0515-19 NY Times Crossword 15 May 19, Wednesday

Constructed by: Zhouqin Burnikel
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Cross-Dressing

Today’s reveal answer CROSS-DRESSING is CROSSED by five kinds of salad DRESSING hidden in themed answers:

  • 14D “Mrs. Doubtfire” plot device – or what the letters in this clue’s answer do five times? : CROSS-DRESSING
  • 18A Elvis Presley hit inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame : JAILHOUSE ROCK (giving “house dressing”)
  • 24A Forum greeting : HAIL CAESAR (giving “caesar dressing”)
  • 34A Vacation spot for city slickers : DUDE RANCH (giving “ranch dressing”)
  • 44A Gangster group in “Eastern Promises” : RUSSIAN MOB (giving “russian dressing”)
  • 51A 2003 film starring Mark Wahlberg and Charlize Theron : THE ITALIAN JOB (giving “italian dressing”)

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

Bill’s time: 10m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7 National Do Not Call Registry org. : FTC

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was established in 1914 with the mission of protecting consumers. The FTC runs the National Do Not Call Registry, which can limit the amount of telemarketing calls that consumers receive. To register your number, simply go to the website www.donotcall.gov.

13 Blue : EROTIC

The name of “Eros”, the Greek god of love, gives rise to our word “erotic” meaning “arousing sexual desire”. Eros was referred to in Latin as both Amor (meaning “love”) and Cupid (meaning “desire”).

16 Form of yoga : TANTRA

Tantrism (sometimes “Tantra”) is a relatively recent class of religious ritual and meditation that has its roots in 5th century India. The tantras are sometimes considered as advanced teachings that extend the basic tenets of several Indian religions including Buddhism and Hinduism.

18 Elvis Presley hit inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame : JAILHOUSE ROCK (giving “house dressing”)

“Jailhouse Rock” is a 1957 Elvis Presley film that was originally title “The Hard Way”. The movie was renamed in order to cash in on the anticipated success of the title song. The opening dance sequence, in which he performs “Jailhouse Rock”, is perhaps Presley’s most memorable moment on the big screen.

20 Angst-ridden music genre : EMO

The emo musical genre originated in Washington D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from “emotional hardcore”. “Emo” is also the name given to the associated subculture. Not my cup of tea …

22 Platform for 5-Down : IOS

iOS is what Apple now call their mobile operating system. Previously, it was known as iPhone OS.

23 Art Deco icon : ERTE

“Erté” was the pseudonym of French (Russian-born) artist and designer Romain de Tirtoff. Erté is the French pronunciation of his initials “R.T.” Erté’s diverse portfolio of work included costumes and sets for the “Ziegfeld Follies” of 1923, productions of the Parisian cabaret show “Folies Bergère”, as well as the 1925 epic movie “Ben-Hur”. Erté’s most famous work by far is an image titled “Symphony in Black”. It depicts a tall and slender woman dressed in black, holding a black dog on a leash.

24 Forum greeting : HAIL, CAESAR! (giving “caesar dressing”)

The caesar salad was created by restaurateur Caesar Cardini at the Hotel Caesar’s in Tijuana, Mexico. The original recipe called for whole lettuce leaves that were to be lifted up by the stem and eaten with the fingers.

30 Sub system : SONAR

The British developed the first underwater detection system that used sound waves. Research was driven by defence demands during WWI, leading to production of working units in 1922. This new sound detection system was described as using “supersonics”, but for the purpose of secrecy the term was dropped in favor of an acronym. The work was done under the auspices of the Royal Navy’s Anti-Submarine Division, so ASD was combined with the “IC” from “superson-ic-s” to create the name ASDIC. The navy even went as far as renaming the quartz material at the heart of the technology “ASDivite”. By the time WWII came along, the Americans were producing their own systems and coined the term SONAR, playing off the related application, RADAR. And so, the name ASDIC was deep-sixed …

34 Vacation spot for city slickers : DUDE RANCH (giving “ranch dressing”)

Our term “dude” arose as slang in New York City in the 1880s, when it was used to describe a fastidious man. In the early 1900s, the term was extended to mean “city slickers”, easterners who vacationed in the West. The first use of the term “dude ranch” was recorded in 1921.

Ranch dressing has been the best selling salad dressing in the country since 1992. The recipe was developed by Steve Henson who introduced it in the fifties to guests on his dude ranch, Hidden Valley Ranch in Northern California. His ranch dressing became so popular that he opened a factory to produce packets of ranch seasoning that could be mixed with mayonnaise and buttermilk. Henson sold the brand for $8 million in 1972.

