0524-19 NY Times Crossword 24 May 19, Friday

Constructed by: Stanley Newman
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

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

17 “___ LANDS!” (headline of 1927) : LINDY

Renowned aviator Charles Lindbergh was dubbed “Lucky Lindy” by the press, which was perhaps a reference to his narrow escape in four airplane crashes, including two incidents when he had to deploy his parachute.

Paris-Le Bourget Airport was built about 7 miles from the center of Paris in 1919. It was the city’s only airport for 13 years, until Orly Airport opened in 1932. One of the most famous arrivals at Le Bourget was the landing of the Spirit of St. Louis piloted by Charles Lindbergh in 1927, marking the first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic. The airport is used today only for business aviation, although it does host the Paris Air Show every year.

18 Shoe brand that’s also a man’s name : ALDO

ALDO is a chain of shoe stores that was founded in Montreal in 1972 by Moroccan-born Canadian Aldo Bensadoun. Bensadoun is the son of a retailer of shoes in Morocco and France, and the grandchild of a cobbler. A man with shoe leather in his blood …

21 Unctuous utterances : SMARM

The word “smarm” describes insincere flattery. The term comes from a colloquial word “smalm” that was used in the mid-19th century to mean “smear the hair with some sort of styling product”.

A person described as “unctuous” is oily and insincere. “Unctum” is the Latin for “ointment”.

23 Prey for a heron : NEWT

Herons are birds with long legs that inhabit freshwater and coastal locales. Some herons are routinely referred to as egrets, and others as bitterns. Herons look a lot like storks and cranes, but differ in their appearance in flight. Herons fly with their necks retracted in an S-shape, whereas storks and cranes have their necks extended.

25 Short : SHY

To be shy is to be short, lacking. This use of “shy” originated as gambling slang meaning “owe money to the pot”.

26 TV series inspired by Sherlock Holmes : HOUSE, MD

I think that “House” is one of the better shows made by Fox television. It is fun for me to see English actor Hugh Laurie in the title role as coming from the other side of the Atlantic I have been watching him in various comedic roles for decades. Famously he played Bertie Wooster opposite Stephen Fry in P.G. Wodehouse’s “Jeeves & Wooster”, as well as one of the bumbling “bad guys” in “101 Dalmatians” (the version starring Glenn Close).

29 Someone glimpsed in a concert film, maybe : ROADIE

A roadie is someone who loads, unloads and sets up equipment for musicians on tour, on the “road”.

31 Rum cocktail : MAI TAI

The mai tai cocktail is strongly associated with the Polynesian islands, but the drink was supposedly invented in 1944 in Trader Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California. One recipe is 6 parts white rum, 3 parts orange curaçao, 3 parts Orgeat syrup, 1 part rock candy syrup, 2 parts fresh lime juice, all mixed with ice and then a float added of 6 parts dark rum. “Maita’i” is the Tahitian word for “good”.

35 So-called “Grandmother of Europe,” born 5/24/1819 : QUEEN VICTORIA

Queen Victoria ruled over the UK from 1837 until her death in 1901. Her reign saw the expansion of the British Empire, especially with the incorporation of British possessions on the Indian subcontinent. Indeed, for the last quarter century of her reign, Victoria also used the title Empress of India.

41 Inventor of a 17th-century calculator : PASCAL

Blaise Pascal was an important French mathematician, physicist and philosopher, who lived in the mid-1600s. In math, his name was given to Pascal’s triangle, a triangle of numbers in which each number is the sum of the two numbers above it. Pascal also wrote on the subject of theology. His most important theological writings were published after his death under the title “Pensées”, meaning “Thoughts”.

48 La saison de juillet : ETE

In French, “juillet” (July) is a month in the “été” (summer).

53 Time being : NONCE

The quaint phrase “for the nonce” means “for the present, for now”.

59 Pioneering rocket scientist Wernher von ___ : BRAUN

Wernher von Braun was a renowned scientist who is credited with inventing the V-2 rocket for Nazi Germany during WWII and the Saturn V rocket for the US during the Space Race. While living in his native Germany, von Braun was a member of the Nazi Party, and later a member of the SS. AS Germany’s defeat became inevitable, von Braun and his team managed to arrange relocation to Austria where in order to surrender to the Americans and avoid capture by the Russians. The scientists were then relocated to the US as part of an OSS program called Operation Paperclip, which ultimately transferred over 1,500 scientists from Germany and the rest of occupied Europe just after WWII. The V-2 team were settled eventually in Huntsville, Alabama where von Braun was to live and work for the next twenty years.

