0424-19 NY Times Crossword 24 Apr 19, Wednesday

Constructed by: Evan Mahnken
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Shakespeare Play

Themed answers are works that are based on SHAKESPEAREAN PLAYS:

  • 54A What the film answering each starred clue was inspired by : SHAKESPEARE PLAY
  • 17A *1956 sci-fi movie with Robby the Robot : FORBIDDEN PLANET (based on “The Tempest”)
  • 22A *2006 rom-com starring Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum : SHE’S THE MAN (based on “Twelfth Night”)
  • 35A *1961 musical for which Rita Moreno won an Oscar : WEST SIDE STORY (based on “Romeo and Juliet”)
  • 45A *1953 musical with songs by Cole Porter : KISS ME KATE (based on “The Taming of the Shrew”)

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

Bill’s time: 6m 43s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

8 Makes a decision on Tinder : SWIPES

Tinder is a matchmaking app that uses Facebook profiles. Users “swipe” photos of potential matches, either to the right (“like”) or to the left (“not interested”). Users who “match” each other can then chat within the app.

16 Mother ___ : TERESA

Mother Teresa was born in 1910 in the city that is now called Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. At birth she was given the names Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu (“Gonxha” means “little flower” in Albanian). She left home at the age of 18 and joined the Sisters of Loreto, and headed to Loreto Abbey in Rathfarnham in Dublin, Ireland in order to learn English. Her goal was to teach in India, and English was the language used there for instruction by the nuns. After Mother Teresa passed away in 1997 she was beatified by Pope John Paul II. She was canonized by Pope Francis in 2016, and is now known as Saint Teresa of Calcutta.

17 *1956 sci-fi movie with Robby the Robot : FORBIDDEN PLANET (based on “The Tempest”)

“Forbidden Planet” is a 1956 sci-fi movie starring Walter Pidgeon that bears some resemblance to William Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest”. “Forbidden Planet” is notable for several reasons, including the fact that it was the first film showing humans traveling in a starship, and the the first set entirely on another planet. It was also the first film to feature a robot that had a personality. That’s Robby the Robot.

William Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest” tells the story of Prospero, who was removed from the throne of Milan and banished to a deserted island along with his daughter Miranda. The island is home to a devilish character called Caliban, who is forced into slavery on the arrival of the exiles. Prospero learns sorcery while cast away, and eventually conjures up a tempest that drives those who usurped his throne onto the island’s shores (in particular his own brother, Antonio). On the island, Prospero is eventually successful in revealing Antonio’s lowly nature.

19 Big name in classic video games : ATARI

At one point, the electronics and video game manufacturer Atari was the fastest growing company in US history. However, Atari never really recovered from the video game industry crash of 1983.

21 Self-referential : META

In recent decades the prefix “meta-” has been used as a standalone adjective. In this sense “meta” means “self-referential”, describing something that refers to itself. For example, “This sentence starts with the word ‘this’ and ends with the word ‘this’” might be called a meta sentence. A movie that is about the making of the very same movie could also be described as meta.

22 *2006 rom-com starring Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum : SHE’S THE MAN (based on “Twelfth Night”)

“She’s the Man” is a 2006 romantic comedy that is based on the Shakespearean play “Twelfth Night”. The central character in the movie is a teenage girl named Viola who goes to her brother’s school disguised as a boy, in order to play soccer.

William Shakespeare wrote his comedy “Twelfth Night” as a Christmas entertainment (Twelfth Night being the end of the Christmas season). The play’s protagonist is a young woman named Viola. The plot calls for Viola to dress as eunuch named Cesario who goes into the service of Duke Orsino. Orsino has Cesario go to Duchess Olivia to express his love for her. But Olivia falls for Cesario, Cesario (Viola) falls for Orsino, and hilarity ensues …

28 “Bien sûr!” : OUI!

A Frenchman might utter the affirmative “Bien sûr!” (Of course!) or “Oui!” (Yes!).

35 *1961 musical for which Rita Moreno won an Oscar : WEST SIDE STORY (based on “Romeo and Juliet”)

Leonard Bernstein’s musical “West Side Story” is based on William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. The musical is set in New York City and features two rival gangs: the Sharks from Puerto Rico and the Jets with working-class, Caucasian roots. Tony from the Jets (played by Richard Beymer) falls in love with Maria (played by Natalie Wood) from the Sharks. All this parallels Romeo from the House of Montague falling for Juliet from the House of Capulet in the Italian city of Verona.

