0712-19 NY Times Crossword 12 Jul 19, Friday

Constructed by: Evan Kalish
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme:None

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

10 Supreme Court colleague of Ruth and Neil : SONIA

Sonia Sotomayor is the first Hispanic justice on the US Supreme Court, and the third female justice. Sotomayor was nominated by President Barack Obama to replace the retiring Justice David Souter.

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg serves on the US Supreme Court. Justice Ginsburg was the second woman to join the Court, and was nominated by President Bill Clinton. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1999 and underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. During that time she did not miss one day on the bench. In 2009 Justice Ginsburg had surgery for pancreatic cancer, and was back to work 12 days later. She had left-lung lobectomy to remove cancerous nodules in 2018, which forced Justice Ginsburg to miss oral argument in January 2019, for the first time since joining the court 25 years earlier. Much of Ginsburg’s life is recounted in the excellent 2018 movie “On the Basis of Sex”.

Neil Gorsuch was nominated to the Supreme court by the Trump administration, and assumed office in 2017. Gorsuch took the seat on the court that was left vacant with the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016. Gorsuch is the first Supreme Court justice to serve alongside another justice for whom he once clerked, doing so for Anthony Kennedy from 1993 to 1994.

16 Parts of nerve cells : AXONS

A nerve cell is more correctly called a neuron. The branched projections that receive electrochemical signals from other neurons are known as dendrites. The long nerve fiber that conducts signals away from the neuron is known as the axon. A neuron that has no definite axon is referred to as “apolar” or “nonpolar”. In apolar neurons the nerve impulses radiate in all directions.

18 Five-time winner of FIFA’s player of the year award : MESSI

Lionel “Leo” Messi is a soccer player from Argentina. Messi was awarded FIFA’s Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball) award from 2009 to 2013. The Ballon d’Or is presented to the player who is considered the best in the world in the prior year.

19 Sport ___ : UTE

A utility vehicle is often called a “ute” for short. Nowadays one mainly hears about sport-utes and crossover-utes.

20 Loser : DWEEB

“Dweeb” is relatively recent American slang that came out of college life in the late sixties. Dweeb, squarepants, nerd; they’re all not-nice terms that mean the same thing, i.e. someone excessively studious and socially inept.

22 Garners : NETS

A garner is a granary, a building in which grain is stored. The related verb “to garner” means to gather into a granary. We also use the verb figuratively to mean “accumulate, collect” in general.

23 What might hurt a celebrity’s Q Score : BAD PR

Public relations (PR)

“Q Score” is a measurement used in the world of marketing. The Q Score for a brand or company is its appeal, how highly it is regarded. The Q stands for “quotient”.

26 Top of Scotland : TAM

A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. “Tams” were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”) but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of the Robert Burns poem “Tam O’Shanter”.

28 Main : SEA

When one thinks of the word “main” in the context of the sea, the Spanish Main usually comes to mind. Indeed, the use of the more general term “main” to mean “sea”, originates from the more specific “Spanish Main”. “Spanish Main” originally referred to land and not water, as it was the name given to the mainland coast around the Caribbean Sea in the days of Spanish domination of the region.

29 Word with Pacific or basketball : RIM

The phrase “Pacific Rim” describes the countries that surround the Pacific Ocean. The related phrase “Pacific Basin” includes the islands in the Pacific Ocean, in addition to the Pacific Rim nations.

31 Sheep’s milk product : FETA

Feta is a Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk. The cheese is salted and cured in a brine solution for several months before it is eaten.

32 Arm muscle, informally : TRI

The triceps brachii muscle is found at the back of the upper arm. The muscle’s name translates to “three-headed arm muscle”, fitting as it is actually made up of three bundles of muscles.

38 Ad ___ : REM

The Latin term “ad rem” translates literally as “to the matter”.

39 Forty-niners’ equipment : PANS

When prospectors pan for gold, they do so by mixing soil and water in a pan. Because gold is very dense, gravel and soil can be washed over the side of the pan leaving the heavy precious metal at the bottom. The gold has been “panned out”, and so we often use “pan out” figuratively to mean “turn out, succeed”.

The California gold rush actually started in 1848. The first to exploit the find were those people already in California. By 1849 the word had spread and gold-seekers started to arrive from all over the world. The “out-of-towners” who arrived in 1849 became known as forty-niners.

40 First show to win 50 Emmys, in brief : SNL

“Saturday Night Live” (SNL)

42 Delta Air Lines hub in the Mountain time zone, for short : SLC

Salt Lake City (SLC) was founded by Brigham Young, in 1847. The city takes its name from the Great Salt Lake on which it sits, and indeed was known as “Great Salt Lake City” up until 1868.

