0628-19 NY Times Crossword 28 Jun 19, Friday

Constructed by: Bruce Haight & David Steinberg
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Bat Wings

We have a mini-theme and some grid art today. Several of the black squares represent WINGS or BATS:

  • 17A Become independent … as suggested visually by some of this grid’s black squares : SPREAD ONE’S WINGS
  • 57A Mental eccentricity … as suggested visually by some of this grid’s black squares : BATS IN THE BELFRY

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

Bill’s time: 12m 28s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 The “one” in “the old one-two,” maybe : LEFT JAB

That would be boxing, and a one-two punch, or should it be punches?

19 It’s a wrap : SARAN

What’s known as plastic wrap in America, we call cling-film in Ireland. The brand name “Saran” is often used generically in the US, while “Glad” wrap is common down under. Plastic wrap was one of those unintended inventions, a byproduct of a development program to create a hard plastic cover for cars.

20 Cereal with a Berry Berry variety : KIX

Kix cereal has been around since 1937, would you believe? Kix used to be just puffed grains, processed to give the characteristic shape. Then the decision was made to add sugar to get better penetration into the young kid marketplace. Sad really …

21 Being, to Sartre : ETRE

Jean-Paul Sartre was a leading French philosopher, as well as a writer and political activist. Sartre also served with the French army during WWII and spent nine months as a prisoner of war having been captured by German troops. He was one of the few people to have been awarded a Nobel Prize and to have then refused to accept it. Sartre was named winner of the prize for Literature in 1964, for his first novel “Nausea”. Before his win, Sartre knew that his name was on the list of nominees so he wrote to the Nobel Institute and asked to be withdrawn from consideration. The letter somehow went unread, so he found himself having to refuse the award after he had been selected.

23 Gulf currency : 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).

25 Joint : PEN

“Pen” is a slang term for “penitentiary”. Back in the early 1400s, a penitentiary was a place to do “penance”, a place of punishment for offences against the church.

26 Comical Howard : MOE

“Moe Howard” was the stage name of Moses Harry Horwitz. Howard was one of the Three Stooges. In 1925, he married Helen Schonberger, who was a cousin of Harry Houdini.

32 Summer cooler : SNO-CONE

A sno-cone (also “snow cone”) is just a paper cone filled with crushed ice and topped with flavored water. Italian ice is similar, but different. Whereas the flavoring is added on top of the ice to make a sno-cone, Italian ice is made with water that is flavored before it is frozen.

36 Any of 13 popes : LEO

The first Pope Leo led the church from 440-461 AD and is now known as Pope Saint Leo the Great. Leo I is famous for having met with the feared Attila the Hun, and persuading him to turn back his invading force that was threatening to overrun Western Europe. The last Pope Leo reigned from 1878-1903. Leo XIII died at the age of 93, making him the oldest of all popes.

41 Home of Theseus : ATTICA

The historic region of Attica is home to the city of Athens. Attica comprises a peninsula in the southwest of the country that juts out into the Aegean Sea. As a result, the region is sometimes referred to as the Attic peninsula.

In the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, Theseus sailed to the island of Crete in order to convince the Minotaur to stop devouring young boys and girls who were sent into the Minotaur’s lair, the Labyrinth. Soon after Theseus landed on Crete, he fell in love with Ariadne, the daughter of Minos, the King of Crete. Ariadne gave Theseus a ball of string that he unraveled as he ventured deep into the Labyrinth. He found the Minotaur and slew him, and then followed the unraveled string back to the entrance of the Labyrinth, and into the arms of Ariadne.

45 Q&A on Reddit : AMA

Reddit.com is a networking and news website that started up in 2005. It is essentially a bulletin board system with posts that are voted up and down by users, which determines the ranking of posts. The name “Reddit” is a play on “read it”, as in “I read it on Reddit”. One popular feature of the Reddit site is an online forum that is similar to a press conference. Known as an AMA (for “ask me anything”), participants have included the likes of President Barack Obama, Madonna, Bill Gates, Stephen Colbert and Gordon Ramsay. President Obama’s AMA was so popular that the high level of traffic brought down many parts of the Reddit site.

