0510-19 NY Times Crossword 10 May 19, Friday

Constructed by: Andrew J. Ries
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 15m 21s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

11 Fingers : IDS

Identity document (ID)

14 Like the logos for Subaru and Toyota : OVAL

Subaru is the automobile division of the Japanese company, Fuji Heavy Industries. The name “Subaru” is the Japanese name of the Pleiades star cluster. As a result, the Subaru logo is also a cluster of stars.

Although Toyota entered the passenger car market back in 1936, the current Toyota logo, consisting of three ovals formed into a “circled letter T”, has only been around since 1989. The two overlapping ovals are designed to represent a relationship of trust between the company and the customer, while the larger outside oval represents the global reach of the company’s products and technology.

15 Toy in a purse, perhaps : POODLE

The standard poodle breed of dog is considered to be the second-most intelligent breed, after the border collie. The name “poodle” comes from a Low German word meaning “to splash about”, reflecting the original use of the breed as a water retriever.

16 Common blog keyword for sorting posts : NEW

Many folks who visit this website regard it as just that, a website. That is true, but more specifically it is referred to as a blog, as I make regular posts (actually daily posts) that then occupy the “front page” of the site. The blog entries are in reverse chronological order, and one can just look back day-by-day, reading older and older posts. “Blog” is a contraction of the term “web log”.

17 Spanish for “weight” : PESO

The coin called a “peso” is used in many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. The coin originated in Spain where the word “peso” means “weight”. The original peso was what we know in English as a “piece of eight”, a silver coin of a specific weight that had a nominal value of eight “reales”.

19 Abbott and Costello, e.g. : DUO

Bud Abbott was the straight man in the comedy duo Abbott and Costello, alongside Lou Costello. The pair met on the burlesque circuit in the early 1930s, and formally teamed up in 1936. The initial arrangement for splitting earnings was to give Abbott 60% of the income, as the straight man was traditionally viewed as the more valuable member of a comedy double act. Costello became disgruntled with the split, and eventually renegotiated 50/50 terms. When Abbott and Costello made it to Hollywood in the early 1940s, Costello insisted on taking a 60% share, an arrangement that caused a permanent chill between the partners. Money problems and differences plagued them for the rest of their careers, with the pair eventually having to sell off their assets to pay off back taxes. They parted company in 1957.

20 Old N.Y.C. depot inits. : IRT

The Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) was the original private operator of the New York Subway when it opened in 1904. The city took over ownership of the system in 1940, but the lines originally operated by the IRT are still known by the IRT moniker.

21 “r u ___?!” (texter’s “Really?”) : SRS

Are you serious (“r u srs” in textspeak)

22 Captain Morgan competitor : RONRICO

They would be brands of rum.

24 Some soccer gear : CLEATS

Soccer (also known as “association football”) is the most popular sport in the world. The term “association football” was introduced in 1863 in England, with the name chosen to distinguish the sport from rugby football. The term “soccer” started to appear about 20 years later in Oxford, as an abbreviation for “association”.

27 British cavalry accessory : SABRE

A saber (sometimes “sabre”) is a sword with a curved blade and a relatively large hand guard. It is thought that the term originated with the Hungarian verb “szabni” meaning “to cut”.

28 People are told not to touch it : DIAL

Don’t touch that dial!

30 Classic battleground : PURPLE STATE

On political maps, red states are usually Republican and blue states usually Democrat. The designation of red and blue states is a very recent concept, only introduced in the 2000 presidential election by TV journalist, the late Tim Russert. In retrospect, the choice of colors is surprising, as in other democracies around the world red is usually used to describe left-leaning socialist parties (the reds under the bed!), and blue is used for conservative right-wing parties. In election cycles, swing/battleground states are often depicted in purple.

33 Decades-old synth-pop group named for a fashion magazine : DEPECHE MODE

Depeche Mode is an electronic music band from England that formed in 1980. Apparently, Depeche Mode are the most successful electronic music band ever. The band’s name is the title of a French fashion magazine “Dépêche mode”, which translates as “Fashion Update”.

37 Receptionist’s notation: Abbr. : APPT

Appointment (appt.)

40 Boxes in an arena, maybe : AMPS

An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

45 Singer who gave his name to a “fever” in the 2010s : BIEBER

Justin Bieber is a young pop singer from London, Ontario. Bieber was actually discovered on YouTube by talent manager Scooter Brown. Fans of Bieber call themselves “Beliebers”. Personally, I’m no believer in Bieber …

46 Diamond in the rough? : SANDLOT

That would be a makeshift baseball-like game played on a sandlot, a makeshift field.

