0507-19 NY Times Crossword 7 May 19, Tuesday

Constructed by: Ross Trudeau
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Finishing Touch

Themed answers each FINISH with a type of TOUCH:

  • 49A Icing on the cake … or a hint to 20-, 24-, 35- and 43-Across : FINISHING TOUCH
  • 20A Purchase something sight unseen : BUY A PIG IN A POKE
  • 24A Chinchilla or macaw, e.g. : EXOTIC PET
  • 35A 1984 mockumentary with a lot of ad-libbed dialogue : THIS IS SPINAL TAP
  • 43A Danger of laboring outdoors in the summer : SUN STROKE

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

Bill’s time: 6m 28s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Green carving stone : JADE

“Jade” is actually the name given to two different mineral rocks, both of which are used to make gemstones. The first is nephrite, a mineral with a varying degree of iron content, the more iron the greener the color. The second is jadeite, a sodium and aluminum-rich pyroxene. As well as being used for gemstones, both jade minerals can be carved into decorative pieces.

5 Execs who handle the green : CFOS

Chief financial officer (CFO)

9 Brunch item often topped with sugar or fruit : CREPE

“Crêpe” is the French word for “pancake”.

14 Alternatives to lagers : ALES

The many, many different styles of beer can generally be sorted into two groups: ales and lagers. Ales are fermented at relatively warm temperatures for relatively short periods of time, and use top-fermenting yeasts, i.e. yeasts that float on top of the beer as it ferments. Lagers ferment at relatively low temperatures and for relatively long periods of time. Lagers use bottom-fermenting yeasts, i.e. yeasts that fall to the bottom of the beer as it ferments.

17 ___ Blanc : MONT

Mont Blanc is the highest peak in the Alps. The name “Mont Blanc” translates from French into “white mountain”. The mountain lies on the border between France and Italy, and it has been generally accepted for decades that the summit lies within French territory. However, there have been official claims that the summit does in fact fall within the borders of Italy.

20 Purchase something sight unseen : BUY A PIG IN A POKE

“Poke” is an old term meaning “sack”. One wouldn’t want to buy “a pig in a poke”, i.e. in a sack and sight unseen.

22 Prosecutors, for short : DAS

District Attorney (DA)

24 Chinchilla or macaw, e.g. : EXOTIC PET

A chinchilla is a rodent found in the Andes in South America. The chinchilla is a little larger than a squirrel, and has velvet-like fur. It takes its name from the local Chincha people who made clothing out of the fur. Chinchillas are quite rare in the wild now as they been hunted almost out of existence, but there are plenty of farm-raised chinchillas around supporting the fur industry, sad to say …

Macaws are beautifully colored birds native to Central and South America that are actually a type of parrot. Most species of macaw are now endangered, with several having become extinct in recent decades. The main threats are deforestation and illegal trapping and trafficking of exotic birds.

32 “Cousin” of 1960s TV : ITT

In the television sitcom “The Addams Family”, the family had a frequent visitor called Cousin Itt. Itt is a short man with long hair that runs from his head to the floor. Cousin Itt was played by Italian actor Felix Silla.

35 1984 mockumentary with a lot of ad-libbed dialogue : THIS IS SPINAL TAP

“This Is Spın̈al Tap” is a rock musical mockumentary about the fictional band Spinal Tap, directed by the great Rob Reiner. I love Rob Reiner’s work, but this movie … not so much …

39 Anti-rust coatings : ZINCS

Steel or iron can be galvanized to prevent rusting. The galvanization process involves the application of a protective zinc coat. The most common method used is hot-dipping in a bath of molten zinc metal.

42 Smoothie berry : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

46 Panache : ELAN

Our word “élan” was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours, i.e “style, flair”.

Someone exhibiting panache is showing dash and verve, and perhaps has a swagger. “Panache” is a French word used for a plume of feathers, especially one in a hat.

48 ___ Lingus : AER

“Aer” is the Irish word for “air” as in “Aer Lingus”, which is the name of the Irish national airline.

56 Brain region linked to speech : BROCA’S AREA

Paul Broca was a French physician who provided the first anatomical proof that brain function was localized. He studied the brains of individuals suffering from aphasia, the inability to comprehend formulate language due to brain injury after a stroke or head trauma. Broca discovered that aphasia patients had lesions in a specific part of the brain, the left frontal region. This region of the brain’s cortex that is responsible for language is now called Broca’s Area, in his honor.