51 Summer cooler : ICEE

Slush Puppie and ICEE are brands of frozen, slushy drinks. Ostensibly competing brands, ICEE company now owns the Slush Puppie brand.

52 Wheels of fortune? : LIMO

The word “limousine” derives from the name of the French city Limoges. The area around Limoges is called the Limousin, and it gave its name to a cloak hood worn by local shepherds. In early motor cars, a driver would sit outside in the weather while the passengers would sit in the covered compartment. The driver would often wear a limousin-style protective hood, giving rise to that type of transportation being called a “limousine”. Well, that’s how the story goes …

53 Slammin’ Sammy : SNEAD

Sam Snead was probably the most successful golfer never to win a US Open title, as he won a record 82 PGA Tour events. Snead did win seven majors, but never the US Open. He was also quite the showman. He once hit the scoreboard at Wrigley Field stadium with a golf ball, by teeing off from home plate. Snead’s best-remembered nickname is “Slammin’ Sammy”.

55 Series of ages : EON

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

56 Like much data : MINED

The process of data mining is used to extract information from a database and present it in a form that facilitates further use.

57 Mental eccentricity … as suggested visually by some of this grid’s black squares : BATS IN THE BELFRY

The expression “bats in the belfry” meaning “mad, crazy” conjures up images of bats flying around Gothic bell towers, but actually it’s a relatively recent addition to our vernacular. The term is American in origin, and dates back only to the early 1900s. The concept is that someone who is “crazy”, with wild ideas flying around his or her head, can be described as having bats (wild ideas) flying around the belfry (head). The terms “bats” and “batty” originated at the same time, and are clearly derivative.

62 Meet at the river, perhaps : REGATTA

The word “regatta” is Venetian dialect and was originally used to describe boat races among the gondoliers of Venice on the Grand Canal back in the mid-1600s.

Down

1 Like a ballet dancer : LISSOME

“Lissome” is such a lovely word, I think. It applies to something that is easily bent and supple. The term is a variation of “lithesome”.

2 Language akin to portugués : ESPANOL

“Español” is Spanish for “Spanish”.

5 ___ jacket : JEAN

Nîmes is a lovely city in the south of France. One of the claims to fame of the city is the invention of denim fabric. The French phrase “de Nîmes” (from Nimes) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Gênes” (blue of Genoa) gives us our word “jeans”.

8 Things you can get credit for : AP EXAMS

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school. After being tested at the end of an AP course, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

10 Wallace who wrote “Ben-Hur” : LEW

Lew Wallace was a general for the Union Army during the Civil War, and was also an author. He wrote a very successful and celebrated book called “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ”, first published in 1880, which was made into a 1959 movie starring Charlton Heston.

11 Relative of Aunt Bee : OPIE

Aunt Bee is a character in “The Andy Griffith Show”. The character’s full name is Beatrice Taylor but everyone in Mayberry calls her “Aunt Bee”. In the storyline, she is the aunt of protagonist Sheriff Andy Taylor, and is great-aunt to Andy’s son Opie. Aunt Bee was played by actress Frances Bavier.

13 Suspect in Clue : MR GREEN

Clue is board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

18 Actress Dobrev of “The Vampire Diaries” : NINA

“The Vampire Diaries” is a series of horror novels by L. J. Smith that is aimed at teens. There is a spin-off television series of the same name. I don’t do vampires …

28 ___ Corner, section of Westminster Abbey : POETS’

Poets’ Corner is an area in Westminster Abbey in London that earned its name from the high number of poets buried and commemorated there, as well as playwrights and authors. The first poet interred there was Geoffrey Chaucer. Also in Poets’ Corner are the remains of Edmund Spenser, Robert Browning, Charles Dickens, John Dryden, George Frideric Handel, Thomas Hardy, Samuel Johnson, Rudyard Kipling, Laurence Olivier and Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Wow!