37 Canadian stadium renamed Rogers Centre in 2005 : SKYDOME

The SkyDome is a stadium in downtown Toronto, home to the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team and the Toronto Argonauts Canadian football team. The SkyDome was officially renamed to the Rogers Centre when it, and the Toronto Blue Jays team, was purchased by Rogers Communications in 2005.

39 Humana competitor : AETNA

When the healthcare management and insurance company known as Aetna was founded, the name was chosen to evoke images of Mount Etna, the Italian volcano.

Humana is a health insurance company based in Louisville, and is the largest company in the state of Kentucky.

43 ___ Joaquin Valley : SAN

The San Joaquin Valley is in the southern part of the Central Valley of California (the northern part is the Sacramento Valley). The San Joaquin Valley is plagued with smog due to the surrounding mountains holding in pollution generated by traffic in built-up areas. The smog is bad that the San Joaquin Valley is one of the three worst areas in the country for pollution, along with Los Angeles and Houston.

44 Gangster group in “Eastern Promises” : RUSSIAN MOB (giving “russian dressing”)

“Eastern Promises” is a movie thriller released in 2007. It stars Naomi Watts as a British midwife who comes into contact with a member of the Russian mafia, played by Viggo Mortenson. Mortenson’s character wears some pretty scary and authentic-looking Russian mafia tattoos.

49 Booker, for one: Abbr. : SEN

Cory Booker has been a US Senator for New Jersey since 2013, having previously served as the Mayor of Newark. Booker is one of the few vegetarians in the US Congress.

58 First-aid antiseptic : IODINE

Tincture of iodine is a disinfectant. A “tincture” is a substance used in dyeing. Since the 1600s, “tincture” has also been used for a solution of medicine in an alcohol mixture.

63 Vicious of punk rock : SID

Sid Vicious was a famous English musician, the best-known member of the seventies punk rock group called the Sex Pistols. In 1978, Vicious woke up out of a drugged stupor in his hotel room in New York, to find his girlfriend stabbed to death in the bathroom. Vicious was charged with the murder, and ten days later sliced his wrist in a suicide attempt. Vicious made bail a few months later and at a celebratory party his own mother supplied him with heroin on which Vicious overdosed and died, at the age of 21.

65 Bone/muscle connectors : SINEWS

“Sinew” is another name for “tendon”. Tendons are bands of collagen that connect muscle to bone. Tendons are similar to ligaments and fasciae, which are also connective tissue made out of collagen, but ligaments join bone to bone, and fasciae connect muscle to muscle. We also use the term “sinew” to mean muscular power.

Down

1 Like a professor emerita: Abbr. : RET

“Emeritus” (female form “emerita”, and plural “emeriti”) is a term in the title of some retired professionals, particularly those from academia. Originally an emeritus was a veteran soldier who had served his time. The term comes from the Latin verb “emerere” meaning to complete one’s service.

4 Blues singer James : ETTA

“Etta James” was the stage name of celebrated blues and soul singer Jamesetta Hawkins. James’ most famous recording was her 1960 hit “At Last”, which made it into the pop charts. James performed “At Last” at the age of 71 in 2009 on the reality show “Dancing with the Stars”, which was to be her final television appearance. She passed away in 2012.

5 Voice-activated assistant : SIRI

Siri is a software application that works with Apple’s iOS operating system. “Siri” is an acronym standing for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. Voice-over artist Susan Bennett revealed herself as the female American voice of Siri a few years ago. The British version of Siri is called Daniel, and the Australian version is called Karen. Also, “Siri” is a Norwegian name meaning “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”, and was the name the developer had chosen for his first child.

6 Rehnquist’s successor on the bench : SCALIA

Antonin Scalia was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Reagan in 1986, and was the longest-serving member of the court on the occasion of his passing in 2016. Justice Scalia’s minority opinions were known for the scathing language that he used to criticize the Court’s majority.

William Rehnquist served as an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court from 1972 when he was appointed by President Nixon. When Chief Justice Warren Burger retired in 1986, President Reagan nominated Rehnquist to fill the vacant position. Rehnquist died in office in 2005 and was replaced as Chief Justice by John Roberts, who was in the process of being confirmed as an Associate Justice at the time.

7 Mrs., in Münster : FRAU

Münster is a city in the northwestern part of Germany, in the Westphalia region. Münster is noted for being the most bicycle-friendly city in the country with almost 40% of all traffic in the city being cyclists.

