0905-19 NY Times Crossword 5 Sep 19, Thursday

Constructed by: Alex Eaton-Salners
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): More or Less

Themed answers are common words on the face of it. Themed clues refer to the same word less the starting letter, as well as to a word made by adding an extra letter at the start. Complicated, I know …

  • 1A More than a bird, but less than a facial expression : COWL (more than OWL, less than SCOWL)
  • 5A More than a symptom, but less than a jerk : WITCH (more than ITCH, less than SWITCH)
  • 10A More than a card, but less than a track bet : LACE (more than ACE, less than PLACE)
  • 20A More than a snake, but less than a bodily organ : LADDER (more than ADDER, less than BLADDER)
  • 36A More than a British islander, but less than a team symbol : ASCOT (more than SCOT, less than MASCOT)
  • 39A More than a court filing, but less than a status change : EMOTION (more than MOTION, less than DEMOTION)
  • 42A More than a bagel, but less than a walk : TROLL (more than ROLL, less than STROLL)
  • 59A More than a color, but less than a trade occupation : LUMBER (more than UMBER, less than PLUMBER)
  • 67A More than a boat, but less than an idea : PARK (more than ARK, less than SPARK)
  • 68A More than a weather forecast, but less than a muscle injury : TRAIN (more than RAIN, less than STRAIN)
  • 69A More than an insect, but less than a U.S. president : RANT (more than ANT, less than GRANT)

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

Bill’s time: 17m 15s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 More than a bird, but less than a facial expression : COWL (more than OWL, less than SCOWL)

A cowl is a long garment with a hood that is primarily worn by monks in the Christian tradition.

10 More than a card, but less than a track bet : LACE (more than ACE, less than PLACE)

When betting on a horse race, the first-place finisher is said to “win”. A horse finishing first or second is said to “place”. A horse finishing first, second or third is said to “show”.

15 ___ Gebrselassie, two-time Olympic running gold medalist : HAILE

Haile Gebrselassie is a very, very successful long-distance runner from Ethiopia. Among the impressive list of world-record achievements, Gebrselassie won the Boston Marathon four times in a row.

17 Bud, e.g. : BEER

The American beer called Budweiser (often shortened to “Bud”) is named for the Czech town of Budweis (“České Budějovice” in Czech). The name is the subject of a dispute as here is an original Czech beer with a similar name, Budweiser Budvar. American Budweiser is sold in most European countries as “Bud”.

18 Laura of “ER” : INNES

Laura Innes is an actress who is best known for playing Dr. Kerry Weaver on the long-running TV show “ER”. She also played the lead role of Sophia in the short-running TV drama “The Event” in 2010-2011.

19 Number of worlds connected by Yggdrasil in Norse myth : NINE

Yggdrasil is an enormous tree that is central to Norse mythology, and is known as the “world tree”. It is thought that it is a yew tree, and that the name “Yggdrasil” comes from the Norse word “igwja” meaning “yew-tree”, but that fact is disputed.

24 Classic auto with a so-called “floating speedometer” : EDSEL

The Edsel brand of automobile was named for Edsel Ford, son of Henry. Sadly, the name “Edsel” has become synonymous with “failure”, which was no fault of Edsel himself who had died several years before the Edsel line was introduced. When the Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel on 4 September 1957, Ford proclaimed the day to be “E Day”.

26 Winter coat : RIME

Rime is the beautiful coating of ice that forms on surfaces like roofs, trees and grass, when cold water freezes instantly under the right conditions.

30 The new girl of Fox’s “New Girl” : JESS

Zooey Deschanel is an actress and singer-songwriter from Los Angeles. Zooey is the younger sister of Emily Deschanel who plays the title role on the TV show “Bones”. Now Zooey is playing Jess Day, the lead character on the sitcom “New Girl”. In the world of music, Zooey teams up with “M” Ward in the duo that goes by the name “She & Him”.

41 Hoppy brew : IPA

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

42 More than a bagel, but less than a walk : TROLL (more than ROLL, less than STROLL)

The bagel was invented in the Polish city of Kraków in the 16th century. Bagels were brought to this country by Jewish immigrants from Poland who mainly established homes in and around New York City.

44 It’s verboten : NO-NO

“Verboten” is German for “forbidden”, and is a word that we have imported into English.

45 Calif. school that’s home to the Aztecs : SDSU

San Diego State University (SDSU)

46 Tartan pattern : PLAID

Tartan is sometimes called “plaid” over here in the US, and is a word not used in the same sense outside of this country. In Scotland, a “plaid” is a blanket or a tartan cloth slung over the shoulder.

48 Smart : CHIC

“Chic” is a French word meaning “stylish”.

50 Shoulder piece : EPAULET

An epaulet (also “epaulette”) is an ornamental shoulder pad, particularly one worn with a military uniform. The term “epaulet”comes from French, and translates literally as “little shoulder”.

