0720-19 NY Times Crossword 20 Jul 19, Saturday

Constructed by: Sam Trabucco
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 1 hr (did not finish)

Bill’s errors: Several missing in the top-left

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Junk dealers? : SPAMBOTS

Spambots are nasty little computer programs that send out spam emails and messages, often from fake accounts. This blog gets about 300 spam comments a day that I have to delete, almost all of which are written by spambots.

9 Ghost buster, of a sort : PAC-MAN

The Pac-Man arcade game was first released in Japan in 1980, and is as popular today as it ever was. The game features characters that are maneuvered around the screen to eat up dots and earn points. The name comes from the Japanese folk hero “Paku”, known for his voracious appetite. The spin-off game called Ms. Pac-Man was released in 1981.

18 Like speakeasies and fridges, at times : RAIDED

A speakeasy is an establishment that sells alcoholic drinks illegally. Speakeasies were very big in the US in the days of Prohibition. The obvious etymology, of a speakeasy owner asking his or her customers to “speak easy” so as not to draw attention to the authorities, is thought to have originated in 1888 in McKeesport just outside Pittsburgh.

20 “Bandleader” with a 1967 #1 album : SGT PEPPER

“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band” was the alter-ego of the Beatles, and the title of a famous studio album released in 1967.

22 Dr. ___ : DRE

“Dr. Dre” is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

24 On the ___ : LAM

To be on the lam is to be in flight, to have escaped from prison. “On the lam” is American slang that originated at the end of the 19th century. The word “lam” also means to “beat” or “thrash”, as in “lambaste”. So “on the lam” might derive from the phrase “to beat it, to scram”.

31 The Panthers of the A.C.C. : PITT

The University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) chose the nickname for its sporting teams in 1909, and claims that it was the first team in the country to adopt the name “Panthers”.

37 ___ A. Bank (men’s clothier since 1905) : JOS

Jos. A. Bank Clothiers is a men’s store that specializes in affordable men’s suits.

43 Old Model M’s and Model T-6s : REOS

The REO Motor Company was founded by Ransom Eli Olds (hence the name REO). The company made cars, trucks and buses, and was in business from 1905 to 1975 in Lansing, Michigan. Among the company’s most famous models were the REO Royale and the REO Flying Cloud.

45 Blues group?: Abbr. : DNC

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) was set up way back in 1848, and governs the day-to-day affairs of the Democratic Party. Past chairpersons of the DNC include Howard Dean from Vermont, Chris Dodd from Connecticut and Tim Kaine from Virginia.

On political maps, red states are usually Republican and blue states usually Democrat. The designation of red and blue states is a very recent concept, only introduced in the 2000 presidential election by TV journalist, the late Tim Russert. In retrospect, the choice of colors is surprising, as in other democracies around the world red is usually used to describe left-leaning socialist parties (the reds under the bed!), and blue is used for conservative right-wing parties. In election cycles, swing/battleground states are often depicted in purple.

47 Offerings from Friskies : CAT TREATS

The Friskies brand is known today as a cat food, although it was first introduced as a dry dog food in 1930.

54 1962 John Wayne film : HATARI!

“Hatari!” is a film directed by Howard Hawks that was released in 1962. The movie stars John Wayne as a big game hunter in Africa. “Hatari” translates from Swahili as “danger”.

John Wayne was named Marion Mitchell Morrison at birth, after his grandfather who was a Civil War veteran. When young Marion was a little boy, a local fireman used to call him “Little Duke” because he was always seen walking with his large dog called “Duke”. Marion liked the name “Duke” and so he called himself Duke Morrison for the rest of his life. That said, Duke Morrison also used John Wayne as a stage name.

58 Descended upon, as mosquitoes might : ATE ALIVE

“Mosquito” is the Spanish for “little fly”. The female mosquito actually has to have a “blood meal” before she is able to lay her eggs. Mosquitoes are sometimes referred to as “skeeters”.

59 “Another Bud, bud!” : BEER ME!

The American beer called Budweiser (often shortened to “Bud”) is named for the Czech town of Budweis (“České Budějovice” in Czech). The name is the subject of a dispute as here is an original Czech beer with a similar name, Budweiser Budvar. American Budweiser is sold in most European countries as “Bud”.

60 Comic con, e.g. : NERD FEST

Comic convention (comic con)

Down

1 Prime directive? : SHOP

Amazon Prime is a membership service that Amazon introduced in 2005.

2 Nebula Award winner Frederik : POHL

Frederik Pohl is an American science-fiction writer, a winner of three Hugo awards. Pohl started off his career as a literary agent, and was the only agent ever hired by Isaac Asimov.

The best works of science fiction and fantasy published each year are recognized annually by the Nebula Awards. The first Nebulas were awarded in 1966.

