0807-19 NY Times Crossword 7 Aug 19, Wednesday

Constructed by: Jeff Chen
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Pig Latin

Themed answers appear to be common phrases, but are actually PIG LATIN terms reflecting the clue:

  • 66A “Language” that explains the answers to the six starred clues : PIG LATIN
  • 17A *Scarcity : EARTH DAY (“dearth” or “-earth d-ay”)
  • 23A *Futuristic film of 1982 : ENTREE (“Tron” or “-on tr-ay”)
  • 25A *Amazement : UNDERWAY (“wonder” or “-onder w-ay”)
  • 40A *Lay waste to : ASHTRAY (“trash” or “-ash tr-ay”)
  • 53A *Magnificent : EAGLE RAY (“regal” or “-egal r-ay”)
  • 55A *Oaf : OUTLAY (“lout” or “-out l-ay”)

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

Bill’s time: 12m 01s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 “Today” network : NBC

NBC’s “Today” show first aired way back in 1952 when it was the first “morning show” in the world. The first host of “Today” was Dave Garroway.

4 Ali Baba, for one : ARAB

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.

14 Something to roll over, for short : IRA

A rollover IRA is a subtype of traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA). The funds for a rollover IRA come from another qualified plan such as a 401(k) or 403(b) account.

15 Daughter of Cronus : HERA

In Greek mythology, Hera was the wife of Zeus and was noted for her jealous and vengeful nature, particularly against those who vied for the affections of her husband. The equivalent character to Hera in Roman mythology was Juno. Hera was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea.

16 ___ mama (rum drink) : BAHAMA

If you’d care to try the drink called a Bahama mama, one recipe is:

  • 1 part rum
  • 1 part coconut rum
  • 1 part grenadine
  • 2 parts orange juice
  • 2 parts pineapple juice

17 *Scarcity : EARTH DAY (“dearth” or “-earth d-ay”)

Earth Day was founded in the US, where it was introduced by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. Earth Day was designed to increase awareness and appreciation of our planet’s natural environment. The original Earth Day was on April 22nd, 1970. Decades later, the day is observed in over 175 countries.

20 “I’m off!” : CIAO!

“Ciao” is Italian for “‘bye”. “Arrivederci” is more formal, and translates as “goodbye”.

21 Oslo Accords grp. : PLO

The Oslo Accords grew out of secret negotiations between the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel in a residence in Oslo in the early nineties. The delegates shared the same house while they conducted 14 meetings. While eating all their meals together at the same table, the negotiators came to respect one another and apparently friendships developed.

22 “Talking” tree of a Tennyson poem : OAK

Alfred, Lord Tennyson was the Poet Laureate during for much of the reign of Queen Victoria. There are many phrases we use today that were first penned by Tennyson, including:

  • – ‘Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all
  • – Theirs not to reason why, / Theirs but to do and die

23 *Futuristic film of 1982 : ENTREE (“Tron” or “-on tr-ay”)

Released in 1982, Disney’s “Tron” was one of the first mainstream films to make extensive use of computer graphics. The main role in the movie is played by Jeff Bridges. The original spawned a 2010 sequel called “Tron: Legacy”, as well as a 2012 TV show called “Tron: Uprising”.

33 High on the Scoville scale : SPICY

The Scoville scale is a measure of the spiciness of chili peppers. The scale was invented by a pharmacist in 1912, Wilbur Scoville. To determine the position of a pepper on Scoville scale, the amount of capsaicin in the chili is measured. Capsaicin is an irritant that causes the sensation of burning when it comes into contact with tissue, particularly mucous membranes.

38 Fashion designer Sui : ANNA

Anna Sui is a fashion designer from Detroit, Michigan.

39 Go for the gold? : PAN

When prospectors pan for gold, they do so by mixing soil and water in a pan. Because gold is very dense, gravel and soil can be washed over the side of the pan leaving the heavy precious metal at the bottom. The gold has been “panned out”, and so we often use “pan out” figuratively to mean “turn out, succeed”.

