1001-19 NY Times Crossword 1 Oct 19, Tuesday

Constructed by: Erik Agard
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Opposite

Themed answers include OPPOSITES at either end that have been circled in the grid:

  • 67A They usually attract (not in this puzzle, though) : OPPOSITES
  • 17A Device for tapping groundwater : WELL DRILL (well & ill)
  • 32A In disguise for a mission : UNDERCOVER (under & over)
  • 38A Period after a championship : OFF-SEASON (off & on)
  • 50A What’s hung on a clothesline : WET LAUNDRY (wet & dry)

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

Bill’s time: 6m 29s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Melville 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.

14 ___-Defamation League : ANTI

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is a US organization that fights anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry. The ADL was founded in 1913 as the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith.

15 ___ gras : FOIE

“Gras” is a French word meaning “fat”, as in “foie gras” meaning “fat liver”.

19 Lovers’ rendezvous : TRYST

In its most general sense, a tryst is a meeting at an agreed time and place. More usually we consider a tryst to be a pre-arranged meeting between lovers. The term comes from the Old French “triste”, a waiting place designated when hunting. Further, a tryst taking place at lunchtime is sometimes referred to as a nooner.

20 Debacle : FIASCO

Back in the mid-1800s, “fiasco” was theater slang meaning “failure in performance”. The meaning morphed soon after into any kind of failure or flop. The term evolved from the Italian “far fiasco”, a phrase that the same meaning in Italian theater, but translated literally as “make a bottle”. It turns out that “fiasco” and “flask” both derive from the Latin “flasco” meaning “bottle”.

“Debacle” means “disaster”, and is a French word with the same meaning. In French, the term originally was used for the breaking up of ice on a river.

24 What Apple’s mobile devices run on : IOS

iOS is what Apple now call their mobile operating system. Previously, it was known as iPhone OS.

25 $$$ pro, for short : CPA

Certified public accountant (CPA)

27 Hippo campus? : ZOO

The name “hippopotamus” comes from the Greek for “river horse”. Hippos are the third largest land mammals, after elephants and rhinos. The closest living relatives to hippos don’t even live on land. They are the whales and porpoises of the oceans.

35 This-and-that dish : HASH

Hash, beef and vegetables mashed together, is a very American dish and one that really surprised me when I first came across it. “Hash” just seems like such an unappetizing item, but I soon found out how delicious it was. The name “hash” in this context comes from the French “hacher” meaning “to chop”. Back in the early 1900s the dish called “hashed browned potatoes” was developed, which quickly morphed into “hash browns”. From there the likes of corned beef hash was introduced.

36 Only four-term prez : FDR

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was the only child of Sara Delano and James Roosevelt Sr. The Delano family history in America goes back to the pilgrim Philippe de Lannoy, an immigrant of Flemish descent who arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. The family name “de Lannoy” was anglicized here in the US, to “Delano”. Franklin was to marry Eleanor Roosevelt, and apparently the relationship between Sara and her daughter-in-law was very “strained”.

37 Echelons : TIERS

We use the word “echelon” (ech.) to describe a rank or level, particularly in the military. The term comes from French, in which language it has the same meaning, although the original meaning in Old French is “rung of a ladder”.

42 Sky hue : AZURE

The term “azure” came into English from Persian via Old French. The French word “l’azur” was taken from the Persian name for a place in northeastern Afghanistan called “Lazhward” which was the main source of the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli. The stone has a vivid blue color, and “azure” has been describing this color since the 14th century.

45 Seabird of colder climes : AUK

Auks are penguin-like sea birds that live in colder northern waters including the Arctic. Like penguins, auks are great swimmers, but unlike penguins, auks can fly.

46 Singer Eartha : KITT

Eartha Kitt really did have a unique voice and singing style. Her rendition of “Santa Baby” has to be one of the most distinctive and memorable recordings in the popular repertoire. Some of you will no doubt remember Eartha playing Catwoman on the final series of the 1960s TV show “Batman”.

