1011-19 NY Times Crossword 11 Oct 19, Friday

Constructed by: Andy Kravis
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 17m 19s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Presenters’ presenters, informally : MCS

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism used for a Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

4 San Fernando Valley community : ENCINO

Encino is a district in the City of Los Angeles on the north slope of the Santa Monica Mountains. The area takes its name from a historic parcel of land called Rancho Los Encinos (Ranch of the Evergreens).

The San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County is home to almost 2 million people. Back in the 1970s, the Valley was home to a multibillion-dollar pornography industry and many adult film production companies. This gave rise to some inventive nicknames, such as Porn Valley, Silcone Valley and San Pornando Valley.

16 Thurman of “Kill Bill” : UMA

Uma Thurman started her working career as a fashion model, at the age of 15. She appeared in her first movies at 17, with her most acclaimed early role being Cécile de Volanges in 1988’s “Dangerous Liaisons”. Thurman’s career really took off when she played the gangster’s moll Mia in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” in 1994. My favorite of all Thurman’s movies is “The Truth About Cats & Dogs”, a less acclaimed romcom released in 1996. She took a few years off from acting from 1998 until 2002 following the birth of her first child. It was Tarantino who relaunched her career, giving her the lead in the “Kill Bill” films.

“Kill Bill” is a 3-part Quentin Tarantino movie (I haven’t seen it, as I really don’t do Tarantino). “Kill Bill” started off as one film, but as the running time was over four hours, it was split into two “volumes”, released several months apart in 2003 and 2004. There has been a lot of talk about making “Kill Bill: Volume 3”.

17 Sight in front of the Lincoln Memorial : POOL

The Lincoln Memorial is my favorite place to visit in the whole of Washington D.C. The memorial was designed by Henry Bacon, and the sculptor of the magnificent statue of President Lincoln was Daniel Chester French. I spent a wonderful afternoon a few years ago touring the workshop and home of French, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The workshop is stunning, with miniature studies for his magnum opus, the Lincoln Statue, as well as many other beautiful works.

20 Parvenues with a certain je ne sais quoi : IT GIRLS

Clara Bow was a fabulous star of silent film, with her most famous movie being “It” from 1927. Clara Bow’s performance was so celebrated in the movie that she was forever to be known as the “It girl”. The term “it” was a euphemism for “sex appeal”, and that is what Clara Bow was known to “exude”. Bow applied her red lipstick in the shape of a heart, and women who copied this style were said to put on a “Clara Bow”.

“Je ne sais quoi” is French for “I don’t know what”.

26 Queen ___ (nickname in pop music) : BEY

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”.

27 Persian defense org.? : SPCA

Unlike most developed countries, the US has no umbrella organization with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an organization called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

The Persian is that long-haired cat with a squashed muzzle. The breed takes its name from its place of origin, namely Persia (Iran).

30 Response to the peanut gallery : WHO ASKED YOU?

“Peanut gallery” is a term dating back to the days of vaudeville. The peanut gallery was where the cheap seats were located in a theater. The cheap seats were usually occupied by the rowdiest patrons, and when they were particularly rowdy those patrons would throw the cheapest snack onto the stage, i.e. peanuts.

35 1982 Soft Cell hit that spent 43 weeks on the Billboard charts : TAINTED LOVE

Soft Cell are duo from England whose music falls into the “synthpop/technopop” genre, music from the eighties that features the synthesizer as a predominant instrument. Soft Cell’s biggest hit by far is a great song called “Tainted Love”, which they released in 1981.

36 What often follows thunder and lightning : BOLT

The word “thunder” precedes the word “lightning” in the phrase “thunder and lightning”. However, thunder comes after lighting in reality, at least to the observer. The observer sees the flash of lightning and then seconds later hears the crash of thunder. That’s because light travels faster than sound.

37 Version before a stable release : BETA

In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the alpha version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a beta and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as “beta”. The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, hopefully bug-free.