43 “Law & Order” figs. : DAS

“Law & Order” ran for many, many years on NBC, from 1990 to 2010. “Law & Order” is a police drama that spawned a huge franchise of shows both here in the US and overseas. I am probably a bit biased, but my favorite is the version shown in BBC America called “Law & Order: UK”.

44 Take too much of, briefly : OD ON

Overdose (OD)

49 Regular at Waikiki, e.g. : SURF BUM

Waikiki is a neighborhood of Honolulu that is home to the famous Waikiki Beach. The name “Waikiki” means “spouting fresh water” in Hawaiian.

51 Rice-shaped pasta : ORZO

Orzo is pasta that has been formed into granular shapes, much like barley. And indeed, “orzo” is the Italian word for “barley”.

63 Summer hat : PANAMA

Panama hats are traditional headgear from Ecuador, and have never been made in Panama. The “panama” moniker came about as many of the hats were shipped to the Isthmus of Panama for transportation by sea to the rest of the world. Authentic panama hats are made from the leaves of a palm-like plant known locally as the jipijapa palm.

66 “Language” that explains the answers to the six starred clues : PIG LATIN

Pig Latin is in effect a game. One takes the first consonant or consonant cluster of an English word and moves it to the end of the word, and then adds the letters “ay”. So, the Pig Latin for the word “nix” is “ixnay” (ix-n-ay), and for “scram” is “amscray” (am-scr-ay).

69 Eau, across the Pyrenees : AGUA

The Pyrénées is a mountain range that runs along the border between Spain and France. Nestled between the two countries, high in the mountains, is the lovely country of Andorra, an old haunt of my family during skiing season …

70 Troupe grp. : USO

The United Service Organization (USO) was founded in 1941 at the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt “to handle the on-leave recreation of the men in the armed forces”. A USO tour is undertaken by a troupe of entertainers, many of whom are big-name celebrities. A USO tour usually includes troop locations in combat zones.

71 Indiana hoopsters : PACERS

The Indiana Pacers are the professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, who play in the NBA. The name was chosen when the team was formed in 1967. “Pacers” is a homage to harness racing pacers (famed in Indiana) and the pace car used in the Indianapolis 500.

72 Ink : TATS

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are sometimes referred to as “ink”.

Down

3 Gemology unit : CARAT

The carat is a unit of mass equal to 200 mg. It is used in sizing gemstones.

6 Kazakhstan’s ___ Sea : ARAL

The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

The Republic of Kazakhstan in Central Asia is the world’s largest landlocked country. Kazakhstan was also the last of the former Soviet Republics (SSRs) to declare itself independent from Russia.

7 Habitat for alligators and crawdads : BAYOU

A bayou is a marshy inlet or outlet of a lake or river, usually with stagnant or slow-moving water. The exact origins of the term “bayou” is uncertain, but it is thought perhaps to come from the Choctaw (a Native American people from the southeast) word “bayuk”, meaning “small stream”.

“Crawdad” and “crawfish” are alternative names for crayfish, with “crawdad” being more common in the south of the country.

8 ___ Sports (March Madness broadcaster) : CBS

“March Madness” is the name given to the NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball Championship (among others), that is held in the spring each year.

9 Celestial circles : HALOES

The Greek word “halos” is the name given to the ring of light around the sun or moon, which gives us our word “halo” that is used for a radiant light depicted above the head of a saintly person.

11 National sport of South Korea : TAEKWONDO

Taekwondo is the national sport of Korea. “Tae” means “to strike or break with foot”; “kwon” means “to strike or break with fist”; “do” means “way” or “art”. Along with judo, taekwondo is one of only two martial arts included in the Olympic Games.

24 One-named singer with four Grammys : ENYA

Enya’s real name is Eithne Ní Bhraonáin, which can translate from Irish into Enya Brennan. Her Donegal family (in the northwest of Ireland) formed a band called Clannad, which included Enya. In 1980 Enya launched her very successful solo career, eventually becoming Ireland’s best-selling solo musician. And, she sure does turn up a lot in crosswords!

26 In the vicinity of : NEAR TO

A vicinity is an area surrounding a place. The term “vicinity” ultimately comes from the Latin “vicus” meaning “group of houses, village”.

