0703-19 NY Times Crossword 3 Jul 19, Wednesday

Constructed by: Evan Mahnken
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Fingers Crossed

Themed answers include one word that is a type of FINGER. Those FINGERS CROSS in the grid:

  • 54A “Here’s hoping” … or a hint to 16-Across/10-Down and 37-Across/14-Down : FINGERS CROSSED
  • 16A Verse ender in “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” : LET FREEDOM RING (ring finger)
  • 10D Somewhat : A LITTLE BIT (little finger)
  • 37A Go-between : MIDDLEMAN (middle finger)
  • 14D Bureau of Labor Statistics statistic : PRICE INDEX (index finger)

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

Bill’s time: 6m 39s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Medal of Honor recipient : HERO

The highest military decoration awarded for gallantry is the Medal of Honor. The second highest medal is specific to the service, namely the Distinguished Service Cross (Army), the Navy Cross (Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) and the Air Force Cross. The third highest award is the Silver Star.

5 Leonardo’s “The Last Supper,” e.g. : MURAL

Leonardo da Vinci’s famous mural “The Last Supper” can be seen on an end wall of the dining hall in the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy. If you want to see the painting in person, you have to make a reservation ahead of time. And once you get there, you’re only allowed 15 minutes of viewing time. It’s very popular …

13 Sunburn cause : UV EXPOSURE

At either end of the visible light spectrum are the invisible forms of radiation known as infrared (IR) light and ultraviolet (UV) light. IR light lies just beyond the red end of the visible spectrum, and UV light lie just below the violet end.

16 Verse ender in “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” : LET FREEDOM RING (ring finger)

The patriotic song “America” is also known by its first line, “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”. The song was written by Samuel Francis Smith in 1831, and was the de facto national anthem of the country until “The Star-Spangled Banner” was declared the official anthem in 1931. The melody of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” is identical with the British national anthem, “God Save the Queen”.

My country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From ev’ry mountainside
Let freedom ring!

19 Color of most Solo cups : RED

The Solo Cup was introduced in 1930, and was the creation of a former employee of the Dixie Company. The first Solo Cup was a paper cone that founder Leo Hulseman made at home and sold to companies that distributed bottled water. Apparently, Solo’s red plastic cup sell very well, and are used by college students playing beer pong.

20 Great Plains tribe : OTOE

The Otoe (also “Oto”) Native American tribe originated in the Great Lakes region as part of the Winnebago or Siouan tribes. The group that would become the Otoe broke away from the Winnebago and migrated southwestward, ending up in the Great Plains. In the plains the Otoe adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle dependent on the horse, with the American bison becoming central to their diet.

28 Scottish Highlander : GAEL

A Gael is anyone of a race that speaks or spoke one of the Erse tongues. There are actually three Erse languages. Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own tongues, these would be Gaeilge (in Ireland), Gaelg (on the Isle of Man) and Gaidhlig (in Scotland).

47 Early Chinese dynasty : WEI

There were two Wei dynasties in Chinese history. The Cao Wei (220-265) existed during the Three Kingdoms period, and the Northern Wei (386-534) that existed during the Southern and Northern dynasties period.

50 Symbol of resistance : OMEGA

Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet and is the one that looks like a horseshoe when in uppercase. The lowercase omega looks like a Latin W. The word “omega” literally means “great O” (O-mega). Compare this with the Greek letter Omicron, meaning “little O” (O-micron).

The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every school kid knows as Ohm’s Law.

59 Key chess piece, in Spain : REY

In Spanish, a “rey” (king) is a key chess piece.

61 The “m” in the equation “F = ma” : MASS

Newton’s second law of motion tells us that a body accelerates when a force is applied to it, and the greater the mass of the object, the greater the force required to cause that acceleration. Mathematically, the law can be written as Force = mass x acceleration (F=ma).

Down

1 Dance with a lot of hip movement : HULA

The hula is a native dance of Hawaii that uses arm movements to relate a story. The hula can be performed while sitting (a noho dance) or while standing (a luna dance).

