1003-19 NY Times Crossword 3 Oct 19, Thursday

Constructed by: Ricky Cruz
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Mirror|rorriM

Themed answers each comprise two words, the second being “mirror”. That “mirror” is represented in the grid by a mirror-image of the first word:

  • 17A London tabloid that Piers Morgan once headed : DAILY MIRROR (DAILY | YLIAD)
  • 29A Dressing room staple : VANITY MIRROR (VANITY | YTINAV)
  • 48A Interrogation room fixture : ONE-WAY MIRROR (ONE-WAY | YAW-ENO)
  • 65A Sci-fi anthology series on Netflix : BLACK MIRROR (BLACK | KCALB)

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

Bill’s time: 8m 17s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Queen or king, e.g. : PIECE

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”)

15 Snippet with a funeral date : OBIT

Our word “obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”. The Latin term was used for “record of the death of a person”, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

17 London tabloid that Piers Morgan once headed : DAILY MIRROR (DAILY | YLIAD)

The British national newspaper called the “Daily Mirror” is a tabloid. The Daily Mirror was launched in 1903 initially as a newspaper aimed at women, run by women. The name “Mirror” was chosen by founder Alfred Harmsworth as he intended it to be “a mirror of feminine life”. The following year all the female journalists were fired, and it has been a pictorial/tabloid publication ever since. TV personality Piers Morgan was the editor of the “Daily Mirror” from 1995 until he was fired in 2004.

Piers Morgan made a name for himself over in the UK as a journalist and then editor of some pretty trashy tabloid newspapers. He had a reputation for being very forceful in investigating the lives of celebrities and became embroiled in the phone-hacking scandals that rocked British society through 2011. He broke into television in the US as a judge on “America’s Got Talent”, and was (surprisingly, I’d say!) chosen to replace Larry King on CNN.

20 Bug in “A Bug’s Life” : ANT

“A Bug’s Life” is a 1998 animated feature film from Pixar. The storyline is based on the film “The Seven Samurai” and the fable of “The Ant and the Grasshopper”.

22 Lead-tin alloy : SOLDER

Solder is a metal alloy that is used to join pieces of work together using the principle that the melting point of the alloy is below the melting point of the workpieces.

28 Christmas carol contraction : ‘TIS

The music for the Christmas song “Deck the Halls” is a traditional Welsh tune that dates back to the 16th century. The same tune was used by Mozart for a violin and piano duet. The lyrics with which we are familiar (other than the “f-la-la”) are American in origin, and were recorded in the 19th century.

“’Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la la la la!”

34 Taste common to tomatoes and seaweed : UMAMI

Umami is one of the five basic tastes, along with sweet, sour, bitter and salty. “Umami” is a Japanese word used to describe “a pleasant savory taste”. Umami was proposed as a basic taste in 1908, but it wasn’t until 1985 that the scientific community finally accepted it as such.

37 Product with a milk splash on its packaging : OREO

The Oreo was the best-selling cookie in the 20th century, and almost 500 billion of them have been sold since they were introduced in 1912 by Nabisco. In those early days the creme filling was made with pork fat, but today vegetable oils are used instead. If you take a bite out of an Oreo sold outside of America you might notice a difference from the homegrown cookie, as coconut oil is added in the overseas version to give a different taste.

38 2010 Denzel Washington title role : ELI

2010’s “The Book of Eli” is one of those “end of the world” movies, with Denzel Washington playing a tough guy traveling across what is left of the United States after some apocryphal event.

Denzel Washington is an actor from Mount Vernon, just outside New York City. Washington’s big break came with a TV role, playing Dr. Philip Chandler on “St. Elsewhere” from 1982 to 1988.

39 Constraint of some diets : NO CARBS

Perhaps most notably, the eating of relatively few carbohydrates is central to the diet proposed by Robert Atkins. Atkins first laid out the principles behind the Atkins diet in a research paper published in 1958 in the “Journal of the American Medical Association”. He popularized his diet starting in 1972 with his book “Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution”.