43 State capital known as the Cherry City : SALEM

Salem is the state capital of Oregon. It is thought that the city takes its name from the older city of Salem, Massachusetts.

47 Great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather of Noah : SETH

According to the Bible, Seth was the third son of Adam and Eve, coming after Cain and Abel. Adam and Eve had several children, but Cain, Abel and Seth are the ones mentioned by name. According to the Book of Genesis, Seth was born after Cain had slain his brother Abel.

49 This clue’s number divided by this clue’s answer : SEVEN

49 divided by 7 is 7.

54 Alternative to tea leaves : TAROT

Tarot cards have been around since the mid-1400s, and for centuries were simply used for entertainment as a game. It has only been since the late 1800s that the cards have been used by fortune tellers to predict the future. The list of tarot cards includes the Wheel of Fortune, the Hanged Man and the Lovers.

56 Modern information analyst : DATA MINER

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

59 Who sings “Some Enchanted Evening” in “South Pacific” : EMILE

The 1949 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “South Pacific” is based on stories from the 1947 book “Tales of the South Pacific” by James A. Michener. “South Pacific” really is a classic show featuring some classic songs, like “Bali Ha’i”, “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair”, “Some Enchanted Evening” and “Happy Talk”.

61 Kind of cup : DIXIE

Dixie Cup is a brand of disposable papers cups. The first such cups were introduced to promote hygiene at shared water fountains, as prior to disposable cups, glasses or dippers were shared by people taking a drink. As such, the Dixie Cup was introduced in 1907 as the “Health Kup”. The name was changed in 1919 to Dixie Cup, after a line of dolls (presumably as the cups were relatively small).

62 Travels like the fly in sci-fi’s “The Fly” : TELEPORTS

The 1986 sci-fi horror film “The Fly” stars Jeff Goldblum as a scientist who gradually turns into a fly-like creature as the result of a teleportation experiment that goes awry. The 1986 film is loosely based on a 1957 short story by George Langelaan. I saw the original 1958 movie adaptation of that story when I was just a lad, and it really scared me. I’ve managed to avoid the two sequels and the 1986 remake …

Down

2 Letter found between two vowels in the alphabet : THETA

The Greek letter theta is the one that looks like the number zero with a horizontal line across the middle.

4 ___ Dome (former Indianapolis venue) : RCA

The RCA Dome was probably better known as the Hoosier dome, home to the Indianapolis Colts from 1984-2007. It was torn down in 2008, but the inflated roof was put to good use afterwards. The material was re-purposed by local artisans, creating wallets, messenger bags etc. These can still be purchased, with proceeds going to charity.

7 Part of Caesar’s boast : … I SAW …

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.

10 “The Lord of the Rings” role : SAM

Samwise Gamgee is the sidekick to Frodo Baggins in Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”. “Sam” is portrayed by American actor Sean Astin in the Peter Jackson, big screen adaptations of the novels.

24 Competition at Pebble Beach : PRO-AM

The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament was established as an annual event in 1937, when it was hosted by Bing Crosby, who was a huge fan of the sport. The Bing Crosby name was used for the tournament even after his death in 1977, eventually giving way to corporate sponsor AT&T in 1985.

27 Valkyries, e.g. : MAIDENS

In Norse mythology, the valkyries are beautiful female attendants of Odin who choose those who must die in battle and those who must live. Half of those who die go to Fólkvangr, the “army field” ruled over by the goddess Freyja. The other half of those who perish go to Valhalla, the hall of the slain that is ruled over by the god Odin. The etymology of “valkyrie” is Old Norse for “chooser of the slain”.

30 Drinks made from agave : MESCALS

Mezcal (also “mescal”) is a distilled spirit made from the agave plant. Technically, tequila is a type of mezcal that is distilled specifically from the blue agave.

33 Hit 1999 film that popularized a slo-mo effect known as “bullet time” : THE MATRIX

The 1999 movie sensation “The Matrix” was meant to be set in a nondescript urban environment. It was actually shot in Australia, as one of the co-producers of the film was the Australian company, Village Roadshow Pictures. You can pick up all sorts of clues about the location when watching the film, including a view of Sydney Harbour Bridge in a background shot. Also, traffic drives along on the left and there are signs for the “lift” instead of an “elevator”.

35 Nabisco brand : NILLA

As one might expect, “Nilla” is a shortened form of “vanilla”. However, you won’t find any vanilla in Nilla brand cookies or wafers. They have always been flavored with vanillin, which is synthetic vanilla. Is nothing sacred …?

37 Like cockatoos and iguanas : CRESTED

Cockatoos are birds closely related to the true parrots. The name “cockatoo” probably comes from the Malay “kaka” (parrot) and “tuwah” (older sibling).

