0517-19 NY Times Crossword 17 May 19, Friday

Constructed by: Adam Fromm
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 22m 35s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Goddess played by Rene Russo in “Thor” : FRIGGA

The very talented actress Rene Russo is a native of Burbank, California. Russo went to highschool (with actor/director Ron Howard), but dropped out in tenth grade. At seventeen, she was given the opportunity to train as a model and within a very short time appeared on the cover of “Vogue”. As her modelling jobs slowed down in her early thirties, Russo made a career change and studied theater and acting. I am so glad she did, as Rene Russo is one of my favorite actresses …

The 2011 movie “Thor” is yet another film based on a comic book hero. Even though I won’t be seeing it (I don’t do comics), I must admit it does have an impressive cast. Chris Hemsworth plays Thor, supported by Natalie Portman, Rene Russo, Idris Elba and Anthony Hopkins. And to crown it all, Kenneth Branagh is the director.

7 Single-minded pursuits : CRUSADES

The Crusades were a series of religious wars fought between the 11th and 15th centuries. The term “crusade” came into English via French and Spanish from the Latin “crux” meaning “cross”. The use of the term was retrospective, with the first recorded use in English in 1757. The relevance of “crux” is that most crusaders swore a vow to reach Jerusalem from Europe, and then received a cloth cross that was then sewn into their clothing. The term “crusade” persists to this day, and is now used figuratively to describe any vigorous campaign in pursuit of of a moral cause.

18 Having hooves : UNGULATE

Ungulates are hoofed animals. “Ungulate” comes from the Latin “ungula” meaning “hoof” or “claw”, which in turn comes from “unguis” meaning “nail”.

19 E-4 or E-6, in the Army: Abbr. : NCO

Non-commissioned officer (NCO)

22 Kool Moe ___ (first rapper to perform at the Grammys) : DEE

Kool Moe Dee is the stage name of rap artist Mohandas Dewese. Kool Moe Dee had the honor of being the first rap artist to perform at the Grammys, and was one of the first rappers to actually win a Grammy Award.

26 Brother of the Wild West : EARP

The famous Earp brothers of the Wild West were Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan. All three brothers participated in what has to be the most famous gunfight in the history of the Old West, the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. Strangely enough, the fight didn’t happen at the O.K. Corral, but took place six doors down the street in a vacant lot next to a photography studio.

28 One of the Brady kids : GREG

The character Greg Brady is the oldest Brady son in the sitcom “The Brady Bunch”. Greg was played by Barry Williams in the TV show. It was revealed in spin-offs of the original sitcom that Greg married a nurse and became an obstetrician.

38 It’s sanctioned by a “G” : GENERAL AUDIENCE

The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) film-rating system (PG-13, R, etc.) is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new movies.

51 Riled (up) : HET

Someone who is het up is worked up, or angry. “Het” is an archaic word meaning “heated”.

52 Lavatory : WASHROOM

Our word “lavatory” (sometimes “lav”) originally referred to a washbasin, and comes from the Latin “lavatorium”, a place for washing. In the 1600s, “lavatory” came to mean a washroom, and in the 1920s a toilet.

57 Daughter (and granddaughter) of Jocasta : ANTIGONE

“Antigone” is a tragedy written by Greek playwright Sophocles and first performed in 442 BC. Antigone is the daughter of King Oedipus of Thebes, and was born out of the incestuous relationship of the king with his mother Jocasta.

Down

2 Mr. Microphone manufacturer : RONCO

Ronco is a company the builds and sells products mainly for the kitchen. Over the years, the company has been closely associated with the “-O-Matic” suffix, and particularly the “Veg-O-Matic” vegetable slicer. Ronco is also associated with the phrase “set it and forget it”, which was used for the Showtime Rotisserie Grill.

3 Cool digs? : IGLOO

The Inuit word for “house” is “iglu”, which we usually write as “igloo”. The Greenlandic (yes, that’s a language) word for “house” is very similar, namely “igdlo”. The walls of igloos are tremendous insulators, due to the air pockets in the blocks of snow.

4 Indian state on the Arabian Sea : GOA

Goa is the smallest state in India, and is located in the southwest of the country. The Portuguese landed in Goa in the early 1500s, at first peacefully carrying out trade, but then took the area by force creating Portuguese India. Portugal held onto Portuguese India even after the British pulled out of India in 1947, until the Indian Army marched into the area in 1961.

