0923-19 NY Times Crossword 23 Sep 19, Monday

Constructed by: Andrea Carla Michaels
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): One Who Yaks, Yaks, Yaks …

Themed clues are all the same, namely “One who yaks, yaks, yaks …”

  • 17A One who yaks, yaks, yaks … : TALKAHOLIC
  • 27A … yaks, yaks, yaks … : BLABBERMOUTH
  • 44A … yaks, yaks, yaks … : BLATHERSKITE
  • 59A … yaks, yaks, yaks : CHATTERBOX

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

Bill’s time: 5m 46s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 “The King and I” setting : SIAM

Siam was the official name of Thailand up to 1939 (and again from 1945 to 1949).

“The King and I” is a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on a book by Margaret Landon called “Anna and the King of Siam” first published in 1944. Landon’s book is based on a true story, told in the memoirs of Anna Leonowens. Leonowens was the governess of the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the 1860s, and she also taught the king’s wives.

14 One who might be caught off base : AWOL

MPs (military police officers) often track down personnel who go AWOL (absent without leave).

26 Supreme Court justice ___ Bader Ginsburg : RUTH

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg serves on the US Supreme Court. Justice Ginsburg was the second woman to join the Court, and was nominated by President Bill Clinton. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1999 and underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. During that time she did not miss one day on the bench. In 2009 Justice Ginsburg had surgery for pancreatic cancer, and was back to work 12 days later. She had left-lung lobectomy to remove cancerous nodules in 2018, which forced Justice Ginsburg to miss oral argument in January 2019, for the first time since joining the court 25 years earlier. Much of Ginsburg’s life is recounted in the excellent 2018 movie “On the Basis of Sex”.

33 Product Pittsburgh is famous for : STEEL

The pennsylvania city of Pittsburgh was named in 1758 for British statesman and future prime minister William Pitt the Elder. Originally known as Fort Duquesne, the settlement was renamed after it was captured from the French during the Seven Years’ War. The most commonly used nicknames for Pittsburgh are “Steel City”, referring to the history of steel-related industry, and “City of Bridges”, referring to the 446 bridges in the metropolis.

36 One fighting the status quo : REBEL

“Status quo” translates from Latin as “state in which”, and in English is used to mean the existing condition or state of affairs.

37 The “G” of L.G.B.T.Q.+ : GAY

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA)

38 Old-time N.B.A. great Chamberlain : WILT

Wilt Chamberlain was one of the best basketball players of all time, certainly based on the number of records that he still holds. Chamberlain is the only player to have scored 100 points in a single NBA game, and the only player to average more than 40 points in a season. He was given many nicknames during his career, but the one that he preferred was “the Big Dipper”, a reference to his need to dip his head to pass his 7ft 1in frame through doorways.

39 Hellos and goodbyes, in Italy : CIAOS

“Ciao” is Italian for “‘bye”. “Arrivederci” is more formal, and translates as “goodbye”.

41 Sheryl Crow’s “___ I Wanna Do” : ALL

Famously, Sheryl Crow dated cyclist Lance Armstrong from 2003-2006. Armstrong has stated publicly more than once that Crow’s music cured his cancer.

42 Museo in Madrid : PRADO

In Spanish, a work of “arte” (art) might be in the “Museo del Prado” (Prado Museum) in Madrid.

The Museo del Prado is in Madrid, the capital of Spain, and has one of the finest art collections in the world. The gallery’s most famous work is “Las Meninas” By Velazquez.

Madrid is the largest city in Spain, and is the nation’s capital. Madrid is located very close to the geographical center of the country. It is the third-largest city in the European Union (after London and Paris). People from Madrid called themselves Madrileños.

52 African nation whose name consists of three U.S. state postal abbreviations : MALAWI

Massachusetts-Louisiana-Wisconsin (MA-LA-WI)

Malawi is in southeast Africa and is one of the least-developed countries in the world. The Malawi population has a low life expectancy and a high infant mortality rate. HIV/AIDS is a major killer. The British colonized the area in 1891, at which point it was called Nyasaland. Malawi became independent in 1964.

57 Museum curator’s deg. : MFA

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

The term “curator” is Latin and applies to a manager, guardian or overseer. In English, the original curators were the guardians and overseers of minors and those with mental disease.