William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” doesn’t end well for the title characters. Juliet takes a potion as a ruse to fool her parents, to trick them into thinking she is dead. The potion puts her in a death-like coma for 24 hours, after which Juliet plans to awaken and run off with Romeo. Juliet’s sends a message to Romeo apprising him of the plan, but the message fails to arrive. Romeo hears of Juliet’s “death”, and grief-stricken he takes his own life by drinking poison. Juliet awakens from the coma, only to find her lover dead beside her. She picks up a dagger and commits suicide. And nobody lives happily ever after …

39 Word often repeated with a different pronunciation : TOMATO

You like potato and I like potahto
You like tomato and I like tomahto
Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto.
Let’s call the whole thing off

40 ___-Manuel Miranda, creator of “Hamilton” : LIN

Lin-Manuel Miranda is a composer and playwright from New York City, and the creator and star of the hit Broadway musicals “Hamilton” and “In the Heights”. Miranda also co-wrote the songs for the 2016 Disney animated feature “Moana”. He started composing early, and wrote jingles as a child. One of those jingles was later used by Eliot Spitzer in his 2006 gubernatorial campaign.

41 Texter’s qualifier : IMO

In my opinion (IMO)

42 British P.M. beginning in 2016 : MAY

Theresa May won a leadership election to become UK prime minister in 2016. May came to power following the resignation of David Cameron immediately after the nation decided to withdraw from the EU (“Brexit”). As such, May became only the second female prime minister in the UK, after Margaret Thatcher.

45 *1953 musical with songs by Cole Porter : KISS ME KATE (based on “The Taming of the Shrew”)

William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” is about a courting couple. The male in the couple is Petruchio, a gentleman of Verona, and the female is Katharina/Kate, the so-called “shrew”. As the play progresses, the “shrew” is “tamed” and becomes an “obedient” bride … a controversial storyline in the contemporary world, to say the least. Regardless, modern adaptations have been made, including 1948’s Broadway musical “Kiss Me Kate” and the 1999 romantic comedy “10 Things I Hate About You”.

52 Fabulous writer? : AESOP

Aesop is remembered today as a fabulist, a writer of fables. Aesop lived in Ancient Greece, probably around the sixth century BC. Supposedly he was born a slave, somehow became a free man, but then met with a sorry end. Aesop was sent to the city of Delphi on a diplomatic mission but instead insulted the Delphians. He was tried on a trumped-up charge of stealing from a temple, sentenced to death and was thrown off a cliff.

53 Parts of the spine : DISCS

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.

59 Gay of the New Journalism movement : TALESE

Gay Talese is an American author, famous as a journalist in the sixties at “The New York Times”. His 1981 book “Thy Neighbor’s Wife” is a study of sexuality in America in the early fifties. Apparently, as research for the book, Talese had sexual relations with his own neighbor’s wife for several months at a sexuality resort in Southern California called Sandstone Retreat.

60 Rush of Black Friday shoppers, e.g. : STAMPEDE

In the world of retail, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the US. Black Friday is when many stores start the holiday shopping season, and so offer deep discounts to get ahead of the competition.

Down

1 Slander : DEFAME

The word “libel” describes a published or written statement likely to harm a person’s reputation. It comes into English from the Latin “libellus”, the word for a small book. Back in the 1500s, libel was just a formal written statement, with the more damaging association arising in the 1600s. The related concept of slander is defamation in a transient form, such as speech, sign language or gestures.

2 Hams it up on stage : EMOTES

The word “ham”, describing a performer who overacts, is a shortened form of “hamfatter” and dates back to the late 1800s. “Hamfatter” comes from a song in old minstrel shows called “The Ham-Fat Man”. It seems that a poorly performing actor was deemed to have the “acting” qualities of a minstrel made up in blackface.

3 Ring figures : CARATS

The carat is a unit of mass equal to 200 mg. It is used in sizing gemstones.

4 Large scale of the universe? : LIBRA

The constellation of Libra is named for the scales held by the goddess of justice. Libra is the only sign of the zodiac that isn’t named for a living creature.