27 It may be roaming overseas : DATA

Stick to Wi-Fi when overseas …

28 Record of a single year : ANNAL

“Annal” is a rarely used word, and is the singular of the more common “annals”. An annal would be the recorded events of one year, with annals being the chronological record of events in successive years. The term “annal” comes from the Latin “annus” meaning “year”.

29 Brewer’s supply : YEAST

Yeasts are unicellular microorganisms in the kingdom Fungi. The species of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used for centuries in the making of wine and beer, and in breadmaking. Saccharomyces cerevisiae converts carbohydrates into carbon dioxide and alcohol in the process of fermentation. When making beer and wine, the carbon dioxide and alcohol may be captured by the liquid. When making bread, the carbon dioxide and alcohol is driven off by heat.

31 Conceptual framework : SCHEMA

A schema is an outline or a model. The plural of “schema” is “schemata” and the adjectival form is “schematic”.

34 “The Taming of the Shrew” setting : PADUA

The city of Padua is in northern Italy, and not far from Venice. Padua has many claims to fame. For example, Galileo was one of the lecturers at the University of Padua, and William Shakespeare chose the city as the setting for his play “The Taming of the Shrew”.

William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” is about a courting couple. The male in the couple is Petruchio, a gentleman of Verona, and the female is Katharina/Kate, the so-called “shrew”. As the play progresses, the “shrew” is “tamed” and becomes an “obedient” bride … a controversial storyline in the contemporary world, to say the least. Regardless, modern adaptations have been made, including 1948’s Broadway musical “Kiss Me Kate” and the 1999 romantic comedy “10 Things I Hate About You”.

37 Nail-biters during March Madness : OTS

Overtime (OT)

42 Yellow citrus fruit used in Japanese cuisine : YUZU

Yuzu is a citrus plant and fruit that is native to East Asia. The flavor of the yuzu fruit is said to resemble that of a grapefruit, with a hint of mandarin orange.

45 Battle between Giants and Titans, maybe : NFL GAME

The New York Giants (NYG) football team play their home games in MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, a stadium shared with the New York Jets (NYJ). The Giants are the only team remaining from a group of five that joined the league in 1925. For many years, the Giants shared team names with the New York Giants MLB team, before the baseball franchise moved to San Francisco after the 1957 season.

The Tennessee Titans are a football team based in Nashville. The team relocated to Nashville from Houston in 1997. They were called the Tennessee Oilers for two seasons, before adopting the “Titans” moniker.

50 Certain German wheels, informally : BEEMER

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.

56 ___-eater : LOTUS

The lotus-eaters were a race of people who featured in Greek mythology. The lotus flowers and fruits that were consumed were supposedly narcotic and addictive, and so the lotus-eaters enjoyed a life largely asleep in peaceful apathy.

57 Absinthe flavor : ANISE

Absinthe is an alcoholic spirit that is distilled from various plants and herbs, including wormwood. Absinthe was banned in the US in 1915 as it was deemed to be an addictive psychoactive drug. However, the accepted opinion today seems to be that absinthe is no more addictive or dangerous than any other spirit.

61 Latvia’s capital : RIGA

Riga is the capital city of Latvia. The historical center of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, declared as such because of the city’s magnificent examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

63 Hallucinogenic inits. : PCP

Phencyclidine is a recreational drug usually referred to on the street as “PCP” or “angel dust”.

