0525-19 NY Times Crossword 25 May 19, Saturday

Constructed by: Paolo Pasco
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 12m 01s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

16 ___ Collezioni (fashion brand) : ARMANI

Giorgio Armani is an Italian fashion designer and founder of the company that has borne his name since 1975. Although Armani is famous for his menswear, the company makes everything from jewelry to perfume.

18 Claptrap : DRIVEL

“Claptrap” these days means nonsense talk. It was originally a term used on the stage meaning a trick to attract applause, hence the name “clap trap”.

19 With 53-Across, jalopy : TIN …

The origins of our word “jalopy” meaning “dilapidated, old motor car” seem to have been lost in time, but the word has been around since the 1920s. One credible suggestion is that it comes from Xalapa, Mexico as the Xalapa scrap yards were the destination for many discarded American automobiles.

20 Establishments whose products might be described by this answer + H : DELIS

Some products made by delis are “delish”.

25 “Poor venomous fool,” in Shakespeare : ASP

In William Shakespeare’s play “Antony and Cleopatra”, the heroine of the piece addresses the asp as she uses the snake to commit suicide:

Come, thou mortal wretch,
With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate
Of life at once untie: poor venomous fool,
Be angry, and dispatch.

Later she says:

Peace, peace!
Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,
That sucks the nurse asleep?

27 It appears over a tilde : ESC

The escape key (Esc) was originally used to control computer peripherals. It was a key that allowed the computer operator to stop what the peripheral was doing (cancel a print job, for example). Nowadays the escape key is used for all sorts of things, especially in gaming programs.

The tilde (~) diacritical mark is very much associated with the Spanish language. We use the name “tilde” in English, taking that name from Spanish. Confusingly, the word “tilde” in Spanish is used more generally to mean “accent mark, diacritic”, of which a “~” is just one. What we call a “tilde” in English is usually referred to as a “virgulilla” or “tilde de la eñe” in Spanish.

30 Drop ___ : TROU

“Trou” is short for “trousers”.

32 Emmy/Tony winner Arthur : BEA

Actress Bea Arthur’s most famous roles were on television, as the lead in the “All in the Family” spin-off “Maude” and as Dorothy Zbornak in “The Golden Girls”. Arthur also won a Tony for playing Vera Charles on stage in the original cast of “Mame” in 1966, two years after she played Yente the matchmaker in the original cast of “Fiddler on the Roof”.

36 Only person to win an Oscar for playing an Oscar-winning actress : CATE BLANCHETT

Cate Blanchett is a great actress from Australia, and a winner of an Academy Award for playing Katherine Hepburn in “The Aviator”. Winning for that role made Blanchett the first person to win an Academy Award for playing an actor (Hepburn) who had also won an Oscar. Now that, that is trivial information …

37 Book of stars? : MICHELIN GUIDE

Michelin is a manufacturer of tires that is based in France. The company was founded by brothers Édouard and André Michelin in 1888. The brothers were running a rubber factory at the time, and invented the world’s first removable pneumatic tire, an invention that they used to launch their new company. Michelin is also noted for rating restaurants and accommodation in its famous Michelin Travel Guides, awarding coveted Michelin “stars”.

38 Tats : INK

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are sometimes referred to as “ink”.

39 A’s, e.g. … or a word following “A” : TEAM

The Oakland Athletics (OAK) baseball franchise was founded back in 1901 as the Philadelphia Athletics. The team became the Kansas City Athletics in 1955 and moved to Oakland in 1968. Today, the Athletics are usually referred to as “the A’s”.

“The A-Team” is an action television series that originally ran in the eighties. The A-Team was a group of ex-US special forces personnel who became mercenaries. Star of the show was Hollywood actor George Peppard (as “Hannibal” Smith), ably assisted by Mr. T (as “B.A.” Baracus) and Robert Vaughn (as Hunt Stockwell).

40 Harrisburg-to-Allentown dir. : ENE

The city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is the state’s capital. The city was named for John Harris, Sr. who operated a ferry across the Susquehanna River that runs through Harrisburg. Harrisburg is home to the Three Mile Island nuclear plant, which is located alongside the Susquehanna, and which had a partial meltdown in 1979.

