0729-19 NY Times Crossword 29 Jul 19, Monday

Constructed by: Bruce Haight
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: On the Bench

Themed answers are often found ON THE BENCH:

  • 59A Place where 17-, 23-, 37- and 48-Across might be found : ON THE BENCH
  • 17A Athlete with a mitt : BALLPLAYER
  • 23A One going for a stroll among urban greenery : PARK VISITOR
  • 37A Official hearing a case : TRIAL COURT JUDGE
  • 48A Herbie Hancock or Chick Corea : JAZZ PIANIST

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

Bill’s time: 6m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Mae who said “I used to be Snow White, but I drifted” : WEST

Comic actress Mae West can be quoted so easily, as she had so many great lines delivered so well. Here are a few:

  • When I’m good, I’m very good. When I’m bad, I’m better.
  • When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I’ve never tried before.
  • I’ll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure.
  • Marriage is a great institution, but I’m not ready for an institution yet.
  • I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.
  • Why don’t you come on up and see me sometime — when I’ve got nothin’ on but the radio.
  • It’s better to be looked over than overlooked.
  • To err is human, but it feels divine.
  • I like my clothes to be tight enough to show I’m a woman, but loose enough to show I’m a lady.
  • I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond.
  • Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

14 “You ___ Beautiful” (Joe Cocker hit) : ARE SO

“You Are So Beautiful” is a song written by Dennis Wilson and Billy Preston, first recorded by Preston in 1974. Later the same year, Joe Cocker recorded a slower version of the song that was to become more successful than the original.

Joe Cocker is an English rock and blues singer from Sheffield in the North of England who is noted for his gritty and raspy voice. Cocker has had many hits, several of which are cover versions of songs. Included in the list is “With a Little Help from My Friends”, “Cry Me a River”, “You Are So Beautiful” and “Up Where We Belong”.

15 Mexican entree in a shell : TACO

“Entrée” means “entry” in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get “a way in”, an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the “entry” to the meal, the first course. I found the ordering of meals to be very confusing when I first came to America!

21 Bill Clinton’s was in the 1990s : ERA

Bill Clinton was elected Governor of Arkansas in 1978 at the age of 32, making him the youngest governor in the country at the time, and the fourth governor in the history of the US.

22 ___ Haute, Ind. : TERRE

Terre Haute, Indiana is a city close to the state’s western border with Illinois. The city is home to a state prison which in turn is home to the state’s death row. The name “Terre Haute” was chosen by French explorers in the 18th century to describe the location, as “terre haute” is French for “high ground”.

30 Abba of Israel : EBAN

Abba Eban was an Israeli diplomat and politician. He was born Aubrey Solomon Meir Eban in Cape Town, South Africa. While working at the United Nations after WWII, Eban changed his given name to “Abba”, the Hebrew word for “father”. Reportedly, he made this change as Eban saw himself as the father of the nation of Israel.

44 Weights that may be “short” or “long” : TONS

Here in the US, a ton is equivalent to 2,000 pounds. Over in the UK, a ton is 2,240 pounds. The UK unit is sometimes referred to as an Imperial ton, long ton or gross ton. Folks over there refer to the US ton then as a short ton. To further complicate matters, there is also a metric ton or tonne, which is equivalent to 2,204 pounds. Personally, I wish we’d just stick to kilograms …

46 Tevye’s occupation in “Fiddler on the Roof” : MILKMAN

The enduring musical “Fiddler on the Roof” is based on a collection of stories by Sholem Aleichem about Tevye, a milkman living in Tsarist Russia. The musical version of the tales first opened on Broadway in 1964. “Fiddler on the Roof” had such a long run that it became the first musical to reach 3,000 performances.

48 Herbie Hancock or Chick Corea : JAZZ PIANIST

Herbie Hancock is a jazz pianist from Chicago who was notably a member of Miles Davis’s Second Great Quintet. Hancock started out as a classical pianist, and was considered to be a child prodigy. IN 1952 when he was 11 years old, Hancock played the first movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 26 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Chick Corea is an American jazz pianist. Corea is noted for his work in the area of jazz fusion, as well as for his promotion of Scientology.

52 “Later, amigo!” : ADIOS!

The term “adiós” is Spanish for “goodbye”. “Adiós” comes from the phrase “a Dios vos acomiendo” meaning “I commend you to God”.

58 William with a state named after him : PENN

William Penn was given a huge land grant in America by King Charles II, because the king owed Penn’s father a lot of money. Penn took up residence on this side of the Atlantic and called his new holding “New Wales”. He later changed this name to “Sylvania” (the Latin for “forest”) and finally to “Pennsylvania”.

62 Sheltered from the wind : ALEE

Alee is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing aweather.