47 Lead role in “Airplane!” : TED

The 1980 movie “Airplane!” has to be one of the zaniest comedies ever made. The lead roles were Ted Striker (played by Robert Hays) and Elaine Dickinson (played by Julie Hagerty). But it was Leslie Nielsen who stole the show, playing Dr. Barry Rumack. That’s my own humble opinion of course …

50 First name in soul : ARETHA

I think that Aretha Franklin, the “Queen of Soul”, had a tough life. Franklin had her first son when she was just 13-years-old, and her second at 15. In 2008, “Rolling Stone” magazine ranked Franklin as number one in their list of the greatest singers of all time.

56 Club ___ : MED

Club Méditerranée is usually referred to as “Club Med”. It is a French company that started in 1950 with a resort on the Spanish island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean. It was originally a “club” with annual membership dues. Now it is an operator of numerous all-inclusive resorts located all over the world.

57 Some subatomic particles : MESONS

A meson is an unstable subatomic particle, one made up of a quark and an antiquark.

58 Org. with a Change My Address portal on its website : USPS

The US Postal Service (USPS) is a remarkable agency in many ways. For starters, the government’s right and responsibility to establish the Post Office is specifically called out in Article One of the US constitution. Also, the first postmaster general was none other than Benjamin Franklin. And, the USPS operates over 200,000 vehicles, which is the largest vehicle fleet in the world.

Down

2 Center of a Venn diagram : OVERLAP

Englishman John Venn was an expert in the field of logic, and introduced the Venn diagram in his book “Symbolic Logic” in 1881. Venn diagrams are used in set theory, to illustrate the logical relationships between sets of variables.

4 Arpad ___, eponymous creator of an international ratings system : ELO

The Elo rating system is used to compare the skill levels of competing chess players. The system is named for a Hungarian-born professor of physics called Arpad Elo, who was also a master-level chess player active in the US Chess Federation.

7 Thumb of small size : TOM

The story “Tom Thumb” was originally published in 1621, making it the first fairy tale ever printed in English. The title character is a boy who is no bigger than his father’s thumb, hence his name.

8 Certain shoe inserts : ODOR EATERS

Odor Eater insoles were introduced in the early seventies, and are manufactured by Combe. Combe sponsors a national contest held every year in Montpelier, Vermont, called “The Odor Eaters Rotten Sneaker Contest”. Very pleasant …

11 First name in Indian political history : INDIRA

Jawaharlal Nehru was the very first prime minister of India, serving from 1947-64. Nehru was basically the heir to his mentor Mahatma Gandhi. Nehru’s only daughter Indira, also became prime minister (known as Indira Gandhi through marriage, though she was no relation to Mahatma).

12 Frequent losers at casinos : DEUCES

A “two” playing card might be called a “deuce”, from the Middle French “deus” (or Modern French “deux”) meaning “two”.

21 Overseas plain : STEPPE

A steppe is a grassland that is devoid of trees, apart from those growing near rivers and lakes. The term “steppe” is Russian in origin, and is used to describe the geographical feature that extends across Eurasia. In South Africa, the same feature is called a “veld”, and in North America it is called a “prairie”.

31 Glinda’s portrayer in “The Wiz” : LENA HORNE

Lena Horne was an American jazz singer, actress, dancer and civil rights activist. Horne started out her career as a nightclub singer and then began to get some meaty acting roles in Hollywood. However, she ended up on the blacklist during the McCarthy Era for expressing left wing political views. One of Horne’s starring roles was in the 1943 movie “Stormy Weather” for which she also performed the title song.

“The Wiz”, the 1975 musical, was written by Charlie Smalls and is an African-American adaptation of Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. The film version of the stage show was released in 1978, starring Diana Ross as Dorothy and Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow. I haven’t seen it, though. “The Wizard of Oz” scares me, as the flying monkeys creep me out. There, I’ve admitted it in public …

36 Joint protector : KNEECAP

The patella is the kneecap. The bone’s Latin name is “patella”, which is a diminutive form of “patina”, the word for “pan”. The idea is that the kneecap is pan-shaped.