5 Et ___ (citation words) : ALII

“Et alii” (et al.) is the equivalent of “et cetera” (etc.), with “et cetera” being used in place of a list of objects, and “et alii” used for a list of names. In fact, “et al.” can stand for “et alii” (a group of males, or males and females), “et aliae” (a group of women) and “et alia” (a group of neuter nouns, or a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

8 Legendary snake exterminator, for short : ST PAT

There is a fair amount known about Saint Patrick, some of which comes from two letters written in his own hand. St. Patrick lived in the fifth century, but was not born in Ireland. He was first brought to Ireland at about 16 years of age from his native Britain, by Irish raiders who made him a slave for six years. Patrick managed to escape and returned to his homeland where he studied and entered the Church. He went back to Ireland as a bishop and a missionary and there lived out the rest of his life. There seems to be good evidence that he died on March 17th (now celebrated annually as Saint Patrick’s Day), although the year is less clear. The stories about shamrock and snakes, I am afraid they are the stuff of legend.

9 Actress Raquel : WELCH

The actress Raquel Welch was born Jo Raquel Tejada in Chicago. Her first major role was in the 1966 sci-fi movie “Fantastic Voyage” (fantastic film!).

15 Actor Richard : GERE

Richard Gere has played such great roles on the screen, and I find him to be a very interesting character off the screen. Gere has been studying Buddhism since 1978 and is a very visible supporter of the Dalai Lama and the people of Tibet. Gere has been married twice; to supermodel Cindy Crawford from 1991 to 1995, and to model/actress Carey Lowell from 2002 until 2016. Gere’s breakthrough role was as the male lead in the 1980 film “American Gigolo”.

18 Classic game console, for short : NES

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was sold in North America from 1985 to to 1995. The NES was the biggest selling gaming console of the era. Nintendo replaced the NES with Wii, which is also the biggest-selling game console in the world.

24 Only female Israeli prime minister : MEIR

Golda Meir was known as the “Iron Lady” when she was Prime Minister of Israel, long before that sobriquet came to be associated with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Golda Meir was born Golda Mabovitch in Kiev (in modern-day Ukraine), and when she was a young girl she moved with her family to the United States and settled in Milwaukee. As a teenager she relocated to Denver where she met and married Morris Meyerson, at the age of 19. She and her husband joined a kibbutz in Palestine in 1921, when she was in her twenties. Meir had been active in politics in the US, and continued her political work in Palestine. She was very influential during WWII, and played a leading role in negotiations after the war leading to the setting up of the state of Israel. By the time she was called on to lead the country, Meir had already retired, citing exhaustion and ill health. But serve she did, and led Israel during turbulent times (e.g. the massacre at the Munich Olympics, and the Yom Kippur War). She eventually resigned in 1974, saying that was what the people wanted.

30 Some advanced degs. : MSS

A Master of Science degree is abbreviated to M.Sc. in Canada (and Ireland), and to MS in the US.

31 Tokyo’s former name : EDO

“Edo” is the former name of the Japanese city of Tokyo. Edo was the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate, a feudal regime that ruled from 1603 until 1868. The shogun lived in the magnificent Edo Castle. Some parts of the original castle remain and today’s Tokyo Imperial Palace, the residence of the Emperor of Japan, was built on its grounds.

33 “Beetle Bailey” dog : OTTO

Sgt. Snorkel (“Sarge”) is Beetle Bailey’s nemesis in the cartoon strip that bears the latter’s name. Snorkel has a dog called Otto that he dresses up to look just like himself. Otto started off as a regular dog, but artist Mort Walker decide to draw him more like his owner, and soon Otto became a big hit.

35 Conflict with the European Theater of Operations, for short : WWII

General Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE) was in command of the European Theater of Operations (ETO) during WWII.

36 German one : EINS

“Eins, zwei, drei, vier” is German for “one, two, three, four”.

43 Business whose income is computed quarterly? : ARCADE

Our word “arcade” comes from the Latin “arcus” meaning “arc”. The first arcades were passages made from a series of arches. This could be an avenue of trees, and eventually any covered avenue. I remember arcades lined with shops and stores when I was growing up on the other side of the Atlantic. Arcades came to be lined with lots of amusements, resulting in amusement arcades and video game arcades.

