0817-19 NY Times Crossword 17 Aug 19, Saturday

Constructed by: Michael Hawkins
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 13m 26s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

18 Seton who wrote “Dragonwyck” : ANYA

“Anya Seton” was the pen name of Ann Seton, an author of historical romances from New York City. Seton’s 1944 novel “Dragonwyck” was released into theaters in 1946 and starred Gene Tierney and Walter Huston.

22 Baldwin sometimes seen on stage : ALEC

Alec Baldwin is the oldest of the acting Baldwin brothers. I think Alec’s big break was playing Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan in “The Hunt for Red October”, but thank goodness that role was taken over by Harrison Ford for the subsequent Jack Ryan movies. Baldwin also made a name for himself playing Jack Donaghy on “30 Rock”, opposite Tina Fey. More recently, he is known for impersonating President Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live”.

29 Followers : ACOLYTES

The word “acolyte” comes from the Greek “akolouthos” meaning “companion, attendant, helper”. In the Christian tradition, an acolyte is an individual who assists some way in a ceremony, by lighting candles for example. In more general terms, an acolyte is a devoted follower or attendant.

34 Start of many a “Jeopardy!” response : WHO …?

The TV show “Jeopardy!” first went on the air in 1964, and is another successful Merv Griffin creation. But it took the introduction of Alex Trebek as host in order to bring the show into the big times. Trebek has been host since 1984.

35 Divine messenger : IRIS

In Greek mythology, the goddess Iris was viewed as the link between the gods and humanity, a messenger. She was also the goddess of the rainbow. In Virgil’s “Aeneid”, Iris takes the form of a Trojan woman and incites other Trojan mothers to set fire to Aeneas’ ships, preventing them from leaving Sicily.

36 With 39-Across, 1970s-’80s fashion icon : PERRY …
(39 See 36-Across : … ELLIS)

Perry Ellis was a fashion designer from Portsmouth, Virginia. Ellis was noted for his sportswear creations.

40 Author who wouldn’t let bygones be bygones? : ROGET

Peter Mark Roget was an English lexicographer. Roget was an avid maker of lists, apparently using the routine of list-making to combat depression, a condition he endured for most of his life. He published his famous thesaurus in 1852, with revisions and expansions being made years later by his son, and then in turn by his grandson.

41 Quartz, e.g. : SILICATE

Quartz is a form of silicon oxide and is the second most abundant mineral found in the Earth’s crust, after feldspar. The name “quartz” comes into English via German, and probably ultimately derives from a Slavic word meaning “hard”.

43 Ingredient in V8 juice : CELERY

The beverage V8 is a mixture of eight different vegetable juices, hence the name. It was introduced in 1933 by the New England Products Company.

44 Sci-fi star who hosted the documentary series “In Search of …” : NIMOY

Leonard Nimoy played the logical Mr. Spock in the original “Star Trek” television series. Spock has to be the most popular character on the show, and he kept popping up in “Star Trek” spin offs. Nimoy first worked alongside William Shatner (Captain Kirk) in an episode of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (I loved that show as a kid!), with Nimoy playing a bad guy and Shatner playing an U.N.C.L.E. recruit.

“In Search of…” was a pseudo-documentary series narrated by actor Leonard Nimoy that explored the paranormal and the unexplained. The show was created to take advantage of the success of the 1973 special “In Search of Ancient Astronauts”, which was followed by two similar themed one-how programs. These three shows were narrated by Rod Serling. Serling had died by the time the weekly series started to air in 1977, and so Leonard Nimoy was given the job of narrator.

46 Blackbird : MERL

A merl (also “merle”) is often called a blackbird over in Europe. The male merl is completely black, with just a yellow beak.

54 University in Athens : OHIO

Ohio University was founded well over 200 years ago in 1804, in Athens, the city in which it is still located today.

57 Dishevel : MUSS

“Muss” means “state of disorder”, and is a term that probably evolved from “mess”. The phrase “no muss, no fuss” means “no bother, no mess made, no excessive hustle and bustle”.

59 Help badly : ABET

The word “abet” comes into English from the Old French “abeter” meaning “to bait” or “to harass with dogs” (it literally means “to make bite”). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of “abet” meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.

Down

2 With the bow, in music : ARCO

“Arco” is a musical direction instructing a string player to return to normal bowing technique after a passage played using some other technique (perhaps pizzicato).

6 Hardly a swinger : BUNTER

To bunt in baseball is to barely hit the ball, just enough to have it roll slowly in front of the infielders.

10 Part of some gender studies : HERSTORY

“Herstory” is history that emphasizes the role of women. It is “her-story” as opposed to “his-tory”.

11 Like Al Capone’s face : SCARRY

When Al Capone was a young man, he worked as a bouncer in nightclubs and saloons. He was working the door of a Brooklyn night spot one evening when he apparently insulted a woman, sparking off a fight with her brother. In the tussle, Capone’s face was slashed three times. Capone wasn’t too proud of the incident, nor the “Scarface” moniker that he was given as a result. He always hid the scars as best he could when being photographed, and was also fond of telling people that the scars were from old war wounds.

