0620-19 NY Times Crossword 20 Jun 19, Thursday

Constructed by: Trenton Charlson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Consonant

Every answer in the grid begins with a consonant, and indeed, so do the clues.

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

Bill’s time: 10m 46s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Series seen on many a planner or pill container : SMTWTFS

The days of the week are named for celestial bodies and gods

  • Sunday — Sun’s Day
  • Monday — Moon’s Day
  • Tuesday — Tiu’s day
  • Wednesday — Woden’s day
  • Thursday — Thor’s day
  • Friday — Freya’s day
  • Saturday — Saturn’s day

8 “S.N.L.” network : NBC TV

NBC first aired a form of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) in 1975 under the title “NBC’s Saturday Night”. The show was actually created to give Johnny Carson some time off from “The Tonight Show”. Back then “The Tonight Show” had a weekend episode, and Carson convinced NBC to pull the Saturday or Sunday recordings off the air and hold them for subsequent weeknights in which Carson needed a break. NBC turned to Lorne Michaels and asked him to put together a variety show to fill the vacant slot, and he came up with what we now call “Saturday Night Live”.

15 Food for some fauna : FLORA

The fauna is the animal life of a particular region, and the flora is that region’s plant life. The term “fauna” comes from the Roman goddess of earth and fertility who was called Fauna. Flora was the Roman goddess of plants, flowers and fertility.

16 Single-celled organism : PROTOZOAN

The suffix “-zoa” is used for groups of animal organisms e.g. protozoa and metazoa. “Zoia” is the Greek for “animals, living beings”.

18 Simon ___, lead singer of Duran Duran : LE BON

Simon Le Bon is the lead singer with the English band Duran Duran. Le Bon is a passionate sailor and garnered a lot of attention when his yacht lost its keel in the 1985 Fastnet race. Before Le Bon and his crew could be rescued, they spent 40 minutes trapped underwater inside the hull. The incident didn’t deter Le Bon from sailing though, and not long after he came third in the 1985-1986 Whitbread Round the World Race.

20 Decisively indicative questions : LITMUS TESTS

Litmus is a mixture of naturally-occurring dyes that responds to acidity by changing color. Litmus was probably first used around 1300 by the Spanish alchemist Arnaldus de Villa Nova, who extracted the blue dye from lichens. One suggestion is that the term “litmus” comes from the Old Norse “litmose” meaning “lichen for dyeing”. Litmus is often absorbed onto filter paper, creating “litmus paper” or “pH paper”. We also use the phrase “litmus test” figuratively to describe any test in which a single factor decides the outcome.

22 Nightmares on opening night : PANS

To pan something is to criticize it harshly.

31 Music festival street in Memphis : BEALE

Beale Street in downtown Memphis, Tennessee is a major tourist attraction. In 1977, by act of Congress, the street was officially declared the “Home of the Blues” due to its long association with the musical genre. Apparently “Beale” is the name of some forgotten military hero.

32 “The Crucible” locale : SALEM

“The Crucible” is a 1952 play by Arthur Miller that tells the story of the Salem witch trials. Miller wrote it as an allegory for the House Committee on Un-American Activities hearings that were being chaired by Senator Joe McCarthy around that time. Miller was called before the Committee himself, and was convicted of contempt of Congress for refusing to “name names”.

34 Hypotenuse, e.g. : SIDE

The hypotenuse is the longest side of a right-angled triangle, i.e. the side opposite the right angle.

37 Penultimate letter : PSI

Psi is the 23rd and penultimate letter of the Greek alphabet, and the one that looks a bit like a trident or a pitchfork.

38 Friend for un muchacho : CHICA

In Spanish, a “niña” is a young girl, a child. The term “chica” applies to an older girl or perhaps a young woman.. The term “muchacha” applies to girls in general, I think …

In Spanish a boy is a “niño” or a “muchacho”. One can call also an adult male a “muchacho”, as in “one of the boys”. Calling an adult make a “niño” would be an insult.

39 Cracker brand : ZESTA

Zesta is a line of saltine crackers made by Keebler.

40 Kind of liability-limiting stock order : STOP-LOSS

A stop (also “stop-loss”) order is an order to buy or sell a stock once it reaches a specific price. When that “stop price” is reached, the stop order becomes a market order and the sale or purchase is made.

