0416-19 NY Times Crossword 16 Apr 19, Tuesday

Constructed by: Gary Cee
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Ending it with Kay

Themed answers each end with a “kay” sound:

  • 18A Bulletin : COMMUNIQUE
  • 24A Dental problem : TOOTH DECAY
  • 36A Nickname : SOBRIQUET
  • 52A Noted 1950s-’70s D.J. dubbed a “fifth Beatle” : MURRAY THE K
  • 59A “Is everything all right?” : ARE YOU OKAY?

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

Bill’s time: 8m 06s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Airer of N.C.A.A. March Madness games : TBS

The tbs cable television station started out in 1967 as local broadcast TV station in Atlanta. The station’s first call letters were WJRJ-TV, and this was changed to WTCG in 1970 when it was acquired by Ted Turner (the TCG stood for Turner Communications Group). In 1976, Turner started distributing WTCG via satellite making its programming available in other parts of the country. WTCG was only the second channel to transmit via satellite, following HBO. The difference was that WTCG was broadcast without requiring a premium subscription. The station’s call sign was changed again in 1979 to WTBS, with TBS standing for Turner Broadcasting System. In 1981, the channel adopted the moniker “Superstation WTBS”.

“March Madness” is the name given to the NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball Championship (among others), that is held in spring each year.

8 Choctaw and Chickasaw : TRIBES

The Choctaw are a Native American people from the southeast of the United States. The Choctaw were the first Native Americans to be forced from their land under the Indian Removal Act of 1830. They were relocated to lands west of the Mississippi River in Indian Territory.

16 Flower cluster whose name can also be read as a challenge : RACEME and RACE ME

A raceme is a long stalk with flowers placed at equal distances from each along its length. It just keeps growing, and new flowers appear at the tip.

20 Mob-busting law, for short : RICO

The RICO Act is more fully called the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. The law was used largely to prosecute members of the Mafia in the seventies, and has been applied more broadly since.

26 Remini who co-starred on “The King of Queens” : LEAH

Leah Remini is an actress and comedian who is best known for playing Carrie Heffernan on the sitcom “King of Queens”. More recently, in 2013, Remini competed on “Dancing with the Stars”. After that, Remini appeared as a guest co-host on the show several times.

28 “Beau ___” : GESTE

“Beau geste” (plural “beaux gestes”) is a French term meaning “noble deed”, or literally “beautiful gesture”.

29 Romanov leader : TSAR

The House of Romanov was the second and last imperial dynasty to rule over Russia, after the Rurik dynasty. The reign of the Romanovs ended when Emperor Nicholas II abdicated following the February Revolution of 1917. Famously, Nicholas II and his immediate family were murdered soon after he stepped down, and other members of the Romanov Dynasty were sent into exile by the Bolsheviks.

35 Newsman Koppel : TED

The broadcast journalist Ted Koppel is most associated with his long run as anchor for the “Nightline” program on ABC. Koppel was actually born in England, to a Jewish family that had fled from Germany. He emigrated with his family to the US when he was 13 years old. Koppel is great friends with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger who was a frequent guest on his television show.

36 Nickname : SOBRIQUET

A sobriquet is an affectionate nickname. The term “sobriquet” is French, in which language it has the same meaning.

39 “Life of Pi” director Lee : ANG

Taiwanese director Ang Lee sure has directed a mixed bag of films, mixed in terms of genre but not in terms of quality. He was at the helm for such classics as “Sense & Sensibility” (my personal favorite), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Hulk”, “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi”.

The 2012 movie “Life of Pi” is based on a 2001 novel of the same name by Yann Martel. The “Pi” in the title is an Indian boy named Pi Patel who finds himself adrift for 227 days in small boat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

42 Ancestral ruler : DYNAST

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

49 Elevated platforms for speakers : ROSTRA

A rostrum (plural “rostra”) is an elevated platform, particularly one for public speaking. The original rostrum was the platform used by public speakers in the Forum of ancient Rome.

51 Big name in petrol : 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.

52 Noted 1950s-’70s D.J. dubbed a “fifth Beatle” : MURRAY THE K

Murray the K was the professional name used by disk jockey Murray Kaufman who was very successful in the fifties, sixties and seventies. Kaufman got his big break hosting an all-night radio show that he called “The Swingin’ Soiree”.

57 Start of “The Star-Spangled Banner” : O SAY

“O say can you see by the dawn’s early light” is the opening line of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key. The song was adopted as the US national anthem in 1931, although it had been used officially by the US Navy since 1889, played when raising the flag.

62 Dahs’ counterparts in Morse code : DITS

Samuel Morse came up with the forerunner to modern Morse code for use on the electric telegraph, of which he was the co-inventor. Morse code uses a series of dots and dashes to represent letters and numbers. The most common letters are assigned the simplest code elements e.g. E is represented by one dot, and T is represented by one dash. When words are spelled aloud in Morse code, a dot is pronounced as “dit”, and a dash is pronounced as “dah”.

