0426-19 NY Times Crossword 26 Apr 19, Friday

Constructed by: Kyle T. Dolan
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 13m 07s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 #1 Taylor Swift song about defying one’s critics : SHAKE IT OFF

Singer Taylor Swift had one of her first gigs at the US Open tennis tournament when she was in her early teens. There she sang the national anthem and received a lot of favorable attention for the performance.

16 Mother of Hermes : MAIA

Maia is one of the Pleiades of Greek mythology, and is the eldest of the Seven Sisters.

Hermes was the Greek god of transitions and boundaries, one who intercedes between mortals and the divine. The Roman equivalent to Hermes was the god Mercury.

18 Smacker : BUCK

“Buck” is a slang term for “dollar”. The term has been around at least since 1856, and is thought to derive from the tradition of using buckskin as a unit of trade with Native Americans during the frontier days.

20 Usually illegal maneuvers : UEYS

Hang a “uey” or “uie”, make a u-turn, make a 180.

22 Wonkish sort : NERD

A wonk is an overly studious person. It is an American slang term that has been around at least since 1954. More recently, “wonk” has acquired an air of respectability as it has come to mean someone who has studies a topic thoroughly and become somewhat expert.

30 Longtime cartoon business : ACME

The Acme Corporation is a fictional company used mainly by Looney Tunes, and within the Looney Tunes empire it is appears mostly in “Road Runner” cartoons. Wile E. Coyote is always receiving a new piece of gear from Acme designed to finally capture the Road Runner, but the equipment always leads to his downfall.

34 Knight in a popular film franchise : JEDI

The Jedi are the good guys in the “Star Wars” series of movies. The most famous Jedi knights from the films are Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness, and later Ewan McGregor) and Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz). Well, they’re my favorites anyway …

35 “Where America shops for value,” per an old slogan : SEARS

Richard Sears was a station agent on the railroad. In the late 1800s, he bought up a shipment of unwanted watches that was left at his depot and sold the watches to other agents up and down the line. He was so successful that he ordered more watches and then came up with the idea of using a catalog to promote more sales. The catalog idea caught on, and his success allowed Sears to open retail locations in 1925. By the mid 1900s, Sears was the biggest retailer in the whole country.

36 Eight-time Norris Trophy winner : ORR

The James Norris Memorial Trophy is awarded to the top defensive player in the NHL each year, based on votes by members of the professional Hockey Writers’ Association. Bobby Orr won the award every single season from 1967-1975. Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. By the time he retired in 1978 he had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age, he concluded that he just couldn’t skate anymore. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking …

37 Scene of biblical destruction : SODOM

The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, as well as Admah and Zeboim, were destroyed by God for the sins of their inhabitants, according to the Bible. The name Sodom has become a metaphor for vice and homosexuality, and gives us our word “sodomy”.

38 Ancient dweller beyond Hadrian’s Wall : PICT

The Picts were a Celtic people who lived in ancient Scotland, in the east and north of the country. The Picts gradually disappeared as an identifiable group, merging with the Gaels in the 10th century.

The Roman Emperor Hadrian is best remembered today for building Hadrian’s Wall, a barrier marking the northern limit of Roman Britain. Construction of the stone wall started in AD 122, and the end result was the most fortified border in the whole of the Roman Empire. Much of Hadrian’s Wall can still be seen today, and I’ve had the privilege of walking along part of it when visiting Northern England.

41 Peak service? : ACE

That might be tennis, for example.

48 Pacific island capital : APIA

Apia is the capital city, and in fact the only city, of the Pacific island-nation of Samoa. The harbor of Apia is famous for a very foolish incident in 1889 involving seven naval vessels from Germany, the US and Britain. A typhoon was approaching so the safest thing to do was to head for open water away from land, but no nation would move its ships for fear of losing face in front of the others. Six of the ships were lost in the typhoon as a result and 200 American and German sailors perished. The British cruiser HMS Calliope barely managed to escape from the harbor and rode out the storm safely. Apia is also known as the home of writer Robert Louis Stevenson, for the last four years of his life.

50 It may precede “copy” : OVER

That might be a conversation over radiotelephone.

57 Biblical brother : ABEL

In the story of Cain and Abel in the Book of Genesis, Cain murders his brother Abel. Subsequently, God asks Cain, “Where is Abel thy brother?” Cain replies, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Down

1 Help out, in a gym : SPOT

People at the gym who are doing weight training will often “spot” for each other. This means that the person who is spotting assists in the lift, allowing the lifter to work with more weight than usual.

4 Comedian who starred in 2014’s “About Last Night” : KEVIN HART

Kevin Hart is an actor and comedian from Philadelphia. Hart plays the lead role on a reality TV parody on BET called “Real Husbands of Hollywood”.

“About Last Night” is a 1986 film that is based on a 1974 David Mamet play called “Sexual Perversity in Chicago”. It stars Rob Lowe and Demi Moore as a couple of yuppies who are both entering a serious relationship for the first time.

