0719-19 NY Times Crossword 19 Jul 19, Friday

Constructed by: Peter Wentz
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 10m 15s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

4 Scrubber : LOOFA

The loofah (also “loofa”, “lufah” and “luffa”, all Arabic words) is a vine, with fruit that’s very popular in Asia and Africa. If the fruit is allowed to mature, it can be processed to remove everything but the more rigid xylem structure (remember your high school botany class?) leaving a soft, sponge-like mass that is used as a skin polisher.

9 Warrior pose in yoga, e.g. : ASANA

“Asana” is a Sanskrit word literally meaning “sitting down”. The asanas are the poses that a practitioner of yoga assumes. The most famous is the lotus position, the cross-legged pose called “padmasana”.

14 Kiss cam displayer : JUMBOTRON

A JumboTron is a big-screen television system developed by Sony, one often seen in sports stadiums. The brand name “JumboTron” is used pretty generically now for any big-screen system in such venues, even though Sony exited the business in 2001.

The kiss cam is a diversion during some sporting events in which a video camera picks out random couples in the crowd, projecting their image onto the giant screen at the venue. The couples are encouraged to kiss, for the entertainment of the fans. Famously, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama kissed for the kiss cam at a basketball game a few years ago, as did former President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.

16 Meg who wrote “The Princess Diaries” : CABOT

“The Princess Diaries” is a series of novels for young adults by Meg Cabot. There have been two Disney adaptations of the books, both starring Anne Hathaway as Mia Thermopolis and Julie Andrews as Queen Clarisse Renaldi.

17 What’s found above a tilde : ESCAPE KEY

The escape key (Esc) was originally used to control computer peripherals. It was a key that allowed the computer operator to stop what the peripheral was doing (cancel a print job, for example). Nowadays the escape key is used for all sorts of things, especially in gaming programs.

The tilde (~) diacritical mark is very much associated with the Spanish language. We use the name “tilde” in English, taking that name from Spanish. Confusingly, the word “tilde” in Spanish is used more generally to mean “accent mark, diacritic”, of which a “~” is just one. What we call a “tilde” in English is usually referred to as a “virgulilla” or “tilde de la eñe” in Spanish.

18 Orange half of an iconic duo : ERNIE

For many years, I believed that the “Sesame Street” characters Bert and Ernie were named after two roles played in the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”. In the movie, the policeman’s name is Bert and his taxi-driving buddy is named Ernie. However, the “Sesame Street” folks have stated that the use of the same names is just a coincidence. Aww, I don’t wanna believe that’s a coincidence …

36 Comic actor Barinholtz : IKE

Ike Barinholtz is an actor and comedian who appeared on MADtv from 2002 until 2007. More recently, Barinholtz became a writer on the TV show “The Mindy Project”, and was then cast as Nurse Morgan Tookers.

37 Las Vegas casino with a musical name : ARIA

The Aria is one of the newer hotels on the Las Vegas Strip, having opened at the end of 2009.

40 Two-time Grand Slam champion of the 1960s : LAVER

Rod Laver is a former professional tennis champion, from Australia. Laver won all four Grand Slam singles titles in 1962, and at that time he wasn’t even a professional player. He won all four titles again in 1969, no longer an amateur, becoming the only tennis player to have achieved the feat twice. Not surprisingly, Laver was the world’s number one for seven consecutive years, from 1964 to 1970. After he retired, Laver suffered a stroke during an interview with ESPN in 1998, but by all accounts he has made an excellent recovery.

46 Pilot production? : PENS

Pilot is a Japanese pen company, and the largest manufacturer of pens in Japan. The “Pilot” name was adopted in 1938, a change from the original Namiki Manufacturing Company.

48 Battleship row : PORTHOLES

A porthole is a circular window in the side of a ship that provides light and air. As it penetrates the hull of the ship, the porthole cover provides a strong, watertight seal. The name “porthole” has nothing to do with the port side of a ship, and rather is derived from the French word “porte” meaning “door”. Henry VI of England hired a French shipbuilder to come up with a way to mount large guns on his warships, below the upper deck. The design called for holes in the hull, and “doors” (“portes”) to be fitted for use in heavy weather.

In the days of sail, a naval fleet of ships often formed a “line of battle” in the vessels formed up end to end. The advantage of such a formation was that all vessels could fire a battery of cannon along the full length of the ship. Vessels deemed powerful enough to join the line of battle became known as “ships of the line”, or “line of battle ships”. The term “line of battle ship” shortened over time to become our modern word “battleship”. The main feature of a contemporary battleship is a battery of large caliber guns.

53 One-named singer with the 1993 platinum album “Debut” : BJORK

Björk is a rather eccentric singer-songwriter from Iceland who is a big hit in the UK in particular. Björk is the daughter of a nationally-recognized union leader in her home country.

