0821-19 NY Times Crossword 21 Aug 19, Wednesday

Constructed by: Samuel A. Donaldson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): E-Words

Themed clues are all common “e-words” reinterpreted as phrases that only include the vowel “E”:

  • 18A E-book? : THE SECRET
  • 20A E-waste? : DELETED SCENE
  • 27A E-filing? : TERM SHEET
  • 37A E-mail? : REFERENCE LETTER
  • 45A E-sign? : ENTER HERE
  • 52A E-business? : MERCEDES-BENZ
  • 58A E-mag? : SEVENTEEN

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

Bill’s time: 8m 26s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 ___ talk : CHALK

A “chalk talk” is a presentation in which the speaker draws on a chalkboard. well, these days he or she usually uses a whiteboard or perhaps a computer screen.

6 Greek counterpart of Aurora : EOS

In Greek mythology, Eos was the goddess of the dawn who lived at the edge of the ocean. Eos would wake each morning to welcome her brother Helios the sun. The Roman equivalent of Eos was Aurora. Rather delightfully, Homer referred to Eos as “rosy-fingered dawn” in both “Iliad” and “Odyssey”.

9 Black-and-white swimmers : ORCAS

The taxonomic name for the killer whale is “Orcinus orca”. The use of the name “orca”, rather than “killer whale”, is becoming more and more common. The Latin word “Orcinus” means “belonging to Orcus”, with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

15 Brown, for one: Abbr. : SCH

Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island is one of the eight Ivy League schools. Brown has been around a long time, founded in 1764, years before America declared independence from England. The university took the name of Brown in 1804 after one Nicholas Brown, Jr. gave a substantial gift to the school. The school’s athletic teams are known as the Brown Bears, and their mascot is Bruno.

16 Comic Poundstone : PAULA

Paula Poundstone is a stand-up comedian who grew up in Sudbury, Massachusetts. She is a regular panelist on the NPR weekly news quiz show “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me”. I had the privilege of seeing Poundstone performing in a local theater not so long ago, and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

17 Muse of lyric poetry : ERATO

In Greek mythology, Erato was the Muse of lyric poetry. She is often depicted with a wreath of myrtle and roses, and playing a lyre.

18 E-book? : THE SECRET

“The Secret” is a 2006 self-help book by Rhonda Byrne. Byrne based her book on her own 2006 documentary film that presents the hypothesis of “Law of Attraction”, a suggestion that feelings and thoughts can attract events and experiences.

22 Do Not Call Registry org. : FTC

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was established in 1914 with the mission of protecting consumers. The FTC runs the National Do Not Call Registry, which can limit the amount of telemarketing calls that consumers receive. To register your number, simply go to the website www.donotcall.gov.

23 Justice Dept. division : ATF

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) today is part of the Department of Justice (DOJ). The ATF has its roots in the Department of Treasury dating back to 1886 when it was known as the Bureau of Prohibition. “Explosives” was added to the ATF’s name when the bureau was moved under the Department of Justice (DOJ) as part of the reorganization called for in the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

27 E-filing? : TERM SHEET

A term sheet is a document that summarizes an agreement between the parties prior to the preparation and signing of the final agreement.

35 It’s for naught in noughts-and-crosses : O-O-X

When I was growing up in Ireland we played “noughts and crosses” … our name for the game tic-tac-toe.

36 City south of Yosemite : FRESNO

Fresno is the largest inland city in the state of California. The city was named for the many ash trees that lined the San Joaquin River, as “fresno” is the Spanish for “ash tree”.

44 Tuscan home of St. Catherine : SIENA

Saint Catherine of Siena was politically active in 14th-century Italy. Over time, she became influential in high places, and helped to bring peace among the Italian city-states. She frequently corresponded with Pope Gregory XI, whose papacy was based in Avignon in France. Some say that Catherine actually persuaded Gregory to move the papacy back to Rome. Catherine of Siena is one of Italy’s two patron saints, along with Saint Francis of Assisi.

