0930-19 NY Times Crossword 30 Sep 19, Monday

Constructed by: Lynn Lempel
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Rubbish Puzzle

Themed answers are each a common phrase reinterpreted as BASHING something specified in the clue:

  • 16A Bash some tobacco holders? : PAN PIPES
  • 19A Bash some small trucks? : TRASH PICKUPS
  • 39A Bash a laundry room brand? : RIP TIDE
  • 57A Bash an Alex Haley classic? : PUT DOWN “ROOTS”
  • 61A Bash a bug repellent brand? : BLAST OFF!

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

Bill’s time: 4m 49s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Some HP products : PCS

The giant multinational HP (originally “Hewlett-Packard”) was founded in 1939 with an investment of $538 in a one-car garage in Palo Alto, California by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. The company name would have been Packard-Hewlett, if Dave Packard had won a coin toss!

8 Wardrobe supplies for Batman : CAPES

Batman is sometimes referred to as the Caped Crusader, Robin as the Boy Wonder, and the pair as the Dynamic Duo.

13 ___ vera : ALOE

Aloe vera has a number of alternate names that are descriptive of its efficacy as a medicine. ancient Egyptians knew it as the plant of immortality, and Native Americans called it the wand of heaven.

15 Player at Baltimore’s Camden Yards : ORIOLE

Oriole Park is home to the Baltimore Orioles baseball team. The full name of the stadium is Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The name “Camden Yards” is used because the ballpark is built on land that was once used as the rail yard for B&O Railroad’s Camden Station.

16 Bash some tobacco holders? : PAN PIPES

Pan flutes (also “panpipes”) are folk instruments that have been around along time, and are believed to be the first mouth organs. The pan flute is named for the Greek god Pan, who was often depicted playing the instrument.

18 Name on a 24-Across container : MORTON
(24A NaCl : SALT)

Morton Salt started doing business in 1848 in Chicago, and now is the largest producer of salt in North America. The product’s logo is the Morton Salt Girl, a young girl walking with an open umbrella in the rain, scattering salt behind her from a cylinder.

24 NaCl : SALT

Sodium chloride (NaCl, common salt) is an ionic compound. It comprises a crystal lattice made up of large chloride (Cl) ions in a cubic structure, with smaller sodium (Na) ions in between the chlorides.

26 $ : DOLLAR

The dollar sign ($) was first used for the Spanish American peso, in the late 18th century. The peso was also called the “Spanish dollar” (and “piece of eight”). The Spanish dollar was to become a model for the US dollar that was adopted in 1785, along with the dollar sign.

31 Small town : BURG

“Burg” is an informal term used in the US for a smaller town that comes from the German word “burg” meaning “fortified city”.

34 Winner’s two-finger gesture : V-SIGN

One has to be careful making that V-sign depending where you are in the world. Where I came from, the V-for-victory (or peace) sign has to be made with the palm facing outwards. If the sign is made with the palm facing inwards, it can be interpreted as a very obscene gesture.

38 Ace’s value, at times : ONE

In the card game blackjack, an ace has the point value of one or eleven. When one of the two cards dealt to a player is an ace, the hand is called “soft”. This means that the player cannot go bust by taking another card, as the ace can be revalued at “one” if necessary in order to stay under 21.

39 Bash a laundry room brand? : RIP TIDE

Tide is a laundry detergent that has been made by Procter & Gamble since 1946. Back then, Tide was marketed as “America’s Washday Favorite”.

Riptides are stretches of turbulent water caused by the meeting of different currents in the ocean.

41 Down Under hopper : ROO

The word “kangaroo” comes from the Australian Aborigine term for the animal. There’s an oft-quoted story that the explorer James Cook (later Captain Cook) asked a local native what was the name of this remarkable-looking animal, and the native responded with “Kangaroo”. The story is that the native was actually saying “I don’t understand you”, but as cute as that tale is, it’s just an urban myth.

42 Rachel Maddow’s channel : MSNBC

We used to be able to listen to “The Rachel Maddow Show” on Air America Radio before the radio station went bust. Now we can see Maddow on a TV show with the same name, every night on MSNBC. She was the first openly gay anchor to host a primetime news program in the US.

