0724-19 NY Times Crossword 24 Jul 19, Wednesday

Constructed by: Jake Halperin
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: To Use an Expression

Themed answers are four-word expressions starting with “To …”. The meaning of each has been reinterpreted to suit the clue:

  • 20A Task for new parents of twins? : TO NAME A COUPLE
  • 38A Task for a Thai chef cooking for typical Americans? : TO PUT IT MILDLY
  • 55A Task for a Benedictine monk? : TO SAY THE LEAST

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

Bill’s time: 7m 36s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

4 Neither above nor below face value : AT PAR

In days gone by, when companies first issued a stock, each share would be given a face value (called “par value”). In effect, the company was making a commitment not to issue any more stock under that par value, giving investors confidence that there was no better deal to be had. Nowadays, most stock is issued without such a “guarantee” and is called “no-par stock”.

14 ___ Bradlee, editor of The Washington Post during Watergate : BEN

Ben Bradlee served as executive editor for “The Washington Post” from 1968 until 1991. Famously, Bradlee was at the helm of the paper when the Pentagon Papers were published, and when reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein investigated the Watergate scandal. His son, Ben Bradlee Jr., was the editor in charge of the Spotlight team at the “Boston Globe” when they broke the story of the Catholic Church covering up sexual abuse of children by priests. Ben senior was played by actor Jason Robards in the film “All the President’s Men”, and by Tom Hanks in “The Post”. Ben Jr. was played by John Slattery in the movie “Spotlight”.

17 Like Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” : IN E

“Isn’t She Lovely” is a Stevie Wonder song that he released in 1976. The song refers to Wonder’s daughter Aisha Morris, who was born in the prior year.

18 Like pond scum : ALGAL

Algae are similar to terrestrial plants in that they use photosynthesis to create sugars from light and carbon dioxide, but they differ in that they have simpler anatomies, and for example lack roots.

19 Mario’s world : MONDO

“Mondo” is Italian for “world”.

23 Elevator innovator Elisha : OTIS

Elevators (simple hoists) have been around for a long time. What Elisha Otis did was come up with the “safety elevator”, a design that he showcased at the 1853 World’s Fair in New York. At the Fair, Otis would stand on an elevated platform in front of onlookers and order his assistant to cut the single rope holding up the platform. His safety system kicked in when the platform had only fallen a few inches, amazing the crowd. After this demonstration, the orders came rolling in.

24 ___ tide : NEAP

Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon’s gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

25 Like straight bourbon, for a minimum of two years : AGED

Bourbon is a whiskey made here in North America, with the primary ingredient being corn. Production of the whiskey has for centuries been associated with Bourbon County in Kentucky, which gave its name to the drink.

28 “La Dolce Vita” director : FELLINI

Federico Fellini was a film director and scriptwriter from Rimini in Italy. Fellini won more Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film than anyone else.

The title of the celebrated 1960 Federico Fellini film “La Dolce Vita” translates from Italian as “The Good Life”. There is a character in the film called Paparazzo who is a news photographer. It is this character who gives us our word “Paparazzi”, a term used for photographers who make careers out of taking candid shots of celebrities.

31 Dad on “Black-ish” : DRE

“Black-ish” is a sitcom starring Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross that premiered in 2014. The show is noted for tackling tough issues such as racism, police brutality, attitudes toward the LGBT community, and the 2016 US presidential election.

33 “This texter thinks …” : IMO …

In my opinion (IMO)

34 Long-armed zoo animal, informally : ORANG

Orangutans (also “orangs”) are arboreal creatures, the largest arboreal animals known to man. They are native to Indonesia and Malaysia, and live in rain forests. Like most species in rainforests these days, orangutans are endangered, with only two species surviving. The word “orangutan” is Malay, meaning “man of the forest”.

41 Like the most protective hazmat suits : LEVEL-A

Dangerous goods are commonly referred to as hazardous materials, or Hazmat. People working with dangerous goods might wear a Hazmat suit.

42 Las Vegas was built around one : OASIS

The most famous oasis in the US is … Las Vegas, which is located in the middle of the Mojave Desert.

