0618-19 NY Times Crossword 18 Jun 19, Tuesday

Constructed by: Jeff Stillman
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): MC’ing Inside

Themed answers are common phrases into which has been inserted the letter sequence “MC”:

  • 17A Autobiography of a “Star Trek” doctor? : BEING MCCOY (from “being coy”)
  • 23A Kill off a major “Back to the Future” character? : SACRIFICE MCFLY (from “sacrifice fly”)
  • 51A Film star Danny hurriedly leaving the set? : RUNAWAY MCBRIDE (from “Runaway Bride”)
  • 60A Help film star Steve recover from an action sequence? : ICE MCQUEEN (from “ice queen”)

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

Bill’s time: 7m 15s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Losing casino roll : CRAP

To crap out is to make a losing roll on the first throw in a game of craps. A losing roll (aka “a crap”) is a roll of 2, 3 or 12.

14 Double-apostrophe contraction : I’D’VE

“I would have” can be abbreviated to “I’d’ve”.

15 Tough watchdog : AKITA

The Akita breed of dog is named for its point of origin, the Akita Prefecture in Japan. When Helen Keller visited Japan in 1937, she asked for and was given an Akita breed of dog, with the name of Kamikaze-go. Sadly, the dog died within a year from distemper. The following year the Japanese government officially presented Keller with a replacement dog. Supposedly Keller’s dogs were the first members of the breed to be introduced into the US.

16 Old Italian capital : LIRE

The word “lira” is used in a number of countries for currency. “Lira” comes from the Latin for “pound” and is derived from a British pound sterling, the value of a Troy pound of silver. For example, the lira (plural “lire”) was the official currency of Italy before the country changed over to the euro in 2002.

17 Autobiography of a “Star Trek” doctor? : BEING MCCOY (from “being coy”)

The actor DeForest Kelley is best known for playing Bones McCoy in the original “Star Trek” cast. The show’s creator, Gene Roddenberry, originally offered Kelley the role of Spock, but Kelly refused it and so was given the part of the ship’s medical officer.

22 Audre Lorde or Lord Byron : POET

George Gordon Byron, known simply as “Lord Byron”, was an English poet active in the early 1800s. Byron was equally as famous for his poetry as he was for the wild excesses in his personal life. Byron lived much of that life outside of England, and fought for revolutionaries in both Italy and Greece. He died from a fever contracted while fighting for the Greeks against the Ottomans.

23 Kill off a major “Back to the Future” character? : SACRIFICE MCFLY (from “sacrifice fly”)

In the fun 1985 movie “Back to the Future”, Marty McFly finds himself back in 1955, and is trying to get back to HIS future, 1985. But on the other hand, 1985 is really Marty’s present, before he went back in time. Why does time travel have to be so complicated …?

27 Neighbor of Borneo : SUMATRA

Sumatra is a very large island in western Indonesia. It is the sixth largest island in the world and home to 22% of the country’s population.

Borneo is the third largest island on the planet (after Greenland and New Guinea), and is located north of Australia in Maritime Southeast Asia. Most of the island is part of Indonesia (taking up 73% of the island) with almost all of the remainder being part of Malaysia (26%). The final 1% is home to the sovereign state of Brunei.

30 Mates for does : HARTS

A male deer is usually called a buck, and a female is a doe. However, the male red deer is usually referred to as a stag. The males of even larger species of deer are often called bulls, and females cows. In older English, male deer of over 5 years were called harts, and females of over 3 years were called hinds. The young of small species are known as fawns, and of larger species are called calves. All very confusing …

33 Birthstone for some Scorpios : TOPAZ

Here is the “official” list of birthstones, by month, that we tend to use today:

  • January: Garnet
  • February: Amethyst
  • March: Bloodstone or Aquamarine
  • April: Diamond
  • May: Emerald
  • June: Pearl or Moonstone
  • July: Ruby
  • August: Sardonyx or Peridot
  • September: Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli
  • October: Opal or Pink Tourmaline
  • November: Topaz or Citrine
  • December: Turquoise or Zircon (also now, Tanzanite)

Scorpio is the eighth astrological sign of the Zodiac. Individuals born between October 23 and November 21 are Scorpios. That would be me …

44 Part of a baker’s dozen : DONUT

A baker’s dozen is thirteen, with the phrase dating back to the sixteenth century. Apparently, the expression comes from the practice of bakers adding one loaf to every twelve, primarily for fear of being fined for supplying fewer loaves than had been purchased.

