0531-19 NY Times Crossword 31 May 19, Friday

Constructed by: Sam Ezersky
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 16m 05s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Stick to one’s guns : STAND PAT

To stand pat is to resist change. The term comes from the game of poker, in which one stands pat if one keeps one’s hand as is, not drawing any extra cards.

17 Sort of pricing model with multiple tiers : FREEMIUM

The “freemium” pricing strategy is common for applications available online. In such cases, a basic product is provided free of charge, and a premium is charged for proprietary features.

20 An “A” in physics? : AMPERE

The unit of electric current is the ampere, which is abbreviated correctly to “A” rather than “amp”. It is named after French physicist André-Marie Ampère, one of the main scientists responsible for the discovery of electromagnetism.

25 What “mía” means across the Pyrenees : A MOI

“À moi” (literally “to me”) is French for “mine”.

The Pyrénées is a mountain range that runs along the border between Spain and France. Nestled between the two countries, high in the mountains, is the lovely country of Andorra, an old haunt of my family during skiing season …

31 Shell game? : SKEET

There are three types of competitive shotgun target shooting sports:

  • Skeet shooting
  • Trap shooting
  • Sporting clays

34 River that meets the Colorado at Yuma : GILA

The Gila River is a tributary of the Colorado that flows through New Mexico and Arizona. From 1848 to 1853, the Gila marked part of the border between the US and Mexico.

The Colorado River rises in the Rocky Mountains, flows through the southwestern US and northwest Mexico, and empties into the Gulf of California. Famously, it is the Colorado that forms the Grand Canyon. The best known dam on the river is the Hoover Dam, which forms Lake Mead.

The city and county of Yuma, Arizona take their name from the Quechan (aka “Yuma”) Native American tribe that inhabited the area.

39 Aquatic source of iodine : KELP

Kelps are large seaweeds that grow in kelp forests underwater. Kelps can grow to over 250 feet in length, and do so very quickly. Some kelps can grow at the rate of 1-2 feet per day.

Potassium iodide is an important nutrient, and is the most common additive used in “iodized” table salt. The addition of a source of iodine to table salt is a public health measure taken prevent iodine deficiency. Additional iodine in the diet isn’t really necessary for those who eat a reasonable amount of seafood, as there is a lot of iodine in the oceans.

40 Uncle ___, main role on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” : PHIL

The sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” originally ran from 1990 to 1996, and starred Will Smith as a teenager from Philadelphia who arrives in Bel Air to live in a mansion with his wealthy aunt and uncle.

42 Verse : POESY

“Poesy” is an alternative name for poetry, and is often used to mean the “art of poetry”.

44 Verbal attack : BROADSIDE

A broadside is a harshly spoken or written attack. The term comes from a naval attack in which all guns on one side of a warship are fired at the same time.

47 Minus sign lookalike : EN DASH

In typography, there are em dashes and en dashes. The em dash is about the width of an “m” character, and an en dash about half that, the width of an “n’ character. An en dash is used, for example, to separate numbers designating a range, as in 5-10 years. The em dash seems to be going out of style, and indeed the application I am using to write this paragraph won’t let me show you one!

55 Man’s name that’s a number in Italian : OTTO

In Italian, “due” (two) cubed is “otto” (eight).

56 Longtime head of Duke basketball, to fans : COACH K

Mike Krzyzewski is a coach and former basketball player from Chicago, Illinois. As a young man, Krzyzewski captained the Army Cadets basketball team, before serving in the Army for five years. After resigning from active duty, Coach K (as he is called) eventually took the head coaching job with the Army Cadets followed by the head coach’s position with Duke, where he has been since 1980. Today, Coach K also coaches the US International team.

58 Proudly tech-savvy sort : UBER-GEEK

Originally, a geek was a sideshow performer, perhaps one at a circus. We use the term “geek”today for someone regarded as foolish or clumsy, and also for someone who is technically driven and expert, but often socially inept.

“Über” is the German word for “over, across, above”.

61 Conferral after some two-year programs : MA DEGREE

Master of Arts (MA)

Down

1 Feature of Algeria and Egypt : SOFT G

The letter G in the words “Algeria” and “Egypt” is a soft G.

2 + 1 : THREE

2 + 1 = 3

7 ’18 honoree, today : ALUM

An alumnus (plural “alumni”) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural “alumnae”). The term comes into English from Latin, in which an alumnus is a foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or an alumnus.

8 Part of a percussion ensemble : TYMPANI

The timpani are also called the kettledrums. “Timpani” is an Italian term with the same meaning as in English, the plural of “timpano”.

12 Green hue : JADE

“Jade” is actually the name given to two different mineral rocks, both of which are used to make gemstones. The first is nephrite, a mineral with a varying degree of iron content, the more iron the greener the color. The second is jadeite, a sodium and aluminum-rich pyroxene. As well as being used for gemstones, both jade minerals can be carved into decorative pieces.

13 Sister company of Peugeot : OPEL

Adam Opel founded his company in 1863, first making sewing machines in a cowshed. Commercial success brought new premises and a new product line in 1886, namely penny-farthing bicycles. Adam Opel died in 1895, leaving his two sons with a company that made more penny-farthings and sewing machines than any other company in the world. In 1899 the two sons partnered with a locksmith and started to make cars, but not very successfully. Two years later, the locksmith was dropped in favor of a licensing arrangement with a French car company. By 1914, Opel was the largest manufacturer of automobiles in Germany. My Dad had an Opel in the seventies, a station wagon (we’d say “estate car” in Ireland) called an Opel Kadett.

