0511-19 NY Times Crossword 11 May 19, Saturday

Constructed by: Robyn Weintraub
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 15m 34s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Great Texas hold ’em hand, informally : TRIPS

In the card game Texas hold’em, a player can make three-of-a-kind two different ways:

  • 1 holdcard and 2 cards from the board (trips)
  • 2 holecards and 1 card from the board (a set)

The official birthplace of the incredibly popular poker game of Texas hold ’em is Robstown, Texas where the game dates back to the early 1900s. The game was introduced into Las Vegas in 1967 by a group of Texan enthusiasts including Doyle Brunson, a champion often seen playing on TV today. Doyle Brunson published a poker strategy guide in 1978, and this really helped increase the popularity of the game. But it was the inclusion of Texas hold ‘em in the television lineup that really gave the game its explosive surge in popularity, with the size of the prize money just skyrocketing.

10 It has spinoffs set in New Orleans and Los Angeles : NCIS

NCIS is the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which investigates crimes in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The service gives its name to the CBS TV show “NCIS”, a spin-off drama from “JAG” in which the main “NCIS” characters were first introduced. The big star in “NCIS” is the actor Mark Harmon. “NCIS” is now a franchise, with spin-off shows “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “NCIS: New Orleans”.

14 Title character in a 2006 mockumentary : BORAT

The full name of the 2006 “mockumentary” is “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”. Borat is played by a British comedian, Sacha Baron Cohen. Not my cup of tea …

15 Menace following Captain Hook around, for short : CROC

In J. M. Barrie’s play “Peter Pan”, it is not specifically stated how Captain Hook lost his hand, although previous writings by Barrie reveal that Peter Pan cut it off during a swordfight. What is revealed is that Peter fed the severed hand to a crocodile, and that crocodile pursues Captain Hook for the rest of his days, seeking to finish off his meal. The crocodile also swallowed a clock, and the ticking of the clock warns Captain Hook of his pursuer’s approach.

19 Broadway character who sings “Shall We Dance?” while she dances : ANNA

“Shall We Dance?” is a celebrated song from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “The King and I”.

“The King and I” is a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on a book by Margaret Landon called “Anna and the King of Siam” first published in 1944. Landon’s book is based on a true story, told in the memoirs of Anna Leonowens. Leonowens was the governess of the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the 1860s, and she also taught the king’s wives.

20 One might get stuck in an office : POST-IT NOTE

The Post-it note was invented at 3M following the accidental discovery of a low-tack, reusable adhesive. The actual intent of the development program was the discovery of a super-strong adhesive.

22 Field of study for TV physicist Sheldon Cooper : STRING THEORY

There has always been a conflict between the theory of relativity and quantum theory. Basically, the theory of relativity works for “big stuff” but breaks down when applied to minute things like subatomic particles. On the other hand, quantum theory was developed to explain behavior at the subatomic level, and just doesn’t work on the larger scale. One of the reasons physicists are so excited about string theory is that it works at both the macro and micro levels. According to string theory, all particles in the universe are really little “strings”, as opposed to the points or ball-shaped entities assumed by the other theories.

Jim Parsons is an actor from Houston, Texas who is best known for playing Sheldon Cooper on the television sitcom “The Big Bang Theory”.

25 Something enjoyed during elevenses : TEA

The coffee break that often takes place mid-morning in the US is equivalent to a similar routine in Britain known as “elevenses”, and “smoko” in Australia.

28 Abstract unit of exchange : TAT

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”.

36 Artist given the 1958 Guggenheim International Award : MIRO

Joan Miró was a Spanish artist. Miro immersed himself in Surrealism, so much so that Andre Breton, the founder of the movement, said that Miro was “the most Surrealist of us all”.

37 Neighbor of 5-Down : NEVIS

(5 Neighbor of 37-Across : ST KITTS)
Nevis is an island in the Caribbean Sea, which along with the island of Saint Kitts makes up the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. At the center of Nevis is a volcano, called Nevis Peak. Apparently the clouds at the top of this peak reminded someone of snow, so the island was given the Spanish name “Nuestra Señora de las Nieves” (Our Lady of the Snows). The name “Nevis” then comes from “nieves”, the word for “snow”.

40 Glitzy embellishment : BLING

Bling-bling (often simply “bling”) is the name given to all the shiny stuff sported by rap stars in particular i.e. the jewelry, watches, metallic cell phones, even gold caps on the teeth. The term comes from the supposed “bling” sound caused by light striking a shiny metal surface.

44 Gal in a superhero movie : GADOT

Gal Gadot is an Israeli actress and former Miss Israel. She plays Gisele Yashar in the “Fast & Furious” film franchise, and then began portraying Wonder Woman in superhero movies.

47 Walker, briefly : PED

Pedestrian (ped.)

