0504-19 NY Times Crossword 4 May 19, Saturday

Constructed by: Mark Diehl
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Star Wars Day

We have a mini-theme today, as May 4th is celebrated by fans of the movie franchise as Star Wars Day:

  • 1A Could : MAY …
  • 8A U.S. Independence Day, informally : … THE 4TH …
  • 53A Accompany : … BE WITH …
  • 55A Recipient of the wish at 1-, 8-, 53- and 55-Across : … YOU

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

Bill’s time: 14m 19s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

4 Tail end of a dog? : APSO

The Lhasa apso breed of dog originated in Tibet and is named after “Lhasa” (the capital city) and “apso” (a Tibetan word meaning “bearded”). The Lhasa apso has been around since 800 BC and is one of the oldest breeds in the world, one very closely related to the ancestral wolf.

8 U.S. Independence Day, informally : THE 4TH

On 11 June 1776, the Continental Congress appointed a committee of five people to draft a declaration of independence. Included in the five were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Adams persuaded the other committee members to give Jefferson the task of writing the first draft. A resolution of independence was passed by the Congress on 2 July 1776. The final draft of the declaration was approved by the Congress two days later, on July 4th. John Adams wrote a letter to his wife that included an assertion that July 2nd (the date of the resolution of independence) would become a great American holiday. Of course Adams was wrong, and it was actually the date the Declaration of Independence was finalized that came to be celebrated annually.

19 “River People” of Arizona : PIMAS

The Pima people are a group of Native Americans living in what is now central and southern Arizona. The name “Pima” is thought to be an anglicization of the phrase “pi mac”, which members of their tribe often said in their first meetings with Europeans.

20 Hard to move : STOIC

Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher famous for teaching at the Stoa Poikile, the “Painted Porch”, located on the north side of the Ancient Agora of Athens. Because of the location of his classes, his philosophy became known as stoicism (from “stoa”, the word for “porch”). And yes, we get our adjective “stoic” from the same root.

21 Wet ___ : NAP

“Wet nap” is a term commonly used for a wet wipe, a manufactured paper tissue that comes pre-moistened. Wet naps are often provided after a meal at some restaurants after a finger-food dish, or perhaps as a refresher on an airplane. I think that “nap” is short for “napkin”, and that “Wet-Nap” is a brand name.

22 Solar or lunar eclipse, e.g. : EVENT

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes into the shadow cast by the earth from the light of the sun, in other words when the earth is positioned directly between the sun and the moon. The more spectacular solar eclipse takes place when moon passes in front of the sun, so that the earth falls into the shadow cast by the moon.

24 “The Dark at the Top of the Stairs” playwright : INGE

During his career, dramatist William Inge was known as the “Playwright of the Midwest”, as many of his works were set in the American heartland and explored small town life. When Inge was 60 years old, he committed suicide by poisoning himself with carbon monoxide. He was buried in his hometown of Independence, Kansas. Inge’s grave is marked with a headstone that reads simply “Playwright”.

William Inge’s 1957 play “The Dark at the Top of the Stairs” won a Tony for Best Play, and was made into a film in 1960.

28 Laterally, in a way : ABEAM

The beam is the widest part of a nautical vessel. Something pointed out as lying “abeam” is something that it is 90 degrees from a line through the bow and the stern, in other words directly off to the right or the left.

35 Green vegetable : CHARD

Chard is a lovely leafy vegetable, in my humble opinion. Chard is the same species as the garden beet, but chard is grown for the leaves, and beet is grown for the roots. Chard also goes by the names, Swiss chard, silverbeet, mangold. In some parts of Australia it’s even known as spinach.

36 Fashion lines? : AD LIB

“Ad libitum” is a Latin phrase meaning “at one’s pleasure”. In common usage, the phrase is usually shortened to “ad lib”. On the stage, the concept of an ad lib is very familiar.

37 Heads of Parliament? : LOOS

In old sailing ships, the toilet area for the regular sailors was located in the forward part (the head) of the ship. As a result, the term “head” has been used since then for any toilet on board a boat.

The UK Parliament is divided into two houses, with the upper house known as the House of Lords and the lower house as the House of Commons. The members of the House of Commons are elected, but most new members of the House of Lords are appointed. Historically, a large proportion of the membership of the upper house were hereditary peers, but recent legislative changes are reducing the numbers who can sit in the House of Lords by virtue of birthright.

38 Bean in space : ALAN

Alan Bean is a former astronaut. Bean was the fourth man to walk on the moon, roaming the moon’s surface with Pete Conrad as part of the Apollo 12 mission. Bean resigned from NASA in 1981 and turned to painting. He is the only artist in the world to have incorporated real moon dust into his works.

