0420-19 NY Times Crossword 20 Apr 19, Saturday

Constructed by: Kevin Adamick
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 11m 27s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

9 “Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all – the ___ of human beings”: Helen Keller : APATHY

Helen Keller became a noted author despite been deaf and blind, largely through the work of her teacher Anne Sullivan. Keller was left deaf and blind after an illness (possibly meningitis or scarlet fever) when she was about 18 months old. She was to become the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. The relationship between Sullivan and Keller is immortalized in the play and film called “The Miracle Worker”.

17 What some investments and trained dogs do : ROLL OVER

A rollover IRA is a subtype of traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA). The funds for a rollover IRA come from another qualified plan such as a 401(k) or a 403(b) account.

18 Top stories : ATTICS

An attic or loft is a room or space located below the roof of a building. The term “attic” is a shortened form of “attic story”, the uppermost story or level of a house. This term “attic story” originally applied to a low, decorative level built on top of the uppermost story behind a building’s decorative facade. This use of decoration at the top of buildings was common in ancient Greece, and was particularly important in the Attica style. That Attica style was so called because it originated in the historical region of Attica that encompassed the city of Athens. And that’s how our attics are linked to ancient Greece.

19 Like El Alto, the highest large city (population > 100,000) in the world : BOLIVIAN

Bolivia is a landlocked country in South America, bordered by Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, Peru and Argentina. The land now occupied by Bolivia was originally part of the Inca Empire. The country declared independence from Spain in 1809, which led to 16 years of war. When the Republic was finally named, “Bolivia” was chosen in honor of the Venezuelan-born revolutionary leader, Simón Bolívar.

21 One after another? : ELEVEN

A “one” after another “one” is the number “eleven”.

22 Italian city that’s home to the Villa d’Este : TIVOLI

Tivoli is an ancient town in Italy, located about 20 miles outside Rome. Tivoli is home to a Temple of Vesta, which dates back to the 1st-century BCE. It is also home to the 16th-century Villa d’Este, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

27 Target, e.g. : MEGASTORE

Target Corporation was founded by George Draper Dayton in 1902 in Minneapolis, Minnesota as Dayton Dry Goods Company. Dayton developed into a department store, and the company opened up a discount store chain in 1962, calling it Target. Today, Target is the second-largest discount retailer in the country, after Walmart.

29 Shoes that are also water hazards : CROCS

Crocs are foam clogs that were originally designed as shoes to be worn at health spas.

Crocodiles and alligators do indeed bear a resemblance to each other, although they belong to distinct biological families. One of the main ways used to distinguish them is by their teeth and jaws. Both the upper and lower sets of teeth of a crocodile are visible when its mouth is closed, whereas only the upper teeth of an alligator are visible with the mouth shut.

35 Brusque : TERSE

Someone described as “brusque” is “gruff, abrupt and curt in manner”. The term comes into English from French, in which language it means “lively, fierce”.

36 Author of the 2011 political memoir “My Father at 100” : RON REAGAN

Ron Reagan’s views couldn’t be any further from those of his father President Ronald Reagan, I’d say. Before the radio network Air America went bust, Ron had a daily 3-hour spot, and these days he makes frequent appearances on MSNBC. Young Reagan is quite the dancer, and for a while was a member of the Joffrey Ballet.

48 Anna who played Scheherazade in 1963’s “Scheherazade” : KARINA

Anna Karina is a French actress who was originally from Denmark. Karina has appeared in a lot of movies directed by Jean-Luc Godard. Karina and Godard married in 1961 in the middle of shooting “A Woman Is a Woman”, one of their most famous collaborations. The marriage was always tense according to all accounts, and only lasted a few years.

51 Polar expedition transport : SNO-CAT

The brand name “Sno-Cat” is owned by the Tucker company. All snowcats are tracked vehicles built to work in snow, and are famously used in expeditions to the polar regions. The modern Sno-Cat from Tucker differs from its competitors in that it has four independently-mounted tracks.

53 Remove a burden from : UNLADE

The verb “to lade” meaning “to load” comes from an Old English word “hladan”. “Lade” also used to mean “draw water” and indeed gave us our word “ladle”. So “lade” and “ladle” are close cousins.

Down

2 Actor with the #1 film performance in Premiere magazine’s list of “100 Greatest Performances of All Time” : O’TOOLE

Irish actor Peter O’Toole got his big break in movies when he played the title role in the 1962 epic film “Lawrence of Arabia”. My favorite of O’Toole’s movies is much lighter fare, namely “How to Steal a Million” in which he stars opposite Audrey Hepburn. O’Toole never won an Oscar, but holds the record for the greatest number of Best Actor nominations without a win.