48 Unlucky phrase to end on : … HE LOVES ME NOT

“He loves me, he loves me not” …

52 “Star Wars” nickname : ANI

Darth Vader is (to me) the most colorful antagonist in the “Star Wars” universe. Born as Anakin “Ani” Skywalker, he was corrupted by the Emperor Palpatine, and turned to “the Dark Side”. In the original films, Darth Vader was portrayed by English bodybuilder David Prowse, and voiced by actor James Earl Jones. Jones asked that he go uncredited for the first two “Star Wars” films, feeling that his contributions were insufficient to warrant recognition. I disagree …

60 Instrument broken over Hortensio’s head in “The Taming of the Shrew” : LUTE

William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” is about a courting couple. The male in the couple is Petruchio, a gentleman of Verona, and the female is Katharina/Kate, the so-called “shrew”. As the play progresses, the “shrew” is “tamed” and becomes an “obedient” bride … a controversial storyline in the contemporary world, to say the least. Regardless, modern adaptations have been made, including 1948’s Broadway musical “Kiss Me Kate” and the 1999 romantic comedy “10 Things I Hate About You”.

61 Status quo ___ : ANTE

“Status quo ante” is a Latin term meaning “the way things were before”. The phrase is used in the Law to describe the returning of a situation to the state in which it previously existed.

62 Parts of pelvises : SACRA

The sacrum and the two ilia are three bones in the human pelvis.

64 Quinoa, e.g. : SEED

Quinoa is a grain crop that is more closely related to beetroots and spinach that it is to cereals and grasses. Quinoa is mainly cultivated for its edible seeds, which are high in protein. The seeds are also gluten free, which seems to be a big deal these days. I do like my quinoa …

Down

1 Rx dose: Abbr. : TBSP

Abbreviations on a medical prescription (Rx) are shortened forms of Latin phrases. “Ter in die” is Latin for “three times a day”, abbreviated to “TID”. “Bis in die” (BID) would be twice a day, and “quater in die” (QID) would be four times a day.

2 Picture section in old newspapers : ROTO

“Roto” is a short for “rotogravure”, a photomechanical process used for printing pictures and some typeset matter. By extension, a “roto” was also a section of a paper printed using such a process, particularly a magazine section.

3 Greek goddess of the rainbow : IRIS

In Greek mythology, the goddess Iris was viewed as the link between the gods and humanity, a messenger. She was also the goddess of the rainbow. In Virgil’s “Aeneid”, Iris takes the form of a Trojan woman and incites other Trojan mothers to set fire to Aeneas’ ships, preventing them from leaving Sicily.

5 Neighbor of 37-Across : ST KITTS

(37A Neighbor of 5-Down : NEVIS)
Saint Kitts is the more familiar name for Saint Christopher Island, part of the West Indies. Saint Kitts, along with the neighboring island of Nevis, is part of the country known as the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Saint Kitts has had a troubled history, with the Spanish, British and French all vying for control of the island. Most of the population today is descended from slaves brought onto Saint Kitts to farm tobacco and then sugar cane. Most of the slaves were from Africa, although Irish and Scottish slaves were also used.

6 Veal dish : SCHNITZEL

Schnitzel is an Austrian dish made from slices of meat that have been tenderized and thinned with a wooden mallet, and then coated in breadcrumbs and fried. The variant known as Wiener Schnitzel (i.e. Viennese schnitzel) is usually made from veal, although now that veal had fallen into disfavor due to concerns about animal rights, it is often made from pork.

7 Constellation that includes Bellatrix : ORION

According to Greek mythology, Orion was a giant hunter who was placed in the night sky by Zeus, the king of the gods. Orion is very recognizable as a constellation, especially with the three bright stars known as “Orion’s Belt”. Additionally, the brightest star in the sky, Sirius, is said to be Orion’s hunting dog, and this star sits at Orion’s “foot”.

8 Giraffe’s sound? : SOFT G

The first letter in the word “giraffe” is a soft G.

The giraffe is the tallest terrestrial animal on the planet. The giraffe’s main source of food is acacia leaves that they eat from high, high up in trees, where other herbivores cannot reach.

9 Sets of black or white pawns, e.g. : OCTETS

In the game of chess, the pawns are the weakest pieces on the board. A pawn that can make it to the opposite of the board can be promoted to a piece of choice, usually a queen. Using promotion of pawns, it is possible for a player to have two or more queens on the board at one time. However, standard chess sets come with only one queen per side, so a captured rook is often used as the second queen by placing it on the board upside down.

10 Court org. : NBA

National Basketball Association (NBA)

12 Ataraxia : INNER PEACE

Ataraxia is a state of tranquility, a state from emotional disturbance and anxiety. The term comes from the Greek word for “tranquility”, and was a word used by the ancient Greek philosophers Pyrrho and Epicurus.

13 Brand for the rest of the people? : SEALY

The Sealy Corporation makes mattresses. The company name comes from the city where it started out in 1881, namely Sealy, Texas. Sealy Corporation is now headquartered in Trinity, North Carolina.

25 Setting for the very end of “Aida” : TOMB

“Aida” is a celebrated opera by Giuseppe Verdi that is based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette. Mariette also designed the costumes and stages for the opening performance. The opera was first staged in 1871 in an opera house in Cairo. In the storyline, Aida is an Ethiopian princess brought into Egypt as a slave. Radames is an Egyptian commander who falls in love with her, and then complications arise!

