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 10m 32s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

9 Country singer with a cityish name : URBAN

Keith Urban is a country singer from Australia who was actually born in New Zealand. Urban moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1992. He married Australian actress Nicole Kidman in 2006.

14 “___ in English is, in the main, just about as sensible as baseball in Italian”: H. L. Mencken : OPERA

H. L. Mencken was a journalist and essayist from Baltimore. Mencken reported on the Scopes trial of 1925 and was the writer who dubbed it the “Monkey Trial”.

18 Carrier with a yin/yang symbol in its logo : KOREAN AIR

Korean Air (KAL) is South Korea’s largest airline. KAL was founded in 1946 as Korean National Airlines.

19 Lustrous material : SATEEN

Sateen is a cotton fabric. It has a weave that is “four over, one under”, meaning that most of the threads come to the surface to give it a softer feel.

21 ___ Drago, opponent of Rocky in “Rocky IV” : IVAN

Dolph Lundgren is an actor and martial artist from Sweden. Lundgren’s debut role was a small one, acting as a KGB henchman in the James Bond movie “A View to a Kill”. His big break was starring opposite Sylvester Stallone in “Rocky IV”, playing a scary Russian boxer named Ivan Drago.

22 Actress Aduba of “Orange Is the New Black” : UZO

Uzo Aduba is an actress best known for playing prison inmate Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren on the Netflix TV show “Orange Is the New Black”.

“Orange Is the New Black” is a very entertaining comedy-drama series made by Netflix about an upper middle-class woman who goes to jail for a drug-related offense committed ten years earlier, in her youth. The series is based on a memoir by Piper Kerman called “Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison”.

23 Where one might go out to get a bite? : TRANSYLVANIA

Transylvania is a geographic region in the center of Romania. Transylvania is very much associated with vampires ever since the publication of Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula” that is set in the area.

26 Bhagavad-___ (Sanskrit text) : GITA

The Bhagavad Gita (sometimes just “the Gita”) is a Hindu scripture written in Sanskrit, the title of which translates as “The Song of the Bhagavan”.

27 Nonsense : BUSHWA

Bushwa is rubbish, nonsense, rot. The term “bushwa” originated in the early 1900s and may be a derivative of “bourgeois”.

39 One of five in “La Bohème” : ARIA

“La bohème” by Giacomo Puccini is the second most frequently performed opera in the US (after “Madama Butterfly”, also by Puccini). The lead female role in the piece is Mimì, a seamstress.

42 U people? : PROFS

Professors (profs.) are people at a university (U.).

43 Kind of strip : MOBIUS

A Möbius strip is a surface that has only one side. One is easily made by taking a strip of paper and joining the ends together, but with a twist so that it isn’t a regular “band”.

44 Wrinkly fruit : UGLI

An ugli fruit is a hybrid of an orange and a tangerine that was first discovered growing wild in Jamaica where most ugli fruit comes from today. “UGLI” is a trademark name that is a variant of “ugly”, a nod to the fruits unsightly wrinkled rind.

46 Supreme Court nickname, with “the” : NOTORIOUS RBG

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg serves on the US Supreme Court. Justice Ginsburg was the second woman to join the Court, nominated by President Bill Clinton. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1999 and underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. During that time she did not miss one day on the bench. In 2009 Justice Ginsburg had surgery for pancreatic cancer, and was back to work 12 days later. She had left-lung lobectomy to remove cancerous nodules in 2018, which forced Justice Ginsburg to miss oral argument in January 2019, for the first time since joining the court 25 years earlier. Much of Ginsburg’s life is recounted in the excellent 2018 movie “On the Basis of Sex”.

55 Sparks can be seen at its edge : RENO

Reno, Nevada was named in honor of Major General Jesse Lee Reno, a Union officer killed in the Civil War. The city has a famous “Reno Arch”, a structure that stands over the main street. The arch was erected in 1926 to promote an exposition planned for the following year. After the expo, the city council decided to keep the arch and held a competition to decide what wording should be displayed, and the winner was “The Biggest Little City in the World”.

60 Off-the-wall : GONZO

Something gonzo is bizarre or unconventional. The term might perhaps come from the Italian “gonzo” meaning “rude, sottish”.

61 Pastrami and corned beef : DELI MEATS

In the US, pastrami was originally called “pastrama”, and was a dish brought to America by Jewish immigrants from Romania in the second half of the the nineteenth century. The original name may have evolved from the Turkish word “pastirma” meaning “pressed”. “Pastrama” likely morphed into “pastrami” influenced by the name of the Italian sausage called salami.

62 Some Deco collectibles : ERTES

“Erté” was the pseudonym of French (Russian-born) artist and designer Romain de Tirtoff. Erté is the French pronunciation of his initials “R.T.” Erté’s diverse portfolio of work included costumes and sets for the “Ziegfeld Follies” of 1923, productions of the Parisian cabaret show “Folies Bergère”, as well as the 1925 epic movie “Ben-Hur”. Erté’s most famous work by far is an image titled “Symphony in Black”. It depicts a tall and slender woman dressed in black, holding a black dog on a leash.

64 Hula hoop? : LEI

“Lei” is the Hawaiian word for “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a lei is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

The hula is a native dance of Hawaii that uses arm movements to relate a story. The hula can be performed while sitting (a noho dance) or while standing (a luna dance).

Down

2 Kind of test for a baby : APGAR

The Apgar scale is used to assess the health of newborn babies. The newborn is evaluated in five categories that are given by the acronym APGAR, namely:

  • Appearance
  • Pulse
  • Grimace
  • Activity
  • Respiration

The acronym is actually a “backronym”, as the test is named for Dr. Virginia Apgar who devised it in 1952.

3 Symbol of change : DELTA

Delta is the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet. We are most familiar with an upper-case delta and its distinctive triangular shape. The letter’s shape has influenced terms such as “deltoid muscle” and “river delta”. The upper-case delta is also used in mathematics and science to indicate a change in value. The lower-case delta looks a bit like our lower-case D, and indeed the Greek letter delta gave us our Latin letter D.

4 Spider-Man’s archenemy : GREEN GOBLIN

The Green Goblin is a supervillain from Marvel Comics who generally is pitted against Spider-Man. The Green Goblin is the antagonist in the 2002 movie “Spider-Man”, and is played by Willem Dafoe.

7 Pope during the Battle of Ostia : LEO IV

Pope Leo IV succeeded Pope Sergius II in the year 847 AD. After his death in 855 AD, Leo IV was succeeded by Benedict III, although there was a medieval tradition that he was followed by Pope Joan, a woman disguising herself as a man.

8 Creepy-crawly : LARVA

The larva is an intermediate stage in the development of an insect. All four stages are embryo, larva, pupa and imago.

9 Stockpile that may be subject to inspection : URANIUM

A common nuclear fuel is uranium dioxide (UO2). The UO2 comes in powder form and is compacted into pellets that are fired at high temperature producing ceramic pellets. The pellets are ground into a near-perfect cylindrical shape and are then stacked inside tubes made of zirconium alloy. These tubes are what we usually refer to as nuclear fuel rods.

10 Rapper MC ___ of N.W.A : REN

NWA was a hip hop group from Compton, California. The original five group members included rappers who have made a name for themselves as solo acts, including: Dr. Dre and Ice Cube. The story of NWA is told in a 2015 film, also called “Straight Outta Compton”. I hear that the movie was well received, although hip hop is not my cup of tea …

11 Suitor : BEAU

A beau (plural “beaux”) is the boyfriend of a belle, a young lady. “Beau” and “belle” are the masculine and feminine forms of the French word for “handsome, beautiful”.

12 Former Iraqi V.I.P. Tariq ___ : AZIZ

Tariq Aziz is the former Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq, serving under Saddam Hussein. He surrendered to US forces in 2003 and is in prison right now in Baghdad.

13 Ancient Rome’s Circus of ___ : NERO

The Circus of Nero was also called the Circus of Caligula, as its construction was started by Caligula and finished by Nero. This particular Roman circus was the site of the first state-sponsored martyrdoms of Christians, in 65 AD. The martyrs were mainly executed by crucifixion, and some believe that St. Peter met his fate at the site.

20 Big Apple media inits. : NYT

“The New York Times” (NYT) has been published since 1851, and is sometimes referred to as “the Gray Lady”. These days a viable alternative to buying the paper is to read the news online. NYTimes.com is the most popular online newspaper website in the country.

25 2018 Oscar-nominated picture whose soundtrack sold over one million copies : A STAR IS BORN

“A Star Is Born” is a 1937 film starring Janet Gaynor as an upcoming Hollywood actress. “A Star Is Born” was remade three times, in 1954 with Judy Garland playing the lead, in 1976 with Barbra Streisand, and in 2018 with Lady Gaga.

28 Subway fare? : HERO

The SUBWAY chain of fast food restaurants is the largest single-brand restaurant in the world. I’m a big fan of SUBWAY sandwiches, especially the toasted ones …

29 Oliver Twist, for example : WAIF

“Oliver Twist” is a novel by Charles Dickens. It is a popular tale for adaptation to the big screen. There were two silent film versions, in 1909 and 1922, and the first talkie version was released in 1933, with many to follow. The latest “Oliver” for the big screen was a 2005 Roman Polanski production.

30 Part of a Latin trio : AMAS

“Amo, amas, amat” translates from Latin as “I love, you love, he/she/it loves”.

32 Band with the 1980 hit album “Freedom of Choice” : DEVO

Devo is a band from Akron, Ohio formed back in 1973. The band’s biggest hit is “Whip It” released in 1980. Devo have a gimmick: the wearing of red, terraced plastic hats that are referred to as “energy domes”. Why? I have no idea …

36 Opposite of excitement : ENNUI

“Ennui” is the French word for “boredom”, and a word that we now use in English. It’s one of the few French words we’ve imported that we haven’t anglicized, and actually pronounce “correctly”.