62 Worshiper of the war god Huitzilopochtli : AZTEC

Huitzilopochtli was the national god of the Aztecs.

64 Like the sound of an oboe : REEDY

The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name “oboe” comes from the French “hautbois” which means “high wood”.

Down

1 Patron of sailors : ST ELMO

Saint Elmo is the patron saint of sailors. More formally referred to as Erasmus of Formia, St. Elmo is perhaps venerated by sailors as tradition tells us that he continued preaching despite the ground beside him being struck by a thunderbolt. Sailors started to pray to him when in danger of storms and lightning. He lends his name to the electrostatic weather phenomenon (often seen at sea) known as St. Elmo’s fire. The “fire” is actually a plasma discharge caused by air ionizing at the end of a pointed object (like the mast of a ship), something often observed during electrical storms.

2 Horse-drawn four-wheeled carriage : LANDAU

A landau is a 4-wheeled, horse-drawn carriage. It was a quite sophisticated vehicle in its day, with metal springs for a comfortable ride, and the smaller version (a landaulet) had a top that could fold down. Landaus were so called as they were first produced in the German city of Landau.

5 By ___ of : DINT

A dint is an effort or power, as in “he made it by dint of hard work”. “By dint of” is a new expression to me, but it has been around since the early 1300s. I must have been out that day …

8 Star of Broadway’s “The Lady and Her Music,” 1981 : 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.

10 Cartoon character often shown with his tongue out : ODIE

Jon Arbuckle is a fictional character, and the owner of Odie from Jim Davis’s comic strip “Garfield”. Garfield is Arbuckle’s orange tabby cat. Odie is his less-than-smart beagle.

11 Mass movement : AGNUS DEI

“Agnus Dei” is Latin for “Lamb of God”, The expression is used in Christian traditions to describe Jesus Christ, hence symbolizing his role as a sacrificial offering to atone for the sins of man.

12 Cold War opponent, informally : RED CHINA

The association of the color red with communism dates back to the French Revolution. A red flag was chosen as a symbol by the revolutionaries, with the color representing the blood of workers who had died in the fight against capitalism.

The term “Cold War” was coined by the novelist George Orwell in a 1945 essay about the atomic bomb. Orwell described a world under threat of nuclear war as having a “peace that is no peace”, in a permanent state of “cold war”. The specific use of “cold war” to describe the tension between the Eastern bloc and the Western allies is attributed to a 1947 speech by Bernard Baruch, adviser to Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

14 URL element : SLASH

The punctuation mark “/” has been around for a long time, and has been known by several names including “oblique”, “stroke” and “virgule”. The name “slash” is relatively new, arising in the very early 1960s and gaining popularity with the proliferation of computers.

An Internet address (like NYXCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a Uniform Resource Locators (URL).

22 Rickrolling or the Dancing Baby, e.g. : MEME

A meme (from “mineme”) is a cultural practice or idea that is passed on verbally or by repetition from one person to another. The term lends itself very well to the online world where links, emails, files etc. are so easily propagated.

Rick Astley is an English singer, best known for his 1987 worldwide hit “Never Gonna Give You Up”. He retired in 1993 but became a huge hit on the Internet in 2007 when a YouTube video of “Never Gonna Give You Up” was chosen by tricksters as a link (labeled as something else) that was sent around the world so that the clip was seen by millions online. The phenomenon was given the name “Rickrolling”. With all the new exposure that the song received Astley made a whopping $12 in royalties from YouTube. Yep, 12 whole dollars.

24 London or Manchester : WRITER

The author Jack London is a bit of a local hero in the Bay Area where I live. London was born in San Francisco, and there is a famous Jack London Square in Oakland, California that was named in his honor. London’s most famous works are “The Call of the Wild” and “White Fang”, both of which are set in the Klondike Gold Rush.

William Manchester was an American author and historian. Perhaps his best-known work is his best-seller “The Death of a President” first published in 1967. It is a comprehensive account of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

27 Priciest 1952 Topps baseball card : MANTLE

Mickey Mantle only played professional baseball for the one team, spending 18 years with the New York Yankees. Mickey Mantle memorabilia is highly prized, especially since he retired from the game in 1969, and even more so since he died in 1995. The only other player memorabilia said to command a higher price is Babe Ruth’s. Mantle holds the record for the most career home runs by a switch hitter, as well as the most World Series home runs.