31 Repetitive movement in a sonata : RONDO

A rondo was often chosen by composers in the classical period for the last movement of a sonata (or symphony or concerto, for that matter). In rondo form there is a principal theme that alternates with a contrasting theme(s). So, the original theme anchors the whole piece in between secondary digressions.

A cantata is a piece of music that is sung, as opposed to a sonata, which is a piece that is played on some instrument, often a piano. A sonatina is in effect a sonata that has been labelled as something lighter and shorter.

45 Sights at charging stations : TESLAS

Tesla Motors was founded in 2003 as a manufacturer of electric vehicles based in Palo Alto, California. Tesla is noted for producing the first electric sports car, called the Tesla Roadster. The company followed the sports car with a luxury sedan, the Model S. The Model S was the world’s best selling plug-in electric vehicle of 2015. Tesla Motors shortened its name to Tesla in early 2017.

48 Berry featured in cosmetics ads : HALLE

Actress Halle Berry was the first African-American woman to win a Best Actress Oscar, which she received for her performance in the 2001 movie “Monster’s Ball”. Berry also won a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress in 2005 for playing the title role in “Catwoman”, and she very graciously accepted that award in person. Good for her!

58 Cause of storybook insomnia : PEA

“The Princess and the Pea” is a fairy tale from the pen of Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. The essence of the story is that a prince’s mother tests the royal blood of an apparent princess by placing a pea under a pile of mattresses on which the young girl sleeps. The girl complains of a restless night, demonstrating a physical sensitivity that can only be attributed to a princess. And they all live happily ever after …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Great Texas hold ’em hand, informally : TRIPS
6 Average : SO-SO
10 It has spinoffs set in New Orleans and Los Angeles : NCIS
14 Title character in a 2006 mockumentary : BORAT
15 Menace following Captain Hook around, for short : CROC
16 Grave matter : BONE
17 Car owner’s manual? : STICK SHIFT
19 Broadway character who sings “Shall We Dance?” while she dances : ANNA
20 One might get stuck in an office : POST-IT NOTE
21 Emergency contact form abbreviation : TEL
22 Field of study for TV physicist Sheldon Cooper : STRING THEORY
25 Something enjoyed during elevenses : TEA
28 Abstract unit of exchange : TAT
29 Review the highlights of : SUM UP
30 Like a wide load : OVERSIZED
34 Revealed : BARED
36 Artist given the 1958 Guggenheim International Award : MIRO
37 Neighbor of 5-Down : NEVIS
39 Noncommittal response : I MAY
40 Glitzy embellishment : BLING
42 Rough finish : LAST PLACE
44 Gal in a superhero movie : GADOT
46 ___ qué : POR
47 Walker, briefly : PED
48 Unlucky phrase to end on : … HE LOVES ME NOT
52 “Star Wars” nickname : ANI
53 Stuffed shirts? : SCARECROWS
57 Not get some Z’s, say? : LISP
59 “Hmm …” : LET’S SEE NOW …
60 Instrument broken over Hortensio’s head in “The Taming of the Shrew” : LUTE
61 Status quo ___ : ANTE
62 Parts of pelvises : SACRA
63 Italian pronoun : ESSA
64 Quinoa, e.g. : SEED
65 Soak : STEEP

Down

1 Rx dose: Abbr. : TBSP
2 Picture section in old newspapers : ROTO
3 Greek goddess of the rainbow : IRIS
4 Bargains : PACTS
5 Neighbor of 37-Across : ST KITTS
6 Veal dish : SCHNITZEL
7 Constellation that includes Bellatrix : ORION
8 Giraffe’s sound? : SOFT G
9 Sets of black or white pawns, e.g. : OCTETS
10 Court org. : NBA
11 Two-dimensional rendering of three-dimensional terrain : CONTOUR MAP
12 Ataraxia : INNER PEACE
13 Brand for the rest of the people? : SEALY
18 Variation : STRAIN
23 Likely spot for a layover : HUB
24 Message on a tablet, say : EMAIL
25 Setting for the very end of “Aida” : TOMB
26 Enemy who’s difficult to outsmart : EVIL GENIUS
27 Some swingers : AERIALISTS
31 Repetitive movement in a sonata : RONDO
32 Children’s author Ibbotson : EVA
33 Went in all different directions : DISPERSED
35 Not natural : DYED
38 Jeweler’s cache : STONES
41 URL ending : GOV
43 Set of steps : PROCESS
45 Sights at charging stations : TESLAS
48 Berry featured in cosmetics ads : HALLE
49 Conspicuous thing to make : SCENE
50 Lacking luster : MATTE
51 Bonbon, e.g. : TREAT
54 “Time was …” : ONCE …
55 Exhausted, with “out” : WORE
56 Give and take, say : SWAP
58 Cause of storybook insomnia : PEA

2 thoughts on “0511-19 NY Times Crossword 11 May 19, Saturday”

  1. 33:14. My first pass through this one I was convinced I’d never finish. I knew STRING THEORY and little else. Somehow I finished. Vague cluing is much easier once a letter or two is filled in obviously.

    Best –

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