7 Like goods weighed on scales : TARED

Tare is the weight of a container that is deducted from the gross weight to determine the net weight, the weight of the container’s contents.

11 One reporting a fight : EMBED

Although journalists have been directly reporting from the front lines in military conflicts for some time, the term “embedded journalism” only came into fashion during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. A formal arrangement was made between the US Military and hundreds of reporters allowing the journalists to travel with military units and, under pre-ordained conditions, report directly from those units. Some say that the arrangement was mutually beneficial. On the one hand the journalists had relatively little to worry about in terms of transportation and travel through combat zones. On the other hand, the military had better control over what did and did not get reported.

12 Pet with short legs and a long body, slangily : SAUSAGE DOG

The dachshund breed of dog was originally bred to chase and flush out badgers. The name “dachshund” is German and translates as “badger dog”.

13 Chooses at the request of Monty Hall, say : PICKS A DOOR

The game show “Let’s Make a Deal” first aired way back in 1963. For many years the show was hosted by Monty Hall, from 1963 until 1986, and again briefly in 1991. In more recent years, Wayne Brady took over as host in 2009.

21 Rap mogul of the highest degree? : DRE

“Dr. Dre” is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

25 Funny Schumer : AMY

Amy Schumer is a stand-up comedian, and an alumna of the reality TV show “Last Comic Standing”, in which she placed fourth. Schumer now has her own comedy series “Inside Amy Schumer”, which airs on Comedy Central. Amy is a first cousin once removed of Chuck Schumer, the senior US Senator from New York.

27 Scrubber sold in a yellow box : SOS PAD

S.O.S is a brand of scouring pads made from steel wool impregnated with soap. The product was invented as a giveaway by an aluminum pot salesman in San Francisco called Ed Cox. His wife gave it the name “S.O.S” as an initialism standing for “Save Our Saucepans”. Note the punctuation! There is no period after the last S, and that is deliberate. When Cox went to register the trademark, he found that “S.O.S.” could not be a trademark because it was used as an international distress signal. So he dropped the period after the last S, and I hope made a lot of money for himself and his wife.

28 First hip-hop single to top the Billboard Hot 100 (1990) : ICE ICE BABY

“Ice Ice Baby” is 1990 song released by rap artist Vanilla Ice. What’s unusual about “Ice Ice Baby” is that it’s a rap song this oldster will actually listen to sometimes. Admittedly, that’s because it features a bassline lifted directly from the 1981 song “Under Pressure” by Queen. And, the lifting of the bassline led to quite a bit of controversy and a lawsuit.

34 Who wrote “I am two fools, I know, / For loving, and for saying so / In whining poetry” : JOHN DONNE

John Donne was one of England’s most celebrated poets, and was active at the start of the 17th century. He spent much of his life in poverty and even spent a short time in prison for having married his wife without procuring the appropriate permissions. After his release, his wife bore him 12 children in 16 years, passing away a few days after the twelfth child was born.

39 Artificially stir (up) : GIN

“To gin up” is slang, meaning “to enliven, excite”. The term probably derives from the older “to ginger up”. Gingering up was the rather nasty practice of putting ginger up inside a horse to make it lively and move with a high tail.

42 What “pizza” means in Italian : PIE

Pizza was invented in Naples, where it has a long tradition that goes back to Ancient Rome. During an 1889 visit to Naples, Queen Margherita of Savoy was served a special pizza that was created with toppings designed to mimic the colors of the Italian flag. The ingredients of tomato (red), mozzarella (white) and basil (green) can still be found together on menus today, on a pie usually named Pizza Margherita after the queen. I do love basil on my pizza …

45 With 47-Across, talus : ANKLE
(47 See 45-Down : … BONE)

The collection of seven bones in the foot just below the ankle are known collectively as the tarsus. One of those bones is the talus (plural “tali”), more commonly called the ankle bone. The talus is the lower part of the ankle joint and articulates with the lower ends of the tibia and fibula in the lower leg.

49 Draft amount, maybe : PINT

A US pint is made from 16 fluid ounces, and an imperial pint is 20 fluid ounces. The term “pint” comes into English via Old French, ultimately from the Latin “picta” meaning “painted”. The name arose from a line painted on the side of a beer glass that marked a full measure of ale.

51 Fifth-brightest star in the night sky : VEGA

Vega is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra. Vega (along with Altair and Deneb from other constellations) is also part of the group of three stars that is called the Summer Triangle. Vega is the star at the right-angle of this triangle.

52 Harmonia’s opposite in Greek myth : ERIS

In Greek mythology, Eris was the goddess of discord. The name “Eris” is derived from the Greek word for strife, and translates into Latin as “Discordia”. In Greek her counterpart was Harmonia, and in the world of the Roman gods, Concordia. The largest dwarf planet in our solar system is called Eris, named after the goddess.

54 Chain with more than 3,500 stores worldwide : GAP

The Gap is a San Francisco-based clothing retailer that was founded in 1969. The name “the Gap” was a homage to the popular sixties term “the generation gap”.