42 Like some antique tableware : PEWTER

Pewter is a relatively soft alloy that is made up mostly of tin, with some copper, antimony, bismuth and lead.

45 Popular product of Bremen, Germany, not sold in Germany : ST PAULI GIRL

St. Pauli Girl beer is brewed in Bremen in Germany. The beer gets its name from the former St. Paul’s Monastery in Bremen, next door to which was located the original brewery. Apparently, St. Pauli Girl is not sold in Germany, because the beer’s formulation isn’t pure enough to pass the nation’s purity laws.

49 Hosts, in brief : MCS

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism used for a Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

Down

1 “Dirty Harry” org. : SFPD

The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is the 11th largest police department in the country. The SFPD dates back to the days of the Gold Rush, being founded in 1849 as a force of 35 officers. SFPD has featured a lot in movies and on television. The most famous films are probably “Bullitt”, the “Dirty Harry” series and “48 Hrs.” On television there was “Ironside”, “The Streets of San Francisco” and “Monk”.

3 Sci-fi film recognized with an Oscar for Technical Achievement 15 years after it was released : TRON

Released in 1982, Disney’s “Tron” was one of the first mainstream films to make extensive use of computer graphics. The main role in the movie is played by Jeff Bridges. The original spawned a 2010 sequel called “Tron: Legacy”, as well as a 2012 TV show called “Tron: Uprising”.

7 Casino draws : SLOTS

Slot machines earned the nickname “one-armed bandits” simply because they had “one arm”, the handle pulled to operate the machine. Well, they also rob your money!

8 Cowboys, for example : NFL TEAM

The Dallas Cowboys play in the National Football Conference (NFC) of the NFL. The Cowboys are famous for a lengthy streak of 20 consecutive winning seasons, from 1966 to 1985. They are the highest-valued sports franchise in the country. The only team in the world that’s worth more money is the UK’s Manchester United soccer team.

14 Hasty getaway : LAM

To be on the lam is to be in flight, to have escaped from prison. “On the lam” is American slang that originated at the end of the 19th century. The word “lam” also means to “beat” or “thrash”, as in “lambaste”. So “on the lam” might derive from the phrase “to beat it, to scram”.

17 Chocolaty spread since 1964 : NUTELLA

Nutella is a delicious hazelnut-chocolate spread made by Ferrero, a company based in Italy. Sadly, 70% of the Nutella recipe is saturated fat and processed sugar.

24 Recipe amts. : TBSPS

Tablespoon (tbsp.)

26 Rush job? : RADIO

Rush Limbaugh is a conservative talk radio host from Cape Girardeau, Missouri. “The Rush Limbaugh Show” is the most-listened-to talk radio program in the country with 15 million listeners tuning in each week.

27 Powders, in a way : TALCS

Talc is a mineral, actually hydrated magnesium silicate. Talcum powder is composed of loose talc, although these days “baby powder” is also made from cornstarch.

29 Davis of film : BETTE

I must confess that I have a problem watching movies starring Bette Davis. I think I must have seen her play one of her more sinister roles when I was a kid and it gave me nightmares or something.

30 World’s richest country, according to the World Bank : QATAR

Qatar is a sovereign state in the Middle East occupying the Qatar Peninsula, itself located in the Arabian Peninsula. Qatar lies on the Persian Gulf and shares one land border, with Saudi Arabia to the south. Qatar has more oil and gas reserves per capita of population than any other country in the world. In 2010, Qatar had the fastest growing economy in the world, driven by the petrochemical industry. Qatar is scheduled to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, although the nation’s eligibility to do so is under question after a far-reaching bribery scandal was uncovered at the sport’s governing body.

35 Maritime hazard : SHOAL

A shoal is an underwater ridge or bank that is covered with a material such as sand or silt.

44 Mosul money : DINAR

The dinar is the official currency in many countries, such as Iraq, Tunisia and Serbia. The gold dinar dates back to the early days of Islam, with the name deriving from the Roman currency called “denarius” meaning “ten times” (as it was originally a coin worth ten asses).

Mosul is located in northern Iraq and is the third largest city in the country, after Baghdad and Basra. It is located on the west bank of the Tigris river, opposite the ruins of the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh in the east bank. Mosul was captured by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in 2014. Those residents of Mosul who did not escape suffered under the rule of ISIL until the city’s liberation following the Battle of Mosul in 2016/2017.