43 What “bist” means in the 1930s hit “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen” : ARE

“Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen” was a hit in the 1930s for the Andrews Sisters. The title translates from German into English as “To Me, You Are Beautiful”. The song was originally titled in Yiddish as “Bei Mir Bistu Shein” as it was written for a 1932 Yiddish comedy musical called “Men Ken Lebn Nor Men Lost Nisht”.

44 The “e” of i.e. : EST

“Id est” is Latin for “that is”, and is often abbreviated to “i.e.” when used in English.

52 High, in Versailles : HAUT

Versailles is a city located just 10 miles from the center of Paris. It is famous as home to the magnificent Palace of Versailles. The palace started out as a hunting lodge built in the village of Versailles in 1624, built for Louis XIII. Louis XIII extended the lodge into a full-blown château, but it was Louis XIV who expanded it into one of the largest palaces on the planet. Louis XIV moved the royal court from Paris to Versailles starting in 1678.

54 Getaway car cargo : LOOT

“Loot” is the name given to anything taken by dishonesty or force, particularly during war. The term came into English from the Hindi “lut” meaning “goods taken from an enemy”.

55 Task for a Benedictine monk? : TO SAY THE LEAST

A member of the Benedictine Order is a monk who follows the precepts laid down for religious life by St. Benedict of Nursia. The Benedictine “way” is a moderate path, considered neither zealous nor institutionally formulaic.

59 Christensen of “Parenthood” : ERIKA

Actress Erika Christensen is probably best known for playing a young cocaine addict in the film “Traffic” (2000), and the youngest daughter of the Braverman family on the TV show “Parenthood”.

“Parenthood” is a TV series that originally aired from 2010 until 2015, and is loosely based on the 1989 film of the same name starring Steve Martin. Ron Howard directed the film, and served as executive producer for the TV show.

61 Tank-topped, ponytailed “Futurama” character : LEELA

“Futurama” is an animated sci-fi show that airs on Fox. It was co-created by cartoonist Matt Groening, who also created “The Simpsons”. I simply don’t understand either show …

63 Much ESPN programming : GAMES

The initialism “ESPN” stands for Entertainment Sports Programming Network. ESPN is a cable network that broadcasts sports programming 24 hours a day, and was launched back in 1979. ESPN has a lot of ardent fans. Several parents have named children Espn (usually pronounced “Espen”) on honor of the network.

64 Maker of Glide floss : ORAL-B

The Oral-B toothbrush was introduced to the world in 1950, designed by a California periodontist. The first “model” was the Oral-B 60, a name given to reflect the 60 tufts in the brush. In 1969, the Oral-B was the first toothbrush to get to the moon as it was the toothbrush of choice for the crew of the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

66 Some German autos : OPELS

Adam Opel founded his company in 1863, first making sewing machines in a cowshed. Commercial success brought new premises and a new product line in 1886, namely penny-farthing bicycles. Adam Opel died in 1895, leaving his two sons with a company that made more penny-farthings and sewing machines than any other company in the world. In 1899 the two sons partnered with a locksmith and started to make cars, but not very successfully. Two years later, the locksmith was dropped in favor of a licensing arrangement with a French car company. By 1914, Opel was the largest manufacturer of automobiles in Germany. My Dad had an Opel in the seventies, a station wagon (we’d say “estate car” in Ireland) called an Opel Kadett.

68 Non-majority? : ENS

The majority of letters in the prefix “non-” are letters N (ens).

Down

3 How the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup finals ended : ONE-NIL

The International Federation of Association Football (“Fédération Internationale de Football Association” in French) is usually referred to by the acronym “FIFA”. FIFA is the governing body of the game of soccer (association football), and the organizer of the FIFA World Cup held every four years.

6 Violin virtuoso Niccolò : PAGANINI

Niccolò Paganini was a famed Italian violinist and composer. Paganini was perhaps the most celebrated violinist of the 19th century. His most famous composition has to be his Caprice No. 24 in A minor, Op. 1. This work is the basis for many derivative masterpieces by other composers, including the wonderful “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” by Rachmaninoff, and the “Variations on a Theme of Paganini” by Brahms.

