0925-19 NY Times Crossword 25 Sep 19, Wednesday

Constructed by: Natan Last, Andy Kravis and the J.A.S.A. Crossword Class
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Brexit

If the letter sequence BR EXITS each of our themed answers, we end up with a repeated word:

  • 34A Subject of a 2016 U.K. referendum … or a hint to 16-, 25-, 41- and 55-Across : BREXIT … or BR EXIT
  • 16A Results of having ants in one’s pants? : BRITCHES ITCHES
  • 25A Ones considering which brand of ice cream to buy? : BREYERS EYERS
  • 41A Casas? : HOMBRES’ HOMES
  • 55A Food for thought? : CEREBRAL CEREAL

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

Bill’s time: 8m 54s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Like watermelons from May to September : IN SEASON

The watermelon that we find in the grocery store is actually a berry produced by the flowering, vine-like watermelon plant. Seedless watermelons were developed by Japanese scientists in 1939, and now seedless varieties account for over 80% of watermelon sales in the US.

14 Dern of “Big Little Lies” : LAURA

Actress Laura Dern is the daughter of the actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd. Among her many notable roles, Laura played the Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in the 2008 movie “Recount”, and Dr. Ellie Sattler in the 1993 blockbuster “Jurassic Park”.

“Big Little Lies” is 2017 TV miniseries that is based on a 2014 novel of the same name. It stars Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley as three women who, while dealing with their own emotional problems, find themselves involved in a murder investigation. I haven’t seen this one, but hear very good things …

18 Court fig. : ATT

Attorney (att.)

23 African antelope : GNU

The gnu is also known as the wildebeest, and is an antelope native to Africa. “Wildebeest” is a Dutch meaning “wild beast”.

25 Ones considering which brand of ice cream to buy? : BREYERS EYERS

Breyers ice cream was introduced by William A. Breyer in 1866, in Philadelphia. Always known for using all-natural ingredients, Breyers products made in recent years contain more and more food additives in an attempt to cut costs in a competitive market. In fact, most Breyers products can’t even be labeled “ice cream” anymore as they don’t contain enough milk and cream and so are labeled “frozen dairy dessert” instead.

31 Pioneer in I.M.’ing : AOL

Even though instant messaging (sending and receiving IMs) has been around since the 1960s, it was AOL who popularized the term “instant message” in the eighties and nineties. The “AOL Instant Message” service was known as AIM.

33 Middle name of Sean Lennon : ONO

Sean Lennon is the only child of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and godson of Elton John. Sean is a musician and composer, and has a band called the Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger.

34 Subject of a 2016 U.K. referendum … or a hint to 16-, 25-, 41- and 55-Across : BREXIT … or BR EXIT

The UK held a referendum in June 2016 in which 52% of voters chose to leave the European Union (EU). The term “Brexit” was used for the vote, a portmanteau of “Britain” and “exit”. The vote has led to some debate about the future of the UK. The Scottish electorate voted for the UK to stay in the EU, and so that revived speculation about Scotland leaving the UK. There has also some discussion about Northern Ireland’s future in the UK, as the Northern Irish electorate also voted to stay in the EU.

37 Lupino of “High Sierra” : IDA

Actress Ida Lupino was also a successful director, in the days when women weren’t very welcome behind the camera. She had already directed four “women’s” shorts when she stepped in to direct the 1953 drama “The Hitch-Hiker”, taking over when the original director became ill. “The Hitch-Hiker” was the first film noir movie to be directed by a woman, and somewhat of a breakthrough for women in the industry.

“High Sierra” is a 1941 movie based on a novel by W.R. Burnett. It’s a gangster piece, starring Humphrey Bogart as “Mad Dog” Roy Earle, a bad guy with a heart. Bogie’s love interest is played by the very talented Ida Lupino.

38 Target of a knee M.R.I. : ACL

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four major ligaments that support the knee.