31 Black ___ : OPS

“Black ops” is the name given to covert operations, activities that are usually outside of standard military protocol and may even be against the law. Funding for black ops is usually provided by a secret “black budget”.

37 Chocolaty nougat-and-caramel product : MARS BAR

Having lived on both sides of the Atlantic, I find the Mars Bar to be the most perplexing of candies! The original Mars Bar is a British confection (and delicious) first manufactured in 1932. The US version of the original Mars Bar is called a Milky Way. But there is a candy bar called a Milky Way that is also produced in the UK, and it is completely different to its US cousin, being more like an American “3 Musketeers”. And then there is an American confection called a Mars Bar, something different again. No wonder I try not to eat candy bars …

40 Canon competitor : RICOH

Ricoh is a Japanese company that started out in 1936 and by the year 2000 was the biggest manufacturer of copiers in the world. The company is also well known as a supplier of cameras. The most successful of Ricoh’s lines of cameras is the compact model called a Caplio.

44 Blandly agreeable : ANODYNE

Something described as “anodyne” is analgesic, capable of removing pain. “Anodyne” comes from the Greek “an-” meaning “without” and “odyne” meaning “pain”.

50 Some bow ties : PASTA

“Farfalle” is commonly referred to as “bow-tie pasta” because of its shape. The name comes from the Italian “farfalla” meaning “butterfly”.

52 French city near the Belgian border : LILLE

Lille is a large city in the very north of France that sits right on the border with Belgium. The name “Lille” is a derivation of the term “l’isle” meaning “the island”. The former name “L’Isle” dates back to 1066, and is a reference to a castle that once stood on an island in the Deûle river that runs through the city. The city grew around the island and the castle.

54 Skinny : DIRT

The use of the word “skinny” meaning information, comes from WWII military slang for “the truth”, probably a derivative of the expression “the naked truth” (evocative of “skinny-dipping”).

56 First name in game shows : MERV

Merv Griffin was quite the entertainer, and truly a mogul in the business. He started his career as a singer on the radio during the big band era. In the sixties he hosted his own talk show, and then famously developed such great game shows as “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 The “one” in “the old one-two,” maybe : LEFT JAB
8 Chivalrous offer : ALLOW ME
15 “You bet!” : I SURE DO!
16 Eyes, slangily : PEEPERS
17 Become independent … as suggested visually by some of this grid’s black squares : SPREAD ONE’S WINGS
19 It’s a wrap : SARAN
20 Cereal with a Berry Berry variety : KIX
21 Being, to Sartre : ETRE
22 Taking action : ON IT
23 Gulf currency : DINAR
25 Joint : PEN
26 Comical Howard : MOE
27 Tourist center handout : AREA MAP
29 Fun and games, informally : REC
30 Lord of Rivendell in “The Lord of the Rings” : ELROND
32 Summer cooler : SNO-CONE
34 Salon offering : PERM
36 Any of 13 popes : LEO
37 Suits, briefs, etc. : MENSWEAR
41 Home of Theseus : ATTICA
45 Q&A on Reddit : AMA
46 Body parts that become other body parts if you change the second letter to an A : WRISTS
48 ___ Juan : SAN
49 Way off, say : RAMP
51 Summer cooler : ICEE
52 Wheels of fortune? : LIMO
53 Slammin’ Sammy : SNEAD
55 Series of ages : EON
56 Like much data : MINED
57 Mental eccentricity … as suggested visually by some of this grid’s black squares : BATS IN THE BELFRY
60 Briskly, to equestrians : AT A TROT
61 Something a short driver might need? : CAR LOAN
62 Meet at the river, perhaps : REGATTA
63 Unfavorable : ADVERSE