44 John who wrote “From the Terrace” : O’HARA

John O’Hara was a best-selling novelist whose most successful titles were his first two: “Appointment in Samarra” (1934) and “BUtterfield 8” (1935).

47 Renaissance Faire sights : LUTES

The lute is a stringed instrument with a long neck and usually a pear-shaped body. It is held and played like a guitar, and was popular from the Middle Ages right through to the late Baroque era. A person who plays the lute can be referred to as a “lutenist”.

51 Marsala, e.g. : ITALIAN WINE

Marsala is a seaport lying in the very west of Sicily. If you visit Marsala, you’ll find what’s called “vintage” Marsala wine, a “regular” red wine. If you buy a bottle of Marsala at your local store though, it will be a fortified wine, wine with a higher alcohol content.

54 Radley rival : ETON

Radley College in Oxfordshire is boys boarding school, one of only four boys-only, boarding-only independent schools in England. The other three schools in the category are the famous Eton College, Harrow School and Winchester College. Radley was founded in 1847. Students at Radley are from ages 13 to 18.

55 Recipient of the wish at 1-, 8-, 53- and 55-Across : YOU

The Force is a metaphysical power much cited in all of the “Star Wars” movies. We may even hear someone in real life say “May the Force be with you”. Fans of the movie franchise even celebrate May 4th every year as Star Wars Day, using the pun “May the 4th be with you”!

Down

4 Big bang source, informally : A-TEST

Atomic test (A-test)

5 Candidate’s goal, for short : PHD

“Ph.D.” is an abbreviation for “philosophiae doctor”, Latin for “teacher of philosophy”. Often, candidates for a PhD already hold a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, so a PhD might be considered a “third degree”.

9 Climate control syst. : HVAC

In the world of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), the power of a heating or cooling unit can be measured using the British Thermal Units (BTU). This dated unit is the amount of energy required to heat a pound of water so that the water’s temperature increases by one degree Fahrenheit.

10 Yet, to Yeats : E’EN

Irish poet and dramatist William Butler Yeats won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923 for “inspired poetry” that gave “expression to a whole nation”. Yeats was Ireland’s first Nobel laureate.

12 Person for whom one removes one’s hat : TSA AGENT

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency that employs the good folks who check passengers and baggage at airports.

16 Ones making glowing recommendations? : NEONS

The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.

26 Makers of fine combs : BEES

Honey bees create a structure within their nests called a honeycomb that is used to contain their larvae and also to store honey and pollen. The honeycomb comprises hexagonal cells made from wax.

32 Picnic staple : COLESLAW

The term “coleslaw” is an Anglicized version of the Dutch name “koolsla”, which in itself is a shortened form of “Koolsalade” meaning “cabbage salad”.

34 Layette item : BABY BIB

A newborn baby’s collection of clothing and accessories is called a layette.

41 Pirate haven of old : NASSAU

Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas, and used to be called Charles Town. Located on the island of New Providence, the original settlement was burnt to the ground by the Spanish in 1684. It was rebuilt and named Nassau in honor of King William III of England (“William of Orange”), a Dutchman from the House of Orange-Nassau. Nassau is a favored location for the James Bond series of movies. The city and surroundings feature in “Thunderball”, “Never Say Never Again”, “Casino Royale” and “For Your Eyes Only”. Bond portrayer Sean Connery has lived for many years at Lyford Cay, which is just a 30-min drive from the center of Nassau.

43 A Minor Prophet : MICAH

The Book of Micah is one of twelve books in the Bible written by the so-called minor prophets. The name “Micah” translates into English from Hebrew as “Who is like God?”

49 “Moonlight” Oscar winner : ALI

Mahershala Ali is an actor and sometime rapper. Among the more memorable roles Ali has had are lobbyist Remy Danton in TV’s “House of Cards”, and Colonel Boggs in “The Hunger Games” series of movies. He also won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for playing Juan in the 2016 drama “Moonlight”.

“Moonlight” is a 2016 semi-autobiographical film based on an unpublished play by Tarell Alvin McCraney titled “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue”. “Moonlight” won the season’s Best Picture Oscar, thus becoming the first film to do so with an all-black cast, and the first with an LGBT storyline.