46 It might sit on a sill to cool : PIE

“Sill plate”, or simply “sill”, is an architectural term describing a bottom horizontal member to which vertical members are attached. Windowsills and doorsills are specific sill plates found at the bottoms of windows and door openings.

47 Brand of cooking spray : PAM

PAM cooking oil was introduced in 1961 by Leon Rubin and Arthur Meyerhoff. The name “PAM” is an acronym … standing for “Product of Arthur Meyerhoff”. Who’d a thunk it …?

51 Film star Danny hurriedly leaving the set? : RUNAWAY MCBRIDE (from “Runaway Bride”)

“Runaway Bride” is a 1999 film starring Julia Roberts in the title role, and Richard Gere as the male romantic lead. I regard this one as a very watchable romantic comedy …

56 Mayberry sot : OTIS

Otis Campbell is the town drunk on the sitcom “The Andy Griffith Show”, and was played by actor Hal Smith. The Campbell character was dropped in the late sixties as sponsors became concerned about being associated with heavy drinking.

Mayberry is the fictional North Carolina town in which the “The Andy Griffith Show” is set. Mayberry is said to based on Griffith’s own hometown of Mount Airy, North Carolina.

58 Medit. country : ISR

The land that is now Israel was ruled by the British after WWI as the British Mandate of Palestine. The British evacuated the area after WWII, largely responding to pressure from both Jewish and Arab nationalist movements. The British Mandate expired on 14 May 1948 and the State of israel was established at the same time. This declaration of a new state was followed by the immediate invasion of the area by four Arab countries and the start of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. A ceasefire was declared after a year of fighting, and tension has persisted in the region ever since.

59 Something to watch on the telly, with “the” : BEEB

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is also known as “the Beeb”, a name given to the network by the great Peter Sellers on the classic British radio comedy called “The Goon Show”. The BBC was founded in 1922, and was the world’s first national broadcasting organization.

“Telly” is a term commonly used in Britain and Ireland that is short for “television”.

60 Help film star Steve recover from an action sequence? : ICE MCQUEEN (from “ice queen”)

Apparently, Steve McQueen wasn’t the easiest actor to work with, at least as far as directors were concerned. He pretty much had a free rein though, as he was so popular with the public in the seventies (he had the nickname “The King of Cool”). McQueen was the highest-paid movie star in 1974.

65 Marine menace : ORCA

The taxonomic name for the killer whale is “Orcinus orca”. The use of the name “orca”, rather than “killer whale”, is becoming more and more common. The Latin word “Orcinus” means “belonging to Orcus”, with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

68 Bleacher feature : TIER

At a sports event one might sit in the bleachers. “Bleachers” is a particularly American term used to describe the tiered stands that provide seating for spectators. These seats were originally wooden planks, and as they were uncovered they would be bleached by the sun, giving them the name we use today. Sometimes the fans using the bleachers might be referred to as “bleacherites”.

Down

1 Justin Trudeau’s party: Abbr. : LIB

Justin Trudeau ascended to the leadership of Canada’s Liberal Party in 2013, He led the Liberals to a decisive victory in the federal election of 2015, after which he assumed the office of Prime Minister of Canada. Justin is the eldest son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, who led Canada for 15 years starting in 1968.

3 Niacin and riboflavin : B VITAMINS

Niacin is also known as vitamin B3. A deficiency of niacin causes the disease pellagra. Pellagra is often described by “the four Ds”, the symptoms being diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia and death.

Riboflavin is vitamin B2. At one time, riboflavin was known as vitamin G.

4 Five Nations tribe : SENECA

The Iroquois Confederacy was also known as the Five Nations and was comprised of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca nations.

6 Org. associated with the Westminster show : AKC

The American Kennel Club (AKC) is the organization that handles registration of purebred dogs The AKC also promotes dog shows around the country including the famous Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

8 Stone-faced : STOIC

Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher famous for teaching at the Stoa Poikile, the “Painted Porch”, located on the north side of the Ancient Agora of Athens. Because of the location of his classes, his philosophy became known as stoicism (from “stoa”, the word for “porch”). And yes, we get our adjective “stoic” from the same root.

13 Like some fertilizer : PEATY

Peat moss is actually sphagnum moss that has partially decayed and dried. The term “peat moss” is used as sphagnum moss is often found in peat bogs. Sphagnum moss has the ability to store large quantities of water, so the dried form is used by gardeners to condition soil, i.e. to increase the soil’s capacity to retain moisture.