48 Org. in a 1955 merger : AFL

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was founded in 1886, making it one of the first federations of unions in the country. Over time the AFL became dominated by craft unions, unions representing skilled workers of particular disciplines. In the early thirties, John L. Lewis led a movement within the AFL to organize workers by industry, believing this would be more effective for the members. But the craft unions refused to budge, so Lewis set up a rival federation of unions in 1932, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The two federations became bitter rivals for over two decades until finally merging in 1955 to form the AFL-CIO.

52 E-business? : MERCEDES-BENZ

German engineers Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz worked independently of each other, although just sixty miles apart, to develop the first gasoline-powered vehicle. Most historians credit Benz the win in that race in 1885/86, as he came up with a three-wheel vehicle that used a four-stroke gasoline engine for power. Daimler showed off his four-wheel vehicle in 1886, that was also powered by a four-stroke gasoline engine. Daimler died in 1900, and the company bearing his name merged with Benz’s company in 1926 to form Daimler-Benz. Benz passed away three years later, in 1929.

58 E-mag? : SEVENTEEN

“Seventeen” is a monthly magazine aimed at teenage girls that was first issued in 1944.

61 Certain navel : INNIE

The navel is basically the scar left behind when the umbilical cord is removed from a newborn baby. One interesting use of the umbilicus (navel, belly button) is to differentiate between identical twins, especially when they are very young.

64 Layered dessert : TORTE

A torte is a type of cake made primarily with eggs, sugar and ground nuts (but no flour).

66 Beehives and buns : DOS

That distinctive beehive hairstyle is also called a B-52, because the round, beehive-shape also resembles the bulbous nose of a B-52 bomber! The style originated in 1958, and is credited to Margaret Vinci Heldt, the owner of a hair salon in downtown Chicago. I’m not a fan of the beehive, but I do have to say that Audrey Hepburn carried it off in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, as did Dusty Springfield in her heyday.

Down

2 Wonderland tea party attendee : HARE

In Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, the “Mad Hatter” makes his first appearance in a chapter called “A Mad Tea-Party”. This event is usually described as “The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party”, even though the Mad Hatter was just a guest. The host was the March Hare. In fact, the phrase “Mad Hatter” doesn’t appear anywhere in Lewis Carroll’s novel, although the character, the Hatter (and sometimes “Hatta”), is described as “mad”.

3 Fastidious to a fault : ANAL

The use of the word “anal” to mean “stiffly conventional” is an abbreviated form of “anal-retentive”, a term derived from Freudian psychology. Regardless, I’m not a big fan of the term …

5 ___ Berry Farm (California attraction) : KNOTT’S

In the twenties, Walter Knott sold berries, preserves and pies from the side of the road. In 1932, Knott picked up a new berry from Rudolph Boysen’s farm in Anaheim, California, a hybrid of blackberry, raspberry and loganberry. Knott sold the new berries at his stand, giving them the name “Boysenberries”. Boysenberry Pie became a signature dish at a small tea room that Walter Knott’s wife opened up near the location where the family sold fruit. The tea room became so popular, with lines waiting to be served that Knott expanded, adding shops and displays to entertain diners. Over time he built a volcano, a little gold mine, and a ghost town and lots of themed stores. The location just grew and grew, evolving into the huge theme park that it is today called Knott’s Berry Farm.

6 Cornerstone abbr. : ESTD

Established (“est.” or “estd.”)

7 Protest singer Phil : OCHS

Phil Ochs was an American protest singer who was active in the days of the Vietnam War. Sadly, the singer’s mental health declined at the very time the war was winding down. Saigon fell in 1975, and Ochs committed suicide in 1976.

12 Adam’s ___ (water) : ALE

I suppose water was all that Adam had available to him to drink in the Garden of Eden, and so that’s how the expression “Adam’s ale” arose (I am guessing … can’t find anything definitive anywhere). The phrase “Adam’s Ale” makes a nice juxtaposition with “the demon drink”!

26 One of the Beatles : GEORGE

George Harrison is often referred to as the “quiet Beatle”, although he did have a profound influence on the direction taken by the Fab Four. It was Harrison who first became an admirer of Indian culture and led the rest of the group into the Indian way of life. Harrison went as far as embracing the Hindu religion.