55 General whose orders are sometimes carried out? : TSO

General Tso’s chicken is an American creation, and a dish often found on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zongtang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.

58 “How you livin’?” : SUP?

I think that “sup?” is slang for “what’s up?”

59 Midmonth occasion : IDES

There were three important days in each month of the old Roman calendar. These days originally depended on the cycles of the moon but were eventually “fixed” by law. “Kalendae” were the first days of each month, originally the days of the new moon. “Nonae” were originally the days of the half moon. And “idus” (the ides) was originally the day of the full moon, eventually fixed at the 15th day of a month. Well, actually the ides were the 15th day of March, May, July and October. For all other months, the ides fell on the 13th. Go figure …

61 Some party hirees, for short : DJS

Disc jockey (DJ)

63 Not perfectly round : OBLATE

Something that is described as having an oblate shape is spherical and slightly depressed at top and bottom, just like the Earth for example.

65 They may protect diamonds : TARPS

Those would be baseball diamonds.

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”.

71 “Dibs!” : MINE!

The phrase “to have dibs on” expresses a claim on something. Apparently, the term “dibs” is a contraction of “dibstone”, which was a knucklebone or jack used in a children’s game.

73 Airport approximations: Abbr. : ETDS

Estimated time of departure (ETD)

74 Part of BFF : BEST

Best friend forever (BFF)

Down

1 Sashimi, e.g. : RAW FISH

Sashimi is thinly sliced raw fish, although it can also be raw meat. The word “sashimi” translates literally as “pierced body”, which may be a reference to the practice of sticking the tail and fin to sliced fish to identify it.

2 The slightest amount : ONE IOTA

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, and one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

3 Map books : ATLASES

The famous Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator published his first collection of maps in 1578. Mercator’s collection contained a frontispiece with an image of Atlas the Titan from Greek mythology holding up the world on his shoulders. That image gave us our term “atlas” that is used for a book of maps.

6 ___ polloi : HOI

“Hoi polloi” is a Greek term that translates literally as “the majority, the many”. In English, “hoi polloi” has come to mean “the masses” and is often used in a derogatory sense.

8 Its capital is Belmopan : BELIZE

Belize was formerly known as British Honduras, and English is the country’s official language. Belize is located on the northeastern coast of Central America, bordering Mexico and Guatemala.

9 Spring forward/fall back inits. : DST

Daylight saving time (DST)

10 Beigeish shade : ECRU

The color ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.

11 Fans of singer Knowles, collectively : BEYHIVE

Beyoncé Knowles established herself in the entertainment industry as the lead singer with the R&B group Destiny’s Child. She launched her solo singing career in 2003, two years after making her first appearance as an actor. In 2006 she played the lead in the very successful movie adaptation of the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls”. Beyoncé is married to rap star Jay-Z. She is also referred to affectionately as “Queen Bey”, a play on the phrase “the queen bee”.

12 Actuary’s employer : INSURER

In the world of insurance, an actuary is a person who works out the appropriate premium based on risk.

31 Fingerprint shape : WHORL

Fingerprint patterns are classified into three different patterns: loops, whorls and arches.

39 Abbr. between two singers’ names : FEAT

X feat. (featuring) Y.

41 Signature shots of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar : SKYHOOKS

Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s name at birth was Ferdinand Lewis “Lew” Alcindor. Alcindor changed his name when he converted to Islam.

51 Amer. currency : USD

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.

60 Tater : SPUD

The word “spud” is used as a slang term for a potato and was first recorded in the mid-1800s, in New Zealand would you believe?

64 Partner for life : LIMB

Life and limb.