The Arabian Sea is an arm of the Indian Ocean that lies off the south coasts of Oman, Yemen, Pakistan and Iran. It is bounded in the west by Somalia, and in the east by India.

5 The Theatre Cat in Broadway’s “Cats” : GUS

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s source material for his hit musical “Cats” was T. S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”. Eliot’s collection of whimsical poems was published in 1939, and was a personal favorite of Webber as he was growing up. “Cats” is the second longest running show in Broadway history (“Phantom of the Opera” is the longest and is still running; deservedly so in my humble opinion). My wife and I have seen “Cats” a couple of times and really enjoyed it …

10 Bubble and squeak ingredient, slangily : SPUD

Bubble and squeak is a dish that originated in the UK. The basic dish is made from leftover mashed potato and cabbage, which are mixed together and pan-fried. We have a similar dish in Ireland called colcannon. I love colcannon, absolutely love it …

11 Communication that’s seen but not heard, for short : ASL

It’s really quite unfortunate that American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) are very different, and someone who has learned to sign in one cannot understand someone signing in the other.

12 1991 Kenneth Branagh film about reincarnation : DEAD AGAIN

Kenneth Branagh is a much-respected Shakespearean actor and film director from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Not only is Branagh familiar with playing Shakespearean characters on stage, he is also noted for many performances in Shakespearean plays adapted for the big screen. Branagh was married to the magnificent actress Emma Thompson, and after their divorce spent years in a relationship with actress Helena Bonham Carter. Recently, I have been enjoying watching Branagh in the crime TV series called “Wallander” that is set in Sweden.

25 Jimmy Dorsey standard with the line “You’re like the fragrance of blossoms fair” : SO RARE

“So Rare” is a song that first became popular with a recording by Guy Lombardo in 1937. “So Rare” was to be a major hit for Jimmy Dorsey twenty years later, in 1957.

26 Common diagnostic for epileptics : EEG TEST

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a record of electrical activity caused by the firing of neurons within the brain. The EEG might be used to diagnose epilepsy, or perhaps to determine if a patient is “brain dead”.

28 Caribbean land named by Columbus : GUADELOUPE

Guadeloupe is an island in the Caribbean, and is one of the Leeward Islands. It is an overseas department of France, and as such is part of the European Union.

30 Efficiency stat : MPG

Miles per gallon (mpg)

31 Word whose first letter is dropped in contractions : ARE

… as in “you’re” and “we’re”, for example.

32 Country superfans : JINGOISTS

Jingoism is an extreme form of nationalism exhibited by a country that uses threats or force internationally in order to advance its national interests. The term originated in England and comes from the expression “by jingo”, a euphemism for “by Jesus” that was used as an oath.

33 Therapists’ org. : APA

American Psychiatric Association (APA)

35 Three CDs? : MCC

In Roman numerals, three times CD (400) is MCC (1200).

42 Bygone saxophone great, familiarly : TRANE

John Coltrane was a jazz saxophonist who also went by the nickname “Trane”. John’s son Ravi Coltrane is also a noted jazz saxophonist.

43 Collide with in an intersection, perhaps : T-BONE

A broadside collision between two cars is also known as a right-angle or t-bone collision. The side of one vehicle is impacted by the front of another, often leaving the vehicles locked in a T-formation.

45 John who wrote “Appointment in Samarra” : O’HARA

“Appointment in Samarra” was John O’Hara’s first novel, and was published in 1934. Samarra is a city north of Baghdad in Iraq, although the story itself takes place in a fictional town in Pennsylvania. The novel deals with the last three days in the life of Julian English, describing how he destroys himself with a series compulsive acts leading up to his suicide. This one doesn’t qualify as light reading for the plane …

46 Money at una casa de cambio : PESOS

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”.

47 Panache : STYLE

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.

49 So : ERGO

“Ergo” is a Latin word meaning “hence, therefore”, and one that we’ve absorbed directly into English.

