0506-19 NY Times Crossword 6 May 19, Monday

Constructed by: Peter Gordon
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer(s): Eye Rhymes

Themed answers end with words that are EYE RHYMES, i.e. words that look like they should rhyme, but don’t:

  • 59D With 65-Across, what the last words of 18-, 35- and 56-Across are to each other : EYE …
  • 65A See 59-Down : … RHYMES
  • 18A Lone Star State baseball player : TEXAS RANGER
  • 35A What you might drape a dress or shirt on in a closet : CLOTHES HANGER
  • 56A Sandwich chain whose name is French for “ready to eat” : PRET A MANGER

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

Bill’s time: 5m 41s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Poseidon’s domain : SEA

Poseidon was the god of the sea in Greek mythology as well as the “Earthshaker”, the god responsible for earthquakes.

4 Mortar accompanier : PESTLE

I’ve loved the sound of the words “mortar” and “pestle”, ever since I was first introduced to them in the chemistry lab. The Romans called a receptacle for pounding or grinding things a “mortarium”, giving us “mortar”. Mortarium was also the word for the product of pounding and grinding, which gives us our “mortar” that’s used with bricks to build a wall. And further, short stubby cannons used in the 16th century resembled a grinding bowl and so were called “mortars”, which evolved into our contemporary weapon of the same name. As far as the pestle is concerned, it is also derived from its Latin name “pistillum”, which comes from the word for “crush”.

15 Noah’s landing place : ARARAT

Mount Ararat is in Turkey. Ararat is a snow-capped, dormant volcano with two peaks. The higher of the two, Greater Ararat, is the tallest peak in the country. Ararat takes its name from a legendary Armenian hero called Ara the Beautiful (or Ara the Handsome). According to the Book of Genesis, Noah’s ark landed on Mount Ararat as the Great Flood subsided.

16 Tennis’s Kournikova : ANNA

Not only is Anna Kournikova a world class tennis player, but she is also a model. She apparently has a lot of fans because her name is one of the most commonly searched for terms on Google’s search engine …

17 ___ for tat : TIT

The phrase “tit for tat”, meaning some sort of retaliation, has been around for an awfully long time, since the mid-1500s. It might be derived from “tip for tap”, meaning “blow for blow”.

18 Lone Star State baseball player : TEXAS RANGER

The Texas Rangers Major League Baseball team is based in Arlington, Texas just outside Dallas. The team was founded as the Washington Senators in 1961, and ended up in Texas in ten years later. The team is named after the famous Texas Rangers law enforcement agency.

20 State whose license plates say “Famous Potatoes” : IDAHO

Idaho has the nickname “Gem State”, mainly because almost every known type of gemstone has been found there. Idaho is also sometimes called the Potato State as potatoes are such a popular crop in the state. I’d go for the potatoes over the gems, but that’s probably just me …

32 What Marcie calls Peppermint Patty in “Peanuts” : SIR

Peppermint Patty is a character in the long-running comic strip “Peanuts”, by Charles M. Schulz. Peppermint Patty has a friend named Marcie who famously refers to her as “Sir”, which is perhaps a reference to Peppermint Patty’s reputation as a tomboy. Tomboy or not, it is revealed in the strip that Peppermint Patty has quite a crush on Charlie Brown.

50 Young gallant in “Romeo and Juliet” : MERCUTIO

In William Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet”, Mercutio is a close friend of Romeo. Mercutio is stabbed in an altercation with Tybalt. As Mercutio dies, he cries out “A plague o’ both your houses!”, hence cursing both the Montagues (Romeo’s family) and Capulets (Juliet’s family).

51 Noah’s craft : ARK

The term “ark”, when used with reference to Noah, is a translation of the Hebrew word “tebah”. The word “tebah” is also used in the Bible for the basket in which Moses was placed by his mother when she floated him down the Nile. It seems that the word “tebah” doesn’t mean “boat” and nor does it mean “basket”. Rather, a more appropriate translation is “life-preserver” or “life-saver”. So, Noah’s ark was Noah’s life-preserver during the flood.