The Pennsylvania city of Allentown was founded in 1762 by William Allen, a loyalist who served as Chief Justice of the Province of Pennsylvania and also mayor of Philadelphia. Allen named the new development “Northampton Town”, although the the name “Allentown” was used by locals for decades. The official name change had to wait until 1838. Today, Allentown is the third-largest city in Pennsylvania, after Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

45 Cold-weather coat : RIME

Rime is the beautiful coating of ice that forms on surfaces like roofs, trees and grass, when cold water freezes instantly under the right conditions.

49 Pro ___ : RATA

“Pro rata” is a Latin phrase meaning “in proportion”.

50 The half-blood prince in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” : SNAPE

Severus Snape is a character in the “Harry Potter” novels by J. K. Rowling. He was played by the wonderful Alan Rickman on the big screen.

The titles of the seven “Harry Potter” books are:

  1. “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (“… Sorcerer’s Stone” in the U.S)
  2. “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”
  3. “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”
  4. “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”
  5. “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”
  6. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”
  7. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”

I tried reading the first one, and gave up three-quarters of the way through …

54 “The Little Mermaid” lyricist Howard : ASHMAN

Howard Ashman was a playwright who was better known as a lyricist, especially for Disney movies such as “The Little Mermaid”, “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin”. Ashman also directed, wrote the book and wrote the lyrics for the 1982 musical “Little Shop of Horrors”.

57 Insincere welcome : GLAD-HAND

“To glad-hand”, meaning “to extend a welcome”, has been around as an expression since the end of the 1800s, although it was used less cynically back then. Then along came politicians …

60 Push-ups, e.g. : LINGERIE

“Lingerie” is a French term. As used in France, it just means any underwear, worn by either males or females. In English we use “lingerie” to describe alluring underclothing worn by women. The term “lingerie” comes into English via the French word “linge” meaning “washables”, and ultimately from the Latin “linum”, meaning “linen”. We tend not to pronounce the word correctly in English, either here in the US or across the other side of the Atlantic. The French pronunciation is more like “lan-zher-ee”, as opposed to “lon-zher-ay” (American) and “lon-zher-ee” (British).

61 Creator of Kermit the Frog and Rowlf the Dog : HENSON

Jim Henson’s ensemble of puppets known as the Muppets made their debut on the TV show “Sam and Friends” in the 1950s. Some Muppets started appearing in 1969 on “Sesame Street”, and then the troupe were given “The Muppet Show” in 1976. And today, there’s no sign of their popularity waning.

Down

2 Musical with the song “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” : ANNIE

The Broadway musical “Annie” is based on the Harold Gray comic strip “Little Orphan Annie”. There have been two film adaptations of the musical. Both were really quite successful, including one released in 1982 directed by John Huston of all people. It was his only ever musical.

3 Patriot who said “Moderation in temper, is always a virtue; but moderation in principle, is a species of vice” : PAINE

Thomas Paine was an English author who achieved incredible success with his pamphlet “Common Sense” published in 1776 which advocated independence of colonial America from Britain. Paine had immigrated to the American colonies just two years before his pamphlet was published, and so was just in time to make a major contribution to the American Revolution.

4 ___ City (sobriquet for New Haven) : ELM

The city of New Haven, Connecticut was founded in 1638 by Puritan immigrants from England. New Haven is home to Yale University. The city also initiated the first public tree planting program in the country. The large elms included in the program led to New Haven being called “the Elm City”.

6 #, in chess notation : MATE

In the game of chess, when the king is under immediate threat of capture it is said to be “in check”. If the king cannot escape from check, then the game ends in “checkmate” and the player in check loses. In the original Sanskrit game of chess, the king could actually be captured. Then a rule was introduced requiring that a warning be given if capture was imminent (today we announce “check!”) so that an accidental and early ending to the game doesn’t occur.

7 Sardinia, e.g., to locals : ISOLA

In Italian, no man is an “isola” (island).

Sardinia is an autonomous region of Italy, an island in the Mediterranean off the west coast of the country. It lies to the south of the French island of Corsica. Sardinia is the second largest island in the whole of the Mediterranean Sea (Sicily is the largest).

