0726-19 NY Times Crossword 26 Jul 19, Friday

Constructed by: Trenton Charlson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 20m 29s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Tarot card, with “the” : FOOL

In a 78-card tarot deck, there are four 14-card suits known as the four minor arcana. There is also a 21-card trump suit, and a card referred to as the Fool. The Fool and trump suit are sometimes collectively called the major arcana.

5 Bird named for its black-and-white markings : ZEBRA FINCH

The zebra finch is a bird with extensive back-and-white striped markings, hence the name. It is found all over Australia.

15 Eccentric fashion designer in “The Incredibles” : EDNA

“The Incredibles” is a 2004 animated feature from Pixar, and not a great movie if you ask me. But asking me probably isn’t a good idea, as the film won two Oscars …

16 Its deep blue variety is called maxixe : AQUAMARINE

The mineral beryl is a source of a number of different semi-precious stones, depending on the nature of the impurities present. Pure beryl is colorless; blue beryl is called aquamarine, and green beryl is emerald. Traces of iron cause the blue color, and traces of chromium give the green hue.

17 Trixie’s mom, in the comics : LOIS

“Hi and Lois” is a comic strip that first appeared in 1954 and is still running today. The strip was created by Mort Walker (also known for “Beetle Bailey”) and was originally illustrated by Dik Browne (also known for “Hägar the Horrible”). The title characters Hi and Lois Flagstone first appeared in “Beetle Bailey”. Lois is Beetle’s sister, and the characters occasionally show up in each other’s strip.

18 Cocktail made from peach schnapps and orange juice : FUZZY NAVEL

The cocktail known as a fuzzy navel was invented in the eighties by bartender Ray Foley, the founder of “Bartender Magazine”. The basic drink is made with equal parts of peach schnapps and orange juice, with the “fuzzy” referring to the texture of the skin of a peach, and the “navel” referring to the navel in a navel orange. A variant of the drink is made by adding a splash of vodka, giving a hairy navel. The more vodka, the hairier the cocktail.

19 Track event : TROT

In harness racing, the horses race using one of two specific gaits, i.e. trotting or pacing.

20 Brand once marketed as “The Reincarnation of Tea” : TAZO

The Tazo Tea Company was founded in 1994 in Portland, Oregon. Tazo was purchased in 1999 by Starbucks. Starbucks now runs tea shops that are fully dedicated to Tazo teas.

21 Gate announcement, briefly : ETD

Estimated time of departure (ETD)

28 Island attire : SARONG

“Sarong” is the Malay word for “sheath. 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!

29 One maturing quickly, informally : T-BILL

A Treasury note (T-note) is a government debt that matures in 1-10 years. A T-note has a coupon (interest) payment made every six months. The T-note is purchased at a discount to face value, and at the date of maturity can be redeemed at that face value. A Treasury bill (T-bill) is a similar financial vehicle, but it matures in one year or less, and a T-bond matures in 20-30 years.

35 Target of some therapy : GENE

Gene therapy is an experimental technology used to treat disease. The basic principle is to transplant genes into a patient’s cells in order to cure a disease caused by the absence of those genes.

36 Wrestler Flair : RIC

Wrestler Ric Flair’s real name is Richard Fliehr. Perhaps following the lead of his compatriot Jesse Ventura, Flair explored the possibility of running for governor of the state of North Carolina.

37 It comes from Mars : 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”.

41 Title for Macbeth : THANE

Thanes were Scottish aristocrats. The most famous thanes have to be the Shakespearean characters Macbeth (the Thane of Glamis, later Thane of Cawdor, and still later King of Scotland) and MacDuff (the Thane of Fife). Other thanes in “Macbeth” are Ross, Lennox and Angus, as well as Menteith and Caithness.

43 Their players are often benched : PIANOS

What was remarkable about the piano when it was invented, compared to other keyboard instruments, was that notes could be played with varying degrees of loudness. This is accomplished by pressing the keys lightly or firmly. Because of this quality, the new instrument was called a “pianoforte”, with “piano” and “forte” meaning “soft” and “loud” in Italian. We tend to shorten the name these days to just “piano”.

44 Half of an old comedy duo : MEARA

Anne Meara married fellow comedic actor Jerry Stiller in 1954. The couple’s children are actors Ben and Amy Stiller. Meara co-starred with Carroll O’Connor and Martin Balsam in the eighties sitcom “Archie Bunker’s Place”, a spin-off from “All in the Family”.

46 Ivy League nickname : ELI

Eli is the nickname for a graduate of Yale University, a term used in honor of the Yale benefactor Elihu Yale.

