0711-19 NY Times Crossword 11 Jul 19, Thursday

Constructed by: Alex Eaton-Salners
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill):It’s All Backwards

Themed clues are written in reverse, as are the themed answers:

  • 17A RED ROOT (TO ORDER): DEZIMOTSUC (CUSTOMIZED)
  • 26A SLIP UP (PUPILS) : STNEDUTS (STUDENTS)
  • 38A DIAPER (REPAID) : DEGNEVA (AVENGED)
  • 51A WENT ON (NOT NEW) : GNITSIXE (EXISTING)
  • 63A NAME TAG (GATEMAN) : RETEPTNIAS (SAINT PETER)

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

Bill’s time: 10m 17s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Takes out : OFFS

To off someone is to taken them out, to kill them.

5 Deckhand : SWAB

“Swabbie” (also “swabby, swab, swabber”) is a slang term meaning “sailor” that we’ve been using since the late 1700s. A swab was originally a member of the crew assigned to the swabbing (mopping) of the ship’s decks.

9 Covertly drops a line to : BCCS

A blind carbon copy (bcc) is a copy of a document or message that is sent to someone without other recipients of the message knowing about that extra copy.

16 ___-chic (hippie-influenced style) : BOHO

Boho-chic is a style of fashion that grew out of the bohemian and hippie looks.

19 Groan-inducing dice 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.

21 Judean king : HEROD

Herod the Great was a vassal king in the first century BCE who ruled Judea under Roman supremacy. According to the Christian Bible, It was Herod the Great who ordered the Massacre of the Innocents, the execution of all young, male children in Bethlehem at the time of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. When Herod the Great died circa 4 BCE, Rome divided his kingdom between his three sons and one daughter. The son named Herod Antipas became ruler of Galilee and Perea. It is Herod Antipas who is cited as “King Herod” in the Bible, and who played a key role in the executions of John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth.

24 Certain red wine, to connoisseurs : CAB

The cabernet sauvignon grape has been around since the 17th century, and is the result of a chance crossing in southwestern France of the cabernet franc and sauvignon blanc grapes.

33 Ornamental pond fish : KOI

Koi are fish that are also known as Japanese carp. Koi have been bred for decorative purposes and there are now some very brightly colored examples found in Japanese water gardens.

41 Org. whose members meet in an alley : PBA

Professional Bowlers Association (PBA)

44 “___: Cyber” (2010s TV spinoff) : CSI

The “CSI” franchise of TV shows has been tremendously successful, but has finally wound down. “CSI: Miami” (the “worst” of the franchise, I think) was cancelled in 2012 after ten seasons. “CSI: NY” (the “best” of the franchise) was cancelled in 2013 after nine seasons. The original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, set in Las Vegas, hung in there until 2015 when it ended with a two-hour TV movie. The youngest show in the series was “CSI: Cyber”. It lasted for two seasons, before being canceled in 2016.

49 Long-handled weapon : POLEAX

A poleaxe (also “poleax”) is a medieval weapon. As one might expect, it is an axe on a pole. The pole could be anything from 4 to 8 feet in length.

54 It “lives from constraints and dies from freedom,” per Leonardo da Vinci : ART

Leonardo da Vinci was perhaps the most diversely talented person who ever contributed to society. He was a gifted painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer and writer. Da Vinci’s mural “The Last Supper” is the most reproduced work of art in the world.

57 Tennis star Naomi : OSAKA

Naomi Osaka is a Japanese-born tennis professional who became the first Asian player to be ranked number-one in singles.

63 NAME TAG (GATEMAN) : RETEPTNIAS (SAINT PETER)

In the Christian tradition, Saint Peter is often depicted as the keeper of the gates of heaven. This depiction arises from a passage in the Gospel of Matthew:

I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

65 Blood moon, to some : OMEN

A blood moon is also known as the hunter’s moon or sanguine moon. It is the first full moon after the harvest moon (the full moon nearest the autumnal equinox). The name comes from the tradition of hunting for food in the fall to stockpile food for the winter.

66 Slightly brown : SAUTE

“Sauté” is a French word. The literal translation from the French is “jumped” or “bounced”, a reference to the tossing of food while cooking it in a frying pan.

67 Old Dodge : OMNI

The Dodge Omni is basically the same car as the Plymouth Horizon, and was produced by Chrysler from 1978-90. The Omni is a front-wheel drive hatchback, the first in a long line of front-wheel drive cars that were very successful for Chrysler. The Omni was actually developed in France, by Chrysler’s Simca division. When production was stopped in the US in 1990, the tooling was sold to an Indian company that continued production for the Asian market for several years.

69 Video file extension : MPEG

The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) was established in 1988 to set standards for audio and video compression. The standards they’ve come up with use the acronym “MPEG”.

Down

9 ___ World Service : BBC

BBC World Service is an international broadcast service based in London. The BBC is the largest international broadcaster in the world. Programming goes out in 28 languages, with English programming being aired 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The BBC World Service’s audience has been reported as between 180 and 190 million people around the globe.

