0926-19 NY Times Crossword 26 Sep 19, Thursday

Constructed by: Doug Peterson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Engagement Ring

We have a rebus puzzle today, with a RING appearing in several “boxes” in the grid:

  • 61A It’s usually presented in a small box, as seen six times in this puzzle’s answer : ENGAGEMENT RING
  • 17A Employs : BRINGS INTO PLAY
  • 25A “Yellow Submarine” vocalist : RINGO STARR
  • 32A Extremely awkward : CRINGEWORTHY
  • 42A Exerts one’s clout : PULLS STRINGS
  • 53A Mid-March shout : ERIN GO BRAGH
  • 2D Hypodermic : SYRINGE
  • 8D Seductive : ALLURING
  • 27D Snack in a stack : PRINGLE
  • 35D Discarded parts of apples and potatoes : PARINGS
  • 50D Dry, as a washcloth : WRING OUT
  • 59D Noted Kris : KRINGLE

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

Bill’s time: 10m 56s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Cos. with many connections : ISPS

An Internet service provider (ISP) is just what the name indicates, a company that provides its customers with access to the Internet. One way that ISPs differentiate themselves from each other is in the way in which end users are connected to the ISP’s network. So, there are cable ISPs, DSL ISPs, dial-up ISPs and satellite ISPs.

11 Penn on screen : KAL

Indian-American actor Kal Penn made a name for himself in the “Harold & Kumar” series of comedy films. These so called “stoner comedies” are not my cup of tea, but I enjoyed him playing his more mainstream roles on TV’s “House” and “24”. He left the world of acting when President Obama won the 2008 election to work as an Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement (although he did leave the White House briefly to film the “Harold & Kumar” sequel).

15 Ornamental shrub : AZALEA

Azaleas are very toxic to horses, sheep and goats, but strangely enough cause no problem for cats or dogs. And if you go to Korea, you might come across “Tug Yonju”, which is azalea wine made from the plant’s blossoms. Azaleas are usually grown as shrubs, but are also seen as small trees, and often indoors.

16 Lupino with a 47-year film career : 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.

21 1985 Phil Collins hit with an improvised title : SUSSUDIO

English musician Phil Collins is best known for his work as a drummer with the rock group Genesis, as well as for his solo career. In fact, Collins is often grouped with Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson, two other artists who had tremendous solo success after careers with very well-known bands.

25 “Yellow Submarine” vocalist : RINGO STARR

Sir Ringo Starr’s real name is Richard Starkey. Before he joined the Beatles, replacing drummer Pete Best, Starkey played with the Raving Texans. It was with the Raving Texans that he adopted the name “Ringo Starr”, because he wore a lot of rings and he thought it sounded “cowboyish”. Back then his drum solos were billed as “Starr Time”.

Paul McCartney wrote the song “Yellow Submarine” with Ringo Starr in mind as the lead singer. As McCartney said himself, because it was for Ringo, he wrote something that wasn’t “too rangey”. It turned out to be more like a children’s song, and a couple of years later in 1968, the song was used as the title for an animated film. The song is full of sound effects, including John Lennon blowing through a straw into a bowl of water to create a “bubbling”, and Lennon and McCartney speaking into tin cans to create the sound of the captain and officer exchanging orders. And at one point in the recording, a backing vocalist led everyone around the studio on a conga line, while pounding on a bass drum. What a way to make money, and lots of it …

37 Carrier with a blue-striped fleet : EL AL

El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. El Al is known for its high levels of security, both on the ground and in the air. Reportedly, the airline’s passenger aircraft have been operating with anti-missile technology for several years.

38 Singers Evans and Bareilles : SARAS

Sara Evans is a country singer/songwriter from Boonville, MIssouri. Evans was a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2006, but left the show after about a month. Evans had filed for divorce from her husband on the same day she left the show. It turned out to be a very messy divorce. Sad …

Sara Bareilles achieved success with her 2007 “Love Song” with the help of the iTunes online store. In one week in June of that year, iTunes offered the song as “free single of the week” and it quickly became the most downloaded song in the store, and from there climbed to the number spot in the charts.