45 Payroll dept. figs. : SSNS

Social Security number (SSN)

46 Drinking spree : TOOT

“Toot” and “tear” are slang terms for a drinking binge.

47 Pirouette follower, perhaps : PLIE

The French word for “bent” is “plié”. In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent. A “demi-plié” is a similar move, but with less bending of the knees.

We took our word “pirouette” directly from French, in which language it has the same meaning, i.e. a rotation in dancing. “Pirouette” is also the French word for “spinning top”.

49 “Doctor Faustus” novelist : MANN

“Doctor Faustus” is a novel by Thomas Mann first published in 1947. It is a retelling of the legend of Faust, but set in Germany in the first half of the 20th century.

50 Popular tech news site : C|NET

c|net is an excellent technology website. c|net started out in 1994 as a television network specializing in technology news. The host of “American Idol”, Ryan Seacrest, started off his career as host of a c|net show.

54 Word in a wedding notice : NEE

“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”. The term “née” is mainly used in English when referring to a married woman’s birth name, assuming that she has adopted her husbands name, e.g. Michelle Obama née Robinson, and Melania Trump née Knavs.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Series seen on many a planner or pill container : SMTWTFS
8 “S.N.L.” network : NBC TV
13 Computer security measure : FIREWALL
15 Food for some fauna : FLORA
16 Single-celled organism : PROTOZOAN
18 Simon ___, lead singer of Duran Duran : LE BON
19 Place to play a board game : DEN
20 Decisively indicative questions : LITMUS TESTS
22 Nightmares on opening night : PANS
23 Caught up to, say : TIED
24 Crowd : THRONG
27 Seasoned smoked beef brisket or pork ribs, e.g. : TEXAS BBQ
31 Music festival street in Memphis : BEALE
32 “The Crucible” locale : SALEM
33 Pasture : LEA
34 Hypotenuse, e.g. : SIDE
35 Deals in : SELLS
36 Good name for a wrestler? : MATT
37 Penultimate letter : PSI
38 Friend for un muchacho : CHICA
39 Cracker brand : ZESTA
40 Kind of liability-limiting stock order : STOP-LOSS
42 Like some antique tableware : PEWTER
43 Go far and wide : ROAM
44 Binary : DUAL
45 Popular product of Bremen, Germany, not sold in Germany : ST PAULI GIRL
49 Hosts, in brief : MCS
52 Pyramid, e.g. : SOLID
53 Something each of this puzzle’s answers begins with : CONSONANT
55 Symptom for a car mechanic : NOISE
56 Like a fishing line after a bite : TAUTENED
57 Knight’s need : STEED
58 Doesn’t take well : RESENTS

Down

1 “Dirty Harry” org. : SFPD
2 Bog down : MIRE
3 Sci-fi film recognized with an Oscar for Technical Achievement 15 years after it was released : TRON
4 Painter’s sign : WET
5 Kind of highway : TWO-LANE
6 Disconcerting : FAZING
7 Casino draws : SLOTS
8 Cowboys, for example : NFL TEAM
9 Runs : BLEEDS
10 Cookout discards : COBS
11 Bring (out) : TROT
12 They have sliding doors : VANS
14 Hasty getaway : LAM
17 Chocolaty spread since 1964 : NUTELLA
21 Big roll : SIXES
22 Flag holder : POLE
24 Recipe amts. : TBSPS
25 “Safe” kind of film? : HEIST
26 Rush job? : RADIO
27 Powders, in a way : TALCS
28 Terrific time : BLAST
29 Davis of film : BETTE
30 World’s richest country, according to the World Bank : QATAR
32 Huge and abrupt : SEISMIC
35 Maritime hazard : SHOAL
36 Whimper : MEWL
38 Murky : CLOUDED
39 Die-hard types : ZEALOTS
41 Hail, e.g. : PRAISE
42 Strive for : PURSUE
44 Mosul money : DINAR
45 Payroll dept. figs. : SSNS
46 Drinking spree : TOOT
47 Pirouette follower, perhaps : PLIE
48 Comprehended : GOT
49 “Doctor Faustus” novelist : MANN
50 Popular tech news site : C|NET
51 Regs. : STDS
54 Word in a wedding notice : NEE

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