3 Guy’s gal : AMIE

A male friend in France is “un ami”, and a female friend is “une amie”.

4 Pioneering thrash metal band with its own music festival, Gigantour : MEGADETH

The Big Four of thrash metal are Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth. I have no idea what thrash metal is …

5 Dating letters : BCE

The designations Anno Domini (AD, “year of Our Lord”) and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC without a year “0” in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) used to replace BC.

7 Class in which kids may learn about sin? : TRIG

Trigonometry (trig) is a branch of mathematics dealing with triangles, and calculations based on the relationship between a triangle’s angles and the lengths of its sides.

8 Best-selling game with a hexagonal board : SETTLERS OF CATAN

The Settlers of Catan is a board game that was introduced in 1995, in Germany as “Die Siedler von Catan”. The game is very popular in the US and was called “the board game of our time” by the “Washington Post”. My son plays it a lot, and as a lover of board games, I am going to have to check it out …

10 On the double : ASAP

As soon as possible (ASAP)

13 Kir and Campari, for two : APERITIFS

An apéritif is an alcoholic drink served before a meal, to stimulate the palate. A digestif is an alcoholic drink served after a meal, to aid digestion.

Kir is a French cocktail made by adding a teaspoon or so of crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) to a glass, and then topping it off with white wine. The drink is named after Felix Kir, the Mayor of Dijon in Burgundy, who used to offer the drink to his guests. My wife is particularly fond of a variant called a Kir Royale, in which the white wine is replaced with champagne.

Campari is an alcoholic beverage with a distinctive red flavor and a pleasant, yet bitter taste. It is a key ingredient in one of my favorite cocktails: an Americano (one part Campari, one part sweet vermouth and a dash of club soda).

14 Stark family member on “Game of Thrones” : NED

Ned Stark is the protagonist in George R. R. Martin’s fantasy novel “A Game of Thrones”, although his character doesn’t exactly come out on top by the end of the story. Stark is played by actor Sean Bean in the HBO television adaptation of the novel.

26 Opulence : LUXE

“Luxe” is another word for “luxury”. The term came into English via French from the Latin “luxus” meaning “luxury”.

31 Mobile home? : PHONE CASE

What we mostly know as a “cell phone” here in North America is more usually referred to as a “mobile phone” in Britain and Ireland. My favorite term for the device is used in Germany, where it is called a “Handy”.

32 Capital on the Balkan Peninsula : TIRANE

The city of Tirane is the capital of Albania and has been so since 1920. It was seized by the Nazis in WWII but was liberated in 1944, at which point the Communists seized power. The Communists were ousted in the elections of 1992 leaving a void that led to much bloodshed and an eventual EU military mission to stabilize the capital and the rest of the country. Things are very different today, and Albania is now a member of NATO.

The Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe is usually referred to as “the Balkans”. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains located in present-day Bulgaria and Serbia. “Balkan” is Bulgarian for “mountain”.

34 Barely open : AJAR

Our word “ajar” is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which “a char” means “slightly open”.

42 Often-reddish quartz : JASPER

The mineral known as jasper is a form of quartz. Usually colored red, jasper can be used as a stone in semi-precious jewelry. In fact, jasper is a birthstone for someone born in March.

44 1990s’ ___ Report : STARR

Ken Starr has to be one of the most famous lawyers in recent history, due to his tenure as Independent Counsel when President Bill Clinton was in office. Starr’s original brief was to investigate the suicide of White House Counsel Vince Foster as well as to continue the investigation of the Whitewater controversy in which then-Governor Clinton was accused of applying pressure to arrange an illegal loan to one of his partners in the Whitewater land deal. Famously, Starr’s purview was extended to include an investigation into President Clinton’s extramarital affair with Monica Lewinsky, to determine if the President had lied under oath about his relationship with the young intern.

51 City on a lake of the same name : ERIE

Erie is a city in the very north of Pennsylvania sitting on the southern shore of Lake Erie. The city takes its name from the Erie Native American tribe that resided in the area. Erie is nicknamed the Gem City, a reference to the “sparkling” water of Lake Erie.

52 Off-road rides, for short : ATVS

All-terrain vehicle (ATV)

53 Vote in the Security Council : NYET

The English word “no” translates into Russian as “nyet” and into German as “nein”.