18 Singer Brooks : GARTH

Country singer Garth Brooks retired from recording and performing in 2001. He came back out of retirement in 2009, signing a five-year concert deal with the Encore Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.

23 Jumbo combatants : SUMOS

Sumo is a sport that is practiced professionally only in Japan, the country of its origin. There is an international federation of sumo wrestling now, and one of the organization’s aims is to have the sport accepted as an Olympic event.

24 Some “traditional” investments, for short : IRAS

ERISA is the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, which was enacted in 1974. ERISA regulates the operation of a pension plan once it has been established. However, ERISA does not require that a pension plan be offered by an employer. ERISA is also the legislation that introduced what is now referred to a traditional IRA (individual retirement account).

26 Sch. on the bank of the Charles : MIT

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was founded in 1861 and first offered classes in 1865, in the Mercantile building in Boston. Today’s magnificent campus on the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge opened in 1916.

31 Number of words in the shortest verse in the Bible (John 11:35) : TWO

The shortest verse in the King James Bible is in the Gospel of John; Chapter 11; Verse 35 … “Jesus wept.” The verse occurs in the context of the death of Lazarus. He arrives four days after his friend’s passing, weeps in front of his tomb, and then raises him from the dead. The longest verse is in the Book of Esther, i.e. Chapter 8; Verse 9, which has 78 words.

32 Kind of boom : SONIC

Supersonic transports (SSTs) like the Concorde broke Mach 1, the speed of sound. As a plane flies through air, it creates pressure waves in front (and behind) rather like the bow and stern waves of a boat. These pressure waves travel at the speed of sound, so as an aircraft itself accelerates towards the speed of sound it catches up with the pressure waves until they cannot “get out of the way”. When the aircraft reaches the speed of sound, the compressed waves merge into one single shock wave, creating a sonic boom.

34 Wildly improbable goal : PIPE DREAM

In common parlance, a “pipe dream” is a vain hope for something that is unlikely to take place. The original pipe dreams were visions that were experienced after taking opiates.

35 Ouzo flavor : ANISE

Ouzo is an apéritif from Greece that is colorless and flavored with anise. Ouzo is similar to French pastis and Italian sambuca.

36 Scrabble 10-pointers : ZEES

The game of Scrabble has been around since 1938, the invention of an architect named Alfred Mosher Butts. Butts determined how many tiles of each letter, and the point value of each tile, by analyzing letter distributions in publications like “The New York Times”.

38 Restaurant with small dishes : TAPAS BAR

“Tapa” is the Spanish word for “lid”, and there is no clear rationale for why this word came to be used for an appetizer. There are lots of explanations cited, all of which seem to involve the temporary covering of one’s glass of wine with a plate or item of food to either preserve the wine or give one extra space at the table.

43 Pilot’s problem : YAW

The word “yaw” means to deviate from the line of a course and is used mainly at sea and in the air. “Yaw” is derived from the Old Norse word “jaege” which means “to drive, chase”. As such, “yaw” is etymologically related to our word “yacht”.

45 ___ Aziz, Iraq War figure : TARIQ

Tariq Aziz is the former Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq, serving under Saddam Hussein. He surrendered to US forces in 2003 and is in prison right now in Baghdad.

48 Singer Carey : MARIAH

Mariah Carey produced her first album in 1990 under the guidance of Tommy Mottola, an executive at Columbia Records. Mottola and Carey must have hit it off, because they were married three years later (although Mottola is now married to a different singer …).

51 Unpaid factory worker : ROBOT

Karel Čapek was a Czech writer noted for his works of science fiction. Čapek’s 1920 play “R.U.R.” is remembered in part for introducing the world to the word “robot”. The words “automaton” and “android” were already in use, but Capek gave us “robot” from the original Czech “robota” meaning “forced labor”. The acronym “R.U.R.”, in the context of the play, stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots”.

52 Wombs : UTERI

“Uterus” (plural “uteri”) is the Latin word for “womb”.

54 New Mexico’s state flower : YUCCA

Yuccas are a genus of shrubs and trees that live in hot and dry areas of North and South America. One of the more famous species of Yucca is the Joshua tree. Yuccas has a unique pollination system, with moths transferring pollen from plant to plant.

