0812-19 NY Times Crossword 12 Aug 19, Monday

Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Oh, Bea Is Heard First

Themed answers each start with an “OB” sound:

  • 17A Theatrical honor : OBIE AWARD
  • 24A “Star Wars” role for Alec Guinness : OBI-WAN KENOBI
  • 38A Where education is pursued doggedly? : OBEDIENCE SCHOOL
  • 49A Delivery people? : OB-GYN DOCTORS
  • 62A “Hush, you!” : OH, BE QUIET!

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

Bill’s time: 5m 21s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 “Livin’ la Vida ___” : LOCA

“Livin’ La Vida Loca” is a 1999 single recorded by Ricky Martin, the title of which translates as “living the crazy life”.

If we’re talking the Ricky Martin song, then I think he capitalizes the “La” in the title …

15 “Ars Amatoria” poet : OVID

“Ars amatoria” (“The Art of Love” in English) is a series of poems in three books by the Roman poet Ovid. Book one provides men with instruction on how to find a woman. Book two gives a man guidance on keeping that woman. Ovid turns the tables in Book three and gives advice to women on how to find and keep a man.

16 Story that lets you off the hook : 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’”.

17 Theatrical honor : OBIE AWARD

The Obies are the “Off-Broadway Theater Awards”. The Obies have been presented annually since 1956. The recipients used to be chosen by “The Village Voice” newspaper, but now are jointly administered with the American Theatre Wing.

19 Mountaineering spike : PITON

A piton is a piece of mountaineering equipment, an anchor designed to protect a climber if he or she falls. It is a metal spike driven into a crack in the rock face with a hammer. Pitons have eye holes through which a rope is attached using carabiners. “Piton” is a French word for a “hook”.

21 Fortune 500 listings: Abbr. : COS

Company (co.)

“Fortune” is a tri-weekly business magazine that was founded by Henry Luce in 1930, just four months after the 1929 Wall Street Crash. “Fortune” is noted for its annual ranking of companies by revenue, especially the Fortune 500.

23 Jane Austen novel : EMMA

“Fortune” is a tri-weekly business magazine that was founded by Henry Luce in 1930, just four months after the 1929 Wall Street Crash. “Fortune” is noted for its annual ranking of companies by revenue, especially the Fortune 500.

Jane Austen’s novel “Emma” is the tale of Emma Woodhouse and the wonderful George Knightley. At the end of the story, Emma marries Knightley and her young friend Harriet marries Robert Martin, who had been trying to get Harriet’s attention practically from page one of the novel. Emma interfered in that troubled courtship.

24 “Star Wars” role for Alec Guinness : OBI-WAN KENOBI

Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the more beloved of the “Star Wars” characters. Kenobi was portrayed by two fabulous actors in the series of films. As a young man he is played by Scottish actor Ewan McGregor, and as an older man he is played by Alec Guinness.

32 Lauder with beauty products : ESTEE

Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, and someone with a great reputation as a salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …

35 Little extra attention, as from a repairer, for short : TLC

Tender loving care (TLC)

42 “Mad ___” (Mel Gibson film) : MAX

“Mad Max” is a series of Australian movies starring Mel Gibson in the title role. Well, Gibson plays the lead in the first three films (“Mad Max”, “The Road Warrior” and “Beyond Thunderdome”) and Tom Hardy plays Max in the fourth movie, “Fury Road”.

Mel Gibson is an actor who was born in America, and not in Australia as many believe. Gibson was born in Peekskill, New York and moved with his family to Sydney, Australia when he was 12 years old.

49 Delivery people? : OB-GYN DOCTORS

Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB-GYN)

54 Foundry detritus : SLAG

The better lead ores are processed in a blast furnace, to extract the metal. The waste from this process is called “slag”. Slag does contain some lead and it can be processed further in a slag furnace to extract the residual metal. Slag furnaces also accept poorer lead ores as a raw material.

Detritus is loose material that results from the process of erosion. The usage of the term has evolved to man any accumulated material or debris. “Detritus” is Latin for “a wearing away”.