67 Vegas opener? : LAS …

Back in the 1800s, the Las Vegas Valley was given its name from the extensive meadows (“las vegas” is Spanish for “the meadows”) present in the area courtesy of the artesian wells drilled by local farmers. Las Vegas was incorporated as a city in 1905, in the days when it was a stopping-off point for pioneers travelling west. It eventually became a railroad town, although with the coming of the railroad growth halted as travelers began to bypass Las Vegas. The city’s tourism industry took off in 1935 with the completion of the nearby Hoover Dam, which is still a popular attraction. Then gambling was legalized, and things really started to move. Vegas was picked, largely by celebrated figures in “the mob”, as a convenient location across the California/Nevada state line that could service the vast population of Los Angeles. As a result, Las Vegas is the most populous US city founded in the 20th century (Chicago is the most populous city founded in the 19th century, just in case you were wondering).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Today” network : NBC
4 Ali Baba, for one : ARAB
8 Main component of a crab shell : CHITIN
14 Something to roll over, for short : IRA
15 Daughter of Cronus : HERA
16 ___ mama (rum drink) : BAHAMA
17 *Scarcity : EARTH DAY (“dearth” or “-earth d-ay”)
19 Ready to turn in : SLEEPY
20 “I’m off!” : CIAO!
21 Oslo Accords grp. : PLO
22 “Talking” tree of a Tennyson poem : OAK
23 *Futuristic film of 1982 : ENTREE (“Tron” or “-on tr-ay”)
25 *Amazement : UNDERWAY (“wonder” or “-onder w-ay”)
30 Places to stay : INNS
32 Softball : EASY ONE
33 High on the Scoville scale : SPICY
36 Cover completely : COAT
38 Fashion designer Sui : ANNA
39 Go for the gold? : PAN
40 *Lay waste to : ASHTRAY (“trash” or “-ash tr-ay”)
43 “Law & Order” figs. : DAS
44 Take too much of, briefly : OD ON
46 Nuisance : PEST
47 Many a bike lock, essentially : U-BOLT
49 Regular at Waikiki, e.g. : SURF BUM
51 Rice-shaped pasta : ORZO
53 *Magnificent : EAGLE RAY (“regal” or “-egal r-ay”)
55 *Oaf : OUTLAY (“lout” or “-out l-ay”)
59 Sit in the cellar, say : AGE
60 Livener of an empty wall : ART
62 Alert for a distracted driver : HONK
63 Summer hat : PANAMA
66 “Language” that explains the answers to the six starred clues : PIG LATIN
68 Added a comment, with “in” : CHIMED
69 Eau, across the Pyrenees : AGUA
70 Troupe grp. : USO
71 Indiana hoopsters : PACERS
72 Ink : TATS
73 Finish (up) : SEW

Down

1 Many a flower girl : NIECE
2 Hard drive, essentially : BRAIN
3 Gemology unit : CARAT
4 “That’s the spot!” : AHH!
5 Grader’s tool : RED PEN
6 Kazakhstan’s ___ Sea : ARAL
7 Habitat for alligators and crawdads : BAYOU
8 ___ Sports (March Madness broadcaster) : CBS
9 Celestial circles : HALOES
10 “Message received” : I HEAR YA
11 National sport of South Korea : TAEKWONDO
12 Jackanapes : IMP
13 Bill-blocking vote : NAY
18 Like an inner tube : TORIC
24 One-named singer with four Grammys : ENYA
26 In the vicinity of : NEAR TO
27 It may be roaming overseas : DATA
28 Record of a single year : ANNAL
29 Brewer’s supply : YEAST
31 Conceptual framework : SCHEMA
33 Slangy “What if …” : S’POSE …
34 “The Taming of the Shrew” setting : PADUA
35 Lifeless? : INORGANIC
37 Nail-biters during March Madness : OTS
41 Urge on : SPUR
42 Yellow citrus fruit used in Japanese cuisine : YUZU
45 Battle between Giants and Titans, maybe : NFL GAME
48 Louis ___, South Africa’s first P.M. : BOTHA
50 Certain German wheels, informally : BEEMER
52 Low-grade liquor : ROTGUT
54 Talk to loudly : YAP AT
56 ___-eater : LOTUS
57 Absinthe flavor : ANISE
58 “See what I’m talkin’ ’bout?” : Y’KNOW?
61 Latvia’s capital : RIGA
63 Hallucinogenic inits. : PCP
64 “I’ve got it!” : AHA!
65 Sides of some buses : ADS
67 Vegas opener? : LAS …

4 thoughts on “0807-19 NY Times Crossword 7 Aug 19, Wednesday”

  1. 17:44. I got the theme early enough, but ENTREE fooled me as I couldn’t see how TRON could morph into it until I paid attention to the pronunciation rather than the spelling. I got too hung up on that for too long.

    Best –

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