0909-19 NY Times Crossword 9 Sep 19, Monday

Constructed by: Dan Schoenholz
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: The Ayes Have It, I Hear

Themed answers are two-word phrases that sound like a word ending in -ize:

  • 17A Very soft loaves of bread? : TENDER RYES (sounds like “tenderize”)
  • 26A Neckwear with the letters A, B, C, D, etc.? : ALPHABET TIES (sounds like “alphabetize”)
  • 44A Indigo, henna, etc.? : STANDARD DYES (sounds like “standardize”)
  • 57A “You haven’t aged a bit” and “I love that jacket you’re wearing”? : SOCIAL LIES (sounds like “socialize”)

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

Bill’s time: 4m 51s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Abbr. about alcohol on a party invitation : BYOB

Bring Your Own Beer/Bottle/Booze (BYOB)

14 The Hunter constellation : ORION

According to Greek mythology, Orion was a giant hunter who was placed in the night sky by Zeus, the king of the gods. Orion is very recognizable as a constellation, especially with the three bright stars known as “Orion’s Belt”. The brightest star in the sky, Sirius, is said to be Orion’s hunting dog, and this star sits at Orion’s “foot”.

15 Des Moines’s state : IOWA

The city of Des Moines is the capital of Iowa, and takes its name from the Des Moines River. The river in turn takes its name from the French “Riviere des Moines” meaning “River of the Monks”. It looks like there isn’t any “monkish” connection to the city’s name per se. “Des Moines” was just the name given by French traders who corrupted “Moingona”, the name of a group of Illinois Native Americans who lived by the river. However, others contend that French Trappist monks, who lived a full 200 miles from the river, somehow influenced the name.

16 “If you ask me …,” in a text : IMHO …

In my humble opinion (IMHO)

21 Japanese noodle dish : UDON

Udon noodles are made from wheat-flour and are very popular in Japanese cuisines such as tempura.

23 18-wheeler : SEMI

An 18-wheeler semi-trailer truck has eight wheels under the trailer, i.e. four on each of the two rear axles. There are 10 wheels under the tractor unit. Two of the ten wheels are on the front axle, and eight are on the rear two axles that sit under the front of the trailer.

31 Nissan rival : TOYOTA

In the US, the Big Three automotive manufacturers are General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. The equivalent Big Three in Germany are Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, and in Japan are Toyota, Nissan and Honda.

36 Infield covers : TARPS

Originally, tarpaulins were made from canvas covered in tar that rendered the material waterproof. The word “tarpaulin” comes from “tar” and “palling”, with “pall” meaning “heavy cloth covering”.

37 Bit of voodoo : HEX

“Hexen” is a German word meaning “to practice witchcraft”. The use of the word “hex” in English started with the Pennsylvania Dutch in the early 1800s.

Voodoo is a religion that originated the French slave colony of Saint-Domingue on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.

40 Kerfuffle : ADO

“Kerfuffle” comes from the Scottish “curfuffle”, with both words meaning “disruption”.

41 Cold, cold drink : ICEE

Slush Puppie and ICEE are brands of frozen, slushy drinks. Ostensibly competing brands, ICEE company now owns the Slush Puppie brand.

44 Indigo, henna, etc.? : STANDARD DYES (sounds like “standardize”)

The name of the color “indigo” ultimately comes from the Greek “indikon” meaning “blue dye from India”.

Henna has been used for centuries as a dye, for leather and wool as well as hair and skin. In modern days, henna is often used for temporary tattoos.

50 Dweeb : TWERP

“Twerp” and “pipsqueak” are both terms used for someone who is insignificant and contemptible.

“Dweeb” is relatively recent American slang that came out of college life in the late sixties. Dweeb, squarepants, nerd; they’re all not-nice terms that mean the same thing, i.e. someone excessively studious and socially inept.

60 Small plateau : MESA

“Mesa” is the Spanish for “table” and is how we get the term “mesa” that describes the geographic feature. A mesa is similar to a butte. Both are hills with flat tops, but a mesa has a top that is wider than it is tall. A butte is a much narrower formation, taller than it is wide.

61 “Your turn,” on a walkie-talkie : OVER

The more formal name for a walkie-talkie is “handheld transceiver”. A walkie-talkie is a handheld, two-way radio, and a device first developed for military use during WWII by Motorola (although others developed similar designs soon after). The first walkie-talkie was portable, but large. It was back-mounted and was carried around the battlefield by a radio officer.

63 Actress Amanda : PEET

Actress Amanda Peet studied acting with the celebrated Uta Hagen at Columbia University. Peet has appeared in a number of successful films including “The Whole Nine Yards” and “Syriana”. I remember her best from what I thought was a great TV show (but no one seemed to agree!) called “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”.

64 Salon job, briefly : PERM

“Perm” is the common name given to a permanent wave, a chemical or thermal treatment of hair to produce waves or curls.