40 Risk territory that borders Siberia : URAL

Risk is a fabulous board game that was introduced in France in 1957. It was invented by a very successful French director of short films called Albert Lamorisse. Lamorisse called his new game “La Conquête du Monde”, which translates into English as “The Conquest of the World”. A game of Risk is a must during the holidays in our house …

41 ___ Moines : DES

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.

44 Luau entertainment : HULA

The hula is a native dance of Hawaii that uses arm movements to relate a story. The hula can be performed while sitting (a noho dance) or while standing (a luna dance).

53 Mid-March shout : ERIN GO BRAGH

“Erin go bragh!” is an anglicization of the Irish phrase “Éirinn go Brách!”, which translates as “Ireland Forever!”

64 Smitten one : ADORER

“Smitten” the past participle of “to smite” meaning “to inflict a heavy blow”. We tend to use “smitten” to mean “affected by love, love-struck”.

65 The “N” of TV’s NPH : NEIL

Neil Patrick Harris (NPH) got his big break very early in his career, playing the title role in television’s “Doogie Howser, M.D.” More recently, he played a lead role on the sitcom “How I Met Your Mother”, portraying the shallow womanizer Barney Stinson. Harris is also quite the magician and serves on the Board of Directors of Hollywood’s Magic Castle, a nightclub for magicians and magic enthusiasts.

66 Symphony score abbr. : STR

An orchestra (orch.) has a string (str.) section.

67 Modern engraving tools : LASERS

The term “laser” is an acronym standing for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”. It has been pointed out that a more precise name for laser technology is “light oscillation by stimulated emission of radiation”, but the resulting acronym isn’t quite so appealing, namely “loser”.

68 Wedding invitation courtesy, briefly : SASE

An SAE is a “stamped, addressed envelope”. An SASE is a “self-addressed, stamped envelope”.

Down

1 Titan II, e.g. : ICBM

An Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) is a ballistic missile with the range necessary to cross between continents. Being ballistic (unlike a cruise missile), an ICBM is guided during the initial launch phase, but later in flight just relies on thrust and gravity to arrive at its target. It is defined as intercontinental as it has a range greater than 3,500 miles. ICBMs are really only used for delivering nuclear warheads. Scary stuff …

Titan was a family of rockets first introduced in 1959. Titan rockets were used to launch man into space in the Gemini Program in the mid-sixties, and were also part of the American ICBM missile deterrent until the eighties.

6 ___ dye : AZO

Azo compounds have very vivid colors and so are used to make dyes, especially dyes with the colors red, orange and yellow. The term “azo” comes from the French word “azote” meaning “nitrogen”. French chemist Lavoisier coined the term “azote” from the Greek word “azotos” meaning “lifeless”. He used this name as in pure nitrogen/azote animals die and flames are snuffed out (due to a lack of oxygen).

12 Famed firefighter Red : ADAIR

Red Adair was a famous fighter of fires in oil fields, and was a native of Houston, Texas. Adair’s exploits were the inspiration for a 1968 movie called “Hellfighters” starring John Wayne.

18 Fuel for funny cars : NITRO

“Laughing gas” is a common name for nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is used as an anesthetic, particularly by dentists. It is also used in motor racing to increase the power output of engines. Laughing gas was first synthesized by the English chemist Joseph Priestley, but it was Humphry Davy who discovered its potential as an anesthetic. Once it was realized that the gas could give the patient a fit of the giggles, “laughing gas parties” became common among those could afford them.

22 Rival of a Pac-12 Cougar : UTE

The Utah Utes are the athletic teams of the University of Utah.

27 Snack in a stack : PRINGLE

Pringles snack chips were introduced in 1967 by Procter & Gamble and were first sold as “Pringles Newfangled Potato Chips”.