58 Minaret, e.g. : TOWER

A minaret is an architectural feature of Islamic mosques, a tall tower with an onion-shaped crown that is used for the call to prayer. The world’s oldest minaret is part of the Great Mosque of Kairouan in Tunisia, having been completed in 836 BCE. The term “minaret” comes from the Arabic for “lighthouse”.

60 Qatari leader : EMIR

Qatar is a sovereign state in the Middle East occupying the Qatar Peninsula, itself located in the Arabian Peninsula. Qatar lies on the Persian Gulf and shares one land border, with Saudi Arabia to the south. Qatar has more oil and gas reserves per capita of population than any other country in the world. In 2010, Qatar had the fastest growing economy in the world, driven by the petrochemical industry. Qatar is scheduled to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, although the nation’s eligibility to do so is under question after a far-reaching bribery scandal was uncovered at the sport’s governing body.

61 Sch. whose athletes are the Minutemen and Minutewomen : UMASS

The athletic teams of the University of Massachusetts Amherst are known as the UMass Minutemen and Minutewomen.

62 Pest control brand : D-CON

d-Con is a line of rodent control products that has been around for over 50 years.

63 “My b” : OOPS!

My b … my bad.

Down

1 Frame component : JAMB

A door or window jamb is the vertical portion of the frame. The term “jamb” comes from the French word “jambe” meaning “leg”.

2 Felipe or Moises of baseball : ALOU

Moisés Alou played Major League Baseball, as did his father Felipe and his uncles Matty and Jesús.

4 Nueva York or Dakota del Norte : ESTADO

In Spanish, examples of an “estado” are “Nueva York” (New York) and “Dakota del Norte” (North Dakota).

5 Ocean Spray fruit snacks : CRAISINS

“Craisin” is a registered trademark owned by Ocean Spray, and is used to describe dried cranberries, cranberries that look like raisins.

7 Upscale hotel chain : OMNI

Omni Hotels & Resorts is headquartered in Irvine, California and has properties in the US, Canada and Mexico.

9 Thunder sounds : CLAPS

The word “thunder” precedes the word “lightning” in the phrase “thunder and lightning”. However, thunder comes after lighting in reality, at least to the observer. The observer sees the flash of lightning and then seconds later hears the crash of thunder. That’s because light travels faster than sound.

10 Turn soil by machine : ROTOTILL

The rototiller (or rotary tiller) was invented by Arthur Clifford Howard in 1912, in Australia.

11 Furry “Star Wars” creature : EWOK

The Ewoks are creatures that live on the moon of Endor in the “Star Wars” universe. First appearing in “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi”, they’re the cute and cuddly little guys that look like teddy bears.

12 Father, in France : PERE

In French, a “père” (father) is a “membre de la famille” (member of the family).

13 Bustling hosp. locales : ERS

Emergency room (ER)

21 Local dialect : PATOIS

“Patois” is a word that we imported from French, in which language it also means “native or local speech”.

25 Singer Aguilera’s nickname : XTINA

Christina Aguilera is a singer who got her start on television’s “Star Search”. From there she took a role on Disney’s “The Mickey Mouse Club”. Like several singers today it seems, Aguilera developed a more provocative alter ego for herself. She had a few body piercings, dyed her hair black and adopted the name “Xtina”.

26 Abbr. for change : CTS

Cent (ct.)

29 Taboo : NOT OK

The word “taboo” was introduced into English by Captain Cook in his book “A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean”. Cook described “tabu” (likely imitative of a Tongan word that he had heard) as something that was both consecrated and forbidden.

30 Popular bird in origami : CRANE

Origami is the traditional Japanese art form of paper folding. The best-known example of the craft is the paper crane. The word “origami” is derived from “ori“ (folding) and “kami” (paper).

32 Chichén ___ (Mayan ruins) : ITZA

Chichén Itzá is a Mayan ruin located in the Mexican state of Yucatán. It is the second-most visited archaeological site in the country (after the ancient city of Teotihuacan). Chichén Itzá has seen a surge in the number of visitors since the development of nearby Cancún as a tourist destination.