60 Henry who founded Life : LUCE

Henry Luce was a publisher, mainly of magazines. He was responsible for launching such iconic publications as “Time”, “Life”, “Fortune” and “Sports Illustrated”.

“Life” magazine was founded way back in 1883, and was originally structured as a humorous publication. It changed hands in 1936, when it was repurposed as a magazine with an emphasis on photojournalism. I am a big fan of the latter format, and have quite a few favorite issues in my private collection …

64 Tax-advantaged investment tools, for short : IRAS

Individual retirement account (IRA)

65 Kind of chip : NACHO

The dish known as “nachos” was supposedly created by the maître d’ at a restaurant called the Victory Club in the city of Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico. The maître d’’s name was Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya.

66 One of a Latin trio : AMAS

“Amo, amas, amat” translates from Latin as “I love, you love, he/she/it loves”.

69 More than an insect, but less than a U.S. president : RANT (more than ANT, less than GRANT)

Ulysses S. Grant (USG) had risen to commander of all Union armies by the end of the Civil War. He was elected as the 18th president of the US in 1869. Grant served two terms as president, and also made a failed bid for a third term. Grant’s reputation was tarnished by his apparent tolerance of corruption in his administration. On the other hand, Grant worked hard to protect African Americans during Reconstruction after the Civil War, and pursued peaceful relations with Native Americans.

Down

2 Mountain nymph : OREAD

The Oreads were the mountain nymphs that accompanied the ancient Greek goddess Artemis on her hunting expeditions. Each Oread dwelled on a different mountain, for example:

  • Daphnis (on Mount Parnassos)
  • Echo (on Mount Cithaeron)
  • Ida (on Mount Ida)

4 Pantries : LARDERS

The Latin word for bacon or lard, is “lardum”, from which developed a Middle Latin word “lardarium” meaning a “room for meats”. This came into English as “larder” to describe a meat storeroom. Over time, our larders stored all types of foods and our fresh meats went into refrigerators.

The word “pantry” dates back to 1300 when it came into English from the Old French “panetrie” meaning a “bread room”. Bread is “pain” in French, and “panis” in Latin.

6 Actor McKellen : IAN

Sir Ian McKellen is a marvelous English actor, one who is comfortable playing anything from Macbeth on stage to Magneto in an “X-Men” movie. On the big screen, McKellen is very famous for playing Gandalf in “The Lord of Rings”. In the UK, Sir Ian is noted for being at the forefront of the campaign for equal rights for gay people, a role he has enthusiastically embraced since the eighties.

8 Pre-defibrillation cry : CLEAR!

A defibrillator (defib) might be operated by an emergency medical technician (EMT).

9 Some bygone service stations : HESSES

Hess Corporation is an oil company based in New York City. In 1964, the company started selling toy trucks with the Hess logo on them, in Hess gas stations. The company has been selling them every since, bringing out new models just before Christmas. Hess toy trucks have become quite collectible and the old ones can fetch a pretty penny.

10 Measures of newspaper ad space : LINAGES

“Linage” is the name given to the number of printed lines taken up by an article or advertisement in a magazine or a newspaper.

11 Peptide part : AMINO ACID

Amino acids are essential to life in many ways, not least of which is their use as the building blocks of proteins. Nine amino acids are considered “essential” for humans. These nine must be included in the diet as they cannot be synthesized in the body.

12 Crown : CONK

The bean, the conk, the head …

21 The “E” of Ransom E. Olds : ELI

Ransom Eli Olds was a pioneer in the automotive industry, and the founder of the Oldsmobile and REO brands. Olds introduced the first modern “stationary” assembly line (Henry Ford’s famous innovation was the “moving” assembly line). As a result, it can be argued that the Oldsmobile Curved Dash was the first mass-produced, low-priced automobile, rather than the Ford’s Model T.

23 Saturn’s largest moon : TITAN

Titan is the largest moon of Saturn. Titan is unusual in many ways, including the fact that it is the only known satellite in the solar system that is has its own atmosphere (our own moon does not, for example). Titan is the second largest moon in the solar system, after Ganymede that orbits Jupiter. Titan is so large that it has a greater volume than Mercury, the solar system’s smallest planet.

25 Relative of a spoonbill : HERON

Herons are birds with long legs that inhabit freshwater and coastal locales. Some herons are routinely referred to as egrets, and others as bitterns. Herons look a lot like storks and cranes, but differ in their appearance in flight. Herons fly with their necks retracted in an S-shape, whereas storks and cranes have their necks extended.

27 Big inits. in casinos : MGM

MGM Resorts International is the name given to a chain of hotel resorts and casinos, including the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The MGM Grand Las Vegas was the largest hotel in the world when it opened in 1993, and is now the second largest (behind the Venetian, also in Las Vegas).