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine uses powerful magnetic fields to generate its images so there is no exposure to ionizing radiation (such as X-rays). We used MRI equipment in our chemistry labs at school, way back in the days when the technology was still called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI). Apparently the marketing folks didn’t like the term “nuclear” because of its association with atomic bombs, so now it’s just called MRI.

39 “Thumbs-up” : A-OK

Our term “A-OK” is supposedly an abbreviation for “A(ll systems are) OK”, and arose at NASA in the sixties during the space program.

46 Low, sandy island : CAY

A key (also “cay”) is a low offshore island, as in the Florida Keys. Our term in English comes from the Spanish “cayo” meaning “shoal, reef”.

48 One-legged, single-minded sea captain : AHAB

Captain Ahab is the obsessed and far from friendly captain of the Pequod in Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick”. The role of Captain Ahab was played by Gregory Peck in the 1956 John Huston film adaptation. Patrick Stewart played Ahab in a 1998 miniseries in which Peck made another appearance, as Father Mapple.

52 “Big Little Lies” network : HBO

Home Box Office (HBO) is the oldest continuously-operating pay TV service in the US, having launched in 1972. HBO is a favorite of mine as I really like many of the HBO made-for-television movies and original series. Among the list of original series from HBO are “Mildred Pierce”, “The Pacific”, “John Adams”, “Big Love”, “Extras”, “The Wire”, “Sex and the City”, “From the Earth to the Moon”, “The Sopranos” and “Band of Brothers”. And more recently, there is “Game of Thrones”.

59 Ingredient in Worcestershire sauce : TAMARIND

Worcestershire sauce is a variant of a fermented fish sauce that has been around since the days of the Roman Empire. The modern sauce was developed and marketed by Messrs. Lea and Perrins in the city of Worcester, then in the county of Worcestershire, hence the name. We vegans aren’t supposed to touch it, as it contains anchovies! Oh, and “Worcestershire” is pronounced “wooster-sheer” …

62 Guys’ partners, on Broadway : DOLLS

“Guys and Dolls” is a musical with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser. It was first produced on Broadway, in 1950, and ran for 1200 performances. The show was based on a book written by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, which book was inspired by the short stories :The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown” and “Blood Pressure” by Damon Runyon. “Guys and Dolls” was chosen as winner of a Pulitzer in 1951, but the award was cancelled as Abe Burrows was having problems with the House Un-American Activities Committee at the time.

Down

1 Site of Napoleon’s exile : ELBA

I had a lovely two-week vacation in Tuscany once, including what was supposed to be a two-night stay on the island of Elba. I had envisioned Elba as a place full of history, and maybe it is, but it is also overrun with tourists who use it as a beach getaway. We left after one day and we won’t be going back again …

2 What might be tipped at a bar : DART

Darts is a wonderful game that’s often played in English and Irish pubs, even over here in America. The scoring in a traditional game of darts is difficult to describe in a sentence or two, but the game of darts called “Round the Clock” is simply hitting the numbers 1 through 20 on the dartboard in sequence.

3 Highlight of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” : GUITAR SOLO

Led Zeppelin was an English rock band founded in 1968. The band’s most famous release has to be the classic “Stairway to Heaven”. Led Zeppelin broke up right after drummer John Bonham was found dead in 1988.

4 Much graffiti : ART

“Graffiti” is the plural of “graffito”, and is the Italian for “scribbling”. The word was first used to describe ancient inscriptions on the walls in the ruins of Pompeii.

8 Indian honorific : SRI

“Sri” is a title of respect for a male in India.

9 First responder, for short : EMT

Emergency medical technician (EMT)

11 Upscale London district : SOHO

The area of London called Soho had a very poor reputation for most of the 20th century as it was home to the city’s red light district. Soho went through a transformation in recent decades, and has been a very fashionable neighborhood since the 1980s.

12 Dunkable treat : OREO

There’s a smartphone app featuring the Oreo cookie. It’s a game in which one twists Oreo cookies apart, “licks” the cream from the center and then dunks the remainder of the cookie in a glass of milk.