55 Photographer Goldin : NAN

Nan Goldin is an American photographer who works out of New York, Berlin and Paris.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Goddess played by Rene Russo in “Thor” : FRIGGA
7 Single-minded pursuits : CRUSADES
15 Quit : LOG OUT
16 Swimmer off the coast of Greenland : HARP SEAL
17 Bringing up the rear : IN LAST
18 Having hooves : UNGULATE
19 E-4 or E-6, in the Army: Abbr. : NCO
20 Stayed close to : HUGGED
22 Kool Moe ___ (first rapper to perform at the Grammys) : DEE
23 Shrewdness : GOOD SENSE
26 Brother of the Wild West : EARP
27 Laugh hysterically : ROAR
28 One of the Brady kids : GREG
30 Summer broadcast for ESPN : MAJOR LEAGUE GAME
37 What many doctors and lawyers work in : PRIVATE PRACTICE
38 It’s sanctioned by a “G” : GENERAL AUDIENCE
39 Skipper’s opposite : GOER
40 Risks : BETS
41 Gobs : A TON
43 Things felt at a casino? : TABLETOPS
48 Start of a cycle? : TRI-
49 Nascent stage : EMBRYO
51 Riled (up) : HET
52 Lavatory : WASHROOM
54 On edge : UNEASY
57 Daughter (and granddaughter) of Jocasta : ANTIGONE
58 Police : PATROL
59 Good as new : RESTORED
60 Bundle : ENCASE

Down

1 Brief affair : FLING
2 Mr. Microphone manufacturer : RONCO
3 Cool digs? : IGLOO
4 Indian state on the Arabian Sea : GOA
5 The Theatre Cat in Broadway’s “Cats” : GUS
6 Bad way to be left : AT THE ALTAR
7 Slowly moves (along) : CHUGS
8 Shooting location : RANGE
9 Hankering : URGE
10 Bubble and squeak ingredient, slangily : SPUD
11 Communication that’s seen but not heard, for short : ASL
12 1991 Kenneth Branagh film about reincarnation : DEAD AGAIN
13 Diner : EATER
14 Computer mode : SLEEP
21 Pull off a spool : UNREEL
24 Didn’t pull over : DROVE ON
25 Jimmy Dorsey standard with the line “You’re like the fragrance of blossoms fair” : SO RARE
26 Common diagnostic for epileptics : EEG TEST
28 Caribbean land named by Columbus : GUADELOUPE
29 Rattle off : RECITE
30 Efficiency stat : MPG
31 Word whose first letter is dropped in contractions : ARE
32 Country superfans : JINGOISTS
33 Therapists’ org. : APA
34 Squalid : GRUBBY
35 Three CDs? : MCC
36 Wide shoe spec : EEE
41 Having it out : AT WAR
42 Bygone saxophone great, familiarly : TRANE
43 Collide with in an intersection, perhaps : T-BONE
44 Packing : ARMED
45 John who wrote “Appointment in Samarra” : O’HARA
46 Money at una casa de cambio : PESOS
47 Panache : STYLE
49 So : ERGO
50 Tie up : MOOR
53 #1, e.g. : HIT
55 Photographer Goldin : NAN
56 And all that: Abbr. : ETC

14 thoughts on “0517-19 NY Times Crossword 17 May 19, Friday”

  1. 48:38 had DOER for GOER at39A….never heard of JINGOISTS.
    Getting one wrong on a tough puzzle is very disheartening

  2. As with most Friday puzzles, this one took some time. But finished with no errors, which means I will have some difficulty in the poker tournament tonight. I thought the cluing was especially well-crafted, 35 down being my favorite… Three CDs? Brilliant!

  3. I too had to guess at the letter in square 4 and had FRIAGA/AOA being a little thin on Goddesses and Indian geography. Got the rest although I almost walked away early in. Can’t decide if I admired the cluing or not, but it’s Friday, after all. Yes, 3 CDs was a good one.

  4. 35:41, no errors. Quite a challenge, happy to finish with no errors. Once I changed 11D from ESP to ASL, and 34D from SHABBY to GRUBBY, the right half of the grid fell quickly. The left half was a different story. Took a while to figure out that 1D was FLING not TRYST, 41A was A TON not A LOT, and 52A was WASHROOM not BATHROOM.

  5. Is there a bit of a theme in the first words of the center clues – major, private, general, and NCO, jingoist and at war? A military theme?

  6. Very good Friday puzzle, including some unknowns up top, including SPUD (as clued) and FRIGGA. Didn’t finish, but liked it.

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