60 Chicken raised for cooking : CAPON

A capon is a castrated cockerel (poor guy!). Castration has a profound effect on the bird (duh!), making the meat more tender to eat when it is slaughtered.

65 Honey-based drink : MEAD

Mead is a lovely drink that’s made from fermented honey and water.

Down

3 X ___ xylophone : AS IN

The glockenspiel and xylophone are similar instruments, the main difference being the material from which the keys are made. Xylophone keys are made from wood, and glockenspiel keys are made from metal.

7 Approximately : CIRCA

“Circa” is a Latin word meaning “around, near, about the time of”. We use “circa” directly in English to mean “about the time of”, as well as in derivative words such as “circle” and “circus”.

10 “Futurama” figures : ALIENS

“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 …

11 U.S. base in 28-Down, informally : GITMO
(28D Havana’s home : CUBA)

The Guantánamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba is often referred to by using the abbreviation “GTMO” or simply “Gitmo”. Gitmo is the oldest overseas base operated by the navy and dates back to the Cuban-American Treaty of 1903, at which time the US leased the facility as a fueling station. A perpetual lease was offered by Tomas Estrada Palma, the first President of Cuba, after the US took over control of Cuba from Spain following the Spanish-American War of 1898.

12 Detonation of 7/16/45 : A-BOMB

The first detonation of a nuclear weapon was code named “Trinity”, and was conducted on July 16, 1945 as part of the Manhattan Project. The detonation took place at the Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range located about 25 miles southeast of Socorro, New Mexico.

13 Egyptian peninsula : SINAI

The Sinai Peninsula is in the eastern part of Egypt, and is a triangular peninsula bounded by the Mediterranean to the north and the Red Sea to the south. It is the only part of Egypt that lies in Asia as opposed to Africa. The eastern land border of the peninsula is shared with Israel, and Israel occupied the Sinai during the 1956 Suez Crisis and the Six Day War of 1967.

18 Rhyme scheme of Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” : AABA

When I was a schoolkid back in Ireland, Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” was our first introduction to American poetry, and what a lovely introduction it was:

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

22 Irving Berlin’s “Blue ___” : SKIES

The song “Blue Skies” was written in 1926 by Irving Berlin. The song was written for a Rodgers and Hart musical called “Betsy” that was a flop. “Betsy” only ran for 39 performances, but the song “Blue Skies” was a huge hit. On the opening night of the show, the lead singer had to sing an encore of “Blue Skies” 24 times!

27 Quark’s place : ATOM

Quarks are elementary atomic particles that combine to make composite particles called “hadrons”. I’m really only familiar with the really stable hadrons i.e. protons and neutrons. There are six types of quarks (referred to as “flavors”). These flavors are up, down, strange, charm, bottom and top. The term “quark” was borrowed from James Joyce’s book “Finnegans Wake”, by physicist Murray Gell-Mann. However, the word coined by Joyce is pronounced “kwark”, and the particle’s name is pronounced “kwork”.

28 Havana’s home : CUBA

Havana is the capital city of Cuba. The city was founded by the Spanish in the early 1500s after which it became a strategic location for Spain’s exploration and conquest of the Americas. In particular, Havana was used as a stopping-off point for treasure-laden ships on the return journey to Spain.

29 Image in the “Jurassic Park” logo, informally : T REX

The Tyrannosaurus rex (usually written “T. rex”) was a spectacular looking dinosaur. “Tyrannosaurus” comes from the Greek words “tyrannos” (tyrant) and “sauros” (lizard) and “rex” the Latin for “king”. They were big beasts, measuring 42 feet long and 13 feet tall at the hips, and weighing 7.5 tons.

“Jurassic Park” is a 1990 novel by Michael Crichton that was adapted into a hugely successful movie by Steven Spielberg in 1993. One of the main premises of the novel is that dinosaur DNA could be harvested from mosquitoes trapped in amber (fossilized tree resin), the DNA coming from the dinosaur blood consumed by the mosquitoes. The dinosaur DNA is then sequenced and used to create clones of the original beasts. Apparently, that’s a clever idea, but not very practical …

33 Biol., for one : SCI

Biology (biol.) is a science (sci.).