27 Sainted “Mother” : TERESA

Mother Teresa was born in 1910 in the city that is now called Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. At birth she was given the names Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu (“Gonxha” means “little flower” in Albanian). She left home at the age of 18 and joined the Sisters of Loreto, and headed to Loreto Abbey in Rathfarnham in Dublin, Ireland in order to learn English. Her goal was to teach in India, and English was the language used there for instruction by the nuns. After Mother Teresa passed away in 1997 she was beatified by Pope John Paul II. She was canonized by Pope Francis in 2016, and is now known as Saint Teresa of Calcutta.

31 Parolee, e.g. : EX-CON

The term “parole” is a French word that we use in English, with the French “parole” meaning “word, speech”. Of particular interest is the French phrase “parole d’honneur” which translates as “word of honor”. In the early 1600s we started using “parole” to mean a promise by a prisoner of war not to escape, as in the prisoner giving his “word of honor” not to run off. Over time, parole has come to mean conditional release of a prisoner before he or she has served the full term of a sentence.

33 Rim attachment : NET

That would be basketball.

40 N.Y.C. summer hrs. : EDT

Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

45 Made some introductions : EMCEED

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism used for a Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

46 Bilingual Muppet on “Sesame Street” : ROSITA

On the children’s television show Sesame Street, Rosita is a character who is fluent in both English and Spanish. Rosita is operated by Puppeteer Carmen Osbahr. Osbahr originally worked on “Plaza Sésamo”, which is the version of Sesame Street that is broadcast in Mexico.

47 Pal around (with) : HOBNOB

“To hobnob with” means “to rub elbows with, associate with”. The phrase dates back to the mid 1700s and is derived from “hob and nob”, an expression meaning to toast each other in turn, or to buy alternate rounds of drinks.

53 Gateway Arch designer Saarinen : EERO

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is located on the banks of the Mississippi River, and is the tallest monument in the United States. It was designed by Eero Saarinen, with the help of structural engineer Hannskarl Bandel. They did their design work back in 1947, but construction wasn’t started until 1963. In 1980, a daredevil took it upon himself to parachute onto the top of the arch, intending to further jump from the apex of the arch and parachute to the ground. He hit the arch all right, and slid all the way down one of the arches to his death. No comment …

54 Forensic IDs : DNAS

DNA was first isolated in 1869 by Swiss physician and biologist. The molecular structure of DNA was identified in 1953, by the American and British team of James Watson and Francis Crick.

55 Professor ‘iggins : ‘ENRY

Eliza Doolittle is Professor Henry Higgins’ speech student in George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion”. “Pygmalion” was adapted by Lerner and Loewe to become the Broadway musical “My Fair Lady”. The musical spun off the wonderful 1964 film of the same name starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. To cockney Eliza Doolittle, Professor Henry Higgins was “‘Enry ‘Iggins”.

56 Trivial objections : NITS

Trivia are things of little consequence. “Trivia” is the plural of the Latin word “trivium” which means “a place where three roads meet”. Now that’s what I call a trivial fact …

57 A lot of pizazz? : ZEES

Here’s a little Scrabble trivia … “Pizzazz” is the only 7-letter word in English that cannot be played in Scrabble. You can get close by using the Z-tile with the two blank tiles to get to three of the required four Zs, but there’s no way to get to that fourth letter-Z.