34 Attic : GARRET

A garret is a room on the top floor of a house, one under a gabled roof. “Garret” is a synonym of “attic”.

37 Names, briefly : IDS

Identity document (ID)

45 Theatrical cry from a balcony : O ROMEO

In William Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet”, the lovers discuss the sad fact that they have been born into two feuding families in the famous balcony scene. Juliet says:

O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.

Romeo’s reply includes the famous lines:

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

47 Ones failing polygraphs : LIARS

We are most familiar with the word “polygraph” as the generic name for a lie detector instrument. This usage began in 1921, although the term had been around since the end of the 18th century. Back then, a polygraph was a mechanical device use to make multiple copies as something was written or drawn. Famously, Thomas Jefferson used a polygraph to preserve copies of letters that he wrote to correspondents.

50 Hawkeye’s home : IOWA

Iowa is nicknamed the Hawkeye State in honor of Chief Black Hawk, a leader of the Sauk people during the War of 1812 and the Black Hawk War.

51 Classic Camaro : IROC

The IROC-Z is a model of Camaro that was introduced by Chevrolet in 1978. The IROC-Z takes its name from a famous stock car race, the International Race of Champions.

52 Master detective Wolfe : NERO

Nero Wolfe is a fictional detective and the hero of many stories published by author Rex Stout. There are 33 Nero Wolfe novels for us to read, and 39 short stories. There are also movie adaptations of two of the novels: “Meet Nero Wolfe” (1936) which features a young Rita Hayworth, and “The League of Frightened Men” (1937). One of Wolfe’s endearing traits is his love of good food and beer, so he is a pretty rotund character.

53 Man, in Milan : UOMO

“Uomo” is the Italian word for “man”. The Italian for “woman” is “donna”.

54 Blood’s foe : CRIP

The Crips are a street gang with origins in Los Angeles going back to 1969. It is believed that the Crips have up to 35,000 members today across the country, and there is even a presence in the US military both here and abroad. The main rivals of the Crips are the Bloods.

56 A/C stat : BTU

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.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Green carving stone : JADE
5 Execs who handle the green : CFOS
9 Brunch item often topped with sugar or fruit : CREPE
14 Alternatives to lagers : ALES
15 Aid to accessibility : RAMP
16 Word before “the bar” or “the boom” : LOWER …
17 ___ Blanc : MONT
18 Ones making written comments on text : ANNOTATORS
20 Purchase something sight unseen : BUY A PIG IN A POKE
22 Prosecutors, for short : DAS
23 Big wind : GUST
24 Chinchilla or macaw, e.g. : EXOTIC PET
28 Snowfall unit : INCH
32 “Cousin” of 1960s TV : ITT
33 Not deceived by : ONTO
34 Battlefield renown : GLORY
35 1984 mockumentary with a lot of ad-libbed dialogue : THIS IS SPINAL TAP
39 Anti-rust coatings : ZINCS
40 Smell : ODOR
41 Unified : ONE
42 Smoothie berry : ACAI
43 Danger of laboring outdoors in the summer : SUN STROKE
46 Panache : ELAN
48 ___ Lingus : AER
49 Icing on the cake … or a hint to 20-, 24-, 35- and 43-Across : FINISHING TOUCH
56 Brain region linked to speech : BROCA’S AREA
57 What someone who’s never satisfied wants : MORE
58 Minaret, e.g. : TOWER
59 “Me neither,” formally : NOR I
60 Qatari leader : EMIR
61 Sch. whose athletes are the Minutemen and Minutewomen : UMASS
62 Pest control brand : D-CON
63 “My b” : OOPS!