34 Guiding principle : TENET

A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “he holds”.

35 Legal wrong : TORT

“Tort” is a French word meaning “mischief, injury or wrong”. In common law, a tort is a civil wrong that results in the injured party suffering loss or harm, and the injuring party having a legal liability. Tort law differs from criminal law in that torts may result from negligence and not just intentional actions. Also, tort lawsuits may be decided on a preponderance of evidence, without the need of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

39 Stylized “W” for Microsoft Word, e.g. : ICON

Microsoft Word was introduced in 1981 as Multi-Tool Word for Xenix (Xenix is a discontinued version of the Unix operating system). I used to be a power user of Word, but now use Google Drive for all of my word processing needs.

47 Two-wheelers : MOPEDS

The word “moped” was coined in 1952 by a Swedish journalist named Harald Nielsen. The term is a portmanteau of “motor” and “pedal”.

48 Baghdad’s land : IRAQ

According to the University of Baghdad, the name “Baghdad” dates way back, to the 18th-century BCE (yes, BCE!). The name can be translated into English from the language of ancient Babylon as “old garden” (bagh-) and “beloved” (-dad).

49 One of five for composer John Williams : OSCAR

The great composer John Williams has won five Academy Awards for his work on film scores, for:

  • “Fiddler on the Roof”
  • “Jaws”
  • “Star Wars”
  • “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”
  • “Schindler’s List”

52 “___, All Ye Faithful” : O COME

The lovely Christmas hymn “Adeste Fideles” (entitled “O Come, All Ye Faithful” in English) was written by one John Francis Wade in the 13th century. Well, he wrote the original four verses, with four more verses being added over time. A kind blog reader pointed out to me that the English translation is in fact a little “off”. The term “adeste” best translates from Latin as “be present, attend”, rather than “come”. The verb “come” appears later in the lyrics in “venite adoremus”, meaning “come, let us worship”.

53 Singer/songwriter Leonard : COHEN

I’ve never been a big fan of the music of Canadian singer Leonard Cohen (don’t all yell at me at the same time!). That said, his 1984 song “Hallelujah” is superb, and I particularly like the version recorded by Jeff Buckley in 1994.

57 Dublin’s land : EIRE

The city of Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is known as “Baile Átha Cliath” in Irish (“town of the hurdled ford”). The English name “Dublin” is an anglicized form of the older Irish name for the city “Dubh Linn”, meaning “black pool”.

58 Actress Patricia of “Hud” : NEAL

Patricia Neal won her Best Actress Oscar relatively late in her career, for playing a middle-aged housekeeper in 1963’s “Hud”. A few years’ later, she was offered the role of Mrs. Robinson in “The Graduate” but turned it down. Famously, Neal had an affair with Gary Cooper who was married at the time. She became pregnant with his child, but he persuaded her to have an abortion. Not long afterwards Neal married British writer Roald Dahl (of “Willy Wonka” fame) and the couple had five children together before divorcing in 1983.

59 “Bye for now,” in a text : TTYL

Talk to you later (ttyl)

61 Singer ___ King Cole : NAT

Nat King Cole’s real name was Nathaniel Adams Coles. Cole made television history in 1956 when his own show debuted on NBC, a first for an African-American. Cole couldn’t pick up a national sponsor, so in order to save money and possibly save the show, many guest artists worked for no fee at all – the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belafonte and Peggy Lee. The show survived for a year, but eventually Nat King Cole had to pull the plug on it himself.