44 Bills with Alexander Hamilton : TENS

The obverse of the US ten-dollar bill features the image of Alexander Hamilton, the first US Secretary of the Treasury. As such, ten-dollar bills are sometimes called “Hamiltons”. By the way, the $10 bill is the only US currency in circulation in which the portrait faces to the left. The reverse of the ten-dollar bill features the US Treasury Building.

45 Actionable misdeed : TORT

“Tort” is a French word meaning “mischief, injury or wrong”. In common law, a tort is a civil wrong that results in the injured party suffering loss or harm, and the injuring party having a legal liability. Tort law differs from criminal law in that torts may result from negligence and not just intentional actions. Also, tort lawsuits may be decided on a preponderance of evidence, without the need of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

46 Diamond Head’s island : OAHU

Diamond Head on the Hawaiian island of Oahu was given its name by British sailors in the 1800s. These sailors found calcite crystals in the rock surrounding the volcanic tuff cone and mistook the crystals for diamonds.

48 Some hearty steaks : T-BONES

The T-bone and porterhouse are related cuts of meat, with the latter being a larger version of the former, and both being cut from the short loin.

50 Strikebreaking worker : SCAB

We first started calling strikebreakers “scabs” in the early 1800s, and before that a scab was a person who refused to join a trade union (back as early 1777). The word probably comes from the use of “scab” as a symptom of a skin disease, and so is a term that is meant to insult.

56 Calf-roping rope : LASSO

Our English word “lasso” comes from the Spanish “lazo”, and ultimately from the Latin “laqueum” meaning “noose, snare”.

57 Bash an Alex Haley classic? : PUT DOWN “ROOTS”

Not only did Alex Haley author the magnificent novel “Roots”, he was also the collaborator with Malcolm X on “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”. His 1976 novel “Roots” is based on Haley’s own family history, and he claimed to be a direct descendant of the real life Kunta Kinte, the slave who was kidnapped in the Gambia in 1767. If you remember the original television adaptation of “Roots”, you might recall that Kunta Kinte was played by LeVar Burton, who later went on to play another famous role, Geordi La Forge on “Star Trek: the Next Generation”.

60 Peter of “Lawrence of Arabia” : O’TOOLE

Irish actor Peter O’Toole got his big break in the movies when he played the title role in the 1962 epic film “Lawrence of Arabia”. My favorite of O’Toole’s movies is much lighter fare, namely “How to Steal a Million” in which he stars opposite Audrey Hepburn. O’Toole never won an Oscar, but holds the record for the greatest number of Best Actor nominations without a win (8).

“Lawrence of Arabia” is a 1962 movie that recounts the real life story of T. E. Lawrence, a British army officer who was famous for his role in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I. The title role in the film is played by Irish actor Peter O’Toole. The role of Sherif Ali ibn el Kharish is played by Omar Sharif.

66 Tibetan beast of burden : YAK

The English word “yak” is an Anglicized version of the Tibetan name for the male of the species. Yak milk is much prized in the Tibetan culture. It is made into cheese and butter, and the butter is used to make a tea that is consumed in great volume by Tibetans. The butter is also used as a fuel in lamps, and during festivals the butter is even sculpted into religious icons.

67 Lake ___ (what separates Ohio and Ontario) : ERIE

Lake Erie is the fourth largest of the five Great Lakes by area (Lake Ontario is the smallest). The lake takes its name from the Erie tribe of Native Americans that used to live along its southern shore. Erie is the smallest of the Great Lakes by volume and the shallowest, something for which nearby residents must be quite grateful. Being relatively shallow, much of Erie freezes over part way through most winters putting an end to most of the lake-effect snow that falls in the snow belt extending from the lake’s edge.

68 Monica in the International Tennis Hall of Fame : SELES

Monica Seles has a Hungarian name as she was born to Hungarian parents in former Yugoslavia. Seles was the World No. 1 professional tennis player in 1991 and 1992 before being forced from the sport when she was stabbed by a spectator at a match in 1993. She did return to the game two years later, but never achieved the same level of success.