7 Colored part : UVEA

The uvea is the middle of the three layers that make up the eyeball. The outer layer is called the fibrous tunic, and the inner layer is the retina.

8 Second-most populous Swiss canton, after Zurich : BERN

Bern (sometimes “Berne”, especially in French) is the capital city of Switzerland. The official language of the city is German, but the language most spoken in Bern is a dialect known as Bernese German.

Zurich is located in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, and is the largest city in the country.

9 Start of Kansas’ state motto : AD ASTRA

The motto of the State of Kansas is “ad astra per aspera”, a Latin expression meaning “to the stars through difficulties”. Kansas shares the same motto with quite a few other institutions, including an English grammar school, an Australian high school, and even Starfleet, the service to which the USS Enterprise belongs in the “Star Trek” series.

12 France’s flag, e.g. : TRICOLOR

The French flag (“le drapeau français” in French) is a tricolor of blue, white and red. The blue and red colors in the flag date back to the French Revolution, when the Paris militia that participated in the storming of the Bastille wore a cockade of blue and red. Subsequently, this blue and red was added to white to create a three-color national cockade that was sported by the national militia. The design of the national cockade was absorbed into the national flag that was adopted in 1794.

13 Trouble for comedians : HECKLERS

Originally, the verb “to heckle” meant to question severely, and for many years was associated with the public questioning of parliamentary candidates in Scotland. In more recent times, the meaning has evolved into questioning that is less polite and that is directed at stand-up comics.

24 Salon, e.g., informally : E-MAG

Salon.com is a popular online magazine, one of the first “ezines” ever published. “Salon” focuses on American politics and current affairs, but also has articles about books, music and films. The magazine was launched in 1995, and managed to survive many loss-making years. Most of Salon’s content is free, but it does make money by offering a premium service with extra content, and by selling ad space.

25 Canine’s woe? : DECAY

The canine teeth of a mammal are also called the eyeteeth or cuspids. The name “canine” is used because these particular teeth are very prominent in dogs. The prefix “eye-” is used because in humans the eyeteeth are located in the upper jaw, directly below the eyes.

28 Something in a pool : GENE

The set of all genes in a particular population is known as the “gene pool”, a term coined in Russian by geneticist Aleksandr Sergeevich Serebrovskii in the 1920s. In general, the larger the gene pool, the more diverse and robust the population.

30 Sitcom set in Lanford, Ill. : ROSEANNE

The comedian Roseanne Barr is perhaps best known as the star of her own sitcom called “Roseanne” in which she played the character Roseanne Conner. In 2012, Barr unsuccessfully vied for the Green Party’s nomination for US President. She didn’t give up though, and was successful in winning the nomination of the Peace and Freedom Party. In the 2012 presidential election she earned over 60,000 votes, and placed sixth in the list of candidates.

31 Out but with caveats : ON PAROLE

The term “parole” is a French word that we use in English, with the French “parole” meaning “word, speech”. Of particular interest is the French phrase “parole d’honneur” which translates as “word of honor”. In the early 1600s we started using “parole” to mean a promise by a prisoner of war not to escape, as in the prisoner giving his “word of honor” not to run off. Over time, parole has come to mean conditional release of a prisoner before he or she has served the full term of a sentence.

A caveat is a warning or a qualification. “Caveat” is the Latin for “let him beware”.

33 Court, in a way : SERENADE

A serenade is a musical performance in the open air, specifically at night. We tend to think of the term applying to a young man serenading his lover from below her window. We imported the word via French from the Italian “serenata” meaning “evening song”, influenced by the Italian “sera” meaning “evening”.

41 Photoshop command : ROTATE

Photoshop is a wonderful piece of software used for editing graphics. When I first bought a copy of Photoshop, it was really expensive (about $300, ten years ago), but now there are cost-effective, stripped-down versions available. Also, the full version of Photoshop is now only available as a monthly subscription service.

42 Salt : SAILOR

“Sea dog” and “old salt” are familiar terms for a sailor, especially one that has lots of experience.

44 Codger : GEEZER

“Geezer”, “codger” and “coot” are all not-so-nice terms meaning “old man”.

49 It may be slipped to a doctor : DISC

Our intervertebral discs are composed mainly of cartilage. They perform the crucial functions of separating the vertebrae while allowing slight movement, and also absorbing shock. A “slipped disc” isn’t really a disc that has “slipped”, but rather a disc that “bulges”. If that bulge causes pressure on the sciatic nerve then the painful condition known as sciatica can result.