Topps was a relaunch of an older company called American Leaf Tobacco, with the Topps name used from 1938. The earlier company was in trouble because it could not get supplies of its Turkish tobacco, so it moved into another chewy industry, making bubblegum. Nowadays, Topps is known for including (mainly) sports-themed trading cards in the packs of gum.

28 Shabby club : DIVE

We’ve been using the word “dive” in American English for a run-down bar since the latter half of the 19th century. The term comes from the fact that disreputable taverns were usually located in basements, so one had to literally and figuratively dive into them.

33 Part of un opéra : ACTE

In French, “un opéra” (an opera) usually comprises several “actes” (acts).

35 Louis ___ (French king) : QUATORZE

Louis XIV (Louis Quatorze) is perhaps the most famous of the kings (“rois”) of France and was known as the Sun King (“le Roi Soleil”). Louis XIV was king from 1638 to 1715. That reign of over 72 years is the longest reign of any European monarch.

38 Portion of Alexander Pope’s work : ODES

Alexander Pope was an English poet who was famous for his own compositions as well as for a translation of Homer’s works. One of Pope’s most notable poems is “Ode on Solitude” that opens with:

Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.

Pope wrote that when he was just twelve years old!

42 F.B.I., e.g. : AGENCY

What we know today as the FBI was set up in 1908 as the BOI, the Bureau of Investigation. The name was changed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1935. The Bureau was set up at the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt. President Roosevelt was largely moved to do so after the 1901 assassination of President McKinley, as there was a perception that anarchists were threatening law and order. The FBI’s motto uses the organization’s initialism, and is “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity”.

44 Source for fine sweaters : ALPACA

Alpacas are like small llamas, but unlike llamas were never beasts of burden. Alpacas were bred specifically for the fleece. As such, there are no known wild alpacas these days, even in their native Peru.

45 Jamie ___, co-star in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” movies : DORNAN

“Fifty Shades of Grey” is an incredibly popular erotic novel by British writer E. L. James. “Fifty Shades of Grey” is the fastest-selling paperback of all time. There are two other titles to complete the trilogy: “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed”.

47 Kind of jelly : ROYAL

Royal jelly is a glandular secretion from worker honey bees. It is used to feed all bee larvae. Most of the larvae are fed royal jelly for just three days, and these larvae develop into drones (males) and workers (sterile females). When the existing queen honey bee grows old or tired, the workers replace her by choosing several small larvae to feed with copious amounts of royal jelly. This triggers the development of a new queen, with fully developed ovaries for the laying of eggs.

50 Presidential middle name : ABRAM

James Abram Garfield, the 20th President, was assassinated in office. He was shot twice, and one bullet could not be found (it was lodged in his spine). The inventor Alexander Graham Bell developed a metal detector in an attempt to locate the bullet, but apparently he was unsuccessful because of interference from the metal bed frame on which the president lay. Garfield died two months after being shot.

56 Colorful breakfast bowlful : TRIX

Trix is a corn-based breakfast cereal that has been around since 1954, produced by General Mills. Ads for the cereal featured Trix Rabbit, who would try hard to get hold of bowls of the cereal. He would always get caught though, and be admonished with, “Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!” With 46% sugar content, the rabbit probably wouldn’t have liked it anyway …

57 Who often says “I found this on the web” : 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.

61 Sam Spade, e.g., informally : TEC

Private detective Sam Spade is the main character in Dashiell Hammett’s novel “The Maltese Falcon”. Famously, Spade was played by Humphrey Bogart in the 1941 film adaptation directed by John Huston.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Too fast to be careful : SLAPDASH
9 Stockpile : HOARD
14 Gaze at, as someone’s eyes : STARE INTO
15 Tool used while on foot : EDGER
16 Be heedful : LEND AN EAR
17 “___ LANDS!” (headline of 1927) : LINDY
18 Shoe brand that’s also a man’s name : ALDO
19 Exact match : TWIN
20 Euphemism for Satan, with “the” : DEUCE
21 Unctuous utterances : SMARM
23 Prey for a heron : NEWT
25 Short : SHY
26 TV series inspired by Sherlock Holmes : HOUSE, MD
29 Someone glimpsed in a concert film, maybe : ROADIE
31 Rum cocktail : MAI TAI
34 Need settling : PEND
35 So-called “Grandmother of Europe,” born 5/24/1819 : QUEEN VICTORIA
39 Boot : OUST
40 Reached out with one’s hands? : TEXTED
41 Inventor of a 17th-century calculator : PASCAL
43 One use for a tablet : E-READER
48 La saison de juillet : ETE
49 Backpack and its contents, e.g. : GEAR
52 What a football penalty may be seen in : SLO-MO
53 Time being : NONCE
55 Odds and evens, say : BETS
58 Do so hope : PRAY
59 Pioneering rocket scientist Wernher von ___ : BRAUN
60 Fictional land named in some real-life international law cases : RURITANIA
62 Worshiper of the war god Huitzilopochtli : AZTEC
63 Opening of an account : AS I RECALL …
64 Like the sound of an oboe : REEDY
65 Some descendants of 62-Acrosses : MEXICANS