69 Sophs. in two years : SRS

The term “sophomore” has been used for a student in the second year of university since the 1680’s. The original meaning of the word was “arguer”. The term has Greek roots, from two Greek words that have been artificially combined in English. The Greek “sophos” means “wise”, and “moros” means “foolish”.

Down

2 Brownie ___ mode : A LA

Apparently, the first brownies were created for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. The recipe was developed by a pastry chef at the city’s Palmer House Hotel. The idea was to produce a cake-like dessert that was small enough and dainty enough to be eaten by ladies as part of a boxed lunch.

4 Chameleon or iguana : REPTILE

Chameleons are a family of Old World lizards, many of which have the ability to change their skin coloration and pattern. The term “chameleon” is simplified Latin, and is ultimately derived from the Greek for “lion of the ground”.

Iguanas have what is known as a “third eye” on their heads. Known as the parietal eye, it can sense levels of light, although it cannot make out details.

5 Biggest of the Three Bears : PAPA

The story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” was first recorded in 1837 in England, although the narrative was around before it was actually written down. The original fairy tale was rather gruesome, but successive versions became more family-oriented. The character that eventually became Goldilocks was originally an elderly woman, and the three “nameless” bears became Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear.

6 Game on an 8×8 board : CHESS

It is believed that the game of chess originated in northwest India. It evolved from a 6th-century game called “chaturanga”, a Sanskrit word meaning “four divisions”. These four (military) divisions were represented in the game:

  • Infantry (now “pawns”)
  • Cavalry (now “knights”)
  • Elephants (now “bishops”)
  • Chariots (now “rooks”)

7 Malia Obama’s sister : SASHA

Sasha is the younger of the two Obama children, having been born in 2001. She was the youngest child to reside in the White House since John F. Kennedy, Jr. moved in with his parents as a small infant. Sasha’s Secret Service codename is “Rosebud”, and her older sister Malia has the codename “Radiance”.

8 Gator’s cousin : CROC

Crocodiles and alligators do indeed bear a resemblance to each other, although they belong to distinct biological families. One of the main ways used to distinguish them is by their teeth and jaws. Both the upper and lower sets of teeth of a crocodile are visible when its mouth is closed, whereas only the upper teeth of an alligator are visible with the mouth shut.

10 White House V.I.P. : POTUS

President of the United States (POTUS)

21 Data holder put into a drive : CD-ROM

“CD-ROM” stands for “compact disc read only memory”. The name indicates that you can read information from the disc (like a standard music CD for example), but you cannot write to it. You can also buy a CD-RW, which stands for “compact disc – rewritable”, with which you can read data and also write over it multiple times using a suitable CD drive.

22 Water birds with haunting cries : LOONS

The common loon (also “great northern diver”) is the provincial bird of Ontario, and the state bird of Minnesota. The loon once appeared on Canadian $20 bills and also appears on the Canadian one-dollar coin, giving the coin the nickname “the loonie”.

23 John who arrived on the Mayflower : ALDEN

John Alden is said to have been the first person to disembark from the Mayflower and to have set foot on Plymouth Rock in 1620. Alden himself was not a Pilgrim as such, and was a carpenter working on the Mayflower before it sailed. He apparently decided to travel with the ship at the last minute, perhaps in pursuit of the passenger who would become his wife, Priscilla Mullens. Alden ended up in a love triangle with Priscilla and Captain Miles Standish, a relationship which is recounted in the Longfellow poem “The Courtship of Myles Standish”. John and Priscilla were the parents of a son, John Alden, who was later to be accused during the Salem witch trials.

27 Slugging stat : RBI

Run batted in (RBI)

29 Adam’s madam : EVE

According to the Bible, Eve was created as Adam’s companion by God, creating her from Adam’s rib.

33 GPS suggestion: Abbr. : RTE

A global positioning system (GPS) might point out a route (rte.).