13 “Empty ___” (1980s-’90s sitcom) : NEST

“Empty Nest” is a sitcom that aired in the eighties and nineties, and was a spin-off of the hit show “The Golden Girls”. “Empty Nest” is about a pediatrician who is a neighbor of “the golden girls”, a Dr. Harry Weston. Weston is recently widowed and living with two adult daughter who have moved back into his home.

23 Spice Girl ___ Halliwell : GERI

Geri Halliwell was nicknamed Ginger Spice when she was with the Spice Girls, because of her red hair. Halliwell was quite a bit older than the rest of the group and so sometimes she was less charitably referred to as “Old Spice”. After launching her solo career, Halliwell released a fabulous 2001 version of the song “It’s Raining Men”, which was originally recorded by the Weather Girls in 1982. Great song …

24 Moscow turndown : NYET

The English word “no” translates into Russian as “nyet” and into German as “nein”.

25 Setting for the “Forrest Gump” movie poster : BENCH

Here’s a famous quote from the movie “Forrest Gump” …

Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.

26 Charlie Parker’s instrument, informally : SAX

Charlie Parker was a jazz saxophonist, who was often just called “Bird” or “Yardbird”. He was a leader in the development of the style of jazz called “bebop”, which gained popularity in the forties. Charlie Parker had a rough life outside of music. He was a heroin addict, and a heavy drinker. When he died, the coroner who performed his autopsy estimated his age as between 50 and 60 years old based on the appearance of his body and condition of his organs. He was actually 34-years-old when he died in a New York City hotel room in 1955.

34 The Who’s “___ O’Riley” : BABA

The song by the Who that is commonly called “Teenage Wasteland” actually has the title “Baba O’Riley”. “Baba O’Riley” is used as the theme song for the television show “CSI: New York”.

35 Golfer McIlroy : RORY

Rory McIlroy is a very successful golfer from Northern Ireland. McIlroy is a relatively young man and a former world number one on the circuit, so folks can’t help but compare him to Tiger Woods. He was the first European to win three different majors. Along with Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, McIlroy is one of only three people to win three majors before the age of 25.

40 Financial arm of the U.N., for short : IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was established at the end of 1945 with 29 major economies supporting and funding an effort to stabilize economies across the globe after WWII. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., today the IMF has 187 member countries.

42 Ally in a bygone legal drama : MCBEAL

“Ally McBeal” is a very successful television show that aired from 1997 to 2002. It starred Calista Flockhart in the title role, playing a successful lawyer. I must admit, I never watched the show, but I am told by a kind blog reader that it’s good viewing. It was created by David E. Kelley, who is also the man behind other successful legal dramas including “The Practice”, “Boston Legal” and “Harry’s Games’. Kelley is married to actress Michelle Pfeiffer.

44 1950s blacklisting grp. : HUAC

The House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) was formed by the US House of Representatives in 1947 and disbanded in 1975. The House Committee is best remembered for its investigation of the Hollywood film industry in the late forties and fifties, which led to the blacklisting of hundreds of people. The House Committee had no formal connection with the infamous Senator Joseph McCarthy, who was Chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

51 Like hair after rain : LANK

The term “lank” can describe something that is straight and flat, particularly hair. The usage was extended in the early 1800s (especially in the form “lanky”) to mean “awkwardly tall and thin”.

54 Cheers at a corrida : OLES

Spanish bullfighting is known locally as “corrida de toros”, literally “race of bulls”.

57 1983 double-platinum Duran Duran album : RIO

Duran Duran is a New Wave band from Birmingham in England. Duran Duran’s success was partially driven by some well-received MTV music videos in the 1980s. The band also worked hard on their image and paid a lot of money for very fashionable clothes in which they performed. As a result, one of Duran Duran’s nicknames is “the prettiest boys in rock”.

