0715-19 NY Times Crossword 15 Jul 19, Monday

Constructed by: Ed Sessa
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Shortcuts

Themed answers each start with a style of SHORT hair-CUT:

  • 61A Timesavers … or the starts of 17-, 26-, 36- and 51-Across? : SHORTCUTS
  • 17A Trendy terms : BUZZWORDS (giving “buzz cut”)
  • 26A First host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” : BOB SAGET (giving “bob cut”)
  • 36A Magical powder in “Peter Pan” : PIXIE DUST (giving “pixie cut”)
  • 51A Style of collarless shirt : CREW NECK (giving “crew cut”)

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

Bill’s time: 5m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Cow’s newborn : CALF

A calf is a young cow of either sex that is not more than a year old. A heifer is a young cow that has not calved, and the term “cow” can be used for a female of the species that has given birth.

9 SWAT team actions : RAIDS

“SWAT” is an acronym standing for Special Weapons and Tactics. The first SWAT team was pulled together in the Los Angeles Police Department in 1968.

14 Singer India.___ : ARIE

India.Arie is an American soul and R&B singer who was born India Arie Simpson in Denver, Colorado.

15 Aunt Bee’s charge on “The Andy Griffith Show” : 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.

16 Disney attraction in Florida : EPCOT

EPCOT Center (now just called “Epcot”) is the theme park beside Walt Disney World in Florida. EPCOT is an acronym standing for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, and is a representation of the future as envisioned by Walt Disney. Walt Disney actually wanted to build a living community for 20,000 residents at EPCOT, but he passed away without that vision being realized.

19 Ragú rival : PREGO

The Prego brand of pasta sauce is owned by the Campbell Soup Company. It is actually based on the family recipe of one of the company’s chefs. “Prego” literally means “I pray” in Italian, but it translates best in English as “you’re welcome” when it is used after a “thank you” (“grazie”, in Italian).

The Ragú brand of pasta sauce is owned by Unilever. The name ” Ragù” is the Italian word for a sauce used to dress pasta, however the spelling is off a little. In Italian the word is “Ragù” with a grave accent over the “u”, but if you look at a jar of the sauce on the supermarket shelf it is spelled “Ragú” on the label, with an acute accent. Sometimes I think we just don’t try …

20 Palestinian territory bordering Israel : GAZA

After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the boundaries of the strip of land on the Mediterranean around Gaza were fixed in the Israel-Egypt Armistice Agreement. The boundaries were specifically defined but were not to be recognized as an international border. From 1948, the Gaza Strip was occupied and administered by Egypt, until 1967 when Israel took over occupation following the Six-Day War. In 1993, Israel and the PLO signed the Oslo Accords which handed over administration to the Palestinian Authority, but with Israel retaining control of the Gaza Strip’s airspace, some land borders and its territorial waters. The intent was to further this agreement, but discussions between the parties broke down. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

21 Busybody, from the Yiddish : YENTA

“Yenta” (also “Yente”) is actually a female Yiddish name. In Yiddish theater “yenta” came to mean a busybody, a gossip.

23 ___ Dhabi, part of the United Arab Emirates : ABU

Abu Dhabi is one of the seven Emirates that make up the federation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The two largest members of the UAE (geographically) are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the only two of the seven members that have veto power over UAE policy. Before 1971, the UAE was a British Protectorate, a collection of sheikdoms. The sheikdoms entered into a maritime truce with Britain in 1835, after which they became known as the Trucial States, derived from the word “truce”.

26 First host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” : BOB SAGET (giving “bob cut”)

Bob Saget is a real enigma to me. Saget made a name for himself playing very sugary roles in TV shows like “Full House” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos”, and yet in the world of stand-up comedy he is known for very blue and raunchy routines.

28 “Haste makes waste” and similar sayings : OLD SAWS

A saw is an old saying, one that is often repeated and is very familiar. The term “old saw” is actually a tautology, as by definition a “saw” is “old”.