64 Place to order bagels and lox : DELI

The word “delicatessen” (or “deli” for short) came into English from the German “Delikatessen”. The Germans borrowed the word from French, in which language “délicatesse” means “delicious things (to eat)”. The term’s ultimate root is “delicatus”, the Latin for “giving pleasure, delightful”.

66 Long, tedious trip : SHLEP

Our word “schlep” (sometimes “schlepp”) means “carry, drag”. “Schlep” comes from Yiddish, with “shlepen” having the same meaning.

Down

3 Christopher who directed the “Dark Knight” trilogy : NOLAN

British director Christopher Nolan is best known for “rescuing” the floundering Batman movie franchise. In that series, Nolan directed “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight”. He was also at the helm of a couple of sci-fi movies that I really enjoyed, namely “Inception” (2010) and “Interstellar” (2014).

4 Member of a benevolent order : ELK

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) was founded in 1868, and is a social club that has about a million members today. It started out as a group of men getting together in a “club” in order to get around the legal opening hours of taverns in New York City. The club took on a new role as it started to look out for poor families of members who passed away. The club now accepts African Americans as members (since the seventies) and women (since the nineties), but atheists still aren’t welcome. The list of US presidents that have been members of the BPOE includes Presidents Eisenhower, Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Ford.

12 Culture medium in a lab : AGAR

Agar (also “agar-agar”) is a jelly extracted from seaweed that has many uses. Agar is found in Japanese desserts, and can also be used as a food thickener or even as a laxative. In the world of science, it is the most common medium used for growing bacteria in Petri dishes.

18 Island with a reef : ATOLL

An atoll is a coral island that is shaped in a ring and enclosing a lagoon. There is still some debate as to how an atoll forms, but a theory proposed by Charles Darwin while on his famous voyage aboard HMS Beagle still holds sway. Basically an atoll was once a volcanic island that had subsided and fallen into the sea. The coastline of the island is home to coral growth which persists even as the island continues to subside internal to the circling coral reef.

23 Web programming inits. : HTML

The initialism “HTML” stands for HyperText Markup Language. HTML is the language used to write most Internet web pages (including this one).

30 Like a fairy tale duckling : UGLY

Hans Christian Andersen’s tale “The Ugly Duckling” has to be one of the most endearing ever written. Unlike so many fairy tales, “The Ugly Duckling” isn’t based on any folklore and is simply a product of Andersen’s imagination. It is speculated that Andersen was the illegitimate son of the Crown Prince of Denmark, and that he wrote the story of the ugly duckling that turned into a beautiful swan as a metaphor for the secret royal lineage that was within Andersen himself.

33 Q-tip tip : SWAB

Cotton swabs were originally marketed under the name “Baby Gays”. This was changed in 1926 to “Q-Tips”, with the Q standing for “quality”.

34 Cash register drawer : TILL

What we usually call a cash register here in North America, we mostly call a “till” in Ireland and the UK. I haven’t heard the word “till” used much here in that sense.

35 Jazzy Fitzgerald : ELLA

Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

43 Something stuck through a vampire’s heart : STAKE

Legends about vampires were particularly common in Eastern Europe and in the Balkans in particular. The superstition was that vampires could be killed using a wooden stake, with the preferred type of wood varying from place to place. Superstition also defined where in the body should be staked. Most often, the stake was driven through the heart, but Russians and northern Germans went for the mouth, and northeastern Serbs for the stomach.

51 Cabs : TAXIS

We call cabs “taxis”, a word derived from “taximeter cabs” that were introduced in London in 1907. A taximeter was an automated meter designed to record distance travelled and fare to be charged. The term “taximeter” evolved from “taxameter”, with “taxa” being Latin for “tax, charge”.

53 Home to more than 4.5 billion : ASIA

Most of the world’s population lives in Asia (60%), and Asia is the largest continent in terms of landmass (30% of the world). Asia also has the highest population density (246 people per square mile), and the most populous city on the continent is Shanghai, China.

55 Baseball Hall-of-Famer Yastrzemski : CARL

Carl Yastrzemski, who played his whole career with the Boston Red Sox, goes by the nickname “Yaz”.