38 “The ___ of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice”: M.L.K. : ARC

Martin Luther King, Jr’s father was born Michael King. On a trip to Germany in 1934, Michael came to admire Protestant leader Martin Luther and changed his name to Martin Luther King on his return to the United States. Famously, he passed on his new name to his son, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr (MLK).

50 Matador’s cape : MULETA

The “muleta” is the red flannel cloth that a matador uses towards the end of a bull fight, instead of a cape. The muleta serves to distract the bull and also to hide the sword that is used for the kill. The term “matador” is only used in English, and translates aptly enough as “killer”.

53 Coy comeback : MOI?

“Moi” is the French word for “me”. One might say “Moi?” when feigning innocence.

55 Otter’s lair : HOLT

Male and female otters are known as dogs and bitches, with the offspring called pups. Males and females are are sometimes referred to as boars and sows. A collection of otters is a bevy, family, lodge or perhaps a romp. When in water, a collection of otters can be called a raft.

56 Amazon worker : ANT

Amazon ants are referred to as “slave-raiding” ants. They rob the pupae from related species and use the captured ants as “slaves”. The “slaves” do virtually all the work needed to maintain the Amazon ant nest, including provision of food and nursing the young.

58 Old gaming inits. : NES

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was sold in North America from 1985 to 1995. The NES was the biggest selling gaming console of the era. Nintendo replaced the NES with Wii, which is also the biggest-selling game console in the world.

Down

1 Coca-Cola offering from 1974 to 2001 : MR PIBB

The soft drink on the market today called Pibb Xtra used to be known as Mr Pibb, and before that was called Peppo. Peppo was introduced in 1972 as a direct competitor to Dr Pepper.

2 Something a kindergartner doesn’t want to get : COOTIE

“Cooties” is WWI British slang for “body lice”. Ugh …

“Kindergarten” is a German term, one translating as “children’s garden”. The term was coined by the German education authority Friedrich Fröbel in 1837, when he used it as the name for his play and activity institute that he created for young children to use before they headed off to school. His thought was that children should be nourished educationally, like plants in a garden.

3 Like Beijing : SMOGGY

“Smog” is a portmanteau formed by melding “smoke” and “fog”. The term was first used to describe the air around London in the early 1900s. Several cities around the world have a reputation of being particularly smoggy. For example, the most smog-plagued city in Latin America is Mexico City, which is located in a highland “bowl” that traps industrial and vehicle pollution.

The city of Beijing in China was given its name in 1403, with “Beijing” chosen as it translates as “Northern Capital”. The name distinguishes it from the city of Nanjing, which name translates as “Southern Capital”. Beijing was written in English as Peking for centuries.

4 Who once wrote “Nothing is less important than which fork you use” : EMILY POST

Emily Post was a writer from Baltimore, Maryland who is best known for her writings on the subject of etiquette. Her work giving advice on etiquette is continued by the Emily Post Institute, which she founded in 1946.

5 Jules et Jim, e.g. : NOMS

In French, one might look up a “nom” (name) in “un annuaire” (a directory).

7 Billionaire who lent his name to a stadium on New York’s Randalls Island : ICAHN

Carl Icahn has many business interests, and is probably best known in recent years for his dealings with Yahoo! Icahn has a reputation as a corporate raider, a reputation that dates back to his hostile takeover of TWA in 1985. He made a lot of money out of that deal, before being ousted in 1993 after the company filed for bankruptcy protection.

Icahn Stadium is a track and field facility on Randalls Island in New York City. The stadium opened in 2005, helped along the way by a $10 million donation from businessman Carl Icahn. For that, Icahn got his name over the front door.

9 Buck in the jukebox : OWENS

Buck Owens was a very successful country star, along with his backing band, the Buckaroos. Owens had 21 number one hits in the country music charts, but never had a record that successfully crossed over to the popular charts. From 1968 to 1986, Owens was the co-host of the TV show “Hee Haw”.

10 Lab assistant, maybe? : GUIDE DOG

The Labrador (Lab) breed of dog has been around at least since 1814. The breed comes in three registered colors: black, yellow and chocolate.