64 Dwindles, with “out” : PETERS

The verb phrase “to peter out”, meaning “to fizzle out”, originated in the 1840s in the American mining industry. While the exact etymology isn’t clear, it probably derives from the term “saltpetre”, a constituent of gunpowder.

67 Article of living room furniture : SETTEE

“Settee” is another word for “couch”. The term come from the Old English “setl”, which was a long bench with a high back and arms.

Down

2 Cells separated by synaptic gaps : NEURONS

A nerve cell is more correctly called a neuron. The branched projections that receive electrochemical signals from other neurons are known as dendrites. The long nerve fiber that conducts signals away from the neuron is known as the axon. A neuron that has no definite axon is referred to as “apolar” or “nonpolar”. In apolar neurons the nerve impulses radiate in all directions.

A synapse is a junction between a nerve cell and another cell over which an electrical or chemical signal can pass.

3 Starchy pudding : TAPIOCA

The cassava plant is a woody shrub native to South America grown largely for its carbohydrate-rich tubers. In fact, the cassava is the third largest food source of carbohydrates (for humans) in the world. Ordinarily, that carbohydrate is extracted from the plant and dried as flour, and is known as tapioca.

4 Some “college” participants : ELECTORS

The Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1804, and redefines procedures used by the Electoral College during a presidential election. Prior to the amendment, each member of the Electoral College cast two electoral votes, after which the candidate with the most votes was elected president, and the candidate with the second-most votes was elected vice president. As a result of the amendment, each member of the Electoral College casts one vote for president, and one vote for vice president. So, the Twelfth Amendment makes it unlikely that we end up with a vice president who is not supportive of the president, as the victorious pair probably campaigned together on the same ticket, and had not been rivals in the election.

6 Aaron ___, Yankees manager beginning in 2018 : BOONE

Aaron Boone is a former MLB infielder who retired as a player in 2009, a few months after undergoing open-heart surgery to have a heart valve replaced. He then pursued a successful career in sports broadcasting, primarily with ESPN. In late 2017, Boone was hired as manager of the New York Yankees.

7 Shrub that might cause a rash : SUMAC

Sumacs are a group of flowering shrubs and small trees that includes poison oak, poison ivy and poison sumac (nasty stuff!). The leaves of some species of sumac contain tannins that are used for tanning leather. Morocco leather is an example of the use of sumac tannins.

19 Unaccounted-for soldier, for short : MIA

Missing in action (MIA)

21 Resistance unit : OHM

The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every school kid knows as Ohm’s Law.

24 Relative of a chickadee : TIT

The birds known as chickadees or titmice in North America, are usually called simply “tits” in the rest of the English-speaking world.

25 Annual horse race : DERBY

Our use of the word “derby” to mean a race started in 1780 with the English Derby horse race, which was founded then by the 12th Earl of Derby. Ultimately, the term “derby” derives from the old English shire of “Deorby”, a word meaning “deer village”.

33 130 and 140 are high ones : IQS

Although it is correct these days to say that the abbreviation IQ stands for “intelligence quotient”, the term was actually coined by German psychologist William Stern, and so is actually an abbreviation for the German “Intelligenz-Quotient”.

34 Kama ___ : SUTRA

The “Kama Sutra” is renowned for its descriptions of positions that can be used for sexual intercourse, but the sutra includes many other texts that deal with various matters of a sexual nature, including how to woo a woman, the conduct of a “chief wife”, the conduct of “other wives”, how to make money as a courtesan, and much more.

37 Indulges too much, briefly : ODS

Overdose (OD)

44 Non-prophet foundation? : ATHEISM

The term “atheism”, meaning “disbelief in the existence of a god or gods”, comes from the Greek “atheos” meaning “without god”.

45 Railroad bridge support : TRESTLE

A trestle is a frame that is used as a support, particularly a support forming part of a bridge.

50 Kvetchers’ cries : OYS

The word “kvetch” comes to us from Yiddish, with “kvetshn” meaning “to complain” or “squeeze”.

52 Device that might have a trackball : MOUSE

The computer mouse was invented at the Stanford Research Institute in 1963, by one Douglas Engelbart. Sadly for him, his patent ran out before mice became standard equipment on computers, so he never made any money from his amazing invention.

53 Soldiers’ support grp. : USO

The United Service Organization (USO) was founded in 1941 at the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt “to handle the on-leave recreation of the men in the armed forces”. A USO tour is undertaken by a troupe of entertainers, many of whom are big-name celebrities. A USO tour usually includes troop locations in combat zones.

55 “___ Hope” (classic soap opera) : RYAN’S

“Ryan’s Hope” is a soap opera that ran on ABC from 1975 to 1989. The show’s storyline centers on an Irish-American family in New York City. Never saw it …

61 Plant in an English hedge : YEW

The family of trees and shrubs known as yews propagate by producing a seed surrounded by soft, sweet and brightly colored aril. Birds eat the fruit and then disperse the seed in their droppings. The birds leave the seed undamaged, and so are unharmed by the potent poisons taxine and taxol that are found within the seed. The seeds are highly toxic to humans.

63 Politician with a six-year term: Abbr. : SEN

The six-year terms enjoyed by US senators are staggered, so that every two years about one third of the 100 US Senate seats come up for reelection.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 One or two chips, maybe : ANTE
5 Airer of N.C.A.A. March Madness games : TBS
8 Choctaw and Chickasaw : TRIBES
14 “Here’s the ___ …” : DEAL
15 Promise-to-pay note : IOU
16 Flower cluster whose name can also be read as a challenge : RACEME and RACE ME
17 Deceive : DUPE
18 Bulletin : COMMUNIQUE
20 Mob-busting law, for short : RICO
22 Get exactly : NAIL
23 Single-minded religious group : CULT
24 Dental problem : TOOTH DECAY
26 Remini who co-starred on “The King of Queens” : LEAH
27 Tax table figure : INCOME
28 “Beau ___” : GESTE
29 Romanov leader : TSAR
30 Make tweaks to : REVISE
35 Newsman Koppel : TED
36 Nickname : SOBRIQUET
39 “Life of Pi” director Lee : ANG
42 Ancestral ruler : DYNAST
43 Big tubs : VATS
47 Hired toughs : GOONS
49 Elevated platforms for speakers : ROSTRA
51 Big name in petrol : ESSO
52 Noted 1950s-’70s D.J. dubbed a “fifth Beatle” : MURRAY THE K
56 Basic idea : GIST
57 Start of “The Star-Spangled Banner” : O SAY
58 Seeks legal recourse : SUES
59 “Is everything all right?” : ARE YOU OKAY?
62 Dahs’ counterparts in Morse code : DITS
64 Dwindles, with “out” : PETERS
65 L.A.-to-Denver dir. : ENE
66 Castaway’s locale : ISLE
67 Article of living room furniture : SETTEE
68 Denver-to-Albuquerque dir. : SSW
69 Sign for the superstitious : OMEN

Down

1 Press “+” on a calculator : ADD
2 Cells separated by synaptic gaps : NEURONS
3 Starchy pudding : TAPIOCA
4 Some “college” participants : ELECTORS
5 Idiosyncratic habit : TIC
6 Aaron ___, Yankees manager beginning in 2018 : BOONE
7 Shrub that might cause a rash : SUMAC
8 In all honesty : TRULY
9 Scampered : RAN
10 One hanging around a house? : ICICLE
11 Inheritance, e.g. : BEQUEST
12 Act like : EMULATE
13 Saw red : SEETHED
19 Unaccounted-for soldier, for short : MIA
21 Resistance unit : OHM
24 Relative of a chickadee : TIT
25 Annual horse race : DERBY
28 “I’m speechless!” : GEE!
31 Suffix with north or south : -ERN
32 By way of : VIA
33 130 and 140 are high ones : IQS
34 Kama ___ : SUTRA
37 Indulges too much, briefly : ODS
38 “APPLAUSE” sign locale : TV STUDIO
39 Features of May-December marriages : AGE GAPS
40 “Wrong you are!” : NO SIREE!
41 Actor Louis ___ Jr. : GOSSETT
44 Non-prophet foundation? : ATHEISM
45 Railroad bridge support : TRESTLE
46 Cinch ___ (commercial trash bag name) : SAK
48 Still to come : NOT YET
50 Kvetchers’ cries : OYS
52 Device that might have a trackball : MOUSE
53 Soldiers’ support grp. : USO
54 Does a bit of lawn work : RAKES
55 “___ Hope” (classic soap opera) : RYAN’S
60 Miner’s haul : ORE
61 Plant in an English hedge : YEW
63 Politician with a six-year term: Abbr. : SEN

11 thoughts on “0416-19 NY Times Crossword 16 Apr 19, Tuesday”

  1. 14:21. I had to do another alphabet run to get the “K” in MURRAY THE K / SAK. I should have been able to guess SAK there. Nice challenge for a Tuesday.

    Best –

  2. 17:14 one error….I had sac for sak….never heard of Murray the K…also didn’t realize there was a theme.

  3. A bit of a twist to have a theme that isn’t clued. RACEME as a floral term was new to me. Fun Tuesday, no errors.

  4. 9:46, no errors. Started out quickly, like a typical Tuesday puzzle, but bogged down towards the end. As a teenager in New York City, I was very familiar with “Murray the K and his swingin’ soiree”. Don’t know how wide his influence was outside the city.

    If Bill could concoct a theme from today’s puzzle, more power to him.

  5. I also had to look for a theme after having finished. But after finding it, I did like it. There is just something very charismatic about the sound of the letter “K”.

    I was perplexed about the “fifth Beatle” being a disc jockey. Huh? I looked it up and it turns out that Murray the K gave himself that name and hyped it up. He said years later that he regretted doing it. I would say so! What a presumptuous ego!

  6. Well, I’d always heard Billy Preston was “the 5th Beatle”… and wasn’t really happy with such a “highfalutin’ ” rarely used word as ROSTRA … so I’d just as soon “Let It Be” than do this puzzle.

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