3 No longer active: Abbr. : RETD

Retired (“ret.” or “retd.”)

4 Alma mater for J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis : OXFORD

The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. The exact date of the school’s founding is uncertain, although teaching was recorded there as early as 1096. Back in the early 1200s, the authorities from the town of Oxford hanged two Oxford University scholars following the death of a woman. There followed a dispute between the townsfolk and the university that resulted in many academics leaving Oxford. Many ended up in Cambridge, leading to the founding of the University of Cambridge in 1209. The two universities a similar status today, and are often referred to jointly as “Oxbridge”.

J. R. R. (John Ronald Reuel) Tolkien was an English author best known by far for his fantasy novels “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings”. Although Tolkien lived in England and was a professor at Oxford, he served for many years as an external examiner at my old school, University College Dublin in Ireland.

Irishman C. S. Lewis moved to Britain after serving in the British Army in WWI. A man of many achievements, Lewis is perhaps best remembered for his series of novels for children called “The Chronicles of Narnia” (which includes “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”). He also wrote the “The Four Loves”, a nonfiction work exploring the nature of love from a Christian perspective. Famously, Lewis died on November 22nd, 1963, the same day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

5 “The Simpsons” bartender : MOE

The regulars on “The Simpsons” hang out at Moe’s Tavern, which is named for and run by Moe Szyslak. The most popular beer at Moe’s is Duff Beer. The name “Duff” is a reference to the real-life Duffy’s Tavern that used to be East 13th Street in Eugene, Oregon. “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening used to frequent Duffy’s regularly, and Moe’s looks very much like Duffy’s in terms of decor and floor plan.

9 Moon lander, for short : LEM

In the Apollo program, the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) was the vehicle that actually landed on the moon and returned the astronauts to the command module that was orbiting overhead. The third LEM built was named “Spider”, and it participated in the Apollo 9 mission which tested the functionality of the LEM design in space. The fourth LEM was called “Snoopy” and it flew around the moon in the Apollo 10 mission, the dress rehearsal for the upcoming moon landing. Apollo 11’s LEM was called “Eagle” and it brought Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to and from the moon’s surface. Another famous LEM was Apollo 13’s Aquarius. Although Aquarius never landed on the moon, it did serve as a “lifeboat” for the three astronauts after the explosive rupture of an oxygen canister in the Service Module.

11 Cab alternative? : PINOT

The Pinot noir wine grape variety takes its name from the French for “pine” and “black”. The grapes grow in tight clusters shaped like pine cones, and are very dark in color. The Pinot noir grape is most closely associated with Burgundy wines in France, although in recent years the popularity (and price) of California Pinot noir wine has soared after it featured so prominently in the wonderful, wonderful 2004 movie “Sideways”. Grab a bottle of Pinot, and go rent the movie …

17 City in which Joan of Arc died : ROUEN

Rouen is the major city in Normandy in northern France. During the days of Norman Britain, Rouen was one of the capitals of the Anglo-Norman dynasties. Rouen was also where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431.

22 Matthew ___, English poet who wrote “Dover Beach” : ARNOLD

“Dover Beach” is an 1867 poem by English poet Matthew Arnold.

The sea is calm tonight.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; —on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!

23 2010s NBC drama that revolved around three generations of a family : PARENTHOOD

“Parenthood” is a TV series that originally aired from 2010 until 2015, and is loosely based on the 1989 film of the same name starring Steve Martin. Ron Howard directed the film, and served as executive producer for the TV show.

24 What banks look to when setting interest rates, with “the” : FED

The Federal Reserve System is more usually known simply as “the Fed”, and is the central banking system of the US. It was introduced in 1913 in response to a number of financial panics at the beginning of the 20th century. The original role for the Fed was to act as a lender of last resort, in case there was a run on a bank. This can happen as most of the money that is deposited by customers in a bank is reinvested by that bank, so it has very little liquid cash available. If too many customers look for their money at one time, then the bank can be short of cash and this can start a “run”. The Fed’s responsibilities have broadened since those early days …

32 Kaiser ___ : ROLL

The Kaiser roll was invented in Vienna, Austria. It is thought that the “Kaiser” name was applied to the crusty roll in honor of Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I.