8 Sawbucks : TENS

“Sawbuck” is slang for a ten dollar bill. The term was applied to the bill as the Roman numeral X (which used to appear on the bill) resembles the end of sawhorse.

12 L’Oréal hair care brand : REDKEN

L’Oréal is a French cosmetics company, and indeed the largest cosmetics and beauty company in the world. Here in the US, L’Oréal runs a “Women of Worth” program that honors women who volunteer in their communities.

14 “Mrs. Doubtfire” plot device – or what the letters in this clue’s answer do five times? : CROSS-DRESSING

The 1993 comedy “Mrs. Doubtfire” is based on a 1987 novel called “Madame Doubtfire” by Anne Fine. The movie is set and was filmed in San Francisco. The title role is played by Robin Williams, who spent most of the movie dressed as the female Mrs. Doubtfire. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the movie won the Oscar for Best Makeup.

32 Final Four inits. : NCAA

In the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship, the teams remaining at various stages of the tournament are known as:

  • The “Sweet Sixteen” (the regional semi-finalists)
  • The “Elite Eight” (the regional finalists)
  • The “Final Four” (the national semi-finalists)

35 Palme ___ (film award) : D’OR

The “Palme d’Or” (or “Golden Palm” in English) is the highest award given at the Cannes Film Festival. The Palme d’Or goes to the director of the film selected as the best shown at the festival that year. The palm was selected as an emblem for the award as there is a palm featured on the coat of arms of the Commune of Cannes.

36 Cousin of a cassowary : EMU

The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

The cassowary is a large, flightless bird found mainly in New Guinea. One species of cassowary is the third tallest bird on the planet, second only to the ostrich and the emu.

37 Dish often served with wasabi : SASHIMI

Sashimi is thinly sliced raw fish, although it can also be raw meat. The word “sashimi” translates literally as “pierced body”, which may be a reference to the practice of sticking the tail and fin to sliced fish to identify it.

Sometimes called “Japanese horseradish”, wasabi is a root used as a condiment in Japanese cooking. The taste of wasabi is more like mustard than a hot pepper in that the vapors that create the “hotness” stimulate the nasal passages rather than the tongue. Personally, I love the stuff …

40 Big name in cell service : T-MOBILE

T-Mobile is a German telecommunications company, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom. Deutsche Telekom has used the “T” prefix for a number of its services, including T-Com, T-Online and T-Home.

42 Half a sawbuck : ABE

The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Abraham Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.

43 Hindu aphorisms : SUTRAS

The word “sutra” is used in Hinduism for a learned text, one usually meant to be studied by students.

An aphorism is a short and pithy statement that embodies a general truth or insightful observation. Some great examples are:

  • Life is a journey, not a destination (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
  • The average person thinks he isn’t (Larry Lorenzoni)
  • To err is human, to forgive divine (Alexander Pope)
  • Reality is an illusion, albeit a very persistent one (Albert Einstein)
  • Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely (Lord Acton)

46 Certain navels : INNIES

The navel is basically the scar left behind when the umbilical cord is removed from a newborn baby. One interesting use of the umbilicus (navel, belly button) is to differentiate between identical twins, especially when they are very young.

48 Ph.D. hurdle: Abbr. : DISS

Dissertation (diss.)

52 Deep-six : TOSS

To deep-six something is to toss it, possibly overboard, or to completely destroy it. The derivation of this slang term is from “six feet deep”, not the length of a fathom but rather the traditional depth of a grave.

53 Where Samoa Airways is based : APIA

Apia is the capital city, and in fact the only city, of the Pacific island-nation of Samoa. The harbor of Apia is famous for a very foolish incident in 1889 involving seven naval vessels from Germany, the US and Britain. A typhoon was approaching so the safest thing to do was to head for open water away from land, but no nation would move its ships for fear of losing face in front of the others. Six of the ships were lost in the typhoon as a result and 200 American and German sailors perished. The British cruiser HMS Calliope barely managed to escape from the harbor and rode out the storm safely. Apia is also known as the home of writer Robert Louis Stevenson, for the last four years of his life.

54 It begins on Ash Wednesday : LENT

In Latin, the Christian season that is now called “Lent” was termed “quadragesima” (meaning “fortieth”), a reference to the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert before beginning his public ministry. When the church began its move in the Middle Ages towards using the vernacular, the term “Lent” was introduced. “Lent” comes from “lenz”, the German word for “spring”.