Peugeot is part of PSA Peugeot Citroen, the second largest car manufacturer in Europe. Peugeot was founded in 1810, and back then manufactured coffee and pepper grinders. The company expanded into other metallic goods like umbrella frames, saw blades and famously, into bicycles (still made to this day). The bicycles were a springboard into cars, an expansion fueled by meetings with Gottlieb Daimler who provided engines for the first years of production.

14 Argument : BEEF

A beef is a complaint or a grievance. It’s not quite clear how “beef” came to have this meaning, but one suggestion is that derives from the habit of soldiers at the end of the 1800s complaining about the quality or availability of beef in their rations.

49 Cornball : HOKEY

“Hokum” was originally theater slang, meaning “melodramatic, exaggerated acting”. Now the term just means “empty talk”. It is also the root for our word “hokey” meaning “silly, old-fashioned”.

52 Its leaves are used for the Hawaiian dish laulau : TARO

Laulau is a Hawaiian dish usually consisting of pork wrapped in taro leaf, and is served with a side of rice or macaroni salad. The main part of the dish is traditionally prepared by baking it in an underground oven called an imu.

54 Abba of Israel : EBAN

Abba Eban was an Israeli diplomat and politician, born Aubrey Solomon Meir Eban in Cape Town, South Africa. While working at the United Nations after WWII, Eban changed his given name to “Abba”, the Hebrew word for “father”. He made this change as reportedly as he could see himself as the father of the nation of Israel.

57 Head of lettuce? : CFO

Chief financial officer (CFO)

Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dough, scratch, cheddar, simoleons, clams and moola(h) are all slang terms for money.

59 “Stand” band, 1989 : REM

R.E.M. was a rock band from Athens, Georgia that formed in 1980. Apparently, the name “R.E.M.” was chosen randomly from a dictionary.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Stick to one’s guns : STAND PAT
9 Mission for a Mafia member : HIT JOB
15 “You sure about that?” : OH REALLY?
16 Something a tuning fork has : Y-SHAPE
17 Sort of pricing model with multiple tiers : FREEMIUM
18 Singer Sharp with the 1962 hit “Mashed Potato Time” : DEE DEE
19 ___ bar : TEND
20 An “A” in physics? : AMPERE
22 One traditionally dressed in red or green : ELF
23 Mounts : GETS ON
25 What “mía” means across the Pyrenees : A MOI
26 Question from an anxious person : WHAT’S NEXT?
28 Group of close friends, in modern slang : FAM
31 Shell game? : SKEET
33 Light and graceful : AIRY
34 River that meets the Colorado at Yuma : GILA
35 Sports news pro : ANALYST
37 Thomas Dewey or Hubert Humphrey, notably : ALSO-RAN
39 Aquatic source of iodine : KELP
40 Uncle ___, main role on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” : PHIL
42 Verse : POESY
43 Creature that might live in a 39-Across forest : EEL
44 Verbal attack : BROADSIDE
46 Glassless glasses : RIMS
47 Minus sign lookalike : EN DASH
50 Not twiddle one’s thumbs : ACT
53 “Bear with me” : ONE SEC
55 Man’s name that’s a number in Italian : OTTO
56 Longtime head of Duke basketball, to fans : COACH K
58 Proudly tech-savvy sort : UBER-GEEK
60 Verbal attack : EARFUL
61 Conferral after some two-year programs : MA DEGREE
62 Not-too-bright subordinate : STOOGE
63 Invasive plant? : ENEMY SPY

Down

1 Feature of Algeria and Egypt : SOFT G
2 + 1 : THREE
3 “Everybody has their issues, right?” : AREN’T WE ALL?
4 Can’t do it alone : NEEDS HELP
5 Put a stop to? : DAM
6 Flexible : PLIANT
7 ’18 honoree, today : ALUM
8 Part of a percussion ensemble : TYMPANI
9 Chemical group with the formula -OH : HYDROXYL
10 “Gotcha” : I SEE IT
11 Not just any : THE
12 Green hue : JADE
13 Sister company of Peugeot : OPEL
14 Argument : BEEF
21 Green hue : EMERALD
24 Like some breakfast bars : OATY
27 Didn’t go out : SAT HOME
28 Performers who take a lot of heat? : FIRE EATERS
29 “I wish it weren’t so!” : ALAS!
30 A bajillion : MANY
31 ___ bomb (cocktail) : SAKE
32 Something to take in protest : KNEE
34 Praise that might be dispensed with a treat : GOOD DOGGY
36 Light shower : SPRINKLE
38 English : SPIN
41 “… per my reasoning” : … I ASSUME
44 Greeting that might follow a fist bump : BRO HUG
45 Leave the country : SECEDE
48 Likely to take a bite out of one’s wallet : STEEP
49 Cornball : HOKEY
50 Opposite of bombs : ACES
51 Application of paint : COAT
52 Its leaves are used for the Hawaiian dish laulau : TARO
54 Abba of Israel : EBAN
57 Head of lettuce? : CFO
59 “Stand” band, 1989 : REM

11 thoughts on “0531-19 NY Times Crossword 31 May 19, Friday”

    1. In billiards, soccer, baseball, etc.; giving the ball a rapid spin to cause the ball to curve is termed ‘English’.

  1. 16:00, no errors. Spent several minutes trying to gain a confident foothold in this puzzle. Started with NIX in 5D before DAM; UBER NERD in 58A before UBER GEEK. Honestly did not expect to beat Bill’s time today (an EXREMELY rare event for me).

  2. Liked and enjoyed this one. (Added two relatively new made-up words, FREEMIUM and BROHUG, to my slowly modernizing vocabulary — though unlikely ever to use them.)

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