63 Parks in civil rights history : ROSA

Rosa Parks was one of a few brave women in days gone by who refused to give up their seats on a bus to white women. It was the stand taken by Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955 that sparked the Montgomery, Alabama Bus Boycott. President Clinton presented Ms. Parks with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996. When she died in 2005, Rosa Parks became the first ever woman to have her body lie in honor in the US Capitol Rotunda.

64 Language family of Africa : BANTU

There are hundreds of Bantu languages, which are mainly spoken in central, east and southern Africa. The most commonly spoken Bantu language is Swahili, with Zulu coming in second.

65 Loch ___ monster : NESS

The Loch Ness monster has been talked about for centuries, but modern interest started in 1933 when a spate of sightings was reported. Those sightings don’t seem to have stopped, with photographs really sparking the imagination.

Down

1 “Ali ___ and the 40 Thieves” : BABA

In the folk tale “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”, the title character is a poor woodcutter who discovers the magic words “open sesame”, which open the thieves’ den.

2 Land with an ayatollah : IRAN

An ayatollah is a high-ranking cleric in the Muslim faith. The position is roughly equivalent to a bishop or a cardinal in the Roman Catholic tradition, or to a chief rabbi in Judaism.

3 Hanukkah “moolah” : GELT

“Gelt” is the Yiddish word for “money”.

The term “Hanukkah” derives from the Hebrew for “to dedicate”. Hanukkah is a holiday lasting eight days that commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem after successful Jewish revolt against the Seleucids in the 2nd-century BCE. The story of Hanukkah includes the miracle of the one-day supply of oil that kept the menorah alight for eight days.

4 ___ of Capri : ISLE

The island of Capri off the coast of Southern Italy has been a tourist resort since the days of ancient Rome. Capri is home to the famous Blue Grotto, a sea cave that is illuminated with sunlight that’s colored blue as it passes through the seawater into the cave.

5 Dandyish dresser : FOP

A dandy is a man who is overly fastidious with regard to his personal appearance. There’s a suggestion that the term originated in Scotland, where “Dandy” is a diminutive of the name “Andrew”. Back in the early 1800s, when the use of “dandy” was at its height, the female equivalent was a dandizette.

6 Van Gogh’s “The ___ Night” : STARRY

“The Starry Night” is a Van Gogh masterpiece depicting what the artist could see from the window of his room in a sanitarium near the village of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. It is a lovely piece …

7 Boat you might shoot rapids in : KAYAK

There is a type of boat used by Inuit people called an “umiak”. . The term “umiak” means “woman’s boat”, whereas “kayak” means “man’s boat”.

12 Former vice president Agnew : SPIRO

Spiro Agnew served as Vice-President under Richard Nixon, before becoming the only VP in American history to resign because of criminal charges (there was a bribery scandal). Agnew was also the first Greek-American to serve as US Vice President as he was the son of a Greek immigrant who had shortened the family name from Anagnostopoulos.

13 Printer cartridge contents : TONER

The key features of a laser printer (or copier) are that it uses plain paper and produces quality text at high speed. Laser printers work by projecting a laser image of the printed page onto a rotating drum that is coated with photoconductors (material that becomes conductive when exposed to light). The areas of the drum exposed to the laser carry a different charge than the unexposed areas. Dry ink (toner) sticks to the exposed areas due to electrostatic charge. The toner is then transferred to paper by contact and is fused into the paper by the application of heat. So, that explains why paper coming out of a laser printer is warm, and sometimes powdery.

22 Airport screening org. : TSA

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

27 Raison d’___ : ETRE

“Raison d’être” is a French phrase meaning “reason for existence”.

28 Pin the ___ on the donkey : TAIL

Pin the tail on the donkey is a children’s party game.

34 Semihard Dutch cheese : 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.

35 City that’s home to the Taj Mahal : AGRA

Agra is a medieval city on the banks of the river Yamuna in India. Agra was also the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1658. The city is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

  • The Taj Mahal: the famous mausoleum built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal.
  • Agra Fort: the site where the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond was seized.
  • Fatehpur Sikri: a historic city that’s home to well-preserved Mughal architecture.

39 Peak near Olympus : OSSA

Mount Ossa in Greece is located between Mount Pelion in the south, and the famed Mount Olympus in the north. Mount Ossa is also known as Kissavos.

40 Leave at the altar : JILT

To jilt someone with whom you have a relationship is to drop them suddenly or callously. “Jilt” is an obsolete noun that used to mean “harlot, loose woman”.

49 Grammy-winning singer of “Hello” : ADELE

“Hello” is a 2015 song by English singer Adele that won her three Grammy Awards: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance.

50 Fan publications, informally : ZINES

A zine is a magazine. The term “zine” is often reserved for noncommercial publications, including those issued online.

51 Bonkers : NUTSO

The word “bonkers” meaning “crazy” originated in the fifties. The term might come from navy slang meaning “slightly drunk”, behaving as though one received a “bonk” on the head.