Down

1 Like a ballet dancer : LISSOME
2 Language akin to portugués : ESPANOL
3 Hide seeker : FURRIER
4 Doctor : TREAT
5 ___ jacket : JEAN
6 Opposite of drop : ADD
7 Line setter : BOOKIE
8 Things you can get credit for : AP EXAMS
9 French article : LES
10 Wallace who wrote “Ben-Hur” : LEW
11 Relative of Aunt Bee : OPIE
12 Started making money as an athlete : WENT PRO
13 Suspect in Clue : MR GREEN
14 Soul : ESSENCE
18 Actress Dobrev of “The Vampire Diaries” : NINA
23 Physician on TV’s “Celebrity Rehab” : DR DREW
24 Didn’t end as scheduled : RAN LATE
27 Over : ANEW
28 ___ Corner, section of Westminster Abbey : POETS’
31 Black ___ : OPS
33 Place for a retired soldier? : COT
35 Ohio town that was the first permanent settlement in the state (1788) : MARIETTA
37 Chocolaty nougat-and-caramel product : MARS BAR
38 Give off : EMANATE
39 Face-saving aid at a reunion : NAME TAG
40 Canon competitor : RICOH
42 Will have to face : IS IN FOR
43 Features of smartphones : CAMERAS
44 Blandly agreeable : ANODYNE
47 ___ Falls Convention (early women’s rights gathering) : SENECA
50 Some bow ties : PASTA
52 French city near the Belgian border : LILLE
54 Skinny : DIRT
56 First name in game shows : MERV
58 With 59-Down, so-so : NOT …
59 See 58-Down : … BAD

13 thoughts on “0628-19 NY Times Crossword 28 Jun 19, Friday”

  1. 34:38 after several missteps including “Athens” before ATTICA and “acolyte” before ANODYNE. When I saw the setters’ names, it made me nervous, but this one wasn’t that difficult except when it was.

    I also read in today’s NYT Wordplay that David Steinberg, who it seems just started at Stanford, has now graduated so he’s no longer a kid setter. He’s now a grizzled veteran.

    Best –

  2. When I saw the authors of this puzzle I was tempted to find something else to do but I gave it a shot anyway.
    The result was a very surprising 44:58 with no errors.
    Mr Steinberg and Mr Haight must have been in a very charitable mood.
    I’ll still take this as a win.

  3. Had a lot of trouble getting any footing in the beginning, as so many clues had more than one possible answer, even having the duplicate letters in the same spots, ETO(N) and JEA(N) jacket, RAN(L)ONG and RAN(L)ATE, Aunt Bee’s relative, ANDY or OPIE. Got some help growing up in northern WV, where there were annual speedboat REGATTAs, not far from MARIETTA, OH.

  4. 18:51, no errors. In addition to having the same issues as @JRH, I initially entered 61A CUSHION before CAR LOAN; and thought that 50D PASTA should end in ‘S’ (the clue was plural). However, fortune smiled, and LEFT JAB, MENS WEAR, ELROND and others were all first guesses.

  5. I didn’t review yesterdays comments until today, missed a lot of interesting discussion. So here are my 3 cents for today:
    1- Thank you for responses to my question on YAS queen. I asked my 15 year old granddaughter about it, she heard of it, but has never used it.
    2- Anonymous II: here is the Urban Dictionary definition of Natick https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Natick . I believe it is now more commonly used to describe the square at the intersection of two unknown clues.
    3- I don’t use anything, outside of my own brain, to do the puzzles nowadays. When I first started doing the NYT puzzle on a daily basis, I considered any resource as a viable assistant. The only exception would be looking up the puzzle answers directly, on a site similar to this. To each, their own.

    1. Can’t edit comments anymore, for #2 I misread the dictionary definition. It is defined there as the intersection of two unknown clues.

  6. Enjoyed this unexpectedly medium-easy (for a Friday) puzzle, especially as Haight and Steinberg are among of the cleverest and toughest constructors around. Agree that they gave us a break today.

  7. Re: 44D Does anyone else go “hmmm” when Bill discusses the noun when the clue was looking for the adjective?

    1. Anon –

      It’s 2019. I believe earlier this year there was a clue regarding King Xerxes the Great of Persia from 465 B.C. So MERV is contemporary pop culture by comparison….Food for thought.

      Best –

  8. What year is it? Can’t you let us old fogies have our slim advantage?
    Besides, his shows are still being produced.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.