10 Virus first discovered in 1976 : EBOLA

The Ebola virus causes a very nasty form of hemorrhagic fever. The name of the virus comes from the site of the first known outbreak, in a mission hospital in the Ebola River Valley in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (then known as Zaire). The disease is transmitted from human to human by exposure to bodily fluids. In nature, the main carrier of Ebola is the fruit bat.

11 Gillian Flynn thriller novel made into a hit 2014 film : GONE GIRL

“Gone Girl” is a thriller novel written by Gillian Flynn that was first published in 2012. The story tells of a man whose wife has disappeared, with the reader not being certain if the husband is involved in the disappearance. The book was adapted into a movie of the same name released in 2014, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.

13 Person born in late July : LEO

The constellation named Leo can be said to resemble a lion. Others say that it resembles a bent coat hanger. “Leo” is the Latin for “lion”, but I’m not sure how to translate “coat hanger” into Latin …

26 Award for a soap, maybe : EMMY

The original soap operas were radio dramas back in the fifties. Given the structure of society back then, the daytime broadcasts were aimed at women working in the home as housewives. For some reason the sponsors of those radio shows, and the television shows that followed, were soap manufacturers like Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Lever Brothers. And that’s how the “soap” opera got its name …

32 Actress/comic Kemper : ELLIE

Actress Ellie Kemper’s big break came with the role of Erin Hannon, a receptionist on the sitcom “The Office”. More recently, Kemper has been playing the title role on the Netflix comedy series “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”.

35 Letters after “Yeah, yeah, little …,” in a 1964 hit : GTO

The 1964 song “G.T.O” was the debut recording for the surf rock group from the sixties known as Ronny & the Daytonas.

38 Actress Garr : TERI

Actress Teri Garr had a whole host of minor roles in her youth, including appearances in nine Elvis movies. Garr’s big break came with the role of Inga in “Young Frankenstein”, and her supporting role in “Tootsie” earned Garr an Academy Award nomination. Sadly, Teri Garr suffers from multiple sclerosis. She is a National Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

40 It names names in a newspaper : MASTHEAD

The masthead is a list often found on the editorial page of a newspaper that gives the members of a newspaper’s editorial board.

41 Part of LSAT : LAW

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

45 Lord’s partner : TAYLOR

Lord & Taylor is a chain of luxury department stores founded by Samuel Lord and George Washington Taylor. With the original store opening in Manhattan in 1826, Lord & Taylor is the oldest chain of luxury department stores in the country.

49 Predators of crayfish : OTTERS

Male and female otters are known as dogs and bitches, with the offspring called pups. Males and females are are sometimes referred to as boars and sows. A collection of otters is a bevy, family, lodge or perhaps a romp. When in water, a collection of otters can be called a raft.

Crayfish are freshwater crustaceans related to lobsters that indeed do look like small versions of their saltwater cousins. Crayfish are often referred to as “crawfish” and “crawdads”, especially in the south of the US.

53 Gestation stations? : UTERI

“Uterus” (plural “uteri”) is the Latin word for “womb”.

The normal gestation period for humans is 280 days, a little over 9 months. The gestation period can be a little shorter, or longer. Back in 1945, a pregnancy was confirmed at 375 days, which is just over 12 months.

57 Magazine with an “Ask E. Jean” column : ELLE

“Elle” magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. “Elle” is the French word for “she”. “Elle” is published monthly worldwide, although you can pick up a weekly edition if you live in France.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Big fuss : ADO
4 Neither above nor below face value : AT PAR
9 Allowed : LEGAL
14 ___ Bradlee, editor of The Washington Post during Watergate : BEN
15 Actress Keaton : DIANE
16 Dwelling : ABODE
17 Like Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” : IN E
18 Like pond scum : ALGAL
19 Mario’s world : MONDO
20 Task for new parents of twins? : TO NAME A COUPLE
23 Elevator innovator Elisha : OTIS
24 ___ tide : NEAP
25 Like straight bourbon, for a minimum of two years : AGED
28 “La Dolce Vita” director : FELLINI
31 Dad on “Black-ish” : DRE
33 “This texter thinks …” : IMO …
34 Long-armed zoo animal, informally : ORANG
36 Protection rackets? : ALARMS
38 Task for a Thai chef cooking for typical Americans? : TO PUT IT MILDLY
41 Like the most protective hazmat suits : LEVEL-A
42 Las Vegas was built around one : OASIS
43 What “bist” means in the 1930s hit “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen” : ARE
44 The “e” of i.e. : EST
46 Words of referral : SEE ALSO
50 Lean and tough : WIRY
52 High, in Versailles : HAUT
54 Getaway car cargo : LOOT
55 Task for a Benedictine monk? : TO SAY THE LEAST
59 Christensen of “Parenthood” : ERIKA
61 Tank-topped, ponytailed “Futurama” character : LEELA
62 Aid in counting to 20? : TOE
63 Much ESPN programming : GAMES
64 Maker of Glide floss : ORAL-B
65 Parallel to the x-axis: Abbr. : HOR
66 Some German autos : OPELS
67 Coasters, e.g. : RIDES
68 Non-majority? : ENS