37 Sheikh-down of the F.B.I.? : ABSCAM

The FBI set up a sting operation in 1978 that eventually targeted corruption within Congress. Central to the “scam” was a front company called “Abdul Enterprises, Ltd”, which company name led to the whole operation being nicknamed “Abscam”. At the end of the say, one senator and five House members were convicted of bribery and conspiracy. Karim Abdul Rahman was the fictional sheik that gave “his” name to the front company.

39 Calligraphed : PENNED

Calligraphy is the art of fine handwriting. The term “calligraphy” comes from the Greek “kallos” meaning “beauty” and “graphein” meaning “to write”.

42 B in music class? : BRAHMS

Johannes Brahms was a leading German composer during the Romantic period. Brahms is one of the “Three Bs”, often grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven.

45 Native American currency, once : BEADS

Wampum are sacred shell beads of North American tribes in the Eastern United States. The early European colonists often used wampum to trade with the native peoples. From this original usage, “wampum” came to be a slang term for money.

52 Big 12 sch. : TCU

Texas Christian University (TCU) is a private school in Fort Worth, Texas. TCU used to be called AddRan Male & Female, named after an AddRan Clark, the son of Addison Clark who died at the age of 3-years-old from diphtheria. Poor young AddRan was named after his father and his brother, Addison and Randolph.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Many a promotional giveaway : TOTE
5 Trip … or start a trip : SET OFF
11 Fingers : IDS
14 Like the logos for Subaru and Toyota : OVAL
15 Toy in a purse, perhaps : POODLE
16 Common blog keyword for sorting posts : NEW
17 Spanish for “weight” : PESO
18 Release from a dock : UNMOOR
19 Abbott and Costello, e.g. : DUO
20 Old N.Y.C. depot inits. : IRT
21 “r u ___?!” (texter’s “Really?”) : SRS
22 Captain Morgan competitor : RONRICO
24 Some soccer gear : CLEATS
26 Resting spots? : BEDSORES
27 British cavalry accessory : SABRE
28 People are told not to touch it : DIAL
29 It’s a cinch : SASH
30 Classic battleground : PURPLE STATE
33 Decades-old synth-pop group named for a fashion magazine : DEPECHE MODE
35 It’s pulled by students before graduation : SENIOR PRANK
37 Receptionist’s notation: Abbr. : APPT
40 Boxes in an arena, maybe : AMPS
41 Backup : PLAN B
43 Equestrian attire : BREECHES
45 Singer who gave his name to a “fever” in the 2010s : BIEBER
46 Diamond in the rough? : SANDLOT
47 Lead role in “Airplane!” : TED
48 Albert ___ (Minnesota county seat) : LEA
49 “United Shades of America” airer : CNN
50 First name in soul : ARETHA
52 Shortening in many school names : TECH
53 So-called “bullet” : ACE
54 Bit of progress : INROAD
55 Study, study, study : CRAM
56 Club ___ : MED
57 Some subatomic particles : MESONS
58 Org. with a Change My Address portal on its website : USPS
Down
1 Things to talk about : TOPICS
2 Center of a Venn diagram : OVERLAP
3 One might sense bitterness : TASTE BUD
4 Arpad ___, eponymous creator of an international ratings system : ELO
5 Prompts : SPURS
6 Long stretches : EONS
7 Thumb of small size : TOM
8 Certain shoe inserts : ODOR EATERS
9 Outdoor security system component : FLOODLAMP
10 Some office greenery : FERNS
11 First name in Indian political history : INDIRA
12 Frequent losers at casinos : DEUCES
13 Sound of a rush : SWOOSH!
21 Overseas plain : STEPPE
23 Queens neighborhood with a floral name : ROSEDALE
25 Got off the streets, say : ARRESTED
26 They always proceed in a biased way : BISHOPS
28 There are just over three in a foot : DECIMETERS
31 Glinda’s portrayer in “The Wiz” : LENA HORNE
32 Lethargic : TORPID
34 Unhelpful friends for advice : ENABLERS
36 Joint protector : KNEECAP
37 Sheikh-down of the F.B.I.? : ABSCAM
38 What parade horses do : PRANCE
39 Calligraphed : PENNED
42 B in music class? : BRAHMS
44 Prospector’s filing : CLAIM
45 Native American currency, once : BEADS
47 Word often appearing after a comparative : … THAN
51 “___ cool!” : TOO
52 Big 12 sch. : TCU

3 thoughts on “0510-19 NY Times Crossword 10 May 19, Friday”

  1. 13:40, no errors. I knew my daughter’s infatuation with “Depeche Mode” would pay off someday … 😜.

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