0808-19 NY Times Crossword 8 Aug 19, Thursday

Constructed by: Timothy Polin
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer(s): Think Twice

We need to THINK TWICE about the first word in the themed clues, repeat the first word, in order to make sense of the answers:

  • 60A With 19-Across, reconsider … or a hint to the starts of the five starred clues : THINK …
  • 19A See 60-Across : … TWICE
  • 17A *Boo during a baseball game : WILD PITCH (boo-boo)
  • 25A *Tin has been in them since 1929 : COMIC STRIPS (Tintin)
  • 37A *Tar remover : DENTAL HYGIENIST (tartar)
  • 51A *Ken, for one : LOGIC PUZZLE (KenKen)
  • 62A *Can components : HIGH KICKS (can-can)

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

Bill’s time: 13m 28s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 José, to amigos : PEPE

“José” is the Spanish for “Joseph”. Friends might also refer to José as “Pepe”. Both José and Pepe derive from Saint Joseph, the father of Jesus. Saint Joseph is sometimes referred to as “padre putativo” meaning “presumed father”. The initialism “PP”, standing for “padre putativo”, led to the name “Pepe”.

9 Motion pictures? : OP ART

Op art is also known as optical art, and puts optical illusions to great effect.

14 Company with a for-profit foundation? : AVON

In 1886, a young man called David McConnell was selling books door-to-door. To enhance his sales numbers he was giving out free perfume to the ladies of the houses that he visited. Seeing as his perfume was more popular than his books, he founded the California Perfume Company in New York City and started manufacturing and selling across the country. The company name was changed to Avon in 1939, and the famous “Avon Calling” marketing campaign was launched in 1954.

15 Improvisational style : SCAT

Scat singing is a vocal improvisation found in the world of jazz. There aren’t any words as such in scat singing, just random nonsense syllables made up on the spot.

16 Gondolier, maybe : POLER

The word “gondola” was originally limited to the famous boats that travel along the canals of Venice. When man started to fly through the air in hot air balloons, “gondola” was used for the basket in which the passenger(s) traveled. By extension, the structure carrying passengers and crew under an airship is also called a gondola, as are the cars suspended from a cable at a ski resort.

20 Ricky’s player on old TV : DESI

In the hit television show “I Love Lucy”, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz play Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. The Ricardos’ best friends are also their landlords, Fred and Ethel Mertz. The Mertzes are played by William Frawley and Vivian Vance.

23 Modern alternative to a garage sale : EBAY

There have been some notable things sold on eBay over the years. For example:

  • Ad space on a guy’s forehead, in the form of a temporary tattoo – $37,375
  • William Shatner’s kidney stone – $25,000
  • A cornflake shaped like Illinois – $1,350
  • A single corn flake – $1.63
  • A box of 10 Twinkies – $59.99
  • The original Hollywood sign – $450,400
  • The meaning of life – $3.26

24 2/ : FEB

The name of the month February comes from the Latin word “februum” meaning “purification”. The Romans had a ritual named Februa (purification) on February 15th every year. I don’t think many people pronounce the first letter R in “February”, leaving it silent, but I could be wrong …

25 *Tin has been in them since 1929 : COMIC STRIPS (Tintin)

“The Adventures of Tintin” is a 2011 Steven Spielberg animated feature film based on the series of comics of the same name by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. I was addicted to the “Tintin” stories as a kid so went to see the movie as soon as it came out. Although I enjoyed the film, I enjoyed the books more as a young lad …

31 Philistine-fighting king : SAUL

According to the Hebrew Bible, Saul was the first King of Israel and ruled from 1049 BC to 1007 BC. Saul’s story is mainly recounted in the Books of Samuel.

32 Org. with Huskies and Bulldogs : NCAA

The UConn Huskies are the sports teams of the University of Connecticut. I wasn’t able to uncover the derivation of the “Huskies” moniker. Although it is true that “UConn” sounds like “Yukon”, that isn’t the derivation of the “Huskies” nickname. The school didn’t become the University of Connecticut (UConn) until 1939, and the Huskies name has been used since 1933.