63 Deserving to get gonged : BAD

NBC’s “The Gong Show” was originally broadcast in the seventies and eighties, but it always seems to be showing somewhere on cable TV. I suppose the show was a forerunner of today’s “America’s Got Talent”, in that it was a talent show in which the acts can be cut off in mid-performance by the sounding of a gong (just like the 3 buzzers on “Talent”). Despite all the terrible acts that appeared, some famous names made it after the show e.g. Boxcar Willie, Paul Reubens (Pee Wee Herman) and Andrea McArdle (played “Annie” on Broadway).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Sharp’s counterpart, in music : FLAT
5 “Livin’ la Vida ___” : LOCA
9 Stories with many chapters : SAGAS
14 Like rain forest vegetation : LUSH
15 “Ars Amatoria” poet : OVID
16 Story that lets you off the hook : ALIBI
17 Theatrical honor : OBIE AWARD
19 Mountaineering spike : PITON
20 Person to exchange letters with overseas : PEN PAL
21 Fortune 500 listings: Abbr. : COS
23 Jane Austen novel : EMMA
24 “Star Wars” role for Alec Guinness : OBI-WAN KENOBI
27 Put into operation : ACTUATE
30 They: Fr. : ILS
31 Zig or zag : TURN
32 Lauder with beauty products : ESTEE
35 Little extra attention, as from a repairer, for short : TLC
38 Where education is pursued doggedly? : OBEDIENCE SCHOOL
42 “Mad ___” (Mel Gibson film) : MAX
43 “It’s a ___ shame” : CRYIN’
44 Approximately : OR SO
45 “You stink!” : BOO!
46 Sent out, as rays : EMITTED
49 Delivery people? : OB-GYN DOCTORS
54 Foundry detritus : SLAG
55 Environmental prefix : ECO-
56 Inventor’s quest : PATENT
60 Chicken raised for cooking : CAPON
62 “Hush, you!” : OH, BE QUIET!
64 Big-time football venue : ARENA
65 Honey-based drink : MEAD
66 Start to deteriorate, as a cord : FRAY
67 Put back to zero, say : RESET
68 A and Z, in the alphabet : ENDS
69 Chop down : FELL

Down

1 Theatrical failure : FLOP
2 Auto maintenance job, informally : LUBE
3 X ___ xylophone : AS IN
4 Where stray animals are taken : THE POUND
5 Darkish, as the interior of a restaurant : LOW LIT
6 Sperm targets : OVA
7 Approximately : CIRCA
8 Supplemental item : ADD-ON
9 Weaken : SAP
10 “Futurama” figures : ALIENS
11 U.S. base in 28-Down, informally : GITMO
12 Detonation of 7/16/45 : A-BOMB
13 Egyptian peninsula : SINAI
18 Rhyme scheme of Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” : AABA
22 Irving Berlin’s “Blue ___” : SKIES
25 Teeny-___ : WEENY
26 Certain utility: Abbr. : ELEC
27 Quark’s place : ATOM
28 Havana’s home : CUBA
29 Image in the “Jurassic Park” logo, informally : T REX
33 Biol., for one : SCI
34 Guiding principle : TENET
35 Legal wrong : TORT
36 Misplace : LOSE
37 Lump of soil : CLOD
39 Stylized “W” for Microsoft Word, e.g. : ICON
40 Wear away : ERODE
41 Something extremely cool, paradoxically : HOT STUFF
45 Past : BYGONE
47 Two-wheelers : MOPEDS
48 Baghdad’s land : IRAQ
49 One of five for composer John Williams : OSCAR
50 Sound loudly, as a trumpet : BLARE
51 Registers awe : GAPES
52 “___, All Ye Faithful” : O COME
53 Singer/songwriter Leonard : COHEN
57 Dublin’s land : EIRE
58 Actress Patricia of “Hud” : NEAL
59 “Bye for now,” in a text : TTYL
61 Singer ___ King Cole : NAT
63 Deserving to get gonged : BAD

6 thoughts on “0812-19 NY Times Crossword 12 Aug 19, Monday”

  1. 8:24, no errors. Agree with @Jeff. Difficult time coming to grips with 49A, since I have heard the term pronounced ‘ob jin’ more often than ‘oh be gee why en’.

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