46 “For goodness’ ___!” : SAKES

I tend to go with “for goodness’ sake” as opposed to “for goodness sakes” …

47 Reagan attorney general : MEESE

Ed Meese was born in Oakland, California just down the road here and spent 24 years in the office of the Treasurer of Alameda County, the county in which I live. After military service, Meese earned himself a law degree at UC Berkeley. Later, as chief of staff for President Reagan, he was instrumental in a famous decision to crack down on student protesters at Berkeley which resulted in one protester dying and a two-week occupation of the city by the California National Guard.

48 County name in England and five U.S. states : ESSEX

Essex is a county in England that is referred to as one of the “home counties”. The home counties are those that surround the city of London, outside of London itself. “Home county” is not an official designation but has been in popular use since the 1800s. The list of home counties usually comprises Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey, and Sussex.

There are five counties named Essex in the US:

  • Essex County, Massachusetts
  • Essex County, New Jersey
  • Essex County, New York
  • Essex County, Vermont
  • Essex County, Virginia
  • 49 Keystone character : KOP

    The Keystone Cops (sometimes “Keystone Kops”) were a band of madcap policemen characters who appeared in silent movies. A 1914 short film called “A Thief Catcher” that was believed lost was rediscovered in 2010. “A Thief Catcher” featured the magnificent Charlie Chaplin in an early role as a Keystone Cop.

    50 “Great” creatures : APES

    The tailless primates known as apes are divided into two main branches: gibbons (lesser apes) and hominids (great apes). The hominids are the great apes, and belong to the family of primates called Hominidae. Extant genera that make up the family Hominidae are:

    • chimpanzees
    • gorillas
    • humans
    • orangutans

    51 Actress Hedren : TIPPI

    Tippi Hedren is an actress from New Ulm, Minnesota who is best known for her starring roles in two Alfred Hitchcock classics: “The Birds” (1963) and “Marnie” (1964). Famously, Hedren claimed that Hitchcock destroyed her movie career because she would not succumb to his sexual advances, a charge that has been denied. Hedren’s daughter is actress Melanie Griffith.

    53 Pelosi and Schumer, informally : DEMS

    Nancy Pelosi first became Speaker of the House in 2007, and was the 60th person to hold that position. Ms. Pelosi represents a district not far from here, which covers most of San Francisco. She was the first Californian, the first Italian-American and the first woman to be Speaker of the House. As Speaker of the House is second-in-line to the presidency, after the Vice President, Nancy Pelosi is the highest-ranking female politician in US history.

    Chuck Schumer is the senior US Senator from New York, and a Democrat. Schumer was elected Senate minority leader in 2016 following the retirement of Harry Reid. Schumer is a second cousin, once removed of comedian and actress Amy Schumer.

    55 China’s ___ dynasty : HAN

    The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China and lasted from 206 BC to 220 AD. It came after the Qin Dynasty, and before the Three Kingdoms.

    56 Ring figure : ALI

    The boxer Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. was born in 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali when he converted to Islam in 1964. Who can forget Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic flame for the 1996 games in Atlanta?

    57 You can bank on it : ATM

    One enters a Personal Identification Number (PIN) when using an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). Given that the N in PIN stands for “number”, then “PIN number” is a redundant phrase. And, given that the M in ATM stands for “machine”, then “ATM machine” is a redundant phrase as well. Grr …!

    Complete List of Clues/Answers

    Across

    1 Make known to customs officials : DECLARE
    8 Makes a decision on Tinder : SWIPES
    14 Sending out a memo, say : EMAILING
    16 Mother ___ : TERESA
    17 *1956 sci-fi movie with Robby the Robot : FORBIDDEN PLANET (based on “The Tempest”)
    19 Big name in classic video games : ATARI
    20 Undergo a chemical change : REACT
    21 Self-referential : META
    22 *2006 rom-com starring Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum : SHE’S THE MAN (based on “Twelfth Night”)
    27 Curvy letter : ESS
    28 “Bien sûr!” : OUI!
    29 Obama ___ : ERA
    30 Put 10,000 hours into, it’s said : MASTER
    33 Forgets to include : OMITS
    35 *1961 musical for which Rita Moreno won an Oscar : WEST SIDE STORY (based on “Romeo and Juliet”)
    38 “Wouldn’t that be nice!” : I WISH!
    39 Word often repeated with a different pronunciation : TOMATO
    40 ___-Manuel Miranda, creator of “Hamilton” : LIN
    41 Texter’s qualifier : IMO
    42 British P.M. beginning in 2016 : MAY
    45 *1953 musical with songs by Cole Porter : KISS ME KATE (based on “The Taming of the Shrew”)
    51 Tucker out : TIRE
    52 Fabulous writer? : AESOP
    53 Parts of the spine : DISCS
    54 What the film answering each starred clue was inspired by : SHAKESPEARE PLAY
    59 Gay of the New Journalism movement : TALESE
    60 Rush of Black Friday shoppers, e.g. : STAMPEDE
    61 Wearable by anyone : UNISEX
    62 “I’m laughing so much it hurts!” : MY SIDES!