10 Thanksgiving centerpiece : CORNUCOPIA

The horn of plenty is a symbol of abundance that has been used in Western art since the days of antiquity. It is usually depicted as a horn-shaped vessel containing flowers and edible delights. The horn of plenty may also be referred to as the cornucopia.

12 They outrank frosh : SOPHS

The term “sophomore” has been used for a student in the second year of university since the 1680’s. The original meaning of the word was “arguer”. The term has Greek roots, from two Greek words that have been artificially combined in English. The Greek “sophos” means “wise”, and “moros” means “foolish”.

“Frosh” is a slang term for a college freshman. We call such a person a fresher back in Ireland …

22 “Keep Climbing” sloganeer : DELTA

Delta was the world’s largest airline for a while (after merging with Northwest Airlines in 2008) and is also the oldest airline still operating in the US. Delta’s roots go back to 1924 before it started carrying passengers and was called Huff Daland Dusters, a crop-dusting company based in Macon, Georgia. The name “Delta Air Service” was introduced in 1928.

25 Need for a triathlon : BIKE

An Ironman Triathlon is a race involving a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a marathon run of just over 26 miles. The idea for the race came out of a debate between some runners in the 1977 Oahu Perimeter Relay. They were questioning whether runners, swimmers or bikers were the most fit athletes. The debaters decided to combine three local events to determine the answer, inviting athletes from all three disciplines. The events that were mimicked tin the first triathlon were the Waikiki Roughwater swim (2.4 miles), the Around-Oahu Bike Race (115 miles) and the Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles). The idea was that whoever finishes first would be called “the Iron Man”. The first triathlon was run in 1978, with fifteen starters and only twelve finishers. The race format is used all over the world now, but the Hawaiian Ironman is the event that everyone wants to win.

27 – : DAH

Samuel Morse came up with the forerunner to modern Morse code for use on the electric telegraph, of which he was the co-inventor. Morse code uses a series of dots and dashes to represent letters and numbers. The most common letters are assigned the simplest code elements e.g. E is represented by one dot, and T is represented by one dash. When words are spelled aloud in Morse code, a dot is pronounced as “dit”, and a dash is pronounced as “dah”.

28 “Well, I guess if everyone else is …” : WHEN IN ROME …

The proverb “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” probably dates back to the days of St. Augustine. St. Augustine wrote a letter around 390 AD in which he states:

When I go to Rome, I fast on Saturday, but here [Milan] I do not. Do you also follow the custom of whatever church you attend, if you do not want to give or receive scandal?

29 History and literature, e.g. : HUMANITIES

The academic studies of human culture are collectively called the humanities. Subjects included in the humanities are languages, literature, philosophy, religion and music.

34 Close of business? : INC

A company that has incorporated uses the abbreviation “Inc.” after its name. By incorporating, a company forms a corporation, which is a legal entity that has legal rights similar to those of an individual. For example, a corporation can sue another corporation or individual. However, a corporation does not have all the rights of citizens. A corporation does not have the Fifth Amendment right of protections against self-incrimination, for example. It is perhaps understandable that the concept of “corporations as persons” is a frequent subject for debate.

36 Old ___, “Game of Thrones” caretaker : NAN

HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is a fantasy television drama that is adapted from a series of novels by George R. R. Martin called “A Song of Ice and Fire”. “Game of Thrones” is actually filmed in and around Belfast, Northern Ireland. I recently binge-watched the show’s first seven seasons, and enjoyed it. There’s no doubt that the production value of “Game of Thrones” is remarkable, but to be honest, I never became riveted by the storyline …

38 Rubbish : DROSS

When metals are smelted, there is a scum made up of impurities that floats on the surface of the molten metal. This scum is called “dross” and is drawn off and discarded. The term “dross” has come to mean any waste or impure matter.

39 Subj. of some thought experiments : ESP

Extrasensory perception (ESP)

40 Six-stringed instrument : VIOL

The viola da gamba (also called simply “viol”) is a bass instrument in what is known as the viol family, with a tonal range that about matches that of the modern-day cello. It is the second largest of all the viols, so is played resting on the floor between the legs. In fact, “viola da gamba” is Italian translating into “viol for the leg”.

43 ___ Tech, notable bankruptcy of 2016 : ITT

ITT Technical Institute was a private educational establishment with over 130 campuses all over the US. Founded in 1969, ITT closed down in 2016 after it was basically exposed as a scam. ITT students can now apply to the US Department of Education to avoid repaying their student loans.

48 Yoked pair : OX TEAM

A yoke is a wooden beam used between a pair of animals so that they are forced to work together.

51 Gal in “Wonder Woman” : GADOT

Gal Gadot is an Israeli actress and former Miss Israel. She plays Gisele Yashar in the “Fast & Furious” film franchise, and then began portraying Wonder Woman in superhero movies.

56 Place for un béret : TETE

In French, one wears a “chapeau” (hat), a beret perhaps, on one’s “tête” (head).