56 End in ___ (be deadlocked) : A TIE

A deadlock is a standstill, a stalemate. The suggestion is that the term “deadlock” was coined in the 1779 play called “The Critic”, from the pen of Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

61 Abbr. on a food label : RDA

Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII, and were replaced by Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs) in 1997.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Lion’s hair : MANE
5 Film reel : SPOOL
10 “The King and I” setting : SIAM
14 One who might be caught off base : AWOL
15 Squabble : ARGUE
16 Sharp side of a blade : EDGE
17 One who yaks, yaks, yaks … : TALKAHOLIC
19 Passion : ZEAL
20 Big Band ___ : ERA
21 Finish line ribbon : TAPE
22 Prevent from happening : THWART
24 12th grader : SENIOR
26 Supreme Court justice ___ Bader Ginsburg : RUTH
27 … yaks, yaks, yaks … : BLABBERMOUTH
33 Product Pittsburgh is famous for : STEEL
36 One fighting the status quo : REBEL
37 The “G” of L.G.B.T.Q.+ : GAY
38 Old-time N.B.A. great Chamberlain : WILT
39 Hellos and goodbyes, in Italy : CIAOS
40 Lose one’s footing : SLIP
41 Sheryl Crow’s “___ I Wanna Do” : ALL
42 Museo in Madrid : PRADO
43 Fashion : STYLE
44 … yaks, yaks, yaks … : BLATHERSKITE
47 Guns, as an engine : REVS
48 “Whatever you want!” : NAME IT!
52 African nation whose name consists of three U.S. state postal abbreviations : MALAWI
55 Wine holder : CASK
57 Museum curator’s deg. : MFA
58 Makes the most of : USES
59 … yaks, yaks, yaks : CHATTERBOX
62 [Ah, me!] : [SIGH!]
63 Otherworldly : EERIE
64 Place to order bagels and lox : DELI
65 “No problemo” : EASY
66 Long, tedious trip : SHLEP
67 Puts two and two together : ADDS

Down

1 Aussie pals : MATES
2 On the ball : AWARE
3 Christopher who directed the “Dark Knight” trilogy : NOLAN
4 Member of a benevolent order : ELK
5 Vegas casino named for an African locale : SAHARA
6 Comedian’s visual : PROP
7 Eye amorously : OGLE
8 Sí: Spanish :: ___ : French : OUI
9 Professors’ addresses : LECTURES
10 “Oh yeah? You and what army?” : SEZ WHO?
11 What a light bulb represents in the comics : IDEA
12 Culture medium in a lab : AGAR
13 Disappear, as snow : MELT
18 Island with a reef : ATOLL
23 Web programming inits. : HTML
25 “Yeah, sure!” : I BET!
26 Make again, as hotel plans : RE-BOOK
28 Brambles : BRIARS
29 Some hippie neckwear : BEADS
30 Like a fairy tale duckling : UGLY
31 Horse’s “fly swatter” : TAIL
32 Bumped-up publicity : HYPE
33 Q-tip tip : SWAB
34 Cash register drawer : TILL
35 Jazzy Fitzgerald : ELLA
39 Small fissures : CREVICES
40 Cherry throwaway : STEM
42 Expression of relief : PHEW!
43 Something stuck through a vampire’s heart : STAKE
45 Extremely lowbrow : TRASHY
46 Marching synchronously : IN STEP
49 Plant deeply : EMBED
50 “Too rich for my blood” : I FOLD
51 Cabs : TAXIS
52 Creative inspiration : MUSE
53 Home to more than 4.5 billion : ASIA
54 Turkey drumsticks : LEGS
55 Baseball Hall-of-Famer Yastrzemski : CARL
56 End in ___ (be deadlocked) : A TIE
60 Little chuckle : HEH
61 Abbr. on a food label : RDA

9 thoughts on “0923-19 NY Times Crossword 23 Sep 19, Monday”

  1. I too had never encountered BLATHERSKITE. I was curious enough to go to the dictionaries. The -SKITE part of the word actually traces back to Old Norse by way of Scottish. The meaning, however, is something that I cannot repeat here.

  2. Just over 10, but finished sooner, just had to take time out to pour another cup of coffee. Fun Monday, liked the theme. Shlep took me a bit, as I usually spell it with a “ch” not just an “h”.

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