    Down

    1 Slander : DEFAME
    2 Hams it up on stage : EMOTES
    3 Ring figures : CARATS
    4 Large scale of the universe? : LIBRA
    5 Et ___ (citation words) : ALII
    6 Relieved (of) : RID
    7 Finish : END
    8 Legendary snake exterminator, for short : ST PAT
    9 Actress Raquel : WELCH
    10 Mad as hell : IRATE
    11 Write down : PEN
    12 Linguistic suffix : -ESE
    13 Took a load off : SAT
    15 Actor Richard : GERE
    18 Classic game console, for short : NES
    22 Figure (out) : SUSS
    23 “Play that beat!” : HIT IT!
    24 Only female Israeli prime minister : MEIR
    25 Like many modern black-and-white films : ARTY
    26 Lil ___ X, rapper with the 2019 #1 hit “Old Town Road” : NAS
    28 Bit of salty language : OATH
    30 Some advanced degs. : MSS
    31 Tokyo’s former name : EDO
    32 Cancel, as a fine : REMIT
    33 “Beetle Bailey” dog : OTTO
    34 Herd noise : MOO
    35 Conflict with the European Theater of Operations, for short : WWII
    36 German one : EINS
    37 “Me too!” : SAME!
    38 Category : ILK
    42 Gave the wrong message : MISLED
    43 Business whose income is computed quarterly? : ARCADE
    44 “But of course!” : YES, YES!
    46 “For goodness’ ___!” : SAKES
    47 Reagan attorney general : MEESE
    48 County name in England and five U.S. states : ESSEX
    49 Keystone character : KOP
    50 “Great” creatures : APES
    51 Actress Hedren : TIPPI
    53 Pelosi and Schumer, informally : DEMS
    54 Fox News commentator Varney, familiarly : STU
    55 China’s ___ dynasty : HAN
    56 Ring figure : ALI
    57 You can bank on it : ATM
    58 Unit of sunshine : RAY

    9 thoughts on “0424-19 NY Times Crossword 24 Apr 19, Wednesday”

    1. 9:04. Clever theme although I didn’t know some of the movies (SHES THE MAN or FORBIDDEN PLANET). Was enjoyable nonetheless. Never knew that ST PAT’s legend included being a snake charmer…..even after all those March 17th beers in his honor over the years.

      Best –

    2. 23:10 no errors….didn’t understand how 32D can be remit. If you cancel a fine you don’t have to pay it , if you remit it you pay it. What am I missing?

    3. 9:52, no errors. Felt like a Monday, filled the boxes as fast as I could write. Enjoyed “Forbidden Planet” as a kid, and still do. One of the things that stuck in my mind was that the advanced civilization “The Krell” stored their music on a micro device that would play back when inserted into a slot in the player.

    4. I wasn’t particularly impressed with the theme. It offered virtually no help in naming the movies. If one did not have some firsthand knowledge of the movie then the fact that it was based on a Shakespearean play would be a moot point anyway. “West Side Story” was the only one of the movies that I have seen and I have also seen several incarnations of “Romeo and Juliet”. So I was certainly aware that the movie was based on the play. All I am saying is that it did not help in any way to solve the puzzle.

      Nevertheless, I finished the puzzle with no errors and found this to be a fine workout for a Wednesday.

    5. 10:10, no errors. As with a lot of these kind of themes, the puzzle turned into a 95% downs-only affair. But thankfully this puzzle was well-written enough to be able to do that.

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