55 Mascot of the Winnipeg Jets : MOOSE

Winnipeg’s professional hockey team is called the Winnipeg Jets. The team was founded as the Atlanta Thrashers in 1999 and relocated to the Manitoba city in 2011. The new team name was chosen in honor of Winnipeg’s former professional hockey team called the Jets, a franchise that was founded in the city in 1972 but relocated to become the Phoenix Coyotes in 1996.

57 Pulitzer-winning writer of “The Optimist’s Daughter” : WELTY

Eudora Welty was an author from Jackson, Mississippi who wrote short stories and novels about the American South. Welty won a Pulitzer in 1973 for her novel “The Optimist’s Daughter”. She was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 1980.

58 Leslie ___, main role on “Parks and Recreation” : KNOPE

“Parks and Recreation” is a sitcom that started airing on NBC in 2009, and is a show that has grown on me. It stars the “Saturday Night Live” alum Amy Poehler. The creators of “Parks and Recreation” are part of the team responsible for the American version of “The Office”, so you’ll notice some similarities in the style of the two shows, and some actors that have appeared in both.

Down

1 Spun wax, say : DJ’ED

Disc jockey (DJ)

3 Org. offering athletic memberships : YMCA

The YMCA (“the Y”) is a worldwide movement that has its roots in London, England. There, in 1844, the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) was founded with the intent of promoting Christian principles through the development of “a healthy spirit, mind and body”. The founder, George Williams, saw the need to create YMCA facilities for young men who were flocking to the cities as the Industrial Revolution flourished. He saw that these men were frequenting taverns and brothels, and wanted to offer a more wholesome alternative.

5 Title tenor role : OTELLO

Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “Otello” was first performed in 1887 at La Scala Theater in Milan. The opera is based on Shakespeare’s play “Othello” and is considered by many to be Verdi’s greatest work.

6 Big name in pest control : ORKIN

Orkin is a pest-control company. If you want to learn more about insects, you might want to visit the O. Orkin Zoo, a permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. The exhibit has over 300 live insects, all displayed in their natural habitats.

9 Unbeatable blackjack pair : ACE-TEN

The card game known as “twenty-one” was first referred to in a book by Cervantes, the author famous for writing “Don Quixote”. He called the game “ventiuna” (Spanish for “twenty-one”). Cervantes wrote his story just after the year 1600, so the game has been around at least since then. Twenty-one came to the US but it wasn’t all that popular so bonus payments were introduced to create more interest. One of the more attractive bonuses was a ten-to-one payout to a player who was dealt an ace of spades and a black jack. This bonus led to the game adopting the moniker “Blackjack”.

10 Garments worn at beach parties : SARONGS

“Sarong” is a Malay word for “sheath”, and the term originally described a garment worn by Malay men and women around their waists. The Malay sarong is actually a tube of fabric, about a yard wide and two-and-a-half yards long. Many variations of the sarong are worn all over South Asia and the Pacific Islands. I had occasion to wear one in Hawaii many years ago, and found it very … freeing!

11 Type least likely to turn up in a hospital : AB-NEGATIVE

Here is an approximate distribution of blood types across the US population:

  • O-positive: 38 percent
  • O-negative: 7 percent
  • A-positive: 34 percent
  • A-negative: 6 percent
  • B-positive: 9 percent
  • B-negative: 2 percent
  • AB-positive: 3 percent
  • AB-negative: 1 percent

15 Caromed : BANKED

A carom is a ricochet, the bouncing of some projectile off a surface. Carom has come to mean the banking of a billiard ball, the bouncing of the ball off the side of the table.

23 Middle of a Latin trio : 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.

35 Player of the Skipper on “Gilligan’s Island” : ALAN HALE

Alan Hale, Jr. was an actor most famous for playing the Skipper on the sixties sitcom “Gilligan’s Island”. That said, I well remember watching Hale playing the title role in the children’s Western series “Casey Jones”.

The iconic sitcom “Gilligan’s Island” ran for only three seasons, although that added up to a total of 98 episodes. The show is about a small band of castaways who are trying to escape their island and return to Hawaii. The last episode originally aired in 1967. The castaways did eventually get off the island in a 1978 TV movie called “Rescue from Gilligan’s Island”, but ended up back on the island at the end of the film.

41 Gather on the surface, chemically : ADSORB

Adsorption is the accumulation of chemicals on the surface of a solid or liquid. Absorption is the accumulation through pores or interstices. The derivative verb “sorb” can be applied to either process.

43 Underling : LACKEY

A lackey is someone quite servile, or a male servant. The term probably comes from the Middle French “laquais”, a word used for a footman or servant.

44 BBQ restaurant handout : WET NAP

“Wet nap” is a term commonly used for a wet wipe, a manufactured paper tissue that comes pre-moistened. Wet naps are often provided after a meal at some restaurants after a finger-food dish, or perhaps as a refresher on an airplane. I think that “nap” is short for “napkin”, and that “Wet-Nap” is a brand name.