31 1946 role for Fonda or 1994 role for Costner : EARP

The legendary Western gunfighter and lawman Wyatt Earp has been portrayed on the big and small screen many, many times. Kevin Costner played the title role in 1994’s “Wyatt Earp”, and Val Kilmer played Earp in 2012’s “The First Ride of Wyatt Earp”. Joel McCrea had the part in 1955’s “Wichita”, and Kurt Russell was Earp in 1993’s “Tombstone”. James Garner played Earp twice, in 1967’s “Hour of the Gun” and 1988’s “Sunset”.

34 Midori on the ice : ITO

Midori Ito is a Japanese figure skater. Ito was the first woman to land a triple/triple jump and a triple axel in competition. In fact, she landed her first triple jump in training when she was only 8 years old. Ito won Olympic silver in 1992, and was chosen as the person to light the Olympic cauldron at the commencement of the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.

35 Lightly dye : TINCT

To tinct is to add a little color to something. The term “tinct” ultimately derives from the Latin verb “tingere” meaning “to dye”.

37 ___ particle : TAU

Neutrinos are small subatomic particles that do not carry an electric charge. The term “neutrino” is Italian for “small neutral one”, and was coined by physicist Enrico Fermi in 1932. There are three types of neutrino: electron neutrinos, muon neutrinos and tau neutrinos.

39 ___ Sports Bureau (stats record keeper) : ELIAS

The Elias Sports Bureau has been providing research and statistics for professional sports since 1913. The business was set up in 1913 in New York City by Al Munro Elias and his brother Walter.

45 Bagel topper : SCHMEAR

The word “schmear” comes from the Yiddish word “shmir” meaning “spread”. The phrase “the whole schmear” is a relatively recent one, dating back to around 1969 and coming from the world of business.

47 Big employer in Delaware : DUPONT

The full name of the DuPont company is E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. This American chemical company was founded as a gunpowder mill in 1802 by one Eleuthere Irenee du Pont. Du Pont was born in Paris, and immigrated to the US with his rather large family in 1800 and settled in Brandywine Creek in Delaware. Back in France, du Pont had been an assistant to the celebrated French chemist Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (“father of modern chemistry” and the man who discovered and named “oxygen”).

49 Post-op locale : ICU

Many a hospital (hosp.) includes an intensive care unit (ICU).

51 Kind of calendar : LUNAR

A solar calendar is based on the 365 1/4 days it takes for the earth to orbit the sun. A lunar calendar is based on the moon’s phases, and has 12 lunar months of 29-30 days, with the “lunar year” ending eleven days earlier than the “solar year”. So, solar and lunar calendars are always out of sync. There is a device called an epact that adjusts the lunar calendar to bring it into sync with the solar calendar.

52 Flowering plant that’s also a woman’s name : ERICA

It is a commonly held belief that heather and erica are the same thing botanically, but in fact, erica is another name for a different species called “heath”.

54 2009 Nobel laureate : OBAMA

President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the fourth US president to be so honored. He is the only one of the four to have been awarded the prize during his first year of office. The Nobel committee gave the award citing President Obama’s work towards a new climate in international relations, particularly in reaching out to the Muslim world.

56 Big name in accounting : ERNST

Ernst & Young is one of the Big Four accountancy firms, alongside Deloitte, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Ernst & Young is headquartered in London. The company was founded in 1989 with the merger of Ernst & Whinney with Young & Co.

59 Revolutionary Trotsky : LEON

Leon Trotsky was a Soviet politician and revolutionary, the founder and first leader of the Red Army as well as one of the first members of the Politburo. Trotsky was ousted and deported in 1929 when he opposed the policies of Joseph Stalin. Trotsky continued to be vocal in opposition to Stalin in Mexico, his place of exile. Stalin had him assassinated there in 1940.