30 “Venerable” monk of the Middle Ages : ST BEDE

The Venerable Bede was a monk in the north of England in the eighth century AD. Saint Bede is mainly known as an author and scholar, publisher of “The Ecclesiastical History of the English People”. In his writings, Bede struggled with the two common ways of referring to dates at that time. Bede turned to the anno domini dating method that had been devised by Dionysius Exiguus in 525. Bede’s writings of circa 730 were extremely influential and helped popularize the “anno domini” method.

31 “Able ___ I ere I saw Elba” : WAS

The three most famous palindromes in English have to be:

  • Able was I ere I saw Elba
  • A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
  • Madam, I’m Adam

One of my favorite terms is “Aibohphobia”, although it doesn’t appear in the dictionary and is a joke term. “Aibohphobia” is a great way to describe a fear of palindromes, by creating a palindrome out of the suffix “-phobia”.

32 Ship’s wastewater : BILGE

The bilge is lowest internal part of a ship. The water that collects in there is called bilge water. The term “bilge” is also used as slang for nonsense talk.

35 State led by Lenin, in brief : USSR

“Lenin” wasn’t the birth name of the Russian leader. He was born Vladimir Ulyanov, and originally used “Lenin” as a pen name.

36 Magical powder in “Peter Pan” : PIXIE DUST (giving “pixie cut”)

J.M. Barrie’s stage play “Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up” premiered in London in 1904. Barrie adapted the play into a 1911 novel titled “Peter and Wendy”. The character Peter Pan actually predated the play, having been introduced by Barrie as baby in his 1902 adult novel called “The Little White Bird”.

Tinkerbell had a relatively small part to play in J. M. Barrie’s play “Peter Pan”, but her role has expanded over the years due to the character’s popularity with movie audiences.

The pixie cut is a hairstyle that is relatively short at the back and sides compared to the top. Famous examples of women wearing the cut are Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday”, Twiggy for much of the 1960s, Goldie Hawn on “Laugh-In” and Halle Berry in the Bond film “Die Another Day”.

43 “Fee, fi, fo, ___” : FUM

The line “fee-fi-fo-fum” (with various spellings) comes from the famous English fairy tale “Jack and the Beanstalk”. Within the story, the giant at the top of the beanstalk utters a little poem when he detects the presence of Jack:

Fee-fi-fo-fum,
I smell the blood of an Englishman,
Be he alive, or be he dead
I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.

49 Going from two lanes to one : MERGING

The “zipper merge” or “late merge” is encouraged by most traffic authorities when two lanes of traffic are merging into one. The alternative “early merge”, where cars move out of the lane that is closing before reaching the merge point, tends to be discouraged. The favored technique is to use both lanes until the merge point, and then alternate (zipper) from each lane through the merge itself. That said, one should always obey whatever instructions are given by the traffic authorities at the scene. And I know, I know … a lot of people think it rude to merge late …

51 Style of collarless shirt : CREW NECK (giving “crew cut”)

The term “crew cut” probably originated in Yale in the 1890s. The Yale football players were noted for wearing their hair relatively long, as it helped protect their heads inside the flimsy leather football helmets of the day. In contrast, the rowing team wore their hair relatively short, in a style that came to be known as the “crew cut”.

54 ___ Pieces (candy) : REESE’S

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were invented by Harry Burnett “H.B.” Reese. Peanut Butter Cups were originally called penny cups, reflecting the price at which they were sold. Then inflation took over, and maybe that’s why they were broken into smaller “Pieces” …

55 Nonkosher meat : HAM

According to Jewish dietary laws, kosher food is fit to eat, and food that is not fit to eat is referred to as treif (or “tref”). The usage of “kosher” has extended to include anything considered legitimate.

58 Snow queen in “Frozen” : ELSA

“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. The film is all about the exploits of Princess Anna, the younger sister of Elsa, Snow Queen of Arendelle. Spoiler alert: Prince Hans of the Southern Isles seems to be a good guy for most of the film, but turns out to be a baddie in the end. And, a snowman named Olaf provides some comic relief.

64 Scalawag : ROGUE

The American word “scalawag” meaning “rogue” was used as a nickname for southern white people who supported reconstruction after the Civil War.