50 Old-fashioned theaters : ODEA

In Ancient Greece an odeon (also “odeum”) was like a small theater, with “odeon” literally meaning a “building for musical competition”. Odea were used in both Greece and Rome for entertainments such as musical shows and poetry readings.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Fratty group : BOYS’ CLUB
9 “Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all – the ___ of human beings”: Helen Keller : APATHY
15 Absolutely creamed : ATE ALIVE
16 Dictate : DECREE
17 What some investments and trained dogs do : ROLL OVER
18 Top stories : ATTICS
19 Like El Alto, the highest large city (population > 100,000) in the world : BOLIVIAN
20 Kindling : STICKS
21 One after another? : ELEVEN
22 Italian city that’s home to the Villa d’Este : TIVOLI
23 Nuts : DERANGED
26 More authentic : REALER
27 Target, e.g. : MEGASTORE
29 Shoes that are also water hazards : CROCS
34 Big heart? : ACE
35 Brusque : TERSE
36 Author of the 2011 political memoir “My Father at 100” : RON REAGAN
38 Dream : ASPIRE
39 “When I was a kid …” : YEARS AGO …
46 Less of a mess : NEATER
47 Middle-of-the- ___ : ROADER
48 Anna who played Scheherazade in 1963’s “Scheherazade” : KARINA
49 Spent completely : DOG-TIRED
51 Polar expedition transport : SNO-CAT
52 Exalt : IDEALIZE
53 Remove a burden from : UNLADE
54 Delivered : SENT OVER
55 Like the apples in apple pie, typically : PEELED
56 They serve a function : CATERERS

Down

1 Cutting : BARBED
2 Actor with the #1 film performance in Premiere magazine’s list of “100 Greatest Performances of All Time” : O’TOOLE
3 Hardly the silent type : YELLER
4 Slobber : SALIVA
5 Split : CLOVEN
6 Word with will or wage : LIVING
7 Colored part : UVEA
8 Second-most populous Swiss canton, after Zurich : BERN
9 Start of Kansas’ state motto : AD ASTRA
10 Most small-minded : PETTIEST
11 Trigger : ACTIVATE
12 France’s flag, e.g. : TRICOLOR
13 Trouble for comedians : HECKLERS
14 Emphatic agreement : YES SIREE!
24 Salon, e.g., informally : E-MAG
25 Canine’s woe? : DECAY
28 Something in a pool : GENE
29 Gets started : CRANKS UP
30 Sitcom set in Lanford, Ill. : ROSEANNE
31 Out but with caveats : ON PAROLE
32 Pressing : CRITICAL
33 Court, in a way : SERENADE
37 Made sparkling, say : AERATED
40 Silver : ARGENT
41 Photoshop command : ROTATE
42 Salt : SAILOR
43 Main slot on an old PC : A-DRIVE
44 Codger : GEEZER
45 They’re taken while waiting : ORDERS
49 It may be slipped to a doctor : DISC
50 Old-fashioned theaters : ODEA

14 thoughts on “0420-19 NY Times Crossword 20 Apr 19, Saturday”

  1. 23:32. I thought this was easier than Friday’s grid although the design of it made getting any momentum difficult. It was almost like 4 separate mini puzzles.

    Best –

  2. Brian: Playing card. Ace of hearts.
    Said “Oh-Oh” when I saw the grid but dug in, got traction and finished sooner than I had anticipated. I enjoyed it.

  3. 1:02:05 no errors ……I was ready to quit a couple of times but hung in….the upper left corner took me a long time to break open but we gotcha

    1. Same here, Jack. Except it took me longer than it took you. The upper left corner nearly did me in, but I kept going. Once I got rid of “inarow” for 21A and changed “Peruvian” to “Bolivian” (geography is not my strong suit), the rest eventually came. For me, a good, tough puzzle.

  4. 29:05, no errors. Agree that this solved like 4 minipuzzles. Surprised there haven’t been any complaints regarding ‘manufactured difficulty’, but it’s early.

  5. Difficult, as you might expect for Saturday, but eventually I wrestled it to the ground. Took real exception to 47A. Middle-of-the-road*ER*??? What the hell is **that**????

    Lots of the clues weren’t very helpful the first two times you read them… only once you “got traction”, as someone mentioned above, did they begin to make any sense.

  6. Yeah, shuddered a bit on seeing the four mostly isolated sections and its tight middle. But the NE and SE turned out to be relatively easy, while the NW and SW took more time and puzzle work.

    Good word-play and enjoyed it a lot.

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