13 “Weekend Update” co-host for four seasons : AMY POEHLER

Amy Poehler was a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” from 2001 to 2008, notable for appearing in many great sketches, including those where she played Hillary Clinton opposite Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin. Poehler also starred with Fey in the 2008 movie “Baby Mama”. And, Poehler led the cast of the sitcom “Parks and Recreation” for its seven-season run.

“Weekend Update” is the longest-running of any recurring sketch on “Saturday Night Live” (SNL). In fact, the segment made its debut on the very first show, back in 1975. The first “anchor” at the “Weekend Update” was Chevy Chase.

14 Grads who’ve demonstrated firm knowledge? : MBAS

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

23 One side of a ship : LEE

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

25 Hackneyed : OLD

Hackney is a location in London, and it probably gave its name to a “hackney”, an ordinary type of horse around 1300. By 1700 a “hackney” was a person hired to do routine work, and “hackneyed” meant “kept for hire”, and then “stale, uninteresting”. This morphed into a hackney carriage, a carriage or car for hire, and into “hack”, a slang term for a taxi driver or cab.

26 ___ Canetti, 1981 Literature Nobelist : ELIAS

Novelist Elias Canetti didn’t actually settle in England until he was in his thirties. He was a native of Bulgaria, and as a child also lived in England, Austria, Switzerland and Germany. He wrote in German, even though he spent much of his working life in England, eventually adopting British citizenship. Even then, he spent the last twenty years of his life in Switzerland. His book “Crowds and Power” deals with the behavior of people in crowds and mobs, and the effect of vocal leaders on “packs”. Scary stuff, I would say …

27 Seattle, to Alaska : AIRLINE HUB

Despite the name, Alaska Airlines in based in Seattle, Washington. The company was founded as McGee Airways in 1932, and back then was based in Anchorage, Alaska. The Alaska Airlines name dates back to 1944.

28 Classic poem with the lines “Did you want to see me broken? / Bowed head and lowered eyes?” : STILL I RISE

“And Still I Rise” is a 1978 volume of poetry by Maya Angelou. The collection’s title poem is “Still I Rise”, which ends with:

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

29 Soaring real estate? : AERIE

An aerie is the nest of an eagle, and is also known as an “eyrie”.

37 Boulder locale : COLORADO

The Colorado city of Boulder is located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains about 25 miles northwest of Denver. Boulder is a college town, and is home to the main campus of the University of Colorado.

43 Pamper : COSSET

To cosset is to pamper. The verb comes from the noun “cosset” which was once used for a lamb that was brought up as a pet.

45 Bottom : NADIR

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.

46 Attraction in midtown N.Y.C. : MOMA

The founding of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City was very much driven by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, wife of John D. Rockefeller. Working with two friends, Abby managed to get the museum opened in 1929, just nine days after the Wall Street Crash. The MoMA’s sculpture garden bears the name of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and has done so since 1949.

49 Pop, maybe : COLA

The first cola drink to become a commercial success was Coca-Cola, soon after it was invented by a druggist in 1886. That original Coca-Cola was flavored mainly with kola nuts and vanilla. The formulation was based on an alcoholic drink called Coca Wine that had been on sale for over twenty years.

52 Risqué : BLUE
53 Risqué, say : SEXY

“Risqué” is a French word, the past participle of the verb “to risk”. So in English we use “risqué” to mean “racy”, but in French it means “risky”.

56 Poofy bit of headgear : TAM

A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. “Tams” were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”) but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of the Robert Burns poem “Tam O’Shanter”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Maternity option involving a pool : WATER BIRTH
11 Imposture : SHAM
15 “Not pulling my leg?” : ARE YOU SURE?
16 Scour : COMB
17 Modern young person vis-à-vis video games and smartphones : SCREENAGER
18 Seton who wrote “Dragonwyck” : ANYA
19 Egyptian pyramid, e.g. : TOMB
20 To-dos : TASKS
21 Gym count : REPS
22 Baldwin sometimes seen on stage : ALEC
24 Trunk : TORSO
26 Day of a hunt : EASTER
29 Followers : ACOLYTES
32 Pliant : LITHE
33 It might start as a shadow : BEARD
34 Start of many a “Jeopardy!” response : WHO …?
35 Divine messenger : IRIS
36 With 39-Across, 1970s-’80s fashion icon : PERRY …
37 Farm delivery : CALF
38 “That is ___” : ALL
39 See 36-Across : … ELLIS
40 Author who wouldn’t let bygones be bygones? : ROGET
41 Quartz, e.g. : SILICATE
43 Ingredient in V8 juice : CELERY
44 Sci-fi star who hosted the documentary series “In Search of …” : NIMOY
45 Something scratched : NO-GO
46 Blackbird : MERL
47 Washington State’s ___ Island … or some things seen off its shore : ORCAS
50 Appropriates inappropriately? : ROBS
54 University in Athens : OHIO
55 Corn or rice : FOOD STAPLE
57 Dishevel : MUSS
58 Shared delusion, from the French : FOLIE A DEUX
59 Help badly : ABET
60 Good bet : SMART MONEY