An iguana is a lizard, and as such is cold-blooded. There are times when pet iguanas need heat from an IR lamp to maintain body temperature.

48 Colorful Hindu festival : HOLI

Holi is a Hindu festival celebrated in spring that is also known as the Festival of Colours.

55 Driving aid : TEE

That would be golf.

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58 “If u ask me …” : IMO …

In my opinion (IMO)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Means of interstellar travel : STARSHIPS
10 Supreme Court colleague of Ruth and Neil : SONIA
15 Oklahoma tribe originally from the Southeast : CHICKASAW
16 Parts of nerve cells : AXONS
17 An anchor is at its end : RELAY RACE
18 Five-time winner of FIFA’s player of the year award : MESSI
19 Sport ___ : UTE
20 Loser : DWEEB
22 Garners : NETS
23 What might hurt a celebrity’s Q Score : BAD PR
26 Top of Scotland : TAM
28 Main : SEA
29 Word with Pacific or basketball : RIM
31 Sheep’s milk product : FETA
32 Arm muscle, informally : TRI
33 “This isn’t over” : TO BE CONTINUED
36 Advice column query : WHAT SHOULD I DO?
37 Some facial treatments : CHEMICAL PEELS
38 Ad ___ : REM
39 Forty-niners’ equipment : PANS
40 First show to win 50 Emmys, in brief : SNL
41 Sister company of Century 21 : ERA
42 Delta Air Lines hub in the Mountain time zone, for short : SLC
43 State capital known as the Cherry City : SALEM
47 Great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather of Noah : SETH
49 This clue’s number divided by this clue’s answer : SEVEN
53 Cells joined by other cells : OVA
54 Alternative to tea leaves : TAROT
56 Modern information analyst : DATA MINER
59 Who sings “Some Enchanted Evening” in “South Pacific” : EMILE
60 Shortly : IN A MOMENT
61 Kind of cup : DIXIE
62 Travels like the fly in sci-fi’s “The Fly” : TELEPORTS

Down

1 Cancel : SCRUB
2 Letter found between two vowels in the alphabet : THETA
3 Felt off : AILED
4 ___ Dome (former Indianapolis venue) : RCA
5 Something on the horizon : SKY
6 Like a rock and many a roll : HARD
7 Part of Caesar’s boast : … I SAW …
8 Something to set or pick up : PACE
9 Make nice to in a manipulative way : SWEETEN UP
10 “The Lord of the Rings” role : SAM
11 Farm team : OXEN
12 Certain facial piercings : NOSE STUDS
13 Like the sound of surround sound, typically : IN STEREO
14 “Again …” : AS I SAID …
21 Much of military history : BATTLES
24 Competition at Pebble Beach : PRO-AM
25 Meat cuts that are often barbecued : RIB TIPS
27 Valkyries, e.g. : MAIDENS
30 Drinks made from agave : MESCALS
31 Tricks : FOOLS
33 Hit 1999 film that popularized a slo-mo effect known as “bullet time” : THE MATRIX
34 Took a gamble : CHANCED IT
35 Nabisco brand : NILLA
36 Question asked after opening one’s eyes and blinking repeatedly : WHERE AM I?
37 Like cockatoos and iguanas : CRESTED
44 Unlikely partygoer : LONER
45 Party, e.g. : EVENT
46 Selling points : MARTS
48 Colorful Hindu festival : HOLI
50 One providing directions : VANE
51 Abbr. after a series of 52-Downs : ET AL
52 See 51-Down : NAME
55 Driving aid : TEE
57 Its head is usually at the bottom : MOP
58 “If u ask me …” : IMO …

8 thoughts on “0712-19 NY Times Crossword 12 Jul 19, Friday”

  1. 13:53, no errors. Not bad. Trying “SPACE SHIP” before “STAR SHIPS” caused a bit of trouble … 😜.

  2. Nilla cookies were once sold as Vanilla Wafers. Eventually, when the word was out that there was no real vanilla in them they started using Nilla.

  3. 30:26. Pretty tame for a Friday, but I did this puzzle at 35,000 feet and am growing fatigued.

    Interesting about NILLA wafers. I was all set to make a joke about manila folders, but they are actually named from a Filipino hemp plant that was used to manufacture them at one point…

    Best-

  4. 46:36 no errors…I am not now or will I ever be a fan of clues like 51 & 52D…I think they are very unfair to the solver…just my opinion

  5. 20:51, no errors. Full of vague clues and pitfalls today. Got 19A UTE right off the bat, but the “U” led me to ANNUL in 1D, before SCRUB; and LOW PR before BAD PR. Then in 7D for Caesar’s boast I reflexively entered V**I (it’s always VENI, VIDI, VICI; right???). Also jumped on Ad HOC in 38A before Ad REM. Eventually dug myself out.

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