Down

3 Relative of a weasel : MINK

There are two species of mink extant: the European Mink and the American Mink. There used to be a Sea Mink which was much larger than its two cousins, but it was hunted to extinction (for its fur) in the late 1800s. American Minks are farmed over in Europe for fur, and animal rights activists have released many of these animals into the wild when raiding mink farms. As a result the European Mink population has declined due to the presence of its larger and more adaptable American cousin.

Weasels are small mammals with long, thin bodies. That body shape is an advantage when weasels chase their prey into narrow burrows.

5 See 6-Down : ONE

6 Golf score of 5-Down under par : BIRDIE

The following terms are routinely used in golf for scores relative to par:

  • Bogey: one over par
  • Par
  • Birdie: one under par
  • Eagle: two under par
  • Albatross (also “double eagle”): three under par
  • Condor: four under par

No one has ever recorded a condor during a professional tournament.

7 Toy on a string : YO-YO

Would you believe that the first yo-yos date back to 500 BC? There is even an ancient Greek vase painting that shows a young man playing with a yo-yo. Centuries later Filipinos were using yo-yos as hunting tools in the 1500s. “Yo-yo” is a Tagalog (Filipino) word meaning “come-come” or simply “return”.

8 Actor Wilson of “Midnight in Paris” : OWEN

Actor Owen Wilson was nominated for an Oscar, but not for his acting. He was nominated for co-writing the screenplay for “The Royal Tenenbaums” along with Wes Anderson.

The 2011 Woody Allen movie called “Midnight in Paris” is a real gem in my opinion. I’ve never liked Woody Allen films, to be honest, mainly because I’m not a fan of Woody Allen as an actor. “Midnight in Paris” is very much a Woody Allen script, with Owen Wilson playing the role that Allen would usually reserve for himself. Wilson plays a much better Woody Allen! Highly recommended …

9 Some humanities degs. : BAS

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

The academic studies of human culture are collectively called the humanities. Subjects included in the humanities are languages, literature, philosophy, religion and music.

10 Ambulance sounds : SIRENS

Our word “ambulance” originated from the French term “hôpital ambulant” meaning “field hospital” (literally “walking hospital”). In the 1850s, the term started to be used for a vehicle transporting the wounded from the battlefield, leading to our “ambulance”.

12 TV’s “___ Line Is It Anyway?” : WHOSE

The American improv comedy TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway” is a spin-off of a very successful British show of the same name. The British TV show is itself a spin-off of a BBC radio show that I well remember. Lots of fun …

18 Cuban ballroom dance : RUMBA

The rumba (sometimes “rhumba”) is a Cuban dance, with influences brought by African slaves and Spanish colonists. The name “rumba” comes from “rumbo”, the Spanish word for “party, spree”.

22 Sprite Zero Sugar, for one : DIET SODA

Sprite is Coca-Cola’s answer to the very successful soft drink 7UP. Sprite was introduced in 1961, and Coca-Cola used its muscle to topple 7UP from its dominant position in the market. Sprite has been the number-one selling lemon soda since 1978.

28 Arsonist, in brief : PYRO

“Pyro” is the combining form of the Greek word for “fire”. “Pyrotechnics” is the art of making and using fireworks. “Pyromania” is a strong desire to light fires.

29 Stereotypical material for a professor’s jacket : TWEED

Tweed is a rough woolen fabric that is very much associated with Scotland in the UK, and with County Donegal in Ireland. The cloth was originally called “tweel”, the Scots word for “twill”. Apparently a London merchant misinterpreted some handwriting in the early 1800s and assumed the fabric was called “tweed”, a reference to the Scottish River Tweed, and the name stuck …

35 Warner ___ : BROS

The Warner Bros. film studio was founded by four Warner brothers, although their original family name was Wonskolaser. The brothers Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack emigrated from Poland as children with their parents, and changed their name when they landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1889.

37 Rooster’s mate : HEN

The term “rooster” dates back to the late 1700s, and is used to describe an adult male chicken, primarily here in the US. “Rooster” originated as an alternative to “cock”, as puritans objected to the association with the slang usage of the latter term.

39 Popular lecture series : TED TALKS

The acronym “TED” stands for “Technology, Entertainment and Design”. TED is a set of conferences held around the world by a non-profit group called the Sapling Foundation. The conference subjects are varied, and the meetings are often led by big names such as Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Bill Gates and Jane Goodall. The Sapling Foundation then makes recordings of the conferences available for free online with the intent of disseminating the ideas globally. These conferences are known as “TED Talks”.

43 Garbo of silent films : GRETA

Famously, Greta Garbo lived a life of seclusion in New York City after she retired from the entertainment business. Commentators often associated her need for privacy with a line she uttered in the great 1932 movie “Grand Hotel”. Her character Grusinskaya the Russian ballerina said, “I want to be alone (…) I just want to be alone”.

51 Peacenik : DOVE

The dove is a symbol of peace, and the hawk is a symbol of war.

52 One providing great service? : ACER

That would be tennis, for example.