Down

1 Frame component : JAMB
2 Felipe or Moises of baseball : ALOU
3 Refute : DENY
4 Nueva York or Dakota del Norte : ESTADO
5 Ocean Spray fruit snacks : CRAISINS
6 Scary part of a wolf : FANG
7 Upscale hotel chain : OMNI
8 Quick learner, say : SPONGE
9 Thunder sounds : CLAPS
10 Turn soil by machine : ROTOTILL
11 Furry “Star Wars” creature : EWOK
12 Father, in France : PERE
13 Bustling hosp. locales : ERS
19 Stretched tight : TAUT
21 Local dialect : PATOIS
24 System of moral values : ETHIC
25 Singer Aguilera’s nickname : XTINA
26 Abbr. for change : CTS
27 Quickly attach, as a top to a bottle : POP ON
29 Taboo : NOT OK
30 Popular bird in origami : CRANE
31 Promote excessively : HYPE
32 Chichén ___ (Mayan ruins) : ITZA
34 Attic : GARRET
36 Arts and ___ : SCIENCES
37 Names, briefly : IDS
38 “[sigh] … We just dealt with this” : NOT AGAIN
43 Say “Talk to the hand, ’cause the face ain’t listenin’,” say : SASS
44 Release from one’s clutches : UNHAND
45 Theatrical cry from a balcony : O ROMEO
47 Ones failing polygraphs : LIARS
49 Native to : FROM
50 Hawkeye’s home : IOWA
51 Classic Camaro : IROC
52 Master detective Wolfe : NERO
53 Man, in Milan : UOMO
54 Blood’s foe : CRIP
55 The wife’s, e.g. : HERS
56 A/C stat : BTU

16 thoughts on “0507-19 NY Times Crossword 7 May 19, Tuesday”

  1. 6:00, no errors. “This Is Spinal Tap” was definitely my kind of movie! … totally hilarious! (And I’m not sure what that says about me … 😜.)

  2. 16:45. No idea why I had so many missteps in this one. I think it’s because I was watching an NHL playoff game at the same time…anything but it being my fault. CRAISINS? Never heard of them. PATOIS either. Aren’t those the things you sit on behind your house and buy furniture for??

  3. Puzzle No. 0507 was printed today, June 11, 2019 in The Montreal Gazette. I would like to point out that there is a mistake in Clue 50 Down, IOWA is Radar’s home and NOT Hawkeye’s.
    Thanks,
    Danielle

      1. Thanks Bill ! I was sure it was a M*A*S*H reference…What can I say…..you learn something every day ! Merci !

  4. Does anybody do this? I solve the internal puzzles first, moving from clue to clue, with the theme clue first. I think thats the real fun of the puzzle, as opposed to racing thru for speeds sake.
    But, that said, 14 min on the theme. 4 min on the fill.

    1. @Joe G—-Just to give you a little feedback on this—-I certainly see how your approach to solving the puzzles makes perfectly good sense. However, personally I have a different method that makes it somewhat irrelevant. I *prioritize* my fills. By that I mean that I take the answers that I am most sure of first. If I am not certain of a particular fill then I skip it and come back to it later when I am more likely to have some additional letters to help me. I can literally assign a percentage of certainty to every single fill. Everything that has a 100% certainty goes in first, 95% certainty goes in next, 90% certainty goes in next, etc. One characteristic of this method is that I have very, very few erasures. So…my method tends more to look at the puzzle as a whole and not made up of separate parts such as theme answers. Ultimately I will get to the theme, of course, but I am in no hurry to get to it. Generally I simply start with 1-Across only because I have to start somewhere. I do, of course, eventually run up against a puzzle where I have too few certainties and all I have left are wild guesses. That is the point where I have to admit defeat and rest easy knowing that I did my best.

      I know that I did not address your method directly but it is nice to share what may be different ways of solving that all of us might employ.

  5. 10:28, no errors. I try to solve any way I can. Usually go through to find obvious clues, focus on short entries with difficult puzzles; and longer entries on easy puzzles (to save time). For me, the theme is generally an afterthought.

  6. Born and raised in Iowa, a graduate of the University of Iowa (Go Hawks) and City High School (the Little Hawks) and never heard that the name came from Chief Black Hawk. But it seems a probable as any explanation.

  7. Jeff — Craisins (dried cranberries) are delicious — give them a try — right beside the raisins in the grocery. Patois, as Bill said, is French — pa-twa.

  8. SUSHI, I was born in Spencer, Iowa.
    I spent many enjoyable summers with my cousins up at Lake Okoboji.
    We moved to California when I was nine. I am now 62 years old, but I am an Iowan at heart. Most of my golf gear is embroidered with “OKOBOJI GOLF”

    I agree – this was tough for Tuesday which made it plenty of fun. No errors.

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