14 Longtime Sacha Baron Cohen character : ALI G

Sacha Baron Cohen is a comedian and comic actor from England. Baron Cohen is perhaps most famous for playing the characters Borat and Ali G on the small and large screens. I’m not a fan …

23 ___ Johnson a.k.a. The Rock : DWAYNE

Dwayne Johnson is a former professional wrestler whose ring name was “the Rock”. He has used his success as a character in the ring, to cross over into television and movies. He is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as getting the highest payment for a first starring role, an incredible $5.5 million.

31 ___ Reese, soldier in “The Terminator” : KYLE

I sometimes forget that “the terminator” wasn’t the main character in the first “The Terminator” film. The story revolves around Kyle Reese (played by Michael Biehn). Reese is sent back from the future to protect Sarah Connor (played by Linda Hamilton) from the Terminator (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger).

33 Furniture that’s often backless : DIVANS

Divans are essentially couches without backs or arms. The design originated in the Middle East, where the couches were commonly found lining the walls of an office that was known as a “divan” or “diwan” meaning “government office”.

36 Member of a holy trinity : BRAHMA

The Hindu Trinity comprises Brahma the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver, and Shiva (also “Siva”) the destroyer or transformer.

38 Toyota sedan since 1994 : AVALON

The Avalon is a large sedan that has been produced by Toyota in Georgetown, Kentucky since 1994. “Avalon” was the name of an island featured in Arthurian legend, the place where the sword Excalibur was forged.

40 Catacombs : CRYPTS

There is a basilica in Rome called “San Sebastiano fuori le mura” (Saint Sebastian outside the walls), which is also known as “San Sebastiano ad Catacumbas” (Saint Sebastian at the Catacombs). It’s not known whether catacombs in general derive their name from this location, or whether the church took the name from an earlier term “catacombs”. However, it is known that these Roman underground passageways were the first subterranean cemeteries to be referred to as “catacombs”.

43 1944 Gene Tierney classic : LAURA

“Laura” is a 1944 film noir directed by Otto Preminger, starring Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews. The film’s screenplay is based on a novel of the same name by Vera Caspary, first published in 1943. “Laura” is ranked highly in most critics’ list of favorite movies.

44 Wrench handle? : ALLEN

The Allen wrench (or “Allen key”, as we call it back in Ireland) is a successful brand of hex wrench that was trademarked in 1943 by the Allen Manufacturing Company of Hartford , Connecticut. However, the hex wrench had in fact been around since the mid-to-late 1800s.

48 Things in airport windows, for short : ETAS

Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

51 Queen of she-baa? : EWE

Sounds like “Queen of Sheba”.

Sheba is referenced in the Bible several times. The Queen of Sheba is mentioned as someone who traveled to Jerusalem to behold the fame of King Solomon. No one knows for sure where the kingdom of Sheba was located, although there is evidence that it was actually the ancient Semitic civilization of Saba. The Sabeans lived in what today is Yemen, on the Arabian Peninsula.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Presenters’ presenters, informally : MCS
4 San Fernando Valley community : ENCINO
10 Come together : GEL
13 Locale of the Campo de’ Fiori : ROMA
15 Kidspeak animal mentioned in the first line of “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” : MOOCOW
16 Thurman of “Kill Bill” : UMA
17 Sight in front of the Lincoln Memorial : POOL
18 “Let’s do it!” : I’M GAME!
19 Small handful : IMP
20 Parvenues with a certain je ne sais quoi : IT GIRLS
22 Color the old-fashioned way : HAND-DYE
24 Appellation akin to “tiger,” “sport” or “champ” : BIG GUY
25 Concludes neatly : ENDS WELL
26 Queen ___ (nickname in pop music) : BEY
27 Persian defense org.? : SPCA
29 Bustles : ADOS
30 Response to the peanut gallery : WHO ASKED YOU?
34 1870s tax evasion scandal : WHISKEY RING
35 1982 Soft Cell hit that spent 43 weeks on the Billboard charts : TