0708-19 NY Times Crossword 8 Jul 19, Monday

Constructed by: Ned White
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: P and G

Themed answers each comprise two words starting with the letters P and G:

  • 36A Consumer products giant, for short … or a hint to the answers to the eight starred clues : P AND G
  • 18A *Basketball position for Magic Johnson or Steph Curry : POINT GUARD
  • 20A *Level on the military wage scale : PAY GRADE
  • 26A *Alternative to a brush when coating the side of a house : PAINT GUN
  • 41A *The Beach Boys or Backstreet Boys : POP GROUP
  • 52A *Shade akin to olive : PEA GREEN
  • 54A *Sorority types who go out a lot : PARTY GIRLS
  • 4D *Darts and snooker : PUB GAMES
  • 37D *Roast accompaniment prepared with drippings : PAN GRAVY

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

Bill’s time: 5m 22s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Al who created Li’l Abner : CAPP

“Li’l Abner” was created and drawn by Al Capp for over 43 years starting in 1934. Al Capp stopped producing the strip in 1977, largely due to illness (he died from emphysema two years later). As the strip finished up, he went so far as to apologize to his long-standing fans, saying that he should have stopped 3-4 years earlier as he felt that the quality of his work had gone down in those latter years. The title character’s full name is “Li’l Abner Yokum”.

5 Chatting online, in brief : IM’ING

Even though instant messaging (sending and receiving IMs) has been around since the 1960s, it was AOL who popularized the term “instant message” in the eighties and nineties. The “AOL Instant Message” service was known as AIM.

10 Almost any offer that’s too good to be true : SCAM

The slang term “scam”, meaning a swindle, may come from the British slang “scamp”.

14 Doozy : LULU

We call a remarkable thing or a person a “lulu”. The term was coined in honor of Lulu Hurst, the Georgia Wonder, who was a stage magician active in the 1880s.

A “doozy” is something extraordinary or bizarre. The word’s exact origins aren’t clear, but it might be a derivative of the name Eleanora Duse, an Italian actress popular early in the 20th century. Some say that the term comes from the Duesenberg brand of automobile, which was indeed referred to as a “duesy”. However, the use of “doozy” in print occurs before the Duesenberg hit the market.

16 Robe in old Rome : TOGA

In ancient Rome, the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae” or “togas”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

17 The “A” of U.A.E. : ARAB

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates (states) in the Middle East. Included in the seven are Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with the city of Abu Dhabi being the UAE capital and cultural center.

18 *Basketball position for Magic Johnson or Steph Curry : POINT GUARD

Magic Johnson’s real name is Earvin Johnson. Johnson was born and grew up in Lansing, Michigan. Earvin earned the nickname “Magic” when playing basketball in high school, after one particularly great performance on the court.

Steph Curry is a professional basketball player who was named the league’s MVP in 2015, the same season that he led the Golden State Warriors to their first NBA championship since 1975. Steph’s father is former NBA player Dell Curry, and the older brother of current NBA player Seth Curry.

24 Uncouth person : BOOR

Back in the early 1500s, a boor was a rustic person, a peasant farmer, someone associated with the countryside. The term “boor” ultimately comes from the Latin “bos” meaning “cow, ox”. By the mid-1500s, someone described as boorish was considered rude in manner, which is our usage today.

25 Colorado summer hrs. : MDT

Mountain Daylight Time (MDT)

34 Single-stranded genetic molecule : RNA

Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

36 Consumer products giant, for short … or a hint to the answers to the eight starred clues : P AND G

Procter & Gamble was founded in 1837 by William Procter and James Gamble. Procter was a candlemaker, an immigrant from England. Gamble was a soapmaker, an immigrant from Ireland. The pair had settled in Cincinnati and married two sisters. Their father-in-law persuaded the two to set up in business together, and the rest is history.

37 Tylenol target : PAIN

Tylenol is a pain-relieving drug with the active ingredient acetaminophen (which is known as “paracetamol” outside of the US).

39 Toyota hybrid : PRIUS

The Toyota Prius is still the most fuel-efficient, gasoline-powered car sold in the US, according to the EPA. The name “Prius” is a Latin word meaning “ahead, leading”. In the US we pronounce the name “pree-us”, but across the Atlantic it’s pronounced “pry-us”. According to Toyota, the plural of “Prius” is “Prii”.

40 North Pole resident : SANTA

If you want to send a note to Santa from Canada, he has his own special postal code: “North Pole, HOH OHO”. The US Postal Service suggests that we send mail for Santa to zip code 99705, which directs it to the city of North Pole, Alaska.