8 Website relative of JDate : CHRISTIANMINGLE

Spark Networks is company that owns several special-interest dating sites online. The most famous is probably ChristianMingle.com, but there is also BlackSingles.com, LDSSingles.com, JDate.com and CatholicMingle.com.

9 ___ joke (total groaner) : DAD

I tell dad jokes all the time, just to annoy the kids …

  • I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. It’s impossible to put down!
  • If you see a robbery at an Apple Store does that make you an iWitness?
  • A termite walks into a bar and asks, “Is the bar tender here?”
  • Two guys walk into a bar, the third one ducks.
  • What’s the best part about living in Switzerland? I don’t know, but the flag is a big plus.

11 Off in biblical lands? : SMITE

To smite is to strike with a firm blow. The term “smite” can also mean “strike down and slay”.

12 Nosh : HAVE A BITE

Our word “nosh” has been around since the late fifties, when it was imported from the Yiddish word “nashn” meaning “to nibble”. We use “nosh” as a noun that means “snack”, or as a verb meaning “to eat between meals”.

14 Attacks, as in a joust : TILTS AT

Tilting is the most recognized form of jousting. Jousting can involve the use of a number of different weapons, but when lances are used, the competition is called tilting.

24 Tarot card that bears the numeral XIII : DEATH

Tarot cards have been around since the mid-1400s, and for centuries were simply used for entertainment as a game. It has only been since the late 1800s that the cards have been used by fortune tellers to predict the future. The list of tarot cards includes the Wheel of Fortune, the Hanged Man and the Lovers.

28 Willy Wonka’s factory output : SWEETS

Willy Wonka is the lead character in the 1964 novel by Roald Dahl called “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory”. Willy Wonka has been portrayed on the big screen twice. Gene Wilder was a fabulous Wonka in the 1971 version titled “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”, and Johnny Depp played him in the Tim Burton movie from 2005 called “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. I’m not too fond of Tim Burton movies, so I haven’t seen that one …

33 Event for computer whizzes : HACKATHON

A hackathon is an event in which software developers collaborate intensively on a project, usually for a day or a week. It is a hack marathon, with “hack” in this case being legal, explorative programming. Apparently, the first event described as a hackathon was held by ten American developers who met in Calgary to work on cryptographic software. Calgary was chosen so as to avoid US export regulations relating to software.

35 Jon of “Napoleon Dynamite” : HEDER

“Napoleon Dynamite” is a comedy film released in 2004 that stars Jon Heder in the title role. The movie was a commercial success above and beyond expectations. “Napoleon Dynamite” was made on the relatively low budget of about $400,000, and yet grossed almost $45 million within a year. The title character is a nerdy high school student who spends much of life living in his fantasy world.

36 Film buff : CINEASTE

A cineaste is a cinephile, a person with a deep interest in cinema. The term “cineaste” comes from the French “cinéaste”, which refers to a filmmaker.

37 Hebrew scripture commentary : MIDRASH

A midrash is a learned interpretation of the Torah texts that are central to the Jewish tradition.

42 Tiffany products : LAMPS

The archetypal Tiffany lamp is made up of pieces of colored, leaded glass with a copper foil bonding the pieces together, and a solder applied over the foil. The resulting effect resembles a stained glass window.

44 One of the Obamas : MALIA

Malia Obama is the oldest of Barack and Michelle Obama’s two daughters. Malia graduated from the private Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., the same school that Chelsea Clinton attended. Malia took a gap year after leaving high school, and spent the 2016 summer as an intern in the US Embassy in Madrid, before heading off to Harvard in 2017.