Down

1 Patron of sailors : ST ELMO
2 Horse-drawn four-wheeled carriage : LANDAU
3 Passions : ARDORS
4 Shade of green : PEA
5 By ___ of : DINT
6 Over : ANEW
7 Bring discredit upon : STAIN
8 Star of Broadway’s “The Lady and Her Music,” 1981 : HORNE
9 Didn’t stray from : HELD TO
10 Cartoon character often shown with his tongue out : ODIE
11 Mass movement : AGNUS DEI
12 Cold War opponent, informally : RED CHINA
13 Not moved at all : DRY-EYED
14 URL element : SLASH
22 Rickrolling or the Dancing Baby, e.g. : MEME
24 London or Manchester : WRITER
27 Priciest 1952 Topps baseball card : MANTLE
28 Shabby club : DIVE
30 National Garden Mo. : APR
32 Passes, informally : TIX
33 Part of un opéra : ACTE
35 Louis ___ (French king) : QUATORZE
36 Grp. that no one under 30 can join : US SENATE
37 One way to reduce a sentence : ETC
38 Portion of Alexander Pope’s work : ODES
39 Amenity at many a wedding reception : OPEN BAR
42 F.B.I., e.g. : AGENCY
44 Source for fine sweaters : ALPACA
45 Jamie ___, co-star in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” movies : DORNAN
46 Modern cause of flooding : EMAILS
47 Kind of jelly : ROYAL
50 Presidential middle name : ABRAM
51 Get more mileage from : REUSE
54 Signaled to start : CUED
56 Colorful breakfast bowlful : TRIX
57 Who often says “I found this on the web” : SIRI
61 Sam Spade, e.g., informally : TEC

10 thoughts on “0524-19 NY Times Crossword 24 May 19, Friday”

  1. 51:55 no errors….it took a while for the light to come on for 35D and as for 5D wherever Bill was that day I must have been there too

  2. Good Friday test that featured four words not usually used in everyday speech; DINT, SMARM, NONCE and our old friend TEC. No errors. I thought the cluing was reliably cryptic, but fair.

  3. 15:33, no errors. Had no trouble with SMARM, usually heard it as ‘smarmy’. But, as a teenager in the late 50’s and early 60’s, when slicking our hair down with a half bottle of styling cream was the fashion, I have never heard the term ‘smalm’ in any context, ever.

    Also found it interesting to learn that the French convention is to refer to King Louis XIV as fourteen (quatorze) rather than fourteenth (quatorzieme).

  4. @Bill … Is it possible that you have a typo in your discussion of “smarm”? Like @BruceB, I’d never heard of “smalm” and a few minutes research online didn’t reveal any references to it, either, but I found comments to the effect that “smarm” itself originally had the meaning you give to “smalm”.

    1. @Dave
      My bad. I should have noted that “smalm” was archaic, and no longer in use. All fixed, and thanks!

      1. @Bill … I have to note that you were actually right all along! A sore shoulder had prevented me from hauling my copies of Webster’s 3rd and the OED down off the shelf, but I have now done that and found “smalm” in both of them. So … a lesson for my future self: online sources are not always as complete as one would like!

  5. 22:15, 1 error.

    27D: The Mantle card in that set is expensive for several reasons (namely moms throwing out the old toys), as well as the entire 1952 Topps set (namely because it’s the first produced Topps set). A lot of value depends on condition, but let’s just say you could buy a new car for what you’d pay for a Mantle in poor shape and one in pristine condition? Let’s just say you’d have to put out enough that you could retire on and then some.

  6. This was the best crossword, in my opinion, in a long time. What clever clueing! And it wasn’t even an Agard. You had to be a real reader to sail through this one.

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