41 *The Beach Boys or Backstreet Boys : POP GROUP

When the Beach Boys formed in 1961, they were very much a family concern. Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson were three brothers, Mike Love was their cousin, and the fifth member of the band was family friend Al Jardine. Back then, the manager of the group was Murry Wilson, the father of the three Wilson brothers.

The Backstreet Boys (BSB) are a male vocal group that formed in 1993 in Orlando, Florida. In fact, the group’s first performance was in SeaWorld Orlando in May of that year. They’ve come a long way since SeaWorld, and have sold more records than any other boy band in history.

45 Marx’s collaborator on “The Communist Manifesto” : ENGELS

Friedrich Engels was a German political theorist who worked closely with Karl Marx to develop what became known as Marxist Theory. Along with Marx, he also co-authored the “Communist Manifesto” in 1848, and later he supported Marx as he worked to publish “Das Kapital”.

49 ___ Field, former home of the Seattle Mariners : SAFECO

Safeco Field is the home of the Seattle Mariners. Safeco Insurance was the highest bidder when it came to christening the new stadium opened in 1999, paying $40m for a 20-year contract.

56 Eugene O’Neill’s “___ Christie” : ANNA

The playwright Eugene O’Neill was born in a New York City hotel room in what is now called Times Square, in 1888. That building no longer exists and there is a Starbucks on the site today, but you can go take a look at the commemorative plaque at the Northeast corner of 43rd and Broadway. O’Neill died in 1953, in room 401 of the Sheraton Hotel on Bay State Road in Boston. His last words were, “I knew it. I knew it. Born in a hotel room, and God damn it, died in a hotel room.” Eugene O’Neill won a Pulitzer for his play “Anna Christie”.

57 Help with a crime : ABET

The word “abet” comes into English from the Old French “abeter” meaning “to bait” or “to harass with dogs” (it literally means “to make bite”). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of “abet” meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.

59 “Veni, ___, vici” : VIDI

The oft-quoted statement “Veni, vidi, vici” (“I came, I saw, I conquered”) is believed by many to have been written by Julius Caesar. The words date back to 47 BCE and refer to the short war between Rome and Pharnaces II of Pontus.

60 Hellmann’s product, informally : MAYO

Mayonnaise originated in the town of Mahon in Menorca, a Mediterranean island belonging to Spain. The Spanish called the sauce “salsa mahonesa” after the town, and this morphed into the French word “mayonnaise” that we use in English today.

The Hellmann’s brand of mayonnaise was developed by New York City delicatessen owner Richard Hellmann in 1905. The product is sold under the Hellmann’s label east of the Rockies, and under the Best Foods brand in the western US.

61 Daytime or Primetime awards : EMMYS

The Emmy Awards are the television equivalent of the Oscars from the world of film, the Grammy Awards in music and the Tony Awards for the stage. Emmy Awards are presented throughout the year, depending on the sector of television being honored. The most famous of these ceremonies are the Primetime Emmy Awards and the Daytime Emmy Awards. The distinctive name of “Emmy” is a softened version of the word “immy”, the nickname given to the video camera tubes found in old television cameras.

Down

2 Enveloping glows, old-style : AURAE

An aura (plural “aurae”) is an intangible quality that surrounds a person or thing, a “je ne sais quoi”. “Je ne sais quoi” is French for “I don’t know what”.

3 ___ del Rey, Calif. : PLAYA

Playa del Rey is a beachside neighborhood and district of the City of Los Angeles. “Playa del Rey” translates from Spanish as “King’s Beach”.

4 *Darts and snooker : PUB GAMES

Darts is a wonderful game that’s often played in English and Irish pubs, even over here in America. The scoring in a traditional game of darts is difficult to describe in a sentence or two, but the game of darts called “Round the Clock” is simply hitting the numbers 1 through 20 on the dartboard in sequence.

Snooker is a fabulous game. It is played on what looks like a large pool table, 12 x 6 feet in dimensions if full size. Snooker is a derivative of the older game of billiards, and is believed to have been developed by British Army officers who were stationed in India in the latter half of the 1800s. “Snooker” was a word used in the British military for a first-year cadet and for an inexperienced soldier. Somehow, that usage morphed into the name of the game.

6 An emoji may suggest it : MOOD

An emoji is a character found on many cell phones that is much like an emoticon, but is more elaborate.

7 1970s tennis champ Nastase : ILIE

I think that Ilie Nastase was the most entertaining tennis player of the 1970s, the days of Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. No matter how much pressure there was in a match, Nastase always had time to share a joke with the crowd. After retiring from the sport, he had a few novels published (in French) during the eighties. Then Nastase went into politics, making an unsuccessful run for the mayorship of Bucharest in 1996. He made a successful run for the Romanian Senate though, and was elected senator in 2014.