65 Peace Nobelist Wiesel : ELIE

Elie Wiesel was a holocaust survivor, and is best known for his book “Night” that tells of his experiences in Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. He was also the first recipient of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum Award, which was later renamed the Elie Wiesel Award in his honor.

68 Pepsi, for one : COLA

The Pepsi-Cola formulation was developed by one Caleb Bradham who made the drink at home and sold it as Brad’s Drink. Bradham’s aim was to provide a drink that was pleasant to taste, that would aid digestion and boost energy. Included in the formula were pepsin (a digestive enzyme) and kola nuts. These two ingredients inspired the brand name we use today: Pepsi-Cola.

Down

1 Taxi : CAB

A hansom cab is a very specific design of horse and buggy that was patented by Joseph Hansom in 1834 in England. The “cab” in the name is short for “cabriolet”, an earlier design of carriage on which the hansom was based. It’s from “hansom cab” that we get our modern term “cab”.

2 Peppery salad green : ARUGULA

Eruca sativa is an edible plant that is known as “arugula” in the US, and “rocket” in Britain and Ireland and in Canada. The Italian name for the plant is “rucola”, from the Latin name. It is “rucula” that evolved into the American term “arugula”.

3 Chameleons, e.g. : LIZARDS

Chameleons are a family of Old World lizards, many of which have the ability to change their skin coloration and pattern. The term “chameleon” is simplified Latin, and is ultimately derived from the Greek for “lion of the ground”.

4 Some Moroccan headwear : FEZZES

A fez is a red, cylindrical hat worn mainly in North Africa, and by Shriners here in the US. The fez used to be a very popular hat across the Ottoman Empire. The etymology of “fez” is unclear, although it might have something to do with the Moroccan city named Fez.

5 Aussie marsupial, in brief : ROO

The word “kangaroo” comes from the Australian Aborigine term for the animal. There’s an oft-quoted story that the explorer James Cook (later Captain Cook) asked a local native what was the name of this remarkable-looking animal, and the native responded with “Kangaroo”. The story is that the native was actually saying “I don’t understand you”, but as cute as that tale is, it’s just an urban myth.

Marsupials are mammals that carry their young in a pouch. Better-known marsupials are kangaroos, koalas, wombats and Tasmanian devils. As you can probably tell from this list, most marsupials are native to the Southern Hemisphere.

6 Grand Ole ___ : OPRY

The Grand Ole Opry started out as a radio show in 1925 originally called the WSM “Barn Dance”. In 1927, the “Barn Dance” radio show was broadcast in a slot after an NBC production called “Musical Appreciation Hour”, a collection of classical works including Grand Opera. In a December show, the host of “Barn Dance” announced, “For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from Grand Opera. From now on we will present the ‘Grand Ole Opry'”. That name was used for the radio show from then on.

7 Lesser-played half of a 45 : SIDE B

The first vinyl records designed to play at 33⅓ rpm were introduced by RCA Victor in 1931, but were discontinued due to quality problems. The first long play (LP) 33⅓ rpm disc was introduced by Columbia Records many years later in 1948, with RCA Victor following up with a 45 rpm “single” the following year, in 1949.

9 Meal : REPAST

Our word “repast”, meaning “meal”. came to us via French (in which language “repas” is “meal”). Ultimately the term comes from the Latin “repascere” meaning “to repeatedly graze”.

10 Its showers bring May flowers: Abbr. : APR

The phenomenon known as April showers really applies to the UK and Ireland. Increased occurrence of rain during April is largely due to an annual change in the position of the jet stream.

11 Periods with the largest glaciers : ICE AGES

Ice ages are periods in the Earth’s history when there are extensive ice sheets present in the northern and southern hemispheres. One might argue that we are still in an ice age that began 2.6 million years ago, as evidenced by the presence of ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica.