30 Pluck idly, as a harp : THRUM

To thrum is to strum a stringed instrument in an idle and monotonous way. The term “thrum” has been around a long time, since the 1590s.

33 Common locks : YALES

The Yale brand name of lock comes from Linus Yale Jr., the founder of the original company. Linus Yale was the inventor of the pin tumbler lock.

39 Defames : SLANDERS

The word “libel” describes a published or written statement likely to harm a person’s reputation. It comes into English from the Latin “libellus”, the word for a small book. Back in the 1500s, libel was just a formal written statement, with the more damaging association arising in the 1600s. The related concept of slander is defamation in a transient form, such as speech, sign language or gestures.

43 Marvel hero who manipulates the weather : STORM

Storm is a superhero in the Marvel Comics universe whose superpower is the ability to control the weather. Storm was played by Halle Berry in the “X-Men” series of movies.

45 ___ port : USB

Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard dealing with how computers and electronic devices connect and communicate, and deal with electrical power through those connections.

46 World’s largest cosmetics company : L’OREAL

L’Oréal is a French cosmetics company, and indeed the largest cosmetics and beauty company in the world. Here in the US, L’Oréal runs a “Women of Worth” program that honors women who volunteer in their communities.

47 Actress Peet : AMANDA

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”.

51 Items placed in a toaster : EGGOS

Eggo is a line of frozen waffles and related products made by Kellogg’s. When they were introduced in the 1930s, the name “Eggo” was chosen to promote the “egginess” of the batter. “Eggo” replaced “Froffles”, the original name chosen by melding “frozen” and “waffles”.

54 Fabled slacker : HARE

“The Tortoise and the Hare” is perhaps the most famous fable attributed to Aesop. The cocky hare takes a nap during a race against the tortoise, and the tortoise sneaks past the finish line for the win while his speedier friend is sleeping.

58 Singer Redding : OTIS

Otis Redding is often referred to as the “King of Soul”, and what a voice he had. Like so many of the greats in the world of popular music it seems, Redding was killed in a plane crash, in 1967 when he was just 26 years old. Just three days earlier he had recorded what was to be his biggest hit, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”.

59 Noted Kris : KRINGLE

“Kris Kringle” (sometimes “Kriss Kringle”) is the name sometimes used here in North America for Santa Claus. “Kris Kringle” is an anglicised form of “Christkind”, the bringer of gifts in many other countries including Austria, the Czech Republic and parts of Germany. “Christkind” is German for “Christ-child”.

62 E.U. member: Abbr. : GER

The country that we known in English as “Germany” is known as “Deutschland” in German. The name “Germany” comes from “Germania”, which is the Latin name that Julius Caesar gave to the peoples located east of the Rhine. The name “Deutschland” comes from an Old High German word meaning “land belonging to the people”.

European Union (EU)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Cos. with many connections : ISPS
5 Bother persistently : HARASS
11 Penn on screen : KAL
14 Dermatological problem : CYST
15 Ornamental shrub : AZALEA
16 Lupino with a 47-year film career : IDA
17 Employs : BRINGS INTO PLAY
19 Catch in the act : NAB
20 Not in feet, say : METRIC
21 1985 Phil Collins hit with an improvised title : SUSSUDIO
23 However, briefly : THO’
25 “Yellow Submarine” vocalist : RINGO STARR
26 Not hidden : APPARENT
31 Discouraging words : NOES
32 Extremely awkward : CRINGEWORTHY
34 Unlock, in poetry : OPE
37 Carrier with a blue-striped fleet : EL AL
38 Singers Evans and Bareilles : SARAS
40 Risk territory that borders Siberia : URAL
41 ___ Moines : DES
42 Exerts one’s clout : PULLS STRINGS
44 Luau entertainment : HULA
48 Where chops are shown off : MEAT CASE
49 Couple : TWOSOME
52 ___-Way (major manufacturer of plows) : SNO
53 Mid-March shout : ERIN GO BRAGH
55 Band with the 1970s-’80s hits “Sexy Eyes” and “Only Sixteen” : DR HOOK
60 Sack in a tent : COT
61 It’s usually presented in a small box, as seen six times in this puzzle’s answer : ENGAGEMENT RING
63 Walnut or almond, say : HUE
64 Smitten one : ADORER
65 The “N” of TV’s NPH : NEIL
66 Symphony score abbr. : STR
67 Modern engraving tools : LASERS
68 Wedding invitation courtesy, briefly : SASE