8 Writer Anaïs : NIN

Anaïs Nin was a French author who was famous for the journals that she wrote for over sixty years from the age of 11 right up to her death. Nin also wrote highly regarded erotica and cited D. H. Lawrence as someone from whom she drew inspiration. Nin was married to banker and artist Hugh Parker Guiler in 1923. Decades later in 1955, Nin married former actor Rupert Pole, even though she was still married to Guiler. Nin and Pole had their marriage annulled in 1966, but just for legal reasons, and they continued to live together as husband and wife until Nin passed away in 1977.

10 E. B. White’s “___ Little” : STUART

E. B. (Elwyn Brooks) White was an American writer. His most famous creations were the children’s stories “Charlotte’s Web” and “Stuart Little”, but he also co-authored the writing guide “The Elements of Style” (usually referred to as “Strunk & White”).

11 Unwanted stocking stuffer : COAL

Apparently, the tradition of putting coal in the Christmas stocking of a poorly-behaved child comes simply from the proximity of the stocking (hanging on the fireplace) to a source of coal!

28 The “U” of I.C.U. : UNIT

Intensive care unit (ICU)

31 ___ O’s (breakfast cereal) : OREO

Oreo O’s cereal was made by Post from 1998 to 2007. The pieces of cereal were basically O-shaped (like Cheerios) but chocolate-flavored, dark brown in color and with white sprinkles on them. Oh, and lots of sugar.

32 One of 12 in Alcoholics Anonymous : STEP

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith in Akron, Ohio. As the organization grew, the guiding principles established by the founders were formatted into a 12-step program that was in place by the forties.

33 Oksana ___, 1994 Olympic skating wonder : BAIUL

Oksana Baiul is a Ukrainian figure skater, and the 1994 Olympic champion. Baiul had a rough start to her life as her father deserted her and her mother when she was just two years old, and then her mother died when she was thirteen. Her grandparents had died earlier so she was left as an orphan, sleeping on a cot in her hometown ice rink.

39 $$$$, on Yelp : PRICY

yelp.com is a website that provides a local business directory and reviews of services. The site is sort of like Yellow Pages on steroids, and the term “yelp” is derived from “yel-low p-ages”.

42 Run-down area : GHETTO

The original “ghetto” was an island in Venice that was used for confining Venetian Jews. The same island was used to store slag from a foundry, and “getto” was the Venetian word for “slag”. The term “ghetto” spread across Europe, at the beginning always associated with repressed Jewish populations. Ultimately it came to mean any urban area housing a minority group under economic and social pressure.

46 Counting-off word : EENIE

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch the tiger/monkey/baby by the toe.
If it hollers/screams let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, you are it!

47 1980s tennis champ Ivan : LENDL

Ivan Lendl is a former professional tennis player from Czechoslovakia. Lendl appeared in eight consecutive US Open finals in the eighties, a record that stands to this day.

48 Creature that leaves a slimy trail : SNAIL

Snails and slugs are referred to collectively as gastropods. There are many, many species of gastropods, found both on land and in the sea. Gastropods with shells are generally described as snails, and those species without shells are referred to as slugs.

49 What an email filter filters : SPAM

The term “spam”, used for unwanted email, is taken from a “Monty Python” sketch. In the sketch (which I’ve seen) the dialog is taken over by the word Spam, a play on the glut of canned meat in the markets of Britain after WWII. So “spam” is used for the glut of emails that takes over online communication. I can just imagine nerdy Internet types (like me) adopting something from a “Monty Python” sketch to describe an online phenomenon …

50 Rhyme scheme for Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” : AABA

When I was a schoolkid back in Ireland, Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” was our first introduction to American poetry, and what a lovely introduction it was:

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

51 Glenn of the Eagles : FREY

Eagles are a rock band that formed in 1971, with the founding members being Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner. Frey and Henley were hired as session musicians by Linda Ronstadt. The four then played live together backing Ronstadt in a gig at Disneyland in 1971, and recorded their debut album together in England the following year.

52 School event with a king and a queen : PROM

A prom is a formal dance held upon graduation from high school (we call them “formals” over in Ireland). The term “prom” is short for “promenade”, the name given to a type of dance or ball.

53 “For Better or for Worse” mom : ELLY

“For Better or For Worse” is a comic strip drawn by Lynn Johnston from 1979 until 2008. The strip tells the story of the Patterson family from a fictitious suburb of Toronto. “For Better or For Worse” ran in real time, so that the characters actually aged as time progressed. This aging process led to some difficult storylines, such as the death of the family dog “Farley”.