18 Sushi bar condiment : WASABI

Sometimes called Japanese horseradish, wasabi is a root used as a condiment in Japanese cooking. The taste of wasabi is more like mustard than a hot pepper in that the vapors that create the “hotness” stimulate the nasal passages rather than the tongue. Personally, I love the stuff …

22 Atlanta-based channel : TBS

The tbs cable television station started out in 1967 as local broadcast TV station in Atlanta. The station’s first call letters were WJRJ-TV, and this was changed to WTCG in 1970 when it was acquired by Ted Turner (the TCG stood for Turner Communications Group). In 1976, Turner started distributing WTCG via satellite making its programming available in other parts of the country. WTCG was only the second channel to transmit via satellite, following HBO. The difference was that WTCG was broadcast without requiring a premium subscription. The station’s call sign was changed again in 1979 to WTBS, with TBS standing for Turner Broadcasting System. In 1981, the channel adopted the moniker “Superstation WTBS”.

24 Sound effect on “Batman” : POW!

The television show “Batman” aired from 1966-1968. Burt Ward played Robin opposite Adam West’s Batman. Supposedly, Burt Ward was offered the part taken by Dustin Hoffman in “The Graduate”, but Ward couldn’t get out of his contract for the “Batman” television series. Holy xxxx, Batman!

25 Candy bar packaged in twos : TWIX

I remember Twix bars from way back in 1967 when they were introduced in Britain and Ireland. Twix bars made it to the US over a decade later, in 1979. The name “Twix” is a portmanteau of “twin bix”, short for “twin biscuit”.

33 Prefix with cache : GEO-

Geocaching is a game rather like hide and seek that is played outdoors using hi-tech equipment. The idea is that someone places a waterproof container in a specific location with known GPS coordinates. The container has a logbook inside, so that players who find the “cache” can record their discovery along with any notes of interest. The location of the container is listed on special sites on the Internet for anyone to access. You can check out caches near you at www.geocaching.com. You will probably be surprised at how many there are! I know I was …

34 Cheese from the Netherlands : EDAM

Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

41 Biblical group bearing gifts : THE MAGI

“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, “magi” is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born. In Western Christianity, the three Biblical Magi are:

  • Melchior: a scholar from Persia
  • Caspar: a scholar from India
  • Balthazar: a scholar from Arabia

45 British sports cars of old : MGS

My neighbor used to keep his MG Midget roadster in my garage (away from his kids!) back in Ireland many moons ago. The Midget was produced by the MG division of the British Motor Corporation from 1961 to 1979, with the MG initialism standing for “Morris Garages”.

47 “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” director : ANG LEE

Taiwanese director Ang Lee sure has directed a mixed bag of films, mixed in terms of genre but not in terms of quality. He was at the helm for such classics as “Sense & Sensibility” (my personal favorite), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Hulk”, “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi”.

“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” is a martial arts movie released in 2000. Despite the film’s Mandarin dialogue, it still became a huge international hit. “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” grossed well over $100 million in the US alone, and is still the highest-grossing foreign-language film in American history.

48 ___ Aviv : TEL

The full name of Israel’s second largest city is Tel Aviv-Yafo. “Tel Aviv” translates into “Spring Mound”, and is a name that was chosen in 1910.

50 Tablet alternative : GELCAP

Gelatin capsules (gelcaps) might be an issue for those on a strict vegan diet. The gelatin used in the capsule is made from collagen extracted from animal skin and bone.

52 Trig ratio : COSEC

The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio: a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are cosecant, secant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent.

53 Mexican artist Frida : KAHLO

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter who was famous for her self-portraits. She was married to the equally famous artist Diego Rivera. Kahlo was portrayed by actress Salma Hayek in a film about her colorful life called “Frida” released in 2002.

60 Sentiment on a candy heart : LUV

The forerunner to Sweethearts candy was introduced in 1866, with the famous sayings written on the candy tailored for use at weddings. One of the original expressions was, “Married in pink, he will take a drink”. The original candy was a lot bigger, to fit all those words! The smaller, heart-shaped candy hit the shelves in 1901. We’ve been able to buy Sweethearts with the words “Text me” since 2010.

62 Stephen of “The Crying Game” : REA

Stephen Rea is an Irish actor from Belfast. Rea’s most successful role was Fergus in 1992’s “The Crying Game”, for which performance he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. In “The Crying Game”, Fergus was a member of the IRA. In real life, Rea was married to IRA bomber and hunger striker Dolours Price at the time he made the movie.