The sports teams of the University of Georgia are called the Bulldogs. The team mascot is known as Hairy Dawg. “Forbes” magazine lists Hairy Dawg as the third best Sports Mascot. Impressive …

37 *Tar remover : DENTAL HYGIENIST (tartar)

Calculus or tartar is dental plaque that has hardened on the surface of teeth. Plaque is removed relatively easily by brushing and flossing. Once plaque has hardened into tartar, a dental hygienist usually needs to intervene.

43 Letters on an N.L. Central cap : STL

The St. Louis Cardinals were originally called the “Brown Stockings”, changing their name to the “Perfectos” in 1899. That obviously didn’t go down well with the locals, as the owners changed it one year later to the Cardinals.

51 *Ken, for one : LOGIC PUZZLE (KenKen)

KenKen is an arithmetic and logic puzzle invented quite recently, in 2004 by a Japanese math teacher named Tetsuya Miyamoto. “Ken” is the Japanese word for “cleverness”.

55 Campground sights : RVS

Recreational vehicle (RV)

56 Prefix meaning “height” : ACRO-

Our prefix “acro-” comes from the Greek “akros” meaning “at the top”. Examples are “acrophobia” (fear of heights) and “Acropolis” (“city at the top”).

57 Cable news anchor Cabrera : ANA

Ana Cabrera is a journalist from Denver who joined CNN in 2013. She took over as anchor of CNN’s weekend show “CNN Newsroom” in 2017.

62 *Can components : HIGH KICKS (can-can)

The Moulin Rouge cabaret is located right in the middle of one of the red light districts of Paris, the district of Pigalle. You can’t miss the Moulin Rouge as it has a huge red windmill on its roof (“moulin rouge” is French for “red windmill”). The nightclub opened its doors in 1889 and soon after, the working girls of the cabaret adopted a “respectable” party dance and used it to entice their clients. That was the birth of the can-can. Nowadays, the Moulin Rouge is home to a lavish, Las Vegas-style show that costs millions of euros to stage. It features showgirls, dancers and acrobats, a whole host of entertainers in fact. And I am sure the can-can features as well …

66 Member of Dubya’s cabinet : CONDI

Condoleezza “Condi” Rice was the second African American to serve as US Secretary of State (after Colin Powell) and the second woman to hold the office (after Madeleine Albright). Prior to becoming Secretary of State in President George W. Bush’s administration, Rice was the first woman to hold the office of National Security Advisor. In private life, Rice is a remarkably capable pianist. Given her stature in Washington, Rice has had the opportunity to play piano in public with the likes of cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and soul singer Aretha Franklin.

President George W. Bush was nicknamed “Dubya” based on the Texas pronunciation of his middle initial “W”.

67 843 acres, for New York’s Central Park : AREA

The man most associated with the decision to develop Central Park in New York City was William Cullen Bryant, the editor of what today is the “New York Post”. He argued that the growing city needed a large, public open space, along the lines of Hyde Park in London and the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. Most of the park’s construction took place between 1860 and 1873. Much of the clearing work was accomplished using gunpowder, and it is often noted that more gunpowder was used in Central Park than in the Battle of Gettysburg.

68 Princess whose brother is not a prince : LEIA

The full name of the character played by Carrie Fisher in the “Star Wars” series of films is Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan, and later Leia Organa Solo. Leia is the twin sister of Luke Skywalker, and the daughter of Anakin Skywalker (aka “Darth Vader”) and Padmé Amidala. Leia is raised by her adoptive parents Bail and Breha Organa. She eventually marries Han Solo.

71 Its min. score is 120 : LSAT

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

Down

5 Letter that sounds like an expression of relief : PSI

Psi is the 23rd and penultimate letter of the Greek alphabet, and the one that looks a bit like a trident or a pitchfork.

7 Stickers in a plant store : CACTI

The cactus (plural “cacti”) is a member of a family plants that are particularly well-adapted to extremely dry environments. Almost all cacti are native to the Americas, although some succulent plants from the old world are similar in appearance and are often mislabeled as “cacti”.

11 Out, of sorts : ALIBI

“Alibi” is the Latin word for “elsewhere” as in, “I claim that I was ‘elsewhere’ when the crime was committed … I have an ‘alibi’”.

13 Hearts that don’t beat very much? : TREYS

A trey is a three in a deck of cards. The term “trey” can also be used for a domino with three pips, and even a three-point play in basketball.