36 Vice-presidential family of the 1990s : GORES

Al Gore was born in Washington DC, and is the son of Al Gore, Sr., then a US Representative for the state of Tennessee. After deferring his military service in order to attend Harvard, the younger Gore became eligible for the draft on graduation. Many of his classmates found ways of avoiding the draft, but Gore decided to serve and even took the “tougher” option of joining the army as an enlisted man. Actor Tommy Lee Jones shared a house with Gore in college and says that his buddy told him that even if he could find a way around the draft, someone with less options than him would have to go in his place and that was just wrong.

Tipper Gore is the wife of former Vice President Al Gore, although the couple have been separated since 2010. Ms. Gore was born Mary Elizabeth Aitcheson. The “Tipper” nickname comes from one of her favorite nursery rhymes, called “Tippy, Tippy, Tin”.

39 Classic TV brand : RCA

During WWI, the US government actively discouraged the loss of certain technologies to other countries, including allies. The developing wireless technologies were considered to be particularly important by the army and navy. The government prevented the General Electric Company from selling equipment to the British Marconi Company, and instead facilitated the purchase by GE of the American Marconi subsidiary. This purchase led to GE forming the Radio Corporation of America that we know today as RCA.

40 Cause of a Mar. clock change : DST

Daylight saving time (DST)

43 Bill Clinton’s 1996 opponent : BOB DOLE

Despite all Bob Dole’s success in the world of politics, he is remembered by many as the VP candidate who lost to Walter Mondale (and Jimmy Carter) and the presidential candidate who lost to incumbent Bill Clinton. The man is a true war hero. He joined up in 1942 and fought with the Army’s 10th Mountain Division in Italy. In 1945 he was hit by machine gun fire in his right arm and back Dole was so badly injured that his comrades could only dose him up with morphine, write “M” on his forehead with his own blood (so that another, fatal dose of morphine would not be administered) and continue fighting the battle. Dole had to wait nine hours to be evacuated from the battlefield, and wait another three years before being discharged from hospital back in the States.

45 Like some bagels and newlyweds : TOASTED

The tradition of toasting someone probably dates back to the reign of Charles II, when the practice was to drink a glass of wine to the health of a beautiful or favored woman. In those days, spiced toast was added to beverages to add flavor, so the use of the word “toast” was an indicator that the lady’s beauty would enhance the wine. Very charming, I must say …

49 Nonkosher sandwiches, for short : BLTS

The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second-most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

According to Jewish dietary laws, kosher food is fit to eat, and food that is not fit to eat is referred to as treif (or “tref”). The usage of “kosher” has extended to include anything considered legitimate.

50 Features of peacock tails : SPOTS

An ocellus (plural “ocelli”) is an eye-like marking, or eyespot. A good example of ocelli are the eyespots on the elaborate display feathers of a peacock.

52 Island with a lagoon : 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.

A lagoon is a shallow body of water, usually separated from the sea by sandbar or reef. The term comes from the Italian “laguna”, the word for a pond or lake. The original “laguna” is the “Laguna Veneta”, the enclosed bay in the Adriatic Sea on which Venice is located. In 1769, Captain Cook was the first to apply the word “lagoon” to the body of water inside a South Seas atoll.

54 Fast-food chain with a cowboy hat logo : ARBY’S

The Arby’s chain of fast food restaurants was founded in 1964 by two brothers, Forrest and Leroy Raffel. The name “Arby’s” is a homonym of “RB’s”, standing for “Raffel Brothers”. There is a rumor out there that the initials “RB” were chosen for “roast beef”, but that’s not true.

55 Type of clean energy : SOLAR

Solar panels are arrays of solar cells that make use of what’s known as the photovoltaic effect. We are more likely to have learned about the photoelectric effect in school, in which electrons were ejected from the surface of some materials when it was exposed to light or other forms of radiation. The photovoltaic effect is related but different. Instead of being electrons ejected from the surface, in the photovoltaic effect electrons move around in the material creating a difference in voltage.

63 Telltale evidence of a shark : FIN

Shark finning is a cruel fishing practice driven by the demand for Chinese shark fin soup. Millions of sharks every year are captured, have their fins sliced off at sea and are then thrown back into the ocean still alive. The mutilated sharks don’t last very long and are usually eaten because they cannot maneuver very easily without their dorsal fins.