52 Drifter : HOBO

No one seems to know for sure how the term “hobo” originated, although there are lots of colorful theories. My favorite is that “hobo” comes from the first letters in the words “ho-meward bo-und”, but it doesn’t seem very plausible. A kind blog reader tells me that according to Click and Clack from PBS’s “Car Talk” (a great source!), “hobo” comes from “hoe boy”. Hoe boys were young men with hoes looking for work after the Civil War. Hobos differed from “tramps” and “bums”, in that “bums” refused to work, “tramps” worked when they had to, while “hobos” traveled in search of work.

56 Sandwich chain whose name is French for “ready to eat” : PRET A MANGER

Pret a Manger is a UK-based chain of sandwich shops that was founded in 1983. The name, more correctly written as “Prêt à Manger”, translates from French as “Ready to Eat”. Founder Jeffrey Hyman chose the name due to its similarity to the French phrase “prêt-à-porter” meaning “ready-to-wear”, as in clothing.

61 Actress Hatcher of “Desperate Housewives” : TERI

Teri Hatcher’s most famous role is the Susan Mayer character on the TV comedy-drama “Desperate Housewives”. I’ve never seen more than a few minutes of “Housewives” but I do know Teri Hatcher as a Bond girl, as she appeared in “Tomorrow Never Dies”. More recently, she portrayed Lois Lane on the show “Lois & Clark”.

The TV drama “Desperate Housewives” ran for eight seasons. During pre-production, the show was called “Wisteria Lane” and then “The Secret Lives of Housewives”. The “desperate housewives” lived on the fictional Wisteria Lane in the fictional town of Fairview in the fictional Eagle State. That’s a lot of fiction …

63 Singer ___ King Cole : NAT

Nat King Cole’s real name was Nathaniel Adams Coles. Cole made television history in 1956 when his own show debuted on NBC, a first for an African-American. Cole couldn’t pick up a national sponsor, so in order to save money and possibly save the show, many guest artists worked for no fee at all – the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belafonte and Peggy Lee. The show survived for a year, but eventually Nat King Cole had to pull the plug on it himself.

64 River of the underworld : STYX

The River Styx of Greek mythology was the river that formed the boundary between the Earth and the Underworld (or “Hades”). The souls of the newly dead had to cross the River Styx in a ferry boat piloted by Charon. Traditionally, a coin would be placed in the mouths of the dead “to pay the ferryman”.

Down

1 Works like “Animal Farm” and “Gulliver’s Travels” : SATIRES

“Animal Farm” is a 1945 novella written by George Orwell, a satire of life in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin. Orwell had trouble getting his novel published in his homeland of the UK during WWII, as anti-Soviet literature wasn’t a good thing to publish while the UK and USSR were on the same side of a World War. In fact, one publisher who was willing to distribute the book changed his mind after being warned off by the British Ministry of Information. Given his experiences, I find it interesting that Orwell should write “Nineteen Eighty-Four” a few years later, and introduce the world to Big Brother.

In the 1726 adventure novel “Gulliver’s Travels” by Jonathan Swift, Gulliver comes across the two islands of Lilliput and Blefuscu in the South Indian Ocean. Both are inhabited by people who are one-twelfth of “normal” size, so Gulliver appears like a giant to them. “Gulliver’s Travels” is well known for its satirical references to real life, and indeed these two islands are poorly disguised satires of Britain (Lilliput) and France (Blefuscu). The two islands were at war, as was constantly the situation with Britain and France.

6 “Wailing” instrument : SAX

The saxophone was invented by Belgian Adolphe Sax. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if his affliction was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax’s grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

9 Raison d’___ : ETRE

“Raison d’être” is a French phrase meaning “reason for existence”.

12 “Gesundheit!” elicitor : SNEEZE

“Gesundheit” is the German word for “health”, and is used in response to a sneeze in Germany, as indeed it is here in the US quite often.

13 “Sex and the City” star Sarah Jessica ___ : PARKER

Is it just me or would “Sex and the City” be so much better off without the two romantic leads, Carrie and Mr. Big? Carrie Bradshaw is played by Sarah Jessica Parker, and Mr. Big (aka John James Preston) is played by Chris Noth. We never found out Mr Big’s first name (John) until the series finale, and his full name wasn’t revealed until the first movie came out.

31 ___ than a doornail : DEADER

“As dead as a doornail” is one of our older expressions, and dates back at least to the 14th century. You might have seen very old doors in castles or old houses that have large studs all over the front in a regular pattern. The studs are the heads of nails driven through the door, originally for strength, but later for decoration. They are “doornails”.

34 Egyptian cobra : ASP

The venomous snake called an asp was a symbol of royalty in Ancient Egypt.

36 October’s birthstone : OPAL

Here is the “official” list of birthstones, by month, that we tend to use today:

  • January: Garnet
  • February: Amethyst
  • March: Bloodstone or Aquamarine
  • April: Diamond
  • May: Emerald
  • June: Pearl or Moonstone
  • July: Ruby
  • August: Sardonyx or Peridot
  • September: Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli
  • October: Opal or Pink Tourmaline
  • November: Topaz or Citrine
  • December: Turquoise or Zircon (also now, Tanzanite)

37 Country singer Yearwood : TRISHA

Trisha Yearwood is an American country music singer. She was discovered by the man who is now her third husband, country music legend Garth Brooks.

39 Coastal resort areas : RIVIERAS

“Riviera” is an Italian word meaning “coastline”. The term is often applied to a coastline that is sunny and popular with tourists. The term “the Riviera” is usually reserved for the French Riviera (the Mediterranean coastline in southeastern France), and the Italian Riviera (the Mediterranean coastline centered on Genoa).

42 Someone who was literally born yesterday : NEONATE

A neonate is a newborn infant.

45 Flimflam : FAKERY

A flimflam is a confidence trick. The term “flimflam” has been in use since the 1500s, would you believe?

48 Men’s formal attire, informally : TUX

Apparently, the style of men’s evening dress called a “tuxedo” was first worn to a country club event in 1886 in New York. The use of a dark dinner jacket without tails became fashionable at the club with the members, and the tradition spread from there. The country club was located in Tuxedo Park, New York, giving the style of dress its name.

50 “A blessing that is of no advantage to us excepting when we part with it,” according to Ambrose Bierce : MONEY

Ambrose Bierce was, among other things, an American satirist. He wrote a satirical lexicon called “The Devil’s Dictionary” published in 1911. The book is still popular today, with an updated version released in 2009. It includes “new” definitions from Bierce that were not included in his original work. Roy Morris, Jr. wrote a biography about Bierce called “Ambrose Bierce: Alone in Bad Company”.

54 1990s Indiana governor Evan : BAYH

Evan Bayh is the son of Birch Bayh, and like his father was US Senator for the state of Indiana. Prior to serving in the Senate, Evan Bayh was State Governor.

57 Box office purchases, for short : TIX

The term “box office” may date back to Shakespearean times. In those days long past, patrons would deposit fees for seeing theater performances in boxes. The full boxes would be collected and placed in an office called, imaginatively enough, the “box office”.

58 Pod of whales : GAM

A group of whales can be called a gam, as well as a pod.