The United Nations Security Council has 15 members, 5 of whom are permanent and who have veto power over any resolution. The 10 non-permanent members are elected into place, and hold their seats for two years. The UN charter requires that authorized representatives of the member nations are always present at UN headquarters so that the Security Council can meet at any time. The permanent members are:

  • China
  • France
  • Russia
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Junk dealers? : SPAMBOTS
9 Ghost buster, of a sort : PAC-MAN
15 Fix without doctoring : HOME CURE
16 Many a magnet has one : U-SHAPE
17 Thought accompanying a light bulb : OH, I GET IT
18 Like speakeasies and fridges, at times : RAIDED
19 One may be copped : PLEA
20 “Bandleader” with a 1967 #1 album : SGT PEPPER
22 Dr. ___ : DRE
24 On the ___ : LAM
25 Go with the wind? : SAIL
27 ‘ : FEET
28 Big times : ERAS
30 Man’s name that’s an alphabet run : STU
31 The Panthers of the A.C.C. : PITT
32 Commonplace : TRITE
33 Passes, slangily : TIX
34 Comment of complete contentment : AH, THIS IS THE LIFE
37 ___ A. Bank (men’s clothier since 1905) : JOS
38 Man’s name that means “the king” : ELROY
39 Last word in many company names : SONS
40 Tidbit for an echidna : ANT
41 Tone-___ : DEAF
42 Of very poor quality, in modern slang : JANK
43 Old Model M’s and Model T-6s : REOS
45 Blues group?: Abbr. : DNC
46 It’s truly inspired : AWE
47 Offerings from Friskies : CAT TREATS
50 Gradually cut off (from) : WEAN
54 1962 John Wayne film : HATARI
55 Hit list : TOP FORTY
57 Handle, of a sort : USER ID
58 Descended upon, as mosquitoes might : ATE ALIVE
59 “Another Bud, bud!” : BEER ME!
60 Comic con, e.g. : NERD FEST

Down

1 Prime directive? : SHOP
2 Nebula Award winner Frederik : POHL
3 Guy’s gal : AMIE
4 Pioneering thrash metal band with its own music festival, Gigantour : MEGADETH
5 Dating letters : BCE
6 Commencement : OUTSET
7 Class in which kids may learn about sin? : TRIG
8 Best-selling game with a hexagonal board : SETTLERS OF CATAN
9 College area of study with no application required? : PURE MATH
10 On the double : ASAP
11 Contents of a bowl or a pot : CHIPS
12 Complained loudly and publicly : MADE A STINK
13 Kir and Campari, for two : APERITIFS
14 Stark family member on “Game of Thrones” : NED
21 What the U.S. and Canadian dollars had, roughly, in the early 2010s : PARITY
23 Made looser or tighter, in a way : RETIED
26 Opulence : LUXE
27 Is perfect, clothing-wise : FITS TO A TEE
29 It’s got its ups and downs : SEESAW
31 Mobile home? : PHONE CASE
32 Capital on the Balkan Peninsula : TIRANE
34 Barely open : AJAR
35 It’s going downhill : SLED RIDE
36 Not a team player : LONE WOLF
42 Often-reddish quartz : JASPER
44 1990s’ ___ Report : STARR
48 Crop : TRIM
49 Something brought to a supermarket : TOTE
51 City on a lake of the same name : ERIE
52 Off-road rides, for short : ATVS
53 Vote in the Security Council : NYET
54 Nucleus : HUB
56 Something everyone’s doing : FAD

18 thoughts on “0720-19 NY Times Crossword 20 Jul 19, Saturday”

  1. Ah … a repeat post from my favorite troll, lurking somewhere there under the bridge! Lovely! And, perhaps, after a dozen repetitions of this one, you’ll manage to come up with a new one! (But don’t put too much effort into it – you might strain something!)

      1. Thanks, Rochelle … I think I posted one more response (which you will see a week from now) with a question for the lunatic. After that, I decided to be the adult and just ignore him (but I am human and I do occasionally weaken 😜).

    1. @Lwrightak … This question has come up before. A lot of the big-name atlases (like the ones from the New York Times, the London Times, and the National Geographic) use Tirane (or Tiranë), with Tirana as an alternate spelling. School atlases and Wikipedia mostly use Tirana. I don’t know why this is so, but the setters are within their rights to use the spelling seen here.

  2. 26:44, no errors. Felt like a puzzle that was designed to be unsolved. Happy to get a clean fill. In case anyone was wondering: 3D Guy is a French name, pronounced gee (with a hard G). This was the only thing that saved my bacon in the upper left corner. Originally entered I’VE GOT IT in 17A, which gave me SHIP and POVL in 1D and 2D; neither of which looked wrong to me. But I knew 3D wasn’t AMEE.

    Anyone else thought about putting FEEL in 19A? 😀

  3. I had the same time and same trouble spot as Bill….I say this in all sincerity ….it is an honor to finish or not finish just like you

  4. Regarding the idiot harassing Dave K, maybe Bill could arrange some way of blocking or otherwise deleting him? He is an ugly blot on the blog.

  5. 50 minutes or so , rarely time puzzles. Missed BCE (had BCO), probably by not rechecking after getting off “ I’ve got it “ on 17 across.

  6. Forgot about this puzzle and found it in my backpack today. Struggled but emerged unscathed! Upper left came last of course.

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