54 In ___ of (replacing) : LIEU

As one might imagine perhaps, “in lieu” came into English from the Old French word “lieu” meaning “place”, which in turn is derived from the Latin “locum” that also means “place”. So, “in lieu” translates as “in place of”.

55 “Star Wars” princess : LEIA

Princess Leia is Luke Skywalker’s twin sister in the original “Star Wars” trilogy and was played by Carrie Fisher. Carrie Fisher has stated that she hated the famous “cinnamon bun hairstyle” that she had to wear in the films, as she felt it made her face look too round. She also had to sit for two hours every day just to get her hair styled. Two hours to get your hair done? It takes me just two seconds …

58 S.E.C. school in Baton Rouge : LSU

LSU’s full name is Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, and is located in Baton Rouge. LSU was founded in 1860 as a military academy, with then-Colonel William Tecumseh Sherman as superintendent.

Southeastern Conference (SEC)

59 TV show that originally included John Belushi and Jane Curtin, for short : SNL

“Saturday Night Live” (SNL)

John Belushi was one of the original members of the “Saturday Night Live” cast. On the occasion of Belushi’s 30th birthday in 1979, he had the number one film in the country (“Animal House”), the number one album (“The Blues Brothers: Briefcase of Blues”) and he was a star of the highest-rated late night TV show (“Saturday Night Live”). Belushi died in 1982 from a “speedball”, a combined injection of cocaine and heroin.

Comedian and actress Jane Curtin was an original cast member of “Saturday Night Live”. She also had leading roles in the hit comedy series “Kate & Allie” and “3rd Rock from the Sun”, as well as the 1993 movie “Coneheads”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Jazz quartet, e.g. : COMBO
6 Abbr. about alcohol on a party invitation : BYOB
10 Like logs that have been cut : SAWN
14 The Hunter constellation : ORION
15 Des Moines’s state : IOWA
16 “If you ask me …,” in a text : IMHO …
17 Very soft loaves of bread? : TENDER RYES (sounds like “tenderize”)
19 Cheer (for) : ROOT
20 Heavens : SKY
21 Japanese noodle dish : UDON
22 Thickheaded : DENSE
23 18-wheeler : SEMI
25 Went off, as a timer : DINGED
26 Neckwear with the letters A, B, C, D, etc.? : ALPHABET TIES (sounds like “alphabetize”)
31 Nissan rival : TOYOTA
32 Desire : WANT
33 Flow back, as the tide : EBB
36 Infield covers : TARPS
37 Bit of voodoo : HEX
38 Step between floors : STAIR
40 Kerfuffle : ADO
41 Cold, cold drink : ICEE
43 Attends : GOES TO
44 Indigo, henna, etc.? : STANDARD DYES (sounds like “standardize”)
46 Didn’t take part : SAT OUT
49 Quite an accomplishment : FEAT
50 Dweeb : TWERP
51 Wacky : DAFT
53 Opposite of none : ALL
56 Fairy tale villain : OGRE
57 “You haven’t aged a bit” and “I love that jacket you’re wearing”? : SOCIAL LIES (sounds like “socialize”)
60 Small plateau : MESA
61 “Your turn,” on a walkie-talkie : OVER
62 Ball of yarn : SKEIN
63 Actress Amanda : PEET
64 Salon job, briefly : PERM
65 Customary : USUAL

Down

1 Extra bed in a hotel room : COT
2 Metal-containing rocks : ORES
3 Relative of a weasel : MINK
4 Where to take a car for repairs : BODY SHOP
5 See 6-Down : ONE
6 Golf score of 5-Down under par : BIRDIE
7 Toy on a string : YO-YO
8 Actor Wilson of “Midnight in Paris” : OWEN
9 Some humanities degs. : BAS
10 Ambulance sounds : SIRENS
11 Surrounded by : AMONG
12 TV’s “___ Line Is It Anyway?” : WHOSE
13 Eminent : NOTED
18 Cuban ballroom dance : RUMBA
22 Sprite Zero Sugar, for one : DIET SODA
24 Enjoys the flattery, say : EATS IT UP
25 Awful racket : DIN
26 Lead-in to girl or boy : ATTA …
27 Washing machine unit : LOAD
28 Arsonist, in brief : PYRO
29 Stereotypical material for a professor’s jacket : TWEED
30 Government levy : TAX
33 Like falling off a log : EASY
34 What hungry fish do : BITE
35 Warner ___ : BROS
37 Rooster’s mate : HEN
39 Popular lecture series : TED TALKS
42 Pet asking for milk, purr-haps? : CAT
43 Garbo of silent films : GRETA
44 Upset with : SORE AT
45 State as fact : AFFIRM
46 Beat handily : STOMP
47 “Oh, shucks!” : AW, GEE!
48 Opposite of verbose : TERSE
51 Peacenik : DOVE
52 One providing great service? : ACER
54 In ___ of (replacing) : LIEU
55 “Star Wars” princess : LEIA
57 Soak (up) : SOP
58 S.E.C. school in Baton Rouge : LSU
59 TV show that originally included John Belushi and Jane Curtin, for short : SNL

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