42 All together : EN MASSE

“En masse” is a French term, one that best translates as “as a group”

44 Highway agcy. : DOT

Department of Transportation (DOT)

47 Some saxes : ALTOS

The saxophone was invented by Belgian musician Adolphe Sax. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if his affliction was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax’s grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

52 Telegraph “e” : DIT

Samuel Morse came up with the forerunner to modern Morse code for use on the electric telegraph, of which he was the co-inventor. Morse code uses a series of dots and dashes to represent letters and numbers. The most common letters are assigned the simplest code elements e.g. E is represented by one dot, and T is represented by one dash. When words are spelled aloud in Morse code, a dot is pronounced as “dit”, and a dash is pronounced as “dah”.

54 It comes in pods : 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”.

69 Contemporary of Vivaldi : BACH

Johann Sebastian Bach died when he was 65-years-old, in 1750. He was buried in Old St. John’s Cemetery in Leipzig, and his grave went unmarked until 1894. At that time his coffin was located, removed and buried in a vault within the church. The church was destroyed in an Allied bombing raid during WWII, and so after the war the remains had to be recovered and taken to the Church of St. Thomas in Leipzig.

Antonio Vivaldi was one of the great composers of the Baroque period. He achieved fame and success within in his own lifetime, notoriety that faded soon after he died. Vivaldi’s music has reemerged in recent decades and I am sure everyone is familiar with at least part of his most famous composition, the violin concerto called “The Four Seasons”. Vivaldi was nicknamed “The Red Priest” because he was indeed a priest, and he had red hair.

70 Unit of prevention : OUNCE

According to Benjamin Franklin, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Down

2 Fatuous : INANE

Our word “inane” meaning silly or lacking substance comes from the Latin “inanitis” meaning “empty space”.

3 Some marginalia : EDITS

Marginalia are comments and scribbles that are written in the margins of a book.

4 Frame in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” : CEL

“Who Framed Roger Rabbit” is a clever 1988 film featuring cartoon characters that interact directly with human beings. The most memorable cartoon characters have to be goofy Roger Rabbit, and vampish Jessica Rabbit. The film is based on a novel written by Gary K. Wolf called “Who Censored Roger Rabbit?” There is a prequel floating around that has never been produced, which is titled “Who Discovered Roger Rabbit”.

5 Competitor of Blue Bell : EDY’S

Dreyers’ ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyers in the Western United States, and Edy’s in the Eastern states. The company’s founders were William Dreyer and Joseph Edy.

6 Hoi ___ : POLLOI

“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.

9 Flight board figs. : ETDS

Estimated time of departure (ETD)

10 Latin phrase in a footnote : ET ALII

“Et alii” (et al.) is the equivalent of “et cetera” (etc.), with “et cetera” being used in place of a list of objects, and “et alii” used for a list of names. In fact, “et al.” can stand for “et alii” (a group of males, or males and females), “et aliae” (a group of women) and “et alia” (a group of neuter nouns, or a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

12 Cheese that goes well with apples : BRIE

Brie is a soft cheese that is named for the French region in which it originated. Brie is similar to the equally famous (and delicious) Camembert.

23 Like Constantinople : OTTOMAN

Osman I was the man who established the Ottoman Dynasty, with “Ottoman” coming from the name “Osman”. This is despite the fact that the “Ottoman Empire” came about with the conquest of Constantinople, and that didn’t happen until almost 130 years after Osman I died.

Istanbul, Turkey (formerly “Byzantium” and “Constantinople”) is the only metropolis in the world that is situated in two continents. The city extends both on the European side and on the Asian side of the Bosphorus river.

Constantine the Great (aka Constantine I and St. Constantine) was Emperor of Rome from 306 to 337. Constantine was the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity, and along with co-Emperor Licinius he proclaimed religious tolerance throughout the Roman Empire. It was Constantine who gave his name to the city of Constantinople (now Istanbul). Also, the famous Arch of Constantine in Rome was built to commemorate one of Constantine’s military victories. This arch that was the model for many famous arches around the world including the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, Marble Arch in London, and the arch in the main facade of Union Station in Washington, DC.