The term “Ivy League” originally defined an athletic conference, but now it is used to describe a group of schools of higher education that are associated with both a long tradition and academic excellence. The eight Ivy League Schools are: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.

48 One of the Everly Brothers : PHIL

The Everly Brothers were noted for their steel guitar sound, and their great use of harmony. Their harmony onstage wasn’t reflected off the stage though. In 1973 the brothers decided to pursue separate careers and scheduled a farewell performance attended by many fans, family and stalwarts from the music industry. Don Everly came on stage too drunk to perform, and eventually brother Phil just stormed off into the wings, smashing his guitar as he left. The boys didn’t talk to each other for ten years after that incident. Phil Everly passed away in January 2014.

50 Either of the two highest trump cards in euchre : JACK

Euchre is a card game that probably came to the US from Germany, introduced by German farmers who settled in Wisconsin. Euchre is a trick-taking game usually played by four people in two partnerships. Unlike bridge, Euchre is played with a stripped down deck of 24 or 32 cards. The verb “to euchre” is slang for “to cheat, swindle”, a term that presumably comes from the card game.

56 Queens stadium eponym : ASHE

Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York opened in 1997 and for years was the largest outdoor, tennis-only venue in the world. The stadium was often criticized for not having a retractable dome to protect the playing surface from inclement weather. Well, that changed in 2016 when the stadium debuted its new retractable roof, a $150 million investment in the facility.

57 Body of water between two locks of the Erie Canal : ONEIDA LAKE

Oneida Lake is the largest lake lying entirely within the state of New York. Oneida is situated close to New York’s Finger Lakes, but it isn’t one of them. Having said that, some regard Oneida Lake as the “thumb” that goes along with the “fingers”.

The Erie Canal runs from Albany to Buffalo in the state of New York. What the canal does is allow shipping to proceed from New York Harbor right up the Hudson River, through the canal and into the Great Lakes. When it was opened in 1825, the Erie Canal had immediate impact on the economy of New York City and locations along its route. It was the first means of “cheap” transportation from a port on the Atlantic seaboard into the interior of the United States. Arguably it was the most important factor contributing to the growth of New York City over competing ports such as Baltimore and Philadelphia. It was largely because of the Erie Canal that New York became such an economic powerhouse, earning it the nickname of “the Empire State”. Paradoxically, one of the project’s main proponents was severely criticized. New York Governor DeWitt Clinton received so much ridicule that the canal was nicknamed “Clinton’s Folly” and “Clinton’s Ditch”.

58 The Big Bad Wolf, in old cartoons : ZEKE

The Big Bad Wolf is a character in many folklore stories, including “Little Red Riding” and “Three Little Pigs”. Walt Disney’s version of the Big Bad Wolf is called Zeke Wolf, and has a son called Li’l Bad Wolf, or just “Li’l Wolf” to his friends.

Down

1 Pool surface : FELT

Felt is used for the playing surface of a pool table.

2 Sole supporter? : ODOR EATER

Odor Eater insoles were introduced in the early seventies, and are manufactured by Combe. Combe sponsors a national contest held every year in Montpelier, Vermont, called “The Odor Eaters Rotten Sneaker Contest”. Very pleasant …

3 Item sold at Burger King but not at most McDonald’s : ONION RING

The Burger King chain of fast food restaurants was established as Insta-Burger King in Jacksonville, Florida in 1953. The chain operates all around the world under the Burger King name except in Australia, where you have to visit Hungry Jack’s.

The original McDonald’s restaurant was opened in 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald as a barbecue restaurant. The brothers then moved into fast food hamburgers, eventually selling out to one of their franchise agents, Ray Kroc. It was Ray Kroc who really led the company to its worldwide success. He was played by Michael Keaton in the movie about Ray Kroc’s business life called “The Founder”.

5 Full-figured : ZAFTIG

A woman who is described as “zaftig” has a full and shapely figure. “Zaftig” comes from the Yiddish word “zaftik” meaning “juicy”. I am not going to touch this one …

8 University of Arkansas mascot : RAZORBACK

The athletic teams of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville are known as the Razorbacks, and sometimes as the Diamond Hogs. The Razorback is a type of pig, a wild hog.

9 One of the March sisters : AMY

“Little Women” is a novel written by American author Louisa May Alcott. The quartet of “little women” comprises Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March. Jo is a tomboy, the main character in the story, and is based on Alcott herself.