Down

1 Biblical verb : WAST
2 With the bow, in music : ARCO
3 Bring to ___ : TERM
4 Removers of some irritants : EYEBATHS
5 Tiny spoonful, of a sort : ROE
6 Hardly a swinger : BUNTER
7 Man’s name that comes from the Hebrew for “laughter” : ISAAC
8 Some throws : RUGS
9 Peregrination : TREK
10 Part of some gender studies : HERSTORY
11 Like Al Capone’s face : SCARRY
12 Fair pay : HONEST WAGE
13 “Weekend Update” co-host for four seasons : AMY POEHLER
14 Grads who’ve demonstrated firm knowledge? : MBAS
23 One side of a ship : LEE
25 Hackneyed : OLD
26 ___ Canetti, 1981 Literature Nobelist : ELIAS
27 Seattle, to Alaska : AIRLINE HUB
28 Classic poem with the lines “Did you want to see me broken? / Bowed head and lowered eyes?” : STILL I RISE
29 Soaring real estate? : AERIE
30 Sleepers, e.g. : CARS
31 Pushover : SOFTY
33 Hit hard : BELT
36 Semis are found in them : PLAYOFFS
37 Boulder locale : COLORADO
39 Prefix with -logical : ECO-
40 Std. : REG
42 “Start from the beginning” : I’M LOST
43 Pamper : COSSET
45 Bottom : NADIR
46 Attraction in midtown N.Y.C. : MOMA
48 Latitude : ROOM
49 Pop, maybe : COLA
51 Sign with the times : OPEN
52 Risqué : BLUE
53 Risqué, say : SEXY
56 Poofy bit of headgear : TAM

18 thoughts on “0817-19 NY Times Crossword 17 Aug 19, Saturday”

  1. 23:02 after finding and fixing a typo. In my own defense: I did this one after spending three and a half hours on a Tim Croce puzzle, a “Saturday Stumper” from Newsday, and an (IMHO) unusually difficult WSJ 21×21, all three of which I finished with no errors, and I was suffering from a bit of shell shock .., 😳.

  2. I struggled with this one because the crossword puzzle clue about a classic poem perplexed me. I got the beginning of it but I couldn’t for the life of me get its author. Stumped, I looked at the answer. I don’t know who’s at fault here but if it’s will shortz or Hawkins rate the bilge water content of Maya Angelou poetry as “classic?” I think your head should be examined for promulgating one of the biggest shames to the creative spirit in America. Maya Angelou writes like a truck driver and that’s an insult to truck drivers. Classic poem? How about classic drivel laced with unoriginality and triteness.

  3. What really irks me most is the deification of her worse than crap poetry and what’s worse making people believe that what she writes is good! Because she’s black and a woman she got away with it! So many men and women of all ethnicities with talents that eclipse her absolute non-talent are starving and un-recognized. And frankly, if I were African American I’d be embarrassed and I’m sure there are a lot of African-Americans who are … apparently President Obama is not one of them since he gave her the Medal of Honor! So much for presidents and so much for drivel!

  4. At first glance, I thought I would just pass on this puzzle, not recognizing any answers right off the bat. Looked at it again a couple hours later and found a few “could be”s. Thought 1A
    could be WATERBIRTH, somewhat confirmed by 7D, because I remembered Sarai laughed when God said she would conceive. Things just fell into place after that. As somebody said a few weeks ago, my mind and the setter’s were often on the same page.

  5. Nearly walked away, stayed with it, but came up short; the R in MERL and EROS instead of IRIS. That pretty much took away any shot at 28 down. Onward.

  6. One hour and 9 min with 3 errors….I had hast for 1D and that really threw me for 1A….Is wast really a biblical verb?
    I don’t recall ever hearing it before….tough puzzle

  7. Hmmm. What I just posted was in response to an anonymous post that I thought exceeded the bounds of good taste, but apparently someone else thought so, too … and was able to delete it … good riddance, I’d say … 🙂.

  8. 33:05, no errors (which surprised me). Fell into several traps: 20A entered LISTS before TASKS; 43D CODDLE before COSSET; 49D SODA before COLA.

    As a western Washingtonian, 47A threw me a bit; since Orcas Island was named after a person; and is not the plural of the word Orca. We pronounce the words slightly differently.

  9. Liked the puzzle, albeit with two errors at NIMOY instead of NIMOY (shame on me), and STILL ELISE instead of STILL I RISE (only slightly irritating).

    The 8/20 rant above obviously has no place in this blog.

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