42 2001 Sean Penn movie : I AM SAM

“I Am Sam” is a 2001 drama movie starring Sean Penn. Penn plays a man with a developmental disability who is raising a young daughter alone after her mother abandoned the family.

Actor Sean Penn is a two-time Oscar winner, for his roles in “Mystic River” released in 2003 and “Milk” released in 2008. Penn’s celebrity on screen is only matched with his fame off the screen. Apart from his “big name” marriages to singer Madonna and actress Robin Wright, Penn is also well known for political and social activism. He perhaps inherited some of his political views from his father, actor and director Leo Penn. As an actor, Leo refused to “name names” in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee and so was blacklisted in Hollywood and had to move into directing to put bread on the table. In later years as a director he gave his son Sean his first acting role, in a 1974 episode of “Little House on the Prairie”.

44 Fabric with a repeated design : TOILE

Toile fabric can be used as upholstery, as wallpaper, or even as a fabric for clothing. The name “toile” comes from the French word for “canvas, linen cloth”.

47 Certiorari, e.g. : WRIT

A writ of certiorari is an order by a superior court instructing a lower court to send the record in any particular case for review by the higher court.

48 Bar members: Abbr. : ESQS

The title “esquire” is of British origin and is used differently today depending on whether one is in the US or the UK. Here in America the term is usually reserved for those practicing the law (both male and female). In the UK, “esquire” is a term of gentle respect reserved for a male who has no other title that one can use. So a mere commoner like me might receive a letter from the bank say, addressed to W. E. Butler Esq.

49 Places for post-op patients : ICUS

Intensive care unit (ICU)

51 “Cómo ___?” : ESTA

“Cómo está?” is Spanish for “how are you, how’s it going?”

55 2010’s “The Book of ___” : ELI

2010’s “The Book of Eli” is one of those “end of the world” movies, with Denzel Washington playing a tough guy traveling across what is left of the United States after some apocryphal event.

56 Where Ipanema Beach is : RIO

Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city in Brazil (after São Paulo). “Rio de Janeiro” translates as “January River”. The name reflects the discovery of the bay on which Rio sits, on New Year’s Day in 1502.

Ipanema is a beach community in the south of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The name Ipanema is a local word meaning “bad water”, signifying that the shore is bad for fishing. The beach became famous on release of the song “The Girl from Ipanema” written in 1965.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Medal of Honor recipient : HERO
5 Leonardo’s “The Last Supper,” e.g. : MURAL
10 Go ___ (lose it) : APE
13 Sunburn cause : UV EXPOSURE
15 Part of the eye that a fish doesn’t have : LID
16 Verse ender in “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” : LET FREEDOM RING (ring finger)
18 “Me too,” formally : AS DO I
19 Color of most Solo cups : RED
20 Great Plains tribe : OTOE
21 Magnavox competitor : RCA
23 Strokes in miniature golf : PUTTS
24 Things to keep tabs on : FOLDERS
28 Scottish Highlander : GAEL
29 Old-time actress Le Gallienne : EVA
30 Trapped : IN A CORNER
33 Firecracker that doesn’t go off : DUD
34 Thumbs-down : NO-VOTE
35 “That’s just ter-r-rible!” : BOO!
37 Go-between : MIDDLEMAN (middle finger)
39 Under the weather : ILL
40 Kept a bead on : EYED
41 Give the right : ENTITLE
43 When dinner may be served : AT SIX
45 “Of course!” : AHA!
46 “Coming ___” (store sign) : SOON
47 Early Chinese dynasty : WEI
50 Symbol of resistance : OMEGA
54 “Here’s hoping” … or a hint to 16-Across/10-Down and 37-Across/14-Down : FINGERS CROSSED
57 The works : ALL
58 Sold off, as assets : LIQUIDATED
59 Key chess piece, in Spain : REY
60 “True” : IT’S SO
61 The “m” in the equation “F = ma” : MASS