In the Christian tradition, the first day in the season of Lent is called Ash Wednesday. On Ash Wednesday, Palm Crosses from the prior year’s Palm Sunday are burned. The resulting ashes are mixed with sacred oil and then used to anoint worshipers on the forehead with the shape of a cross.

55 Rocker Jon Bon ___ : JOVI

Jon Bon Jovi was born John Francis Bongiovi, Jr. He is the frontman of the band that took his name, i.e. Bon Jovi.

56 One-eyed Norse god : ODIN

In Norse mythology, Odin was the chief of the gods. He is usually depicted as having one eye, reflecting the story of how he gave one of his eyes in exchange for wisdom.

60 Triage centers, for short : ERS

Triage is the process of prioritizing patients for treatment, especially on a battlefield. The term “triage” is French and means “a sorting”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Trial separation? : RECESS
7 National Do Not Call Registry org. : FTC
10 ___ Majesty : HER
13 Blue : EROTIC
14 Beast : CREATURE
16 Form of yoga : TANTRA
17 Freed, but not for free : RANSOMED
18 Elvis Presley hit inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame : JAILHOUSE ROCK (giving “house dressing”)
20 Angst-ridden music genre : EMO
22 Platform for 5-Down : IOS
23 Art Deco icon : ERTE
24 Forum greeting : HAIL, CAESAR! (giving “caesar dressing”)
29 All chief justices of the United States, so far : MEN
30 Sub system : SONAR
31 Disheartened : DAUNTED
34 Vacation spot for city slickers : DUDE RANCH (giving “ranch dressing”)
37 Canadian stadium renamed Rogers Centre in 2005 : SKYDOME
39 Humana competitor : AETNA
43 ___ Joaquin Valley : SAN
44 Gangster group in “Eastern Promises” : RUSSIAN MOB (giving “russian dressing”)
47 Handled : USED
49 Booker, for one: Abbr. : SEN
50 Have obligations : OWE
51 2003 film starring Mark Wahlberg and Charlize Theron : THE ITALIAN JOB (giving “italian dressing”)
57 Unwraps impatiently : RIPS OPEN
58 First-aid antiseptic : IODINE
61 Building up : AMASSING
62 More malevolent : EVILER
63 Vicious of punk rock : SID
64 Avoided elimination in musical chairs : SAT
65 Bone/muscle connectors : SINEWS

Down

1 Like a professor emerita: Abbr. : RET
2 Slice of history : ERA
3 Link : CONJOIN
4 Blues singer James : ETTA
5 Voice-activated assistant : SIRI
6 Rehnquist’s successor on the bench : SCALIA
7 Mrs., in Münster : FRAU
8 Sawbucks : TENS
9 Violin holder : CASE
10 “Just play along, please” : HUMOR ME
11 Put up, as a building : ERECTED
12 L’Oréal hair care brand : REDKEN
14 “Mrs. Doubtfire” plot device – or what the letters in this clue’s answer do five times? : CROSS-DRESSING
15 Went very fast : TORE
19 Something a gardener might lean on : HOE
20 Sounds of puzzlement : EHS
21 Who said “A revolution is not a dinner party” : MAO
25 ___ Luck : LADY
26 “Phooey!” : CRUD!
27 Small battery : AAA
28 Publish : RUN
32 Final Four inits. : NCAA
33 At that point : THEN
35 Palme ___ (film award) : D’OR
36 Cousin of a cassowary : EMU
37 Dish often served with wasabi : SASHIMI
38 Skateboarder’s accessory : KNEE PAD
40 Big name in cell service : T-MOBILE
41 “Right away!” : NOW!
42 Half a sawbuck : ABE
43 Hindu aphorisms : SUTRAS
45 Beachside view : SEA
46 Certain navels : INNIES
48 Ph.D. hurdle: Abbr. : DISS
52 Deep-six : TOSS
53 Where Samoa Airways is based : APIA
54 It begins on Ash Wednesday : LENT
55 Rocker Jon Bon ___ : JOVI
56 One-eyed Norse god : ODIN
59 Never-before-seen : NEW
60 Triage centers, for short : ERS

7 thoughts on “0515-19 NY Times Crossword 15 May 19, Wednesday”

  1. 7:45, no errors. Pretty easy. Forgot to check out the theme. (Gee, I’ve never done that before … 😜.)

  2. No difficulty anywhere with this one. Not even with seeing how the theme worked at the end. This is not a boast; the puzzle was just plain easy, and there is nothing really good or bad, right or wrong, about that.

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