11 Portfolio part, for short : IRA

Individual retirement account (IRA)

12 “Around the World in 80 Days” star, 1956 : NIVEN

“Around the World in 80 Days” is just a wonderful adventure story written by French author Jules Verne and first published in 1873. There have been some great screen adaptations of the story, including the 1956 movie starring David Niven as the protagonist Phileas Fogg. In almost all adaptations, a balloon is used for part of the journey, and is perhaps the most memorable means of transportation on Fogg’s trip around the world. However, if you read the book, Fogg never uses a balloon at all.

13 Tech news source : C|NET

c|net is an excellent technology website. c|net started out in 1994 as a television network specializing in technology news. The host of “American Idol”, Ryan Seacrest, started off his career as host of a c|net show.

25 Rembrandt or Vermeer : OIL

The celebrated Dutch painter’s full name was Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (sometimes “Ryn”). Rembrandt is perhaps most appreciated for his portraits, and left the world a remarkable collection of self-portraits.

Johannes (also “Jan”) Vermeer was born in the city of Delft in 1632, and died there some 43 years later. The name “Vermeer” is a contraction of “van der meer”, which translates as “from the sea/lake”. I just love Vermeer’s paintings, and his wonderful use of light. A great example of such a work is his “Girl with a Pearl Earring”. If you haven’t seen it, I thoroughly recommend the 2003 movie “Girl with a Pearl Earring” starring Scarlett Johansson as the girl in the painting, and Colin Firth as Vermeer. The movie is based on a novel of the same name by Tracy Chevalier, so it’s all just a great story as opposed to a documentary. The way the movie is shot really reflects the qualities of a Vermeer work of art.

26 “The fierce urgency of now” speaker, familiarly : MLK

Martin Luther King, Jr’s father was born Michael King. On a trip to Germany in 1934, Michael came to admire Protestant leader Martin Luther and changed his name to Martin Luther King on his return to the United States. Famously, he passed on his new name to his son, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr (MLK).

28 Starch-producing palm tree : SAGO

When I was growing up in Ireland I was very familiar with pearl sago, which is very similar to pearl tapioca. Pearls of sago are simply little balls of sago starch used to make breads, pancakes, biscuits, or the steamed puddings that we ate as kids. Sago comes from pith of the sago palm tree. To get at the starch the tree has to be cut down and the trunk split to reveal the pith. The pith is crushed and manipulated to make the starch available, which is then washed out of a fibrous suspension. One sago palm tree yields about 150-300 kg of starch. Personally I love the stuff, but then, I am a bit weird …

29 Oreo ___ : THINS

For those of us counting calories, Oreo Thins were introduced in 2015. There are only 40 calories in each thin cookie, compared to 53 calories in the real deal.

31 Small fruit high in pectin : CRAB APPLE

The fruit of the crab apple tree is very sour and tart. It is from this acidic quality that we get the term “crab”, describing a person who is grouchy and irritable.

Pectin is a starch-like material found in the cell walls of plants. Pectin can be extracted from plants (usually citrus fruit) and then used in cooking as a gelling agent.

33 1939 film banned in the Soviet Union : NINOTCHKA

“Ninotchka” is a 1939 movie starring Greta Garbo in the title role. The film is a comedy, and was the second-to-last film in which Garbo appeared. “Ninotchka” was the only full comedy that Garbo made in her career, and was marketed with the line, “Garbo Laughs!”

39 Exhibition-funding grp. : NEA

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is an agency funded by the federal government that offers support and financing for artistic projects. The NEA was created by an Act of Congress in 1965. Between 1965 and 2008, the NEA awarded over $4 billion to the arts, with Congress authorizing around $170 million annually through the eighties and much of the nineties. That funding was cut to less than $100 million in the late nineties due to pressure from conservatives concerned about the use of funds, but it is now back over the $150 million mark. I wonder how long that will last though …

43 Part of a Rube Goldberg device : PULLEY

Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist, engineer and inventor who became famous for designing overly-complicated gadgets to perform the simplest of tasks. Goldberg produced a famous series of cartoons depicting such designs. Such was the success of his work, the Merriam-Webster dictionary accepted the phrase “Rube Goldberg” as an adjective in 1931, an adjective meaning “accomplishing something simple through complex means”.

46 M.B.A. prereq. : ECON

The world’s first Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree was offered by Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, in 1908.

47 Singer ___ Del Rey : LANA

“Lana Del Rey” is the stage name of singer/songwriter Elizabeth Grant. Del Rey calls herself a “self-styled gangsta Nancy Sinatra”. Nice …

49 Crate : HEAP

“Bucket of bolts”, “crate” and “heap” are slang terms for a junky car.