58 Pooh’s pal : ROO

Like most of the characters in A. A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh”, the kangaroo named “Roo” was inspired by a stuffed toy belonging to Milne’s son Christopher Robin.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Director Wright : EDGAR
6 Like watermelons from May to September : IN SEASON
14 Dern of “Big Little Lies” : LAURA
15 Fashion trend that involves comfortable, regular-looking clothing : NORMCORE
16 Results of having ants in one’s pants? : BRITCHES ITCHES
18 Court fig. : ATT
19 Part of a roof : EAVE
20 ___ canal : ROOT
21 Leisurely pace : AMBLE
23 African antelope : GNU
25 Ones considering which brand of ice cream to buy? : BREYERS EYERS
29 Defeat : BEST
30 Exist : ARE
31 Pioneer in I.M.’ing : AOL
33 Middle name of Sean Lennon : ONO
34 Subject of a 2016 U.K. referendum … or a hint to 16-, 25-, 41- and 55-Across : BREXIT … or BR EXIT
37 Lupino of “High Sierra” : IDA
38 Target of a knee M.R.I. : ACL
39 “Thumbs-up” : A-OK
40 “Good heavens, old chap!” : I SAY!
41 Casas? : HOMBRES’ HOMES
46 Low, sandy island : CAY
47 Parts of shirtsleeves : CUFFS
48 One-legged, single-minded sea captain : AHAB
51 Idle : LOAF
52 “Big Little Lies” network : HBO
55 Food for thought? : CEREBRAL CEREAL
59 Ingredient in Worcestershire sauce : TAMARIND
60 “Honest!” : NO LIE!
61 They may accompany winks : SLY LOOKS
62 Guys’ partners, on Broadway : DOLLS

Down

1 Site of Napoleon’s exile : ELBA
2 What might be tipped at a bar : DART
3 Highlight of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” : GUITAR SOLO
4 Much graffiti : ART
5 Zoom past : RACE BY
6 “The very thought!” : I NEVER!
7 Wine lover’s asset : NOSE
8 Indian honorific : SRI
9 First responder, for short : EMT
10 Gather : ACCRUE
11 Upscale London district : SOHO
12 Dunkable treat : OREO
13 “Empty ___” (1980s-’90s sitcom) : NEST
17 Robust : HALE
22 Crossed : MET
23 Spice Girl ___ Halliwell : GERI
24 Moscow turndown : NYET
25 Setting for the “Forrest Gump” movie poster : BENCH
26 Charlie Parker’s instrument, informally : SAX
27 Complains vociferously : RAISES HELL
28 Fizzy drinks : SODAS
29 Prop for the dancer Gypsy Rose Lee : BOA
32 Nonclerical : LAY
34 The Who’s “___ O’Riley” : BABA
35 Golfer McIlroy : RORY
36 Just manage, with “out” : EKE
40 Financial arm of the U.N., for short : IMF
42 Ally in a bygone legal drama : MCBEAL
43 Chastises : SCOLDS
44 1950s blacklisting grp. : HUAC
45 Cross a line, say : OFFEND
48 Performs : ACTS
49 Get better : HEAL
50 Fighting unit : ARMY
51 Like hair after rain : LANK
53 Abandon an effort, in slang : BAIL
54 Cheers at a corrida : OLES
56 “My man!” : BRO!
57 1983 double-platinum Duran Duran album : RIO
58 Pooh’s pal : ROO

8 thoughts on “0925-19 NY Times Crossword 25 Sep 19, Wednesday”

  1. 11:39, no errors. Needed to figure out the theme before completing the puzzle. I join the previous posters who learned a new nuance to the definition of the word LANK.

  2. No errors. Getting the word TAMARIND was the big breakthrough for me since the SW was my last trouble spot. Tamarind trees grow here in Hawaii. I have read that the pulp of the tamarind fruit is the sweetest of all fruits while at the same time being the most tart of all fruits. It’s quite a jolt to the taste buds. But overall it is a pleasant eye-popping experience to consume.

    LANK also gave me pause but was the only thing that would fit so I went with it. Very interesting comment about its earlier use as explained by Bill.

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