Down

1 Dance with a lot of hip movement : HULA
2 Nights when kids have a hard time falling asleep : EVES
3 No longer active: Abbr. : RETD
4 Alma mater for J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis : OXFORD
5 “The Simpsons” bartender : MOE
6 Pusher’s customer : USER
7 Inconsiderate : RUDE
8 Half of a celebrity couple with J.Lo starting in 2017 : A-ROD
9 Moon lander, for short : LEM
10 Somewhat : A LITTLE BIT (little finger)
11 Cab alternative? : PINOT
12 Beats by a small margin : EDGES
14 Bureau of Labor Statistics statistic : PRICE INDEX (index finger)
17 City in which Joan of Arc died : ROUEN
22 Matthew ___, English poet who wrote “Dover Beach” : ARNOLD
23 2010s NBC drama that revolved around three generations of a family : PARENTHOOD
24 What banks look to when setting interest rates, with “the” : FED
25 Egg : OVUM
26 “Men not allowed” : LADIES ONLY
27 Hold on to : SAVE
28 Did very well on the test : GOT AN A
31 Command to Rover : COME
32 Kaiser ___ : ROLL
36 Shout after a score, maybe : OLE!
38 Like a phone down to 1% : DYING
42 2001 Sean Penn movie : I AM SAM
43 To the same extent : AS FAR
44 Fabric with a repeated design : TOILE
47 Certiorari, e.g. : WRIT
48 Bar members: Abbr. : ESQS
49 Places for post-op patients : ICUS
51 “Cómo ___?” : ESTA
52 Thousands of dollars, in slang : GEES
53 Throws in : ADDS
55 2010’s “The Book of ___” : ELI
56 Where Ipanema Beach is : RIO

20 thoughts on “0703-19 NY Times Crossword 3 Jul 19, Wednesday”

  1. 16:37. Yet another puzzle where I didn’t get the theme until I reviewed your solution post… One of these days…

  2. “Symbol of resistance” might also want to explain that omega (Ω) is the symbol for ohms, which measures electrical resistance.

    It’s a science reference and maybe should have deserved the “?” in the clue.

  3. 9:52. Good theme, but I don’t understand why MIDDLEMAN, the reference to the MIDDLE finger, isn’t a down answer??

    Best –

    1. Sandra –

      My comment was an attempt at making a joke about a middle index finger in the vertical position and my disappointment that it wasn’t to be in this particular grid

      Best –

  4. I have a question that I have not seen before regarding doing the cw on paper. Does anyone, as they answer a clue, look at the blog to see if their answer is correct; and, if it is, confidently move on to the next clue?

    1. To each their own. When I started doing the NYT puzzle about 15 years ago, researching answers (including using the internet) while doing the puzzle was part of my effort. But I deliberately avoided looking up a specific answer on a blog like this one. I felt the act of researching answers helped me expand my knowledge base. The more one does these puzzles, the better they get at them. If someone else requires occasional assistance, by looking up a specific answer, to get through a puzzle, I have no qualms with it. Over the years, I have become less and less dependent on outside sources, until I no longer do any outside research while solving a puzzle. I would rather admit to having a couple of errors, and then come here to learn something new. But, again, that is only my preference.

  5. 11:41, no errors. Completely befuddled by the cross WEI/WRIT, went down the alphabet until the W made sense for WRIT, and just accepted that there was a WEI dynasty.

  6. I got this one with no errors but it took a full effort out of me. I had one disadvantage and that involved another typesetting error in my local paper. In 54-Across (the theme revealer) the typesetter did not give that 14-Down (PRICE INDEX) was also a “crossing finger”. It gave me three fingers okay but not the fourth. I am sure that I could have done much better if I had only known about that fourth finger cross. Nevertheless, I did decipher it on my own and managed to still finish at 100%.

  7. No errors. A good workout. Of course I am probably talking to myself as I didn’t get a chance to do the puzzle yesterday…

  8. Jeff — LOL, that went right by me — clueless, you might say. I usually have a dirtier mind than to miss that!

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