54 Foofaraw : ADO

Foofaraw is excessive or flashy ornamentation, or a fuss over something that is unimportant.

55 ___ soda : SAL

Sodium carbonate is a well known as a water softener sold for use in laundry, and is variously described as Sal Soda, Washing Soda and Soda Crystals.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Tarot card, with “the” : FOOL
5 Bird named for its black-and-white markings : ZEBRA FINCH
15 Eccentric fashion designer in “The Incredibles” : EDNA
16 Its deep blue variety is called maxixe : AQUAMARINE
17 Trixie’s mom, in the comics : LOIS
18 Cocktail made from peach schnapps and orange juice : FUZZY NAVEL
19 Track event : TROT
20 Brand once marketed as “The Reincarnation of Tea” : TAZO
21 Gate announcement, briefly : ETD
22 Demand : ENTAIL
24 Kind of type : ROMAN
28 Island attire : SARONG
29 One maturing quickly, informally : T-BILL
30 Skewed : ATILT
31 Erasable mark : CHALK LINE
35 Target of some therapy : GENE
36 Wrestler Flair : RIC
37 It comes from Mars : TWIX
38 Your heart may go out to it : ORGAN BANK
41 Title for Macbeth : THANE
42 Rock and roll, e.g. : VERBS
43 Their players are often benched : PIANOS
44 Half of an old comedy duo : MEARA
45 Taboo word : MUSTN’T
46 Ivy League nickname : ELI
48 One of the Everly Brothers : PHIL
50 Either of the two highest trump cards in euchre : JACK
52 Was charming? : CAST A SPELL
56 Queens stadium eponym : ASHE
57 Body of water between two locks of the Erie Canal : ONEIDA LAKE
58 The Big Bad Wolf, in old cartoons : ZEKE
59 Reason for going out a lot? : NARCOLEPSY
60 Fervor : ZEAL

Down

1 Pool surface : FELT
2 Sole supporter? : ODOR EATER
3 Item sold at Burger King but not at most McDonald’s : ONION RING
4 Person tasked with locking up : LAST TO LEAVE
5 Full-figured : ZAFTIG
6 Peer : EQUAL
7 Hype : BUZZ
8 University of Arkansas mascot : RAZORBACK
9 One of the March sisters : AMY
10 Cooler : FAN
11 Portfolio part, for short : IRA
12 “Around the World in 80 Days” star, 1956 : NIVEN
13 Tech news source : C|NET
14 Not free to go : HELD
23 Pismire : ANT
25 Rembrandt or Vermeer : OIL
26 “The fierce urgency of now” speaker, familiarly : MLK
27 So on and so forth : ALL THAT JAZZ
28 Starch-producing palm tree : SAGO
29 Oreo ___ : THINS
31 Small fruit high in pectin : CRAB APPLE
32 “Lemme look!” : I WANNA SEE!
33 1939 film banned in the Soviet Union : NINOTCHKA
34 Participants in some awkward meetings : EXES
39 Exhibition-funding grp. : NEA
40 “Man, it’s cold!” : BRR!
41 Quaint contraction : ‘TIS
43 Part of a Rube Goldberg device : PULLEY
44 Dough nut? : MISER
45 Uses shamelessly : MILKS
46 M.B.A. prereq. : ECON
47 Singer ___ Del Rey : LANA
49 Crate : HEAP
51 Balance beam? : KEEL
53 Poker game tell, perhaps : TIC
54 Foofaraw : ADO
55 ___ soda : SAL

10 thoughts on “0726-19 NY Times Crossword 26 Jul 19, Friday”

  1. When I started this one I said “no way” but an hour and 10 min later and several “look ups” I finished somehow with no errors. Go figure

    1. That’s my definition of a good puzzle. One that looks impossible at the outset; then rewards perseverance with success.

  2. I usually try to solve puzzles in some semblance of order, starting at 1A and 1D, but for this, I couldn’t remember the
    Fool but did figure Felt was a pool surface. From there I bounced all over, getting a lot of the short answers and eventually having enough boxes to complete longer fills.
    Knew about Phil and Don, but that gave me the H for “crate”
    and my thinking was limited to freight or pet container and it took me a while to see a junker .

  3. Scatter-gunned for a bit, then got traction. Was about to say “no errors” but saw that I had ZAFFIG/FAZO for some reason even tho zaftig is familiar. No cigar.

  4. No errors but got hung up in the bottom left for a little bit. Agree with BruceB and it is very satisfying when a puzzle goes from “wtf is going on” to aha!

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