51 Creperie equipment : PANS

“Crêpe” is the French word for “pancake”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Speaker’s accessory : LAPEL MIC
9 “Phooey!” : DASH IT!
15 Not running loose, say : ON A LEASH
16 ___ Collezioni (fashion brand) : ARMANI
17 One with drawing power in Hollywood? : ANIMATOR
18 Claptrap : DRIVEL
19 With 53-Across, jalopy : TIN
20 Establishments whose products might be described by this answer + H : DELIS
22 Scripture : TEXT
23 Follow : HEED
25 “Poor venomous fool,” in Shakespeare : ASP
26 Brings in : REAPS
27 It appears over a tilde : ESC
30 Drop ___ : TROU
32 Emmy/Tony winner Arthur : BEA
33 Top of a Pacific island chain : HAWAIIAN SHIRT
36 Only person to win an Oscar for playing an Oscar-winning actress : CATE BLANCHETT
37 Book of stars? : MICHELIN GUIDE
38 Tats : INK
39 A’s, e.g. … or a word following “A” : TEAM
40 Harrisburg-to-Allentown dir. : ENE
41 Handles, with “with” : DEALS
43 Not the sharpest crayon in the box : DIM
45 Cold-weather coat : RIME
49 Pro ___ : RATA
50 The half-blood prince in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” : SNAPE
53 See 19-Across : CAN
54 “The Little Mermaid” lyricist Howard : ASHMAN
57 Insincere welcome : GLAD-HAND
59 Congested, in a way : STOP-GO
60 Push-ups, e.g. : LINGERIE
61 Creator of Kermit the Frog and Rowlf the Dog : HENSON
62 Book that doesn’t take long to get through : EASY READ

Down

1 Uneager : LOATH
2 Musical with the song “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” : ANNIE
3 Patriot who said “Moderation in temper, is always a virtue; but moderation in principle, is a species of vice” : PAINE
4 ___ City (sobriquet for New Haven) : ELM
5 Play auditioner’s hope : LEAD
6 #, in chess notation : MATE
7 Sardinia, e.g., to locals : ISOLA
8 Website relative of JDate : CHRISTIANMINGLE
9 ___ joke (total groaner) : DAD
10 Pirate’s exclamation : ARR!
11 Off in biblical lands? : SMITE
12 Nosh : HAVE A BITE
13 Amateurish : INEXPERT
14 Attacks, as in a joust : TILTS AT
21 Busted out of jail : SPRANG
24 Tarot card that bears the numeral XIII : DEATH
26 Enter quickly : RUSH IN
28 Willy Wonka’s factory output : SWEETS
29 Bygone communication : CABLE
31 As prompted : ON CUE
33 Event for computer whizzes : HACKATHON
34 Epic narratives : ILIADS
35 Jon of “Napoleon Dynamite” : HEDER
36 Film buff : CINEASTE
37 Hebrew scripture commentary : MIDRASH
42 Tiffany products : LAMPS
44 One of the Obamas : MALIA
46 Support group reassurance : I CARE
47 Fever : MANIA
48 Wound (up) : ENDED
51 Creperie equipment : PANS
52 Out there : EDGY
55 Long ___ : AGO
56 Prefix with binary : NON-
58 “I’m With ___” : HER

9 thoughts on “0525-19 NY Times Crossword 25 May 19, Saturday”

  1. 17:51 after fixing an error: I had put in “BAD” joke instead of “DAD” joke, didn’t quite know what to make of the resulting “BASH IT”, but didn’t give the issue sufficient thought before putting in the final letter.

  2. Couple of errors but got much further than I anticipated after first review. Some cluing was very clever and some was pretty far out there, though I’ll never say unfair. Tough one.

  3. It was a slog but made it through. Re: 59A, I hear Stop AND Go all the time but never StopGo. Is that a regional thing or just a convention to help the puzzle creator?

  4. 2 squares short of a perfect solve. Guessed ERhman instead of AShman. Still a good result on a puzzle that not too long ago I would have quit on.

  5. 48:16, 2 errors: CHRISTIAN (S)INGLE; TEA(S). I felt that this was a puzzle designed ‘not to be solved’, Bill’s 12 minute time blows me away. Didn’t help myself by initially entering ‘prompter’ in 1A and ‘charges’ in 14 D. Thought for sure I had errors at the confluence of 3 naticks: CINEASTE; MIDRASH; ASHMAN. Just threw the A and S in there to finish the puzzle.

  6. 27:32, no errors. Spent about half of that trying to figure out the lower-left, specifically STOPGO. Never heard of it until this puzzle. It’s STOPANDGO.

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