Down

1 Titan II, e.g. : ICBM
2 Hypodermic : SYRINGE
3 “Hey!” : PSST!
4 Kindle : STIR
5 Ones sitting on eggs : HATCHERS
6 ___ dye : AZO
7 Freestyles, say : RAPS
8 Seductive : ALLURING
9 Late spring through early fall, for weddings : SEASON
10 Claims something : SAYS SO
11 “… in a sense, I guess” : KINDA SORTA
12 Famed firefighter Red : ADAIR
13 Line on an auto repair bill : LABOR
18 Fuel for funny cars : NITRO
22 Rival of a Pac-12 Cougar : UTE
24 Draft classification? : ON TAP
26 Scored 100 on : ACED
27 Snack in a stack : PRINGLE
28 Old-fashioned launcher : PEASHOOTER
29 Cobbler’s tool : AWL
30 Pluck idly, as a harp : THRUM
33 Common locks : YALES
35 Discarded parts of apples and potatoes : PARINGS
36 “What ___ is there?” : ELSE
39 Defames : SLANDERS
40 Sch. whose mascot is a horse named Traveler : USC
43 Marvel hero who manipulates the weather : STORM
45 ___ port : USB
46 World’s largest cosmetics company : L’OREAL
47 Actress Peet : AMANDA
49 Ones called after crashes : TECHS
50 Dry, as a washcloth : WRING OUT
51 Items placed in a toaster : EGGOS
54 Fabled slacker : HARE
56 Ones sitting on eggs : HENS
57 Seat for a priority boarder, maybe : ONE-A
58 Singer Redding : OTIS
59 Noted Kris : KRINGLE
62 E.U. member: Abbr. : GER

13 thoughts on “0926-19 NY Times Crossword 26 Sep 19, Thursday”

  1. The print edition of today’s (Thursday sept 26) puzzle is a completely different one than the on-line edition. ( it’s by Randolph Ross and it’s terrible). Anyone have any clue why?

  2. 23:46 and I even figured out the theme while solving the puzzle…yeehaw! Although I did try to put “peels” in for “parings” at first… No idea on print vs. online difference, my local paper prints the syndicated version, perhaps that was the problem?

  3. It was actually the 10/17/19 puzzle in the NYT a friend gave me. Took me awhile to find it on this blog as 9-26. No errors very fun.

  4. 16:32, no errors. Scratched my head while going across the top, guessing only at SEASON, until I knew Red ADAIR and IDA Lupino. Also knew that RINGO STARR was the answer to 25A, and figured there had to be a rebus in there somewhere to make it fit.

    I recognize my one of my many weak areas is modern entertainment; so KAL Penn, both SARA’S and AMANDA Peet were all obtained via crosses.

  5. 53:47 no errors…I don’t know what string has to do with symphony score in 66A but it filled in via crosses….never heard of Dr Hook…happy and safe Halloween to all

  6. Maybe the “print” issue will become apparent tomorrow when the
    paper has print a “ring” in some of the boxes for the solution. At times I suspect newspapers just substitute something different if they have typesetting issues

  7. Got RINGostarr right off so the rest fell into place quickly. No errors and lotsa fun for a Thursday. Good tune up for the hard times to come.

  8. No errors but it took a major effort to pull this one off. SUSSUDIO seemed to me to be the hardest entry to get. I know very little about Phil Collins’ music and an improvised title could literally be anything. Crosses, however, all proved out to be correct so the mysterious song title was solved.

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