27 Jane of British lit : EYRE

“Jane Eyre” is the celebrated novel written by Charlotte Brontë, under the pen name Currer Bell. The love story is perhaps represented by the oft-quoted opening lines of the last chapter, “Reader, I married him”. There is a wonderful 4-hour television adaptation made by the BBC that I highly recommend to fans of the novel …

31 Itch : YEN

The word “yen”, meaning “urge”, has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word “yin” imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium.

35 Something Venus lacks : MOON

The planet Venus is the second brightest object in the night sky, after our Moon.

41 Tofu source : SOYA

What are known as soybeans here in the US are called “soya beans” in most other English-speaking countries. So, I drink soy milk here in America, but when I am over in Ireland I drink “soya milk”.

“Tofu” is a name for bean curd, and is a Japanese word meaning just that … bean that has curdled. Tofu is produced by coagulating soy milk, using either salt or something acidic. Once the protein has coagulated, the curds are pressed into the familiar blocks. Personally I love tofu, but my wife, she absolutely hates it …

49 Like Solomon among all biblical kings : WISEST

According to the Bible, Solomon was the son of David and a king of Israel. Notably, Solomon is described as being very wise. In the story known as “the Judgment of Solomon”, Solomon was asked to decide which of two quarreling women was the mother of a baby. He suggested that they cut the baby in two with a sword, forcing one of the women to surrender the child rather than see it die. Solomon gave the child to the woman who showed compassion.

50 Popular juice brand : WELCH’S

Welch’s is a beverage and food company that was founded in 1869 by Thomas Bramwell Welch and Lee Steger Welch in Vineland, New Jersey. The company’s first product was “Dr. Welch’s Unfermented Wine”, which was later rebranded as “Welch’s Grape Juice”.

51 Creature on Endor : EWOK

The fictional forested moon of Endor features prominently in the “Star Wars” movie “Return of the Jedi”. The moon is home to the race of furry aliens known as Ewoks. Filming for the forest scenes actually took place in Humboldt Redwoods State Park in Northern California.

55 Neighbor of a Pakistani : IRANI

There has been a lot of talk about a particular border wall in recent times, but one such barrier that doesn’t get a lot of news coverage in the US is the one being built by the Iranians along the Iran-Pakistan border. The so-called Iran-Pakistan Barrier will extend across 700 kilometers of the desert, and is ten-foot high and three-foot thick concrete wall.

56 ___ de leche (ice cream topping) : DULCE

“Dulce de leche” is Spanish for “candy of milk”, and is a confection made by slowly heating milk and sugar until it develops a pleasing flavor and color.

58 “Ghostbusters” force, for short : NYPD

The New York Police Department (NYPD) is the largest municipal police force in the country. The department’s roots go back as far as 1625 when there was an eight-man night watch in the days when New York was still known as New Amsterdam. Several disparate forces with policing responsibility were amalgamated in 1844 to form the New York City Police Department, signalling the end of the night watch force that had existed for over 200 years.

1984’s “Ghostbusters” really is an entertaining movie. It stars Bill Murray and Harold Ramis, and was directed by Ivan Reitman (a trio that also worked together on 1981’s “Stripes”). The first draft of the screenplay was written by another star of the movie, Dan Aykroyd. Aykroyd originally envisioned “Ghostbusters” as a vehicle for himself and John Belushi, but sadly Belushi passed away before the project could be realized.

59 Frigid suffix : -AIRE

Frigidaire made the first self-contained refrigerator in 1916. Just three years later, the company was taken over by General Motors, who owned it right up to 1979. Frigidaire also made the first home freezer and room air conditioner.

60 “Take a Chance on Me” group : ABBA

I am an unapologetic fan of ABBA’s music. ABBA was the Swedish group who topped the charts in the seventies and eighties. The name ABBA is an acronym formed from the first letters of the given names of each of the band members: Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn and Anni-Frid. Early in their careers, the four fell in love and formed two married couples: Agnetha and Bjorn, and Benny and Anni-Frid. However, at the height of their success, the relationships became strained and both couples divorced.