66 Do recon : SPY

A “recon” (reconnaissance) might provide “intel” (intelligence).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Travel aimlessly : ROAM
5 Melville captain : AHAB
9 Credit alternative : DEBIT
14 ___-Defamation League : ANTI
15 ___ gras : FOIE
16 Loud public argument : SCENE
17 Device for tapping groundwater : WELL DRILL (well & ill)
19 Lovers’ rendezvous : TRYST
20 Debacle : FIASCO
21 Pop hit? : SIP
23 “Nope!” : UH-UH!
24 What Apple’s mobile devices run on : IOS
25 $$$ pro, for short : CPA
27 Hippo campus? : ZOO
29 Vexation : IRE
30 This-and-that dish : STEW
32 In disguise for a mission : UNDERCOVER (under & over)
35 This-and-that dish : HASH
36 Only four-term prez : FDR
37 Echelons : TIERS
38 Period after a championship : OFF-SEASON (off & on)
42 Sky hue : AZURE
45 Seabird of colder climes : AUK
46 Singer Eartha : KITT
50 What’s hung on a clothesline : WET LAUNDRY (wet & dry)
53 Don’t go : STAY
54 Kitchen counter crawler : ANT
55 General whose orders are sometimes carried out? : TSO
56 “Plot twist!” : AHA!
58 “How you livin’?” : SUP?
59 Midmonth occasion : IDES
61 Some party hirees, for short : DJS
63 Not perfectly round : OBLATE
65 They may protect diamonds : TARPS
67 They usually attract (not in this puzzle, though) : OPPOSITES
69 Visually assess : EYE UP
70 Weirdo : KOOK
71 “Dibs!” : MINE!
72 Papa : DADDY
73 Airport approximations: Abbr. : ETDS
74 Part of BFF : BEST

Down

1 Sashimi, e.g. : RAW FISH
2 The slightest amount : ONE IOTA
3 Map books : ATLASES
4 “Cool” amounts : MILS
5 Updo styled with an elastic band : AFRO PUFF
6 ___ polloi : HOI
7 Is down with something : AILS
8 Its capital is Belmopan : BELIZE
9 Spring forward/fall back inits. : DST
10 Beigeish shade : ECRU
11 Fans of singer Knowles, collectively : BEYHIVE
12 Actuary’s employer : INSURER
13 Holds in place : TETHERS
18 700, in ancient Rome : DCC
22 Word before “favor” or “ejemplo” : POR …
26 No ifs, ___ or buts : ANDS
28 Prefix meaning “eight” : OCTO-
31 Fingerprint shape : WHORL
33 Really not look forward to : DREAD
34 Sounds from a sty : OINKS
39 Abbr. between two singers’ names : FEAT
40 Surrounding glow : AURA
41 Signature shots of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar : SKYHOOKS
42 Looked forward to : AWAITED
43 One-named star of HBO’s “Euphoria” : ZENDAYA
44 Said aloud : UTTERED
47 “Dead even!” : IT’S A TIE!
48 Loses slack : TAUTENS
49 Prepare for printing : TYPESET
51 Amer. currency : USD
52 “Seriously!” : NO JOKE!
57 Crunches work them : ABS
60 Tater : SPUD
62 Help out, as a bench-presser : SPOT
64 Partner for life : LIMB
66 Do recon : SPY
68 Rocket’s escape vessel : POD

7 thoughts on “1001-19 NY Times Crossword 1 Oct 19, Tuesday”

  1. I cannot understand why the answer to “pop hit” is sip!

    Is SIP a title to a pop song?

    Even the answer “feat.” (featuring) for abbr. between singers’ names is weird!

    sometimes crossword designers go over the top!

  2. 9:12. I thought they could have done more with the theme which was a good idea. But I couldn’t think of anything better..

    I wonder how the breaking up of ice on a river could lead to a synonym for disaster (debacle). Maybe just the thought of it all crumbling and disintegrating?

    Robert – A SIP is a hit (drink) off of a soda (a.k.a. “pop” in various parts of the country). Hence a “pop hit” = SIP.
    You see “Feat.” a lot if you look at song listings with any regularity.

    Best –

  3. Eric Agard is definitely part of the hip new generation of puzzle constructors. He uses lots of contemporary slang and lots of African-American cultural references. I’m all for it. Keeps me on my toes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.