41 Requirements for voting : QUORUMS

“Plenum” (plural “plena”) is the name given to a complete legislative assembly under the parliamentary system, with the associated term of “quorum” being the minimum number of members required to be present to conduct business.

47 Jermaine who was a six-time N.B.A. All-Star : O’NEAL

Jermaine O’Neal is a professional basketball player from Columbia, South Carolina. O’Neal currently plays for the Golden State Warriors.

50 Georges of the Romantic era : BIZET

Georges Bizet was a French composer active in the Romantic era. Bizet’s most famous work has to be his opera “Carmen”. “Carmen” initially received a lukewarm reception from the public, even though his fellow composers had nothing but praise for it. Sadly, Bizet died very young at only 36, before he could see “Carmen’s” tremendous success.

52 Film site : IMDB

The website called the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) was launched in 1990, and is now owned by Amazon.com. It’s a great site for answering question one has about movies and actors.

59 Auto inspection no. : PSI

Pounds per square inch (PSI) is a measure of pressure.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Evidence of merit : BADGE
6 With 38-Across, this whole time : ALL …
9 Country singer with a cityish name : URBAN
14 “___ in English is, in the main, just about as sensible as baseball in Italian”: H. L. Mencken : OPERA
15 Cocktail with vodka, cranberry juice and grapefruit juice : SEA BREEZE
17 Doesn’t look so well? : OGLES
18 Carrier with a yin/yang symbol in its logo : KOREAN AIR
19 Lustrous material : SATEEN
21 ___ Drago, opponent of Rocky in “Rocky IV” : IVAN
22 Actress Aduba of “Orange Is the New Black” : UZO
23 Where one might go out to get a bite? : TRANSYLVANIA
26 Bhagavad-___ (Sanskrit text) : GITA
27 Nonsense : BUSHWA
31 Extension : ADD-ON
34 Collection of superstars : DREAM TEAM
37 Good name for a gardener : HERB
38 See 6-Across : ALONG
39 One of five in “La Bohème” : ARIA
40 Fairy tale villain : EVIL QUEEN
42 U people? : PROFS
43 Kind of strip : MOBIUS
44 Wrinkly fruit : UGLI
46 Supreme Court nickname, with “the” : NOTORIOUS RBG
52 Cause to groan, maybe : IRK
55 Sparks can be seen at its edge : RENO
56 Way that someone might get out : ON BAIL
57 Make the grade : MEASURE UP
60 Off-the-wall : GONZO
61 Pastrami and corned beef : DELI MEATS
62 Some Deco collectibles : ERTES
63 “God ___” : BLESS
64 Hula hoop? : LEI
65 Little brats : SNOTS

Down

1 Extra help : BOOST
2 Kind of test for a baby : APGAR
3 Symbol of change : DELTA
4 Spider-Man’s archenemy : GREEN GOBLIN
5 Starts something slowly : EASES IN
6 Say “what?,” say : ASK
7 Pope during the Battle of Ostia : LEO IV
8 Creepy-crawly : LARVA
9 Stockpile that may be subject to inspection : URANIUM
10 Rapper MC ___ of N.W.A : REN
11 Suitor : BEAU
12 Former Iraqi V.I.P. Tariq ___ : AZIZ
13 Ancient Rome’s Circus of ___ : NERO
16 Piece of equipment in the game cornhole : BEANBAG
20 Big Apple media inits. : NYT
24 Soup kitchen sight : LADLE
25 2018 Oscar-nominated picture whose soundtrack sold over one million copies : A STAR IS BORN
28 Subway fare? : HERO
29 Oliver Twist, for example : WAIF
30 Part of a Latin trio : AMAS
31 [I’m still here, you know] : [AHEM]
32 Band with the 1980 hit album “Freedom of Choice” : DEVO
33 Minute amount : DRIB
35 Sushi bar topping : ROE
36 Opposite of excitement : ENNUI
38 No-frills : AUSTERE
41 Requirements for voting : QUORUMS
42 Nosedives : PLUNGES
45 Result of a meltdown? : GOO
47 Jermaine who was a six-time N.B.A. All-Star : O’NEAL
48 Driver’s assignment : ROUTE
49 Totaled : RAN TO
50 Georges of the Romantic era : BIZET
51 Luster : GLOSS
52 Film site : IMDB
53 Film site : REEL
54 Long green : KALE
58 Household name? : SIS
59 Auto inspection no. : PSI

2 thoughts on “0413-19 NY Times Crossword 13 Apr 19, Saturday”

  1. 27:38. Tame by Saturday standards. I’ve heard BUSHWA once, and it was in the movie “The Sting”. Didn’t know APGAR and had to get it via crosses. Didn’t know “backronym” either….

    Best –

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