61 “Bon” word : MOT

“Bon mot” translates from French as “good word”. We use “bon mot” (and sometimes just “mot”) to mean “quip, witticism”.

63 ___ Lilly & Co. : ELI

Eli Lilly is the largest corporation in the state of Indiana. Founder Eli Lilly was a veteran of the Union Army in the Civil War, and a failed Mississippi plantation owner. Later in life he returned to his first profession and opened a pharmaceutical operation to manufacture drugs and sell them wholesale. Under Lilly’s early guidance, the company was the first to create gelatin capsules to hold medicines and the first to use fruit flavoring in liquid medicines.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Science class adjuncts : LABS
5 Tyrannical : HARSH
10 Losing casino roll : CRAP
14 Double-apostrophe contraction : I’D’VE
15 Tough watchdog : AKITA
16 Old Italian capital : LIRE
17 Autobiography of a “Star Trek” doctor? : BEING MCCOY (from “being coy”)
19 Mental flash : IDEA
20 Afternoon affair : TEA
21 Rib : KID
22 Audre Lorde or Lord Byron : POET
23 Kill off a major “Back to the Future” character? : SACRIFICE MCFLY (from “sacrifice fly”)
27 Neighbor of Borneo : SUMATRA
28 Zero : NIL
29 Pal for Pierre : AMI
30 Mates for does : HARTS
33 Birthstone for some Scorpios : TOPAZ
37 Typesetter’s choice : FONT
39 Attach, as a button : SEW ON
41 Languish : PINE
42 English class assignment : ESSAY
44 Part of a baker’s dozen : DONUT
46 It might sit on a sill to cool : PIE
47 Brand of cooking spray : PAM
49 Lament about one’s sorry appearance : I’M A MESS
51 Film star Danny hurriedly leaving the set? : RUNAWAY MCBRIDE (from “Runaway Bride”)
56 Mayberry sot : OTIS
57 Bemoan : RUE
58 Medit. country : ISR
59 Something to watch on the telly, with “the” : BEEB
60 Help film star Steve recover from an action sequence? : ICE MCQUEEN (from “ice queen”)
65 Marine menace : ORCA
66 Man in a cast : ACTOR
67 After-Christmas event : SALE
68 Bleacher feature : TIER
69 Impetuous : HASTY
70 Give off : EMIT

Down

1 Justin Trudeau’s party: Abbr. : LIB
2 End of a sweet drink? : -ADE
3 Niacin and riboflavin : B VITAMINS
4 Five Nations tribe : SENECA
5 Lunch meat : HAM
6 Org. associated with the Westminster show : AKC
7 “___ and the Flash” (2015 Meryl Streep movie) : RICKI
8 Stone-faced : STOIC
9 New York’s ___ Planetarium : HAYDEN
10 Bygone street sound : CLIP CLOP
11 No longer plagued by : RID OF
12 Spinning : AREEL
13 Like some fertilizer : PEATY
18 Singer Brooks : GARTH
23 Jumbo combatants : SUMOS
24 Some “traditional” investments, for short : IRAS
25 Got along : FARED
26 Sch. on the bank of the Charles : MIT
27 Unlikely to cause controversy : SAFE
31 Number of words in the shortest verse in the Bible (John 11:35) : TWO
32 Kind of boom : SONIC
34 Wildly improbable goal : PIPE DREAM
35 Ouzo flavor : ANISE
36 Scrabble 10-pointers : ZEES
38 Restaurant with small dishes : TAPAS BAR
40 Like an arm that’s been slept on too long : NUMB
43 Pilot’s problem : YAW
45 ___ Aziz, Iraq War figure : TARIQ
48 Singer Carey : MARIAH
50 Improper application : MISUSE
51 Unpaid factory worker : ROBOT
52 Wombs : UTERI
53 Family girl : NIECE
54 New Mexico’s state flower : YUCCA
55 Assembles : MEETS
61 “Bon” word : MOT
62 Show sorrow : CRY
63 ___ Lilly & Co. : ELI
64 Stocking material : NET

8 thoughts on “0618-19 NY Times Crossword 18 Jun 19, Tuesday”

  1. 16:01. Had a lot of issues with the fill for some reason. I ended up leaning on the theme a lot more than I usually do on a Tuesday. I’ve been busy of late. Perhaps it’s brain fatigue..

    Best –

  2. No errors. A good one. Nothing particularly interesting about the content but it was a fine technical challenge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.