62 Ali had more than 20 of them in his career : TKOS

Muhammad Ali won 56 professional fights, 37 of which were knockouts. He lost 5 fights, 4 being decisions and one being a technical knockout (TKO). The TKO-loss was Ali’s second-to-last fight, against Larry Holmes. By the time Ali took on Holmes, he was already showing signs of Parkinson’s Syndrome, although the diagnosis would not come until four years later.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Queen or king, e.g. : PIECE
6 Make way? : PAVE
10 Recedes : EBBS
14 Bankrupted : ENDED
15 Snippet with a funeral date : OBIT
16 Become drowsy : TIRE
17 London tabloid that Piers Morgan once headed : DAILY MIRROR (DAILY | YLIAD)
19 Number of operas? : ARIA
20 Bug in “A Bug’s Life” : ANT
21 “Off” time : SALE
22 Lead-tin alloy : SOLDER
24 In case : LEST
26 Sported : WORE
28 Christmas carol contraction : ‘TIS
29 Dressing room staple : VANITY MIRROR (VANITY | YTINAV)
34 Taste common to tomatoes and seaweed : UMAMI
37 Product with a milk splash on its packaging : OREO
38 2010 Denzel Washington title role : ELI
39 Constraint of some diets : NO CARBS
42 All together : EN MASSE
44 Highway agcy. : DOT
45 Word with stage or storm : … DOOR
47 Some saxes : ALTOS
48 Interrogation room fixture : ONE-WAY MIRROR (ONE-WAY | YAW-ENO)
52 Telegraph “e” : DIT
53 Over : ANEW
54 It comes in pods : TIDE
58 Roller coaster effect, for some : NAUSEA
61 Place on a schedule : SLOT
63 Ingredient in a zombie : RUM
64 “Holy cow!” : YIPE!
65 Sci-fi anthology series on Netflix : BLACK MIRROR (BLACK | KCALB)
68 Upsides : PROS
69 Contemporary of Vivaldi : BACH
70 Unit of prevention : OUNCE
71 Defect in a can : DENT
72 Seeks help : ASKS
73 Was an agent, say : SPIED

Down

1 Step on it! : PEDAL
2 Fatuous : INANE
3 Some marginalia : EDITS
4 Frame in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” : CEL
5 Competitor of Blue Bell : EDY’S
6 Hoi ___ : POLLOI
7 Open: Sp. : ABIERTO
8 Connecting word : VIA
9 Flight board figs. : ETDS
10 Latin phrase in a footnote : ET ALII
11 2008 Beijing Olympics stadium, with “the” : BIRD’S NEST
12 Cheese that goes well with apples : BRIE
13 Brand : SEAR
18 [So boring!] : [YAWN]
23 Like Constantinople : OTTOMAN
25 Rating that may signify profanity or violence : TV-MA
27 Jane of British lit : EYRE
30 Show time : AIRDATE
31 Itch : YEN
32 At that : ALSO
33 Goes (for) : VIES
34 Ctrl+Z : UNDO
35 Something Venus lacks : MOON
36 Affected : ACTED UPON
40 “Let me tell ya …!” : BOY …!
41 Tofu source : SOYA
43 Loads : A LOT
46 Pillage : RANSACK
49 Like Solomon among all biblical kings : WISEST
50 Popular juice brand : WELCH’S
51 Creature on Endor : EWOK
55 Neighbor of a Pakistani : IRANI
56 ___ de leche (ice cream topping) : DULCE
57 Press (into) : EMBED
58 “Ghostbusters” force, for short : NYPD
59 Frigid suffix : -AIRE
60 “Take a Chance on Me” group : ABBA
62 Ali had more than 20 of them in his career : TKOS
66 ___ Tres Vírgenes, highest mountain in Baja California Sur : LAS
67 Golfer’s target : CUP

2 thoughts on “1003-19 NY Times Crossword 3 Oct 19, Thursday”

  1. 12:31. Theme hit me early and that filled in an awful lot of letters for me. I almost put “Mars” for “Something Venus lacks”. Fortunately, I didn’t.

    Should ABBA be considered part of the theme?

    Best –

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