59 With 65-Across, what the last words of 18-, 35- and 56-Across are to each other : EYE …
(65A See 59-Down : … RHYMES)

An eye rhyme is a similarity in spelling between two words that look like they should rhyme, but are actually pronounced differently. So, for example, wood “looks like” food, but the words sound quite different. Eye rhymes are sometimes found in older poems. Because pronunciation of words has changed over time, an intended rhyme may not exist today.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Poseidon’s domain : SEA
4 Mortar accompanier : PESTLE
10 Swirl of smoke : WISP
14 Well-suited : APT
15 Noah’s landing place : ARARAT
16 Tennis’s Kournikova : ANNA
17 ___ for tat : TIT
18 Lone Star State baseball player : TEXAS RANGER
20 State whose license plates say “Famous Potatoes” : IDAHO
22 “That was a close one!” : WHEW!
23 “It’s a mouse!” : EEK!
24 Not national, as an airline : REGIONAL
27 Fad : CRAZE
29 Gave off, as radiation : EMITTED
30 “Secret” person who writes a love note : ADMIRER
32 What Marcie calls Peppermint Patty in “Peanuts” : SIR
33 Take unfair advantage of : TRADE ON
35 What you might drape a dress or shirt on in a closet : CLOTHES HANGER
40 Got ready to be operated on : PREPPED
41 Loud noise : DIN
43 Foreign ___ (international matters) : AFFAIRS
46 Fidgety : RESTIVE
49 Hands out cards : DEALS
50 Young gallant in “Romeo and Juliet” : MERCUTIO
51 Noah’s craft : ARK
52 Drifter : HOBO
55 Lumberjacks : AX MEN
56 Sandwich chain whose name is French for “ready to eat” : PRET A MANGER
60 Time in history : ERA
61 Actress Hatcher of “Desperate Housewives” : TERI
62 Sailor’s affirmative : AYE AYE!
63 Singer ___ King Cole : NAT
64 River of the underworld : STYX
65 See 59-Down : … RHYMES
66 “What’s the ___?” (pessimist’s cry) : USE

Down

1 Works like “Animal Farm” and “Gulliver’s Travels” : SATIRES
2 Rapid spread of a disease : EPIDEMIC
3 “Way to go, sister!” : ATTA GIRL!
4 Tushie : PATOOT
5 Bard’s “before” : ERE
6 “Wailing” instrument : SAX
7 Fish by dragging a net : TRAWL
8 Place for mascara : LASH
9 Raison d’___ : ETRE
10 Pallid : WAN
11 Out of neutral, as a car : IN GEAR
12 “Gesundheit!” elicitor : SNEEZE
13 “Sex and the City” star Sarah Jessica ___ : PARKER
19 “You’ve got to be kidding me!” : AW, C’MON!
21 Top 10 song : HIT
25 Lower in position : NETHER
26 Ones selling commercial time, informally : AD REPS
28 Boxing venue : RING
30 Cling (to) : ADHERE
31 ___ than a doornail : DEADER
34 Egyptian cobra : ASP
36 October’s birthstone : OPAL
37 Country singer Yearwood : TRISHA
38 Where to find “Cut” and “Paste” : EDIT MENU
39 Coastal resort areas : RIVIERAS
42 Someone who was literally born yesterday : NEONATE
43 Makes a screenplay out of : ADAPTS
44 Search (out) : FERRET
45 Flimflam : FAKERY
47 Frightens : SCARES
48 Men’s formal attire, informally : TUX
50 “A blessing that is of no advantage to us excepting when we part with it,” according to Ambrose Bierce : MONEY
53 Minnesota representative Ilhan ___ : OMAR
54 1990s Indiana governor Evan : BAYH
57 Box office purchases, for short : TIX
58 Pod of whales : GAM
59 With 65-Across, what the last words of 18-, 35- and 56-Across are to each other : EYE …

11 thoughts on “0506-19 NY Times Crossword 6 May 19, Monday”

  1. 9:52. I just read a history of the Texas Rangers. It was fascinating…and impressive. They dressed more like the Mexican army they stalked than the Lone Ranger, and they didn’t always play by the rules when they needed information from someone. Too much stuff I never knew to mention but it was really fun to read.

    I guess Mercutio’s curse worked….

    Duncan – I didn’t know eye rhymes either, but I guess it’s a rhyme to the eye (i.e. they look like rhymes) but not to the ear (i.e. they aren’t really rhymes).

    Best –

  2. I will add to the general consensus and say that PRET A MANGER and EYE RHYMES were both pretty much unknowns to me. Also, adding to the confusion was the fact that I did not know the French pronunciation of MANGER so I could not draw the distinction that it did not rhyme with the other two theme words. At any rate, I did google the pertinent information and found it all to be legit. This puzzle just seems to have been an outlier from the typical Mondays.

  3. 8:27, no errors. Count me into the club regarding PRET A MANGER and EYE RHYMES. Fortunately, the theme was irrelevant to solving the puzzle.

  4. I don’t comment a lot but I have to call BS on this puzzle.

    EYE RHYMES … really. I am off to study my representatives and governors – don’t want to miss Ilhan Omar and Evan Bayh …

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