60 Ryder rental : VAN

The Ryder company was founded in 1933 in Miami, Florida by James Ryder. It started out as a concrete hauling company, but changed its focus a few years later to the leasing of trucks.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 ___ talk : CHALK
6 Greek counterpart of Aurora : EOS
9 Black-and-white swimmers : ORCAS
14 Took for booking : RAN IN
15 Brown, for one: Abbr. : SCH
16 Comic Poundstone : PAULA
17 Muse of lyric poetry : ERATO
18 E-book? : THE SECRET
20 E-waste? : DELETED SCENE
22 Do Not Call Registry org. : FTC
23 Justice Dept. division : ATF
24 Catch : BAG
27 E-filing? : TERM SHEET
32 Busy : IN USE
34 Time for preparations : EVE
35 It’s for naught in noughts-and-crosses : O-O-X
36 City south of Yosemite : FRESNO
37 E-mail? : REFERENCE LETTER
41 Accustoms : ENURES
42 Dedicated work : ODE
43 Closed-captioning problem : LAG
44 Tuscan home of St. Catherine : SIENA
45 E-sign? : ENTER HERE
48 Org. in a 1955 merger : AFL
49 Farm mate for a 59-Down : RAM
51 Pigeon’s sound : COO
52 E-business? : MERCEDES-BENZ
58 E-mag? : SEVENTEEN
61 Certain navel : INNIE
62 Gold or silver medal : AWARD
63 Chapter in history : ERA
64 Layered dessert : TORTE
65 Trait transmitters : GENES
66 Beehives and buns : DOS
67 It’s no miniature gulf : ABYSS

Down

1 Reputation on the street : CRED
2 Wonderland tea party attendee : HARE
3 Fastidious to a fault : ANAL
4 Phrase used by many easy-listening radio stations : LITE FM
5 ___ Berry Farm (California attraction) : KNOTT’S
6 Cornerstone abbr. : ESTD
7 Protest singer Phil : OCHS
8 Female feline : SHE-CAT
9 Start shooting : OPEN FIRE
10 Tear : RACE
11 Ill-tempered dog : CUR
12 Adam’s ___ (water) : ALE
13 Stayed on the shelf : SAT
19 Finalized : SET
21 Bounces off the wall, say : ECHOES
24 Flurry of activity : BUSTLE
25 Equally close : AS NEAR
26 One of the Beatles : GEORGE
27 Sainted “Mother” : TERESA
28 Regardless of whether : EVEN IF
29 Make a pit stop, say : REFUEL
30 Gazillion years : EON
31 Parolee, e.g. : EX-CON
33 Rim attachment : NET
36 Swindle : FLEECE
38 Southwest terminal? : -ERN
39 Hits back? : REAR-ENDS
40 N.Y.C. summer hrs. : EDT
45 Made some introductions : EMCEED
46 Bilingual Muppet on “Sesame Street” : ROSITA
47 Pal around (with) : HOBNOB
50 Prints, e.g. : ART
52 Piddling : MERE
53 Gateway Arch designer Saarinen : EERO
54 Forensic IDs : DNAS
55 Professor ‘iggins : ‘ENRY
56 Trivial objections : NITS
57 A lot of pizazz? : ZEES
58 Slump : SAG
59 Farm mate for a 49-Across : EWE
60 Ryder rental : VAN

15 thoughts on “0821-19 NY Times Crossword 21 Aug 19, Wednesday”

  1. 12:09, no errors. I didn’t figure out the theme until the very end and was therefore quite puzzled by this puzzling puzzle.

  2. Got the theme!!! Don’t understand the “zees” clue. The clue has “pizazz”, Bill has “pizzazz”. I’m lost…I’ll mull over this with some pizza…

    1. @Duncan … No matter how you spell it, “pizzzazzz” contains a lot of z’s (zees) – there are more of them than of any other letter in the word.

  3. 15:31. Clever theme with clever cluing. I had the most problem in the upper left at the beginning and then at the end as well. Finally just started filling in letters and figured it out.

    Best –

  4. 20:23, no errors. Confusing and ultimately messed up theme. Guessed at every bit of it. One of those “yeah, whatever” kind of puzzles – ultimately not very good or fun.

  5. No errors but I thought it was pretty tough. Got the theme relatively early and it helped a little thereafter.

    I had only a partial understanding of the theme. I thought it just meant there were lots of E’s in the answer. Upon coming to Bill’s blog I learned that E is the only vowel in the answers. That was something that I had not noticed.

    I too thought that the ZEES was a big leap from “Pizazz?” Just not enough grammatical equivalency to warrant that as a legitimate entry. I think that it should not have gotten past the editors that way.

  6. I too finished it without understanding the theme until Bill came to the rescue once again ☺️ . I saw all the E’s ,but it still wasn’t clicking . I found it rather difficult for a Wednesday. Oh well …
    Keep up the great work Bill !
    EllE

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