54 Lover boy : BEAU

A beau (plural “beaux”) is the boyfriend of a belle, a young lady. “Beau” and “belle” are the masculine and feminine forms of the French word for “handsome, beautiful”.

55 Youngest of the Brontë sisters : ANNE

Anne was the youngest of the three sisters in the literary Brontë family. Her older sisters wrote novels that are more recognized, but Anne’s two novels do have a following. “Agnes Grey” is based on her own experiences working as a governess. Her other novel, “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall” is written as a long letter from a young man describing the events leading up to his first meeting with his wife-to-be. Anne Brontë’s writing career was cut short in 1849, when she died of pulmonary tuberculosis, at only 29 years of age.

59 Surgery sites, for short : ORS

Surgery (surg.) is usually performed in an operating room (OR).

61 Cookout, briefly : BBQ

It is believed that our word “barbecue” (BBQ) comes from the Taíno people of the Caribbean in whose language “barbacoa” means “sacred fire pit”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Major uncertainty : BIG IF
6 Canvas for a tattoo : SKIN
10 Mae who said “I used to be Snow White, but I drifted” : WEST
14 “You ___ Beautiful” (Joe Cocker hit) : ARE SO
15 Mexican entree in a shell : TACO
16 Large fair, informally : EXPO
17 Athlete with a mitt : BALLPLAYER
19 Bridle strap : REIN
20 Poker stake : ANTE
21 Bill Clinton’s was in the 1990s : ERA
22 ___ Haute, Ind. : TERRE
23 One going for a stroll among urban greenery : PARK VISITOR
26 “Quit wasting time!” : GET BUSY!
30 Abba of Israel : EBAN
31 Even a little : AT ALL
32 ___-haw : HEE
33 Plumbing woe : LEAK
37 Official hearing a case : TRIAL COURT JUDGE
41 Fish that wriggle : EELS
42 What’s dropped off a cigarette : ASH
43 Words of empathy : I CARE
44 Weights that may be “short” or “long” : TONS
46 Tevye’s occupation in “Fiddler on the Roof” : MILKMAN
48 Herbie Hancock or Chick Corea : JAZZ PIANIST
52 “Later, amigo!” : ADIOS!
53 Employ : USE
54 Bleats : BAAS
58 William with a state named after him : PENN
59 Place where 17-, 23-, 37- and 48-Across might be found : ON THE BENCH
62 Sheltered from the wind : ALEE
63 Parks in civil rights history : ROSA
64 Language family of Africa : BANTU
65 Loch ___ monster : NESS
66 “That’s enough!” : STOP!
67 Adventurous journey : QUEST

Down

1 “Ali ___ and the 40 Thieves” : BABA
2 Land with an ayatollah : IRAN
3 Hanukkah “moolah” : GELT
4 ___ of Capri : ISLE
5 Dandyish dresser : FOP
6 Van Gogh’s “The ___ Night” : STARRY
7 Boat you might shoot rapids in : KAYAK
8 What a “neat” drink doesn’t come with : ICE
9 Word paired with “neither” : NOR
10 “How fortunate for us!” : WE’RE IN LUCK!
11 Apply, as force : EXERT
12 Former vice president Agnew : SPIRO
13 Printer cartridge contents : TONER
18 Meadows : LEAS
22 Airport screening org. : TSA
23 Tug on : PULL
24 Turn sharply : VEER
25 Skeptic’s sarcastic comment : I BET
26 Racehorse’s starting point : GATE
27 Raison d’___ : ETRE
28 Pin the ___ on the donkey : TAIL
29 Bomb testing areas : BLAST ZONES
32 “Come again?” : HUH?
34 Semihard Dutch cheese : EDAM
35 City that’s home to the Taj Mahal : AGRA
36 Sharp-witted : KEEN
38 “Is it O.K., mom?” : CAN I?
39 Peak near Olympus : OSSA
40 Leave at the altar : JILT
45 Special ___ (military missions) : OPS
46 Event that’s an “Oops!” : MISHAP
47 “Ah, makes sense” : I SEE
48 Where Honda and Mazda are headquartered : JAPAN
49 Grammy-winning singer of “Hello” : ADELE
50 Fan publications, informally : ZINES
51 Bonkers : NUTSO
54 Lover boy : BEAU
55 Youngest of the Brontë sisters : ANNE
56 Things passed in Congress : ACTS
57 “___ your piehole!” : SHUT
59 Surgery sites, for short : ORS
60 Word after waste and want : … NOT
61 Cookout, briefly : BBQ

8 thoughts on “0729-19 NY Times Crossword 29 Jul 19, Monday”

  1. This one was simple, for sure. I was, however, struck by its beautiful symmetry. Puzzles do not have to be difficult to have good symmetry.

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