Down

1 Very little : A BIT OF
2 Indicate : DENOTE
3 How the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup finals ended : ONE-NIL
4 Not know from ___ : ADAM
5 Roofing option : TILE
6 Violin virtuoso Niccolò : PAGANINI
7 Have ___ up one’s sleeve : AN ACE
8 Circular arrow button in an address bar : RELOAD
9 Common bedside item : LAMP
10 Virus first discovered in 1976 : EBOLA
11 Gillian Flynn thriller novel made into a hit 2014 film : GONE GIRL
12 Interject : ADD
13 Person born in late July : LEO
21 Slanted : ASLOPE
22 Heighten : UPRAISE
26 Award for a soap, maybe : EMMY
27 Afros, e.g. : DOS
29 Cry with a fist pump : I RULE!
30 “Sesame Street” baby Muppet : NATASHA
32 Actress/comic Kemper : ELLIE
35 Letters after “Yeah, yeah, little …,” in a 1964 hit : GTO
37 Pitcher’s success? : AD SALE
38 Actress Garr : TERI
39 Reward for working late : OVERTIME
40 It names names in a newspaper : MASTHEAD
41 Part of LSAT : LAW
45 Lord’s partner : TAYLOR
47 Hate : LOATHE
48 “Already?” : SO SOON?
49 Predators of crayfish : OTTERS
51 Cosmopolitan’s opposite : YOKEL
53 Gestation stations? : UTERI
56 Some wisecracks : SASS
57 Magazine with an “Ask E. Jean” column : ELLE
58 Places for vials : LABS
59 Latin “I” : EGO
60 Knock at the door : RAP

11 thoughts on “0724-19 NY Times Crossword 24 Jul 19, Wednesday”

  1. Theme aside, I found this to be a bit tricky for a Wednesday. No errors but needed a few crosses and a guess or two to complete.

  2. With several references to “my notes” from previous puzzles And some help via crosses I managed to get through this one in 52:45 with no errors….my hat is off to anyone who knows this much obscure trivia and foreign words etc I DONT.

  3. 19:54, no errors. A lot of unknowns, fortunately enough work arounds to get me through. I misread the clue for 41A as ‘Like most protective hazmat suits’ instead of ‘Like THE most protective….’. To expand on Bill’s explanation, hazmat suits come in four levels, from A (the most protective, looking like a space suit) to D (the least protective, ie. safety glasses, hardhat, glove, etc.). My misreading of the clue had me thinking ‘most protective hazmat suits are level D’.

  4. Found this on the tough side, but gettable. More than usual number of unknowns, I thought. Some write-overs, but finished without any errors.

  5. Agree with Dave and others who found this a challenging Wednesday. No errors but plenty of staring into space.

  6. In response to the above comment, I printed a paper copy of this puzzle and redid it (five weeks on) to refresh my memory of it. As others have said, I found it to be a bit thoughtful. Crosses came to my rescue in a couple of spots and I had to guess at the “E” of DRE and ELLIE (but that wasn’t much of a stretch). The theme entries are a bit whimsical, but they make perfect sense. So, over all, I’m utterly mystified by the phrase “a complete and total mess”.

  7. I have no idea what is meant by the “ine” as answer to the Stevie Wonder song clue 17A.

    Tough for a Wednesday and I didn’t care for the theme answers. Not funny.

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