50 Commercial game whose box says it’s for 2-10 players : UNO

UNO is a card game that was developed in the early seventies and that has been sold by Mattel since 1992. UNO falls into the “shedding” family of card games, in that the goal is to get rid of all your cards while preventing opponents from doing the same.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Could : MAY
4 Tail end of a dog? : APSO
8 U.S. Independence Day, informally : THE 4TH
14 It could be carried in a cart : ORE
15 Space for everything : THE UNIVERSE
17 Written guide for a business : PROCEDURE MANUAL
19 “River People” of Arizona : PIMAS
20 Hard to move : STOIC
21 Wet ___ : NAP
22 Solar or lunar eclipse, e.g. : EVENT
23 Thrill : SEND
24 “The Dark at the Top of the Stairs” playwright : INGE
25 Some headway : DENT
26 Lean : BIAS
27 Villainous trademark : SNEER
28 Laterally, in a way : ABEAM
30 Rears : STERNS
31 Poet/lyricist who wrote the 1974 #1 hit “Seasons in the Sun” : MCKUEN
33 Most askew : WRIEST
34 Jeer leaders? : BOOERS
35 Green vegetable : CHARD
36 Fashion lines? : AD LIB
37 Heads of Parliament? : LOOS
38 Bean in space : ALAN
42 Vegetable with greens : BEET
43 Beat badly : MAUL
44 John who wrote “From the Terrace” : O’HARA
45 Sch. divisions : YRS
46 Not proceed straightforwardly : SIDLE
47 Renaissance Faire sights : LUTES
48 Goals for fiscal conservatives : BALANCED BUDGETS
51 Marsala, e.g. : ITALIAN WINE
52 “Aloha nui ___” (Hawaiian sign-off meaning “lots of love”) : LOA
53 Accompany : BE WITH
54 Radley rival : ETON
55 Recipient of the wish at 1-, 8-, 53- and 55-Across : YOU

Down

1 Took a spill, say? : MOPPED
2 Finally hit the big time : ARRIVE
3 Ones doing great and loyal service : YEOMEN
4 Big bang source, informally : A-TEST
5 Candidate’s goal, for short : PHD
6 Playfully fantastical : SEUSSIAN
7 Heading over a list of leading figures on a business’s website : OUR TEAM
8 Retiring : TIMID
9 Climate control syst. : HVAC
10 Yet, to Yeats : E’EN
11 Toyota models since 1984 : 4RUNNERS
12 Person for whom one removes one’s hat : TSA AGENT
13 Support staff : HELPERS
16 Ones making glowing recommendations? : NEONS
18 Is tough enough : CAN TAKE IT
24 Request from someone who’s disconsolate : I NEED A HUG
26 Makers of fine combs : BEES
27 Come alive : STIR
29 Pacifica or Sausalito, to S.F. : BURB
30 Sp. mujeres : SRAS
31 Centrist : MODERATE
32 Picnic staple : COLESLAW
33 Full monty : WHOLE BIT
34 Layette item : BABY BIB
35 Polite kids’ plea : COULD WE?
37 Fully charged : LADEN
39 Within recent memory : LATELY
40 Denial to a denial : ARE TOO!
41 Pirate haven of old : NASSAU
43 A Minor Prophet : MICAH
44 Long-gone : OLDEN
46 Sulk : SNIT
49 “Moonlight” Oscar winner : ALI
50 Commercial game whose box says it’s for 2-10 players : UNO

14 thoughts on “0504-19 NY Times Crossword 4 May 19, Saturday”

  1. DNF. It took me around 45 minutes to finish and that was Googling/cheating in several spots. Just too many things I didn’t know in this puzzle. I didn’t see the theme. I actually got the rebus amazingly although I wrote in the word “FOUR”; the app took it anyway.

    I don’t think I’ve ever finished an error-free Mark Diehl Saturday puzzle. The quest continues.

    Best –

  2. I enjoyed this one. Cluing was reliably cryptic for Saturday and a rebus to boot. Clever clues for LOOS, ADLIB, etc.
    Always nice when I declare it a “toughie” then finish WNE.

  3. Does putting a single number 4 count as a rebus? The car is called a 4runner. Enjoyed it. Difficult but slogged my way through.

  4. 29:02, no errors. Amazes me how Bill can do something like this in 14 minutes. Fourteen minutes in, I had five guesses entered and 3 of them were wrong. 37A WIGS (for heads of Parliament); 37D WIRED (for fully charged) and 46A STRAY (for not proceed straight forwardly). Then I pulled BALANCED BUDGETS out of the air, and was able to gradually chip away at this grid from the bottom up.

    1. Wet Nap is the brand name of a sealed, pocket-sized, wet tissue-like wipe to wash your hands when you are on the road. Handy to have in the glove compartment, purse, etc.

  5. Well, I was right. After finishing Friday’s puzzle with no errors – I lost the weekly poker tournament 😬
    I finished today’s puzzle in less time with even fewer errors (okay, that’s
    impossible🤓) so there will be no wagers this entire weekend.

  6. This one was tough (!) and like the solver above my approach was from bottom to top after filling in “Italian wine” and then “balanced budgets” after guessing the short answers “Ali” and “Uno.” It took me two tries. Sometimes stepping away from a challenging one works wonders!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.