“The Crying Game” is a fascinating film that made quite a splash when it was released in 1992. Although it was set in Ireland and the UK, it didn’t do well in cinemas in either country yet made a lot of money over here in the US. I think the politics of the movie were a bit raw for Irish and UK audiences back then. It’s an unusual plot, blending Irish political issues with some raw sexuality questions. I won’t tell you about the “surprise scene”, just in case you haven’t seen it and want to do so.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Cow’s newborn : CALF
5 Upbeat, as an outlook : ROSY
9 SWAT team actions : RAIDS
14 Singer India.___ : ARIE
15 Aunt Bee’s charge on “The Andy Griffith Show” : OPIE
16 Disney attraction in Florida : EPCOT
17 Trendy terms : BUZZWORDS (giving “buzz cut”)
19 Ragú rival : PREGO
20 Palestinian territory bordering Israel : GAZA
21 Busybody, from the Yiddish : YENTA
23 ___ Dhabi, part of the United Arab Emirates : ABU
24 Most unspoiled : PUREST
26 First host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” : BOB SAGET (giving “bob cut”)
28 “Haste makes waste” and similar sayings : OLD SAWS
30 “Venerable” monk of the Middle Ages : ST BEDE
31 “Able ___ I ere I saw Elba” : WAS
32 Ship’s wastewater : BILGE
35 State led by Lenin, in brief : USSR
36 Magical powder in “Peter Pan” : PIXIE DUST (giving “pixie cut”)
39 “I do solemnly swear …,” e.g. : OATH
42 Browned bread : TOAST
43 “Fee, fi, fo, ___” : FUM
46 Stick back in the microwave : REHEAT
49 Going from two lanes to one : MERGING
51 Style of collarless shirt : CREW NECK (giving “crew cut”)
54 ___ Pieces (candy) : REESE’S
55 Nonkosher meat : HAM
56 Say “Nyah, nyah,” say : GLOAT
58 Snow queen in “Frozen” : ELSA
59 To any degree : AT ALL
61 Timesavers … or the starts of 17-, 26-, 36- and 51-Across? : SHORTCUTS
64 Scalawag : ROGUE
65 Peace Nobelist Wiesel : ELIE
66 Length x width, for a rectangle : AREA
67 Opening golf shot : DRIVE
68 Pepsi, for one : COLA
69 Hang in the balance : PEND

Down

1 Taxi : CAB
2 Peppery salad green : ARUGULA
3 Chameleons, e.g. : LIZARDS
4 Some Moroccan headwear : FEZZES
5 Aussie marsupial, in brief : ROO
6 Grand Ole ___ : OPRY
7 Lesser-played half of a 45 : SIDE B
8 Like some straightforward questions : YES/NO
9 Meal : REPAST
10 Its showers bring May flowers: Abbr. : APR
11 Periods with the largest glaciers : ICE AGES
12 Places for pooped pooches : DOG BEDS
13 Having a heavier build : STOUTER
18 Sushi bar condiment : WASABI
22 Atlanta-based channel : TBS
24 Sound effect on “Batman” : POW!
25 Candy bar packaged in twos : TWIX
27 Touch geographically : ABUT
29 Open with a letter opener : SLIT
33 Prefix with cache : GEO-
34 Cheese from the Netherlands : EDAM
36 “Glad that’s over!” : PHEW!
37 Addict : USER
38 Word before map or smarts : STREET …
39 Apple production site : ORCHARD
40 Aquarium accessory : AERATOR
41 Biblical group bearing gifts : THE MAGI
43 Opening, as after an earthquake : FISSURE
44 Like leftovers : UNEATEN
45 British sports cars of old : MGS
47 “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” director : ANG LEE
48 ___ Aviv : TEL
50 Tablet alternative : GELCAP
52 Trig ratio : COSEC
53 Mexican artist Frida : KAHLO
57 Hard labor : TOIL
60 Sentiment on a candy heart : LUV
62 Stephen of “The Crying Game” : REA
63 Unhappy : SAD

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