64 “Sisters” co-star Tina : FEY

Comedian and actress Tina Fey was born Elizabeth Stamatina Fey in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. Fey is perhaps best known to television viewers as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” (1997-2006), and as the creator and star of the sitcom “30 Rock” (2006-2013).

“Sisters” is a 2015 comedy movie starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in the title roles. “The film wasn’t really well received, even though the performances by Fey and Poehler received good reviews.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Den : LAIR
5 Some HP products : PCS
8 Wardrobe supplies for Batman : CAPES
13 ___ vera : ALOE
14 “Like I told you!” : AHA!
15 Player at Baltimore’s Camden Yards : ORIOLE
16 Bash some tobacco holders? : PAN PIPES
18 Name on a 24-Across container : MORTON
19 Bash some small trucks? : TRASH PICKUPS
21 Something a prospector stakes : CLAIM
24 NaCl : SALT
25 “O.K., got it” : I SEE
26 $ : DOLLAR
28 Functions : USES
30 Went on horseback : RODE
31 Small town : BURG
34 Winner’s two-finger gesture : V-SIGN
38 Ace’s value, at times : ONE
39 Bash a laundry room brand? : RIP TIDE
41 Down Under hopper : ROO
42 Rachel Maddow’s channel : MSNBC
44 Bills with Alexander Hamilton : TENS
45 Actionable misdeed : TORT
46 Diamond Head’s island : OAHU
48 Some hearty steaks : T-BONES
50 Strikebreaking worker : SCAB
53 Slices of time : ERAS
56 Calf-roping rope : LASSO
57 Bash an Alex Haley classic? : PUT DOWN “ROOTS”
60 Peter of “Lawrence of Arabia” : O’TOOLE
61 Bash a bug repellent brand? : BLAST OFF!
65 Prepared for planting : TILLED
66 Tibetan beast of burden : YAK
67 Lake ___ (what separates Ohio and Ontario) : ERIE
68 Monica in the International Tennis Hall of Fame : SELES
69 Sophs. in two years : SRS
70 Disavow : DENY

Down

1 You need to sit down for this : LAP
2 Brownie ___ mode : A LA
3 Particle that’s positive or negative : ION
4 Chameleon or iguana : REPTILE
5 Biggest of the Three Bears : PAPA
6 Game on an 8×8 board : CHESS
7 Malia Obama’s sister : SASHA
8 Gator’s cousin : CROC
9 Action accompanied by a “Mwah!” : AIR KISS
10 White House V.I.P. : POTUS
11 Marry on the cheap, say : ELOPE
12 Have a feeling : SENSE
15 Skips over : OMITS
17 Woman whose name is an anagram of MIRA : IRMA
20 Connect to an electrical outlet : PLUG IN
21 Data holder put into a drive : CD-ROM
22 Water birds with haunting cries : LOONS
23 John who arrived on the Mayflower : ALDEN
27 Slugging stat : RBI
29 Adam’s madam : EVE
32 Improvement, as in the economy : UPTURN
33 GPS suggestion: Abbr. : RTE
35 Clubs at a country club : IRONS
36 Vice-presidential family of the 1990s : GORES
37 “That’s just wrong!” : NOT SO!
39 Classic TV brand : RCA
40 Cause of a Mar. clock change : DST
43 Bill Clinton’s 1996 opponent : BOB DOLE
45 Like some bagels and newlyweds : TOASTED
47 Chopped : HEWED
49 Nonkosher sandwiches, for short : BLTS
50 Features of peacock tails : SPOTS
51 Adorable sort : CUTIE
52 Island with a lagoon : ATOLL
54 Fast-food chain with a cowboy hat logo : ARBY’S
55 Type of clean energy : SOLAR
58 Bullring cheers : OLES
59 Acorn-producing trees : OAKS
62 Mined find : ORE
63 Telltale evidence of a shark : FIN
64 “Sisters” co-star Tina : FEY

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