55 One doing a balancing act, say : CPA

Certified public accountant (CPA)

56 Coconut ___ : OIL

Palm oil and coconut oil are two vegetable oils that aren’t very good for our health. Both are high in saturated fat.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 #1 Taylor Swift song about defying one’s critics : SHAKE IT OFF
11 Make out : ESPY
15 Where a hand might be raised : POKER TABLE
16 Mother of Hermes : MAIA
17 Bakery item with a Mediterranean flair : OLIVE BREAD
18 Smacker : BUCK
19 ___ Kukoc, 6’11” N.B.A. star of 1993-2006 : TONI
20 Usually illegal maneuvers : UEYS
21 Place for an anchor : DESK
22 Wonkish sort : NERD
24 Tough, demanding type : HARD-ASS
27 Suck up : SIPHON
30 Longtime cartoon business : ACME
31 ___ pal : GAL
32 Beverage brand with a wave in its logo : OCEAN SPRAY
34 Knight in a popular film franchise : JEDI
35 “Where America shops for value,” per an old slogan : SEARS
36 Eight-time Norris Trophy winner : ORR
37 Scene of biblical destruction : SODOM
38 Ancient dweller beyond Hadrian’s Wall : PICT
39 Where you might be given the third degree : GRAD SCHOOL
41 Peak service? : ACE
42 “What a ___” : PITY
43 Cranky due to lack of food : HANGRY
44 Holds for a while : DETAINS
46 Make, as one’s way : WEND
47 See 45-Down : … BONE
48 Pacific island capital : APIA
50 It may precede “copy” : OVER
54 Goggle : GAWK
55 Bushes are found on both sides of it : CLINTON ERA
57 Biblical brother : ABEL
58 About to start the workday, say : PUNCHING IN
59 Flammable structure : PYRE
60 “If nothing else …” : AT THE LEAST …

Down

1 Help out, in a gym : SPOT
2 Prefix with -gram : HOLO-
3 Related : AKIN
4 Comedian who starred in 2014’s “About Last Night” : KEVIN HART
5 Lead-in to long : ERE
6 Shout of pain : IT BURNS!
7 Like goods weighed on scales : TARED
8 Not question : OBEY
9 Classic bit of study material : FLASH CARD
10 Put change into : FED
11 One reporting a fight : EMBED
12 Pet with short legs and a long body, slangily : SAUSAGE DOG
13 Chooses at the request of Monty Hall, say : PICKS A DOOR
14 Not shut up : YAK
21 Rap mogul of the highest degree? : DRE
23 Ages and ages : EONS
25 Funny Schumer : AMY
26 By a narrow margin : SLIMLY
27 Scrubber sold in a yellow box : SOS PAD
28 First hip-hop single to top the Billboard Hot 100 (1990) : ICE ICE BABY
29 Ottawa landmark completed just after W.W. I : PEACE TOWER
30 Impressive display : ARRAY
33 Mild cheese with an orange rind : PORT SALUT
34 Who wrote “I am two fools, I know, / For loving, and for saying so / In whining poetry” : JOHN DONNE
37 Get a good look at : SCAN
39 Artificially stir (up) : GIN
40 Cover in a protective layer : SHEATHE
42 What “pizza” means in Italian : PIE
45 With 47-Across, talus : ANKLE
46 Machine that pulls : WINCH
49 Draft amount, maybe : PINT
51 Fifth-brightest star in the night sky : VEGA
52 Harmonia’s opposite in Greek myth : ERIS
53 Go on (about) : RANT
54 Chain with more than 3,500 stores worldwide : GAP
55 One doing a balancing act, say : CPA
56 Coconut ___ : OIL

7 thoughts on “0426-19 NY Times Crossword 26 Apr 19, Friday”

  1. 22:42, no errors. This one seemed a little more difficult than others, but I’m kind of jet-lagged … 😳

  2. “Over” preceded by “copy”?….I’m thinking radio communication, in which case “over” follows “copy”….

  3. 30:30. Was indeed a little tough for a Friday. I had one square off – I had fEND instead of WEND and the well known pulling machine…a fINCH?

    Duncan – I think you’re right on OVER and copy being a reference to radio. I was scratching my head a little over (pardon the pun) that one.

    Best –

  4. 48:28 no errors….I still don’t get 41A even with Bills explanation….as far as RAP and HIPHOP clues go I say thank the lord for crosses

    1. Jack –
      An ACE is the term used in tennis when you serve the ball to the opponent and they can’t touch it. You blow it right by them. I think the word “Peak” is used meaning it’s the “best” outcome you can have on a serve as you win the point right there.

  5. 27:56, 4 errors: PEACE T(A)(P)ER; A(S)(E)LE; B(A)(S)E; GA(P)(E); Felt like a puzzle designed ‘not to be solved’. Had a horrible mishmash in the bottom left corner. The ‘talus’ I had in mind was the accumulation of debris at the bottom of a rockfall; rather than ANKLE BONE.

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