18 ___ de gallo : PICO

Pico de gallo is a Mexican condiment made from tomato, onion and chili peppers. “Pico de gallo” is Spanish for “beak of rooster”. Apparently this name was given as eating of the condiment with the thumb and forefinger resembled the pecking of a rooster.

22 “Buckle Up, Dummies” ad, e.g. : PSA

Public service announcement (PSA)

30 Winner of five swimming gold medals at the 1988 Olympics : MATT BIONDI

American swimmer Matt Biondi competed in the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games, and came away with a total of eleven medals.

34 Jon of Arizona politics : KYL

Jon Kyl is a former US Senator from Arizona, serving from 1995 until his retirement in 2013. Kyl was also the Senate Minority Whip. He is the son of John Henry Kyl who served as the US Representative for the State of Iowa for many years. Kyl now works as a lobbyist.

38 Pianist Templeton : ALEC

Alec Templeton was a composer and pianist from Cardiff in Wales. Active from the 1930s to the early 1960s, Templeton played mainly classical and jazz music. He was also blind, and had been so from birth.

39 Jazzman Stan : GETZ

Stan Getz was a jazz saxophonist. Getz’s playing style earned him the nickname “The Sound”.

41 Part of a notable 1993 breakup : SLOVAKIA

Czechoslovakia existed as a sovereign state in Europe from 1918, at which time it declared itself independent from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The country went through much turmoil through the days of Nazi and Soviet occupation, but democracy was restored in 1989 after the nonviolent Velvet Revolution that overthrew the communist government. Nationalist tendencies did develop over time, leading to a peaceful dissolution of the country in 1993, and the creation of the two independent states of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic (aka “Slovakia”).

47 Scholarship application fig. : GPA

Grade point average (GPA)

50 Zenith : PEAK

The nadir is the direction pointing immediately below a particular location (through to the other side of the Earth for example). The opposite direction, that pointing immediately above, is called the zenith. We use the terms “nadir” and “zenith” figuratively to mean the low and high points in a person’s fortunes.

52 L.P.G.A. great Lorena : OCHOA

Lorena Ochoa is a retired professional golfer from Mexico who was ranked as the number one female golfer in the world from 2007 to 2010.

54 Angola’s northern neighbor, once : ZAIRE

The African nation once called Zaire is a neighbor of Rwanda. The genocide and war in Rwanda spilled over into Zaire in 1996, with the conflict escalating into what is now called the First Congo War. As part of the war’s fallout there was a regime change, and in 1997 Zaire became the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Angola is a country in south-central Africa on the west coast. It is the fourth largest diamond exporter in Africa, after Botswana, the Congo and South Africa. Such a valuable export hasn’t really helped the living standard of the country’s citizens as life expectancy and infant mortality rates are among the poorest on the continent.

59 Place to grow some herbs : SILL

“Sill plate”, or simply “sill”, is an architectural term describing a bottom horizontal member to which vertical members are attached. Window sills and door sills are specific sill plates found at the bottoms of windows and door openings.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 José, to amigos : PEPE
5 Going rate : PACE
9 Motion pictures? : OP ART
14 Company with a for-profit foundation? : AVON
15 Improvisational style : SCAT
16 Gondolier, maybe : POLER
17 *Boo during a baseball game : WILD PITCH (boo-boo)
19 See 60-Across : … TWICE
20 Ricky’s player on old TV : DESI
21 Around 20%, typically : TIP
23 Modern alternative to a garage sale : EBAY
24 2/ : FEB
25 *Tin has been in them since 1929 : COMIC STRIPS (Tintin)
29 “I’d like another” : ONE MORE
31 Philistine-fighting king : SAUL
32 Org. with Huskies and Bulldogs : NCAA
33 One way to get help : ASK
35 Class for a physiology major, informally : BIO
37 *Tar remover : DENTAL HYGIENIST (tartar)
43 Letters on an N.L. Central cap : STL
44 Was first : LED
45 Spanish feminine pronoun : ELLA
46 Implores : BEGS
49 Number one : TOP SPOT
51 *Ken, for one : LOGIC PUZZLE (KenKen)
55 Campground sights : RVS
56 Prefix meaning “height” : ACRO-
57 Cable news anchor Cabrera : ANA
58 Home of about 25% of U.N. member states : ASIA
60 With 19-Across, reconsider … or a hint to the starts of the five starred clues : THINK …
62 *Can components : HIGH KICKS (can-can)
66 Member of Dubya’s cabinet : CONDI
67 843 acres, for New York’s Central Park : AREA
68 Princess whose brother is not a prince : LEIA
69 Invited over for lunch, say : HAD IN
70 Crawl (with) : TEEM
71 Its min. score is 120 : LSAT