59 Xanadu resident : KANE

In the 1941 film “Citizen Kane”, the newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane builds himself an immense and opulent estate on the Florida coast called Xanadu. Xanadu boasts a Venetian-style canal, complete with gondolas, and a well-stocked zoo. There is also a championship golf course. The estate was inspired by the real-life Hearst Castle, a California mansion owned by William Randolph Hearst.

62 It may be placed in mines : TNT

“TNT” is an abbreviation for “trinitrotoluene”. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Takes out : OFFS
5 Deckhand : SWAB
9 Covertly drops a line to : BCCS
13 Make faces, perhaps : DRAW
14 Window’s counterpart : AISLE
16 ___-chic (hippie-influenced style) : BOHO
17 RED ROOT (TO ORDER): DEZIMOTSUC (CUSTOMIZED)
19 Groan-inducing dice roll : CRAP
20 Note below F, perhaps? : SEE ME
21 Judean king : HEROD
23 Undefined degree : NTH
24 Certain red wine, to connoisseurs : CAB
26 SLIP UP (PUPILS) : STNEDUTS (STUDENTS)
28 Kind of scenario : WHAT IF
31 Comfort : SOLACE
32 Give a good beatin’ : WHUP
33 Ornamental pond fish : KOI
35 One of many in Jesus’ crown : THORN
37 Line of clothing : HEM
38 DIAPER (REPAID) : DEGNEVA (AVENGED)
41 Org. whose members meet in an alley : PBA
42 Live in a studio : ON AIR
44 “___: Cyber” (2010s TV spinoff) : CSI
45 Symbol of England : LION
46 Altogether : IN TOTO
49 Long-handled weapon : POLEAX
51 WENT ON (NOT NEW) : GNITSIXE (EXISTING)
53 Fortune : LOT
54 It “lives from constraints and dies from freedom,” per Leonardo da Vinci : ART
55 Went after : SET AT
57 Tennis star Naomi : OSAKA
61 “I dare you!” : DO IT!
63 NAME TAG (GATEMAN) : RETEPTNIAS (SAINT PETER)
65 Blood moon, to some : OMEN
66 Slightly brown : SAUTE
67 Old Dodge : OMNI
68 Cause of class struggle? : TEST
69 Video file extension : MPEG
70 Handful of golfers? : TEES

Down

1 Figures at a racetrack : ODDS
2 Let go : FREE
3 Rattle : FAZE
4 Stretchy headwear : SWIM CAP
5 ___ João de Meriti, Brazil : SAO
6 Employed by : WITH
7 They may be packed for a trip in the mountains : ASSES
8 Says quickly without thinking : BLURTS
9 ___ World Service : BBC
10 Thanksgiving centerpiece : CORNUCOPIA
11 One talking on and on and on : CHATTERBOX
12 They outrank frosh : SOPHS
15 Affordable, in company names : ECONO
18 It may be well done : MEAT
22 “Keep Climbing” sloganeer : DELTA
25 Need for a triathlon : BIKE
27 – : DAH
28 “Well, I guess if everyone else is …” : WHEN IN ROME …
29 History and literature, e.g. : HUMANITIES
30 Problem for a mariner : FOG
32 “Am I supposed to know this person?” : WHO?
34 Close of business? : INC
36 Old ___, “Game of Thrones” caretaker : NAN
38 Rubbish : DROSS
39 Subj. of some thought experiments : ESP
40 Six-stringed instrument : VIOL
43 ___ Tech, notable bankruptcy of 2016 : ITT
45 “I’d rather we skip it” : LET’S NOT
47 Strata : TIERS
48 Yoked pair : OX TEAM
50 Pillage : LOOT
51 Gal in “Wonder Woman” : GADOT
52 Gobble : EAT UP
56 Place for un béret : TETE
58 “Je t’___” (French for “I love you”) : AIME
59 Xanadu resident : KANE
60 Without change : AS IS
62 It may be placed in mines : TNT
64 Coatroom item : PEG

13 thoughts on “0711-19 NY Times Crossword 11 Jul 19, Thursday”

  1. 15:55 after finding and fixing another of those typos that I seem to make when I solve online. Gotta work out a way to avoid those … 😳. And it took me a while to see the gimmick on this puzzle – an interesting one.

  2. 3 min 10 sec with no errors…NOT…actually 57:20 with seven errors in a puzzle that I would just like to put in the rear view mirror and move on.

  3. Managed to finish it with lots of crosses — got that the answers were spelled backwards, but not the clues — could not make any sense of them or the connection til I came here. Almost tanked on 59D because I was determined that the resident of Xanadu had to be Kubla KHAN (or tried Kahn) and as a last gasp remembered Citizen Kane!

  4. Similar experience as Sandra – solved this with no errors got lucky on some crosses – took at least 30 minutes over 2 days. Did not get the theme till I looked here …. very interesting and thanks Bill. I had no idea why CUSTOMIZED, STUDENTS, AVENGED etc related but they fit. Had TRASH before DROSS but AVENGET made no sense so …. KANE just fit – did not know his estate was called Xanadu.

  5. Really far-fetched; way too gimmicky. Prefer puzzles that require straight forward thought process, with knowledge of the English language.

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