46 Mormon settlement of 1849 : PROVO

Provo, Utah is a city located just over 40 miles south of South Lake City. Provo is home to Brigham Young University. The city was originally called Fort Utah, and the name was changed to Provo in 1850 in honor of Étienne Provost. Provost was a French-Canadian fur trader who was perhaps the first man of European descent to see the Great Salt Lake.

49 Country that has approximately 0% arable land : OMAN

Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Oman is a monarchy, and the official name of the state is the Sultanate of Oman. All of the country’s legislative, executive and judiciary power resides with the hereditary sultan.

52 Whole bunch : SLEW

Our usage of “slew” to mean “large number” has nothing to do with the verb “to slew” meaning “to turn, skid”. The noun “slew” come into English in the early 1800s from the Irish word “sluagh” meaning “host, crowd, multitude”.

53 Company that makes the Mini : BMW

The initialism “BMW” stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke, which translates into Bavarian Motor Works. BMW was making aircraft engines during WWI, but had to cease that activity according to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The company then started making motorcycles, and moved into automobile production starting in 1928. BMW moved back into aircraft engine manufacturing during the build-up of the Luftwaffe prior to WWII.

The original mini was a fabulous car, one that I drove all over Ireland in my youth. It had a unique front-wheel-drive layout that took up very little space, allowing for a lot of room (relatively speaking) for passengers and baggage. One space-saving trick was to mount the engine transversely, so it sits rotated 90 degrees from the norm. That engine had a capacity of only 848cc. In 1961, a Mini Cooper model was introduced, which was a sporty version. The Mini Cooper was a phenomenal hit, especially after repeated wins in the Monte Carlo Rally. The Mini marque has been owned by BMW since 1994.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Like sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio, typically : DRY
4 Scrubber : LOOFA
9 Warrior pose in yoga, e.g. : ASANA
14 Kiss cam displayer : JUMBOTRON
16 Meg who wrote “The Princess Diaries” : CABOT
17 What’s found above a tilde : ESCAPE KEY
18 Orange half of an iconic duo : ERNIE
19 Smart set? : DEAN’S LIST
20 Things sandals lack : TOES
21 Firing locale : KILN
22 Repaid : AVENGED
25 Managed : MADE DO
28 Swindling trick : SKIN GAME
29 Shake off : EVADE
30 Sapped of resources : BLED
31 % on the back of a baseball card, say : STAT
32 Get in the end : NET
33 Disturbed states : DELIRIA
36 Comic actor Barinholtz : IKE
37 Las Vegas casino with a musical name : ARIA
39 Bites harmlessly : GUMS
40 Two-time Grand Slam champion of the 1960s : LAVER
42 Is sure to succeed : CAN’T LOSE
44 Some fishing attire : WADERS
45 Hearty breakfast dish that includes potatoes : EGG HASH
46 Pilot production? : PENS
47 ___ Games, company behind Fortnite : EPIC
48 Battleship row : PORTHOLES
53 One-named singer with the 1993 platinum album “Debut” : BJORK
54 “Nothing can stop me now!” : I’M ON A ROLL
55 Mascot of the Winnipeg Jets : MOOSE
56 Pearl Harbor or Norfolk : NAVAL BASE
57 Pulitzer-winning writer of “The Optimist’s Daughter” : WELTY
58 Leslie ___, main role on “Parks and Recreation” : KNOPE
59 Handful : FEW

Down

1 Spun wax, say : DJ’ED
2 Trick : RUSE
3 Org. offering athletic memberships : YMCA
4 Very uneven : LOPSIDED
5 Title tenor role : OTELLO
6 Big name in pest control : ORKIN
7 The other side : FOES
8 “Who wants to step up?” : ANY TAKERS?
9 Unbeatable blackjack pair : ACE-TEN
10 Garments worn at beach parties : SARONGS
11 Type least likely to turn up in a hospital : AB-NEGATIVE
12 New Year’s Eve party freebie : NOISEMAKER
13 “I already ___” : ATE
15 Caromed : BANKED
23 Middle of a Latin trio : VIDI
24 Puts off : DETERS
25 Shark, to swimmers : MENACE
26 Everyman : AVERAGE JOE
27 All available options? : DATING POOL
28 Use smear tactics on : SLIME
30 Rosy shade of makeup : BLUSH PINK
34 What team leaders must frequently manage : EGOS
35 Player of the Skipper on “Gilligan’s Island” : ALAN HALE
38 Quite eager : ATHIRST
41 Gather on the surface, chemically : ADSORB
43 Underling : LACKEY
44 BBQ restaurant handout : WET NAP
46 Mormon settlement of 1849 : PROVO
49 Country that has approximately 0% arable land : OMAN
50 Idle : LOAF
51 Instead : ELSE
52 Whole bunch : SLEW
53 Company that makes the Mini : BMW

2 thoughts on “0719-19 NY Times Crossword 19 Jul 19, Friday”

  1. So… I wander away for some number of months and when I stumble back in NYT has become NYX. Good thing I remembered there was a guy named Bill…
    Thanks Bill! This one stumped me… DNF.

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