62 Spiritual energy : CHI

In Chinese culture “qi” or “chi” is the life force in any living thing.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 More than a bird, but less than a facial expression : COWL (more than OWL, less than SCOWL)
5 More than a symptom, but less than a jerk : WITCH (more than ITCH, less than SWITCH)
10 More than a card, but less than a track bet : LACE (more than ACE, less than PLACE)
14 Lawn measure : AREA
15 ___ Gebrselassie, two-time Olympic running gold medalist : HAILE
16 “Don’t worry about me” : I’M OK
17 Bud, e.g. : BEER
18 Laura of “ER” : INNES
19 Number of worlds connected by Yggdrasil in Norse myth : NINE
20 More than a snake, but less than a bodily organ : LADDER (more than ADDER, less than BLADDER)
22 What filler necks connect to : GAS TANKS
24 Classic auto with a so-called “floating speedometer” : EDSEL
25 Last words before starting : HERE I GO
26 Winter coat : RIME
28 Tee off : STEAM
30 The new girl of Fox’s “New Girl” : JESS
33 Annoyance for an oyster eater : GRIT
36 More than a British islander, but less than a team symbol : ASCOT (more than SCOT, less than MASCOT)
38 Breakfast bit : OAT
39 More than a court filing, but less than a status change : EMOTION (more than MOTION, less than DEMOTION)
41 Hoppy brew : IPA
42 More than a bagel, but less than a walk : TROLL (more than ROLL, less than STROLL)
44 It’s verboten : NO-NO
45 Calif. school that’s home to the Aztecs : SDSU
46 Tartan pattern : PLAID
48 Smart : CHIC
50 Shoulder piece : EPAULET
53 Doing dishes, e.g. : CHORE
57 Grass with prickly burs : SANDSPUR
59 More than a color, but less than a trade occupation : LUMBER (more than UMBER, less than PLUMBER)
60 Henry who founded Life : LUCE
61 Waiting in the wings : ON ICE
63 Gain : EARN
64 Tax-advantaged investment tools, for short : IRAS
65 Kind of chip : NACHO
66 One of a Latin trio : AMAS
67 More than a boat, but less than an idea : PARK (more than ARK, less than SPARK)
68 More than a weather forecast, but less than a muscle injury : TRAIN (more than RAIN, less than STRAIN)
69 More than an insect, but less than a U.S. president : RANT (more than ANT, less than GRANT)

Down

1 Monthly charge : CABLE
2 Mountain nymph : OREAD
3 Complexities, metaphorically : WEEDS
4 Pantries : LARDERS
5 What rotors do : WHIR
6 Actor McKellen : IAN
7 Slightly influence : TINGE
8 Pre-defibrillation cry : CLEAR!
9 Some bygone service stations : HESSES
10 Measures of newspaper ad space : LINAGES
11 Peptide part : AMINO ACID
12 Crown : CONK
13 Squeezes (out) : EKES
21 The “E” of Ransom E. Olds : ELI
23 Saturn’s largest moon : TITAN
25 Relative of a spoonbill : HERON
27 Big inits. in casinos : MGM
29 Cleans (up) : MOPS
30 Take (down) : JOT
31 1946 role for Fonda or 1994 role for Costner : EARP
32 Joyrider’s ride : STOLEN CAR
34 Midori on the ice : ITO
35 Lightly dye : TINCT
37 ___ particle : TAU
39 ___ Sports Bureau (stats record keeper) : ELIAS
40 “Isn’t this fancy?!” : OOH!
43 Portable writing surface : LAP DESK
45 Bagel topper : SCHMEAR
47 Big employer in Delaware : DUPONT
49 Post-op locale : ICU
51 Kind of calendar : LUNAR
52 Flowering plant that’s also a woman’s name : ERICA
54 2009 Nobel laureate : OBAMA
55 Printed again : RERAN
56 Big name in accounting : ERNST
57 Prelude to a fall : SLIP
58 Spiritual energy : AURA
59 Revolutionary Trotsky : LEON
62 Spiritual energy : CHI

18 thoughts on “0905-19 NY Times Crossword 5 Sep 19, Thursday”

  1. 33:22. My litmus test for a really good theme is when you’re almost disappointed you’ve gotten all of the theme answers. Such is the case today IMO. I got the theme relatively early and leaned on it heavily to finish this one. Some tough fill.

    Best –

    1. From Dictionary.com: “the number of printed lines, especially agate lines covered by a magazine article, newspaper advertisement, etc.”
      I, too, was unfamiliar with the term. Thought the word would be lineage, pronounced line-age. Learn something new every day.

  2. Themed cluing was relentless. No errors but (JMG, you beat me to it)
    ooh my head. Gotta admire the construction. TINGE as slightly influence?

  3. 46:50 and somehow no errors….after the theme finally penetrated my thick skull it was a big help in finishing….I almost gave up on this one

  4. 23:15, no errors. Agree that the ‘jerk’ in 5A should be TWITCH. I definitely needed to use the theme today, since I was almost totally unfamiliar with all the proper names.

  5. I’m so delighted to finish a Thursday puzzle! First reaction to theme was oh good grief, what’s that supposed to be? So sort of ignored it and went through rest of puzzle til 69A, ant/grant, fell into place with crosses, and then all became clear!

  6. No errors but a toughie for me. Theme was indispensable once it was understood. The EDSEL’s “floating speedometer” was new to me. I googled it to see what it was. Turned out to be no big deal.

  7. This was super-tough. Not only was it difficult to figure out the themed clues, a very high percentage of what’s left are obscure proper names, companies, all kinds of know-it-or-don’t. I was happy to finish as much as I did (I guess @60%).

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