Down

1 Possible maker of a muddy footprint : PAW
2 Law school class : EVIDENCE
3 Climbing vegetables : POLE BEANS
4 Discontinues : ENDS
5 Letter that sounds like an expression of relief : PSI
6 Be dramatic? : ACT
7 Stickers in a plant store : CACTI
8 Law school class : ETHICS
9 Not dither : OPT
10 Casualties of violent storms : POWERLINES
11 Out, of sorts : ALIBI
12 Show the highlights : RECAP
13 Hearts that don’t beat very much? : TREYS
18 ___ de gallo : PICO
22 “Buckle Up, Dummies” ad, e.g. : PSA
24 A fan (of) : FOND
26 ___ tradition : ORAL
27 Interlace : MESH
28 Lazy river transport : TUBE
30 Winner of five swimming gold medals at the 1988 Olympics : MATT BIONDI
34 Jon of Arizona politics : KYL
36 Figures calculated using crude estimates : OIL PRICES
38 Pianist Templeton : ALEC
39 Jazzman Stan : GETZ
40 Object of veneration : IDOL
41 Part of a notable 1993 breakup : SLOVAKIA
42 Some parlor designs, informally : TATS
47 Scholarship application fig. : GPA
48 Portable shade provider : SUN HAT
50 Zenith : PEAK
51 Close securely : LATCH
52 L.P.G.A. great Lorena : OCHOA
53 Daily monotony : GRIND
54 Angola’s northern neighbor, once : ZAIRE
59 Place to grow some herbs : SILL
61 Family : KIN
63 “Well, I’ll be!” : GEE!
64 Topping on a Hawaiian pizza : HAM
65 Lost one’s standing? : SAT

15 thoughts on “0808-19 NY Times Crossword 8 Aug 19, Thursday”

    1. @Bob … As always, it’s possible that I’m just being dense, but your comment has made me read every single word here a couple of times, and I still don’t understand what you’re trying to say. Are you trying to point out an error in Bill’s commentary or … what?

      1. This was quite the stinker!
        Really tough clues and obscure names, etc.
        Kept squeaking along and finally made sense of the “think twice” theme (ugh)… I scratched through with no errors, but GOOD GRIEF.

  1. 23:09. I got the Thursday gimmick pretty early. Took me a while to catch on to the setter’s sense of humor in his cluing.

    KenKen puzzles are as addictive as crosswords. I actually have to consciously avoid them when I get really busy. Otherwise, I fear I’d get nothing done.

    Best –

    1. Very addictive! I basically lost four and a half years of my life to kenkens. Now I only do the easy ego-boosters in my local paper (a 4×4 that takes half a minute and a 6×6 that takes a minute and a half, six days a week) and the “Miyamoto specials” that are available once a month on http://www.kenkenpuzzle.com (and may or may not be authored by Miyamoto himself now).

  2. 50:47 and amazingly no errors…what’s with all the proper names and foreign clues…30D,34D, and52D….we all knew those answers didn’t we?….NOT

  3. 19:16, no errors. Some clues are in a solvers strike zone, and others are not. To many of us old folks, we can remember watching Stan GETZ, LORENA OCHOA and MATT BIONDI perform. On the other hand, never heard of Jon KYL.

    As a University of Washington alumnus, I have to say that we are also Huskies.

  4. Very tough one for me but I was proudly able to finish with every single box filled correctly. NE corner was the worst part. I am beginning to believe more and more that there is something to this “getting into the mind of the constructor”. I tried that very thing today in the tough spots. I asked myself “what would the constructor be likely asking for?” Whether it is a valid concept or not, it worked for me today!

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