55 Company that pioneered the U.P.C. bar code : IBM

Universal Price Code or Universal Product Code (UPC)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Al who created Li’l Abner : CAPP
5 Chatting online, in brief : IM’ING
10 Almost any offer that’s too good to be true : SCAM
14 Doozy : LULU
15 “I swear!” : NO LIE!
16 Robe in old Rome : TOGA
17 The “A” of U.A.E. : ARAB
18 *Basketball position for Magic Johnson or Steph Curry : POINT GUARD
20 *Level on the military wage scale : PAY GRADE
22 Player in front of a net : GOALIE
23 What sailors and beachgoers breathe : SEA AIR
24 Uncouth person : BOOR
25 Colorado summer hrs. : MDT
26 *Alternative to a brush when coating the side of a house : PAINT GUN
30 Things coiled on the sides of houses : HOSES
33 With 44-Across, onetime British slapstick comic : BENNY …
34 Single-stranded genetic molecule : RNA
35 ___ and crafts : ARTS
36 Consumer products giant, for short … or a hint to the answers to the eight starred clues : P AND G
37 Tylenol target : PAIN
38 “You got it now?” : SEE?
39 Toyota hybrid : PRIUS
40 North Pole resident : SANTA
41 *The Beach Boys or Backstreet Boys : POP GROUP
43 Amusement : FUN
44 See 33-Across : … HILL
45 Marx’s collaborator on “The Communist Manifesto” : ENGELS
49 ___ Field, former home of the Seattle Mariners : SAFECO
52 *Shade akin to olive : PEA GREEN
54 *Sorority types who go out a lot : PARTY GIRLS
56 Eugene O’Neill’s “___ Christie” : ANNA
57 Help with a crime : ABET
58 Letter-shaped fastener : U-BOLT
59 “Veni, ___, vici” : VIDI
60 Hellmann’s product, informally : MAYO
61 Daytime or Primetime awards : EMMYS
62 Holler : YELL

Down

1 Applauds : CLAPS
2 Enveloping glows, old-style : AURAE
3 ___ del Rey, Calif. : PLAYA
4 *Darts and snooker : PUB GAMES
5 Somewhat : IN PART
6 An emoji may suggest it : MOOD
7 1970s tennis champ Nastase : ILIE
8 Writer Anaïs : NIN
9 Dig into work : GET GOING
10 E. B. White’s “___ Little” : STUART
11 Unwanted stocking stuffer : COAL
12 Prefix with cultural : AGRI-
13 Prepared, as dinner or a bed : MADE
19 Foolish, informally : GOONY
21 Frees (of) : RIDS
24 Marching halftime crews : BANDS
26 Fence in : PEN UP
27 Mom’s mom, for short : GRAN
28 The “U” of I.C.U. : UNIT
29 Mom’s mom : NANA
30 Lock securer : HASP
31 ___ O’s (breakfast cereal) : OREO
32 One of 12 in Alcoholics Anonymous : STEP
33 Oksana ___, 1994 Olympic skating wonder : BAIUL
36 What may precede Chapter 1 in a novel : PROLOGUE
37 *Roast accompaniment prepared with drippings : PAN GRAVY
39 $$$$, on Yelp : PRICY
40 Like choir music : SUNG
42 Run-down area : GHETTO
43 Lavish meals : FEASTS
46 Counting-off word : EENIE
47 1980s tennis champ Ivan : LENDL
48 Creature that leaves a slimy trail : SNAIL
49 What an email filter filters : SPAM
50 Rhyme scheme for Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” : AABA
51 Glenn of the Eagles : FREY
52 School event with a king and a queen : PROM
53 “For Better or for Worse” mom : ELLY
55 Company that pioneered the U.P.C. bar code : IBM

7 thoughts on “0708-19 NY Times Crossword 8 Jul 19, Monday”

  1. 8:29 after finding and fixing an error: “SAGECO” and “GREY” instead of “SAFECO” and “FREY” … a personal Natick … the nerve of these people … and on a Monday, too! … 😜

  2. No errors. Nice one. As always, thanks for your blog, Mr. Bill!

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading again Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”. I did wonder, however, about the change of the rhyme scheme on the last verse. As the clue asked, everything is AABA through the first three verses. The fourth verse, however, goes to AAAA, as I suppose it would be called.

    The poem is great, no matter what. But I did wonder a little about that change-up.

  3. 9:10, no errors. Nice theme, that set a higher degree of difficulty for the setter.

    49A the puzzle clue correctly calls SAFECO Field the former home of the Seattle Mariners. Bill might want to update his library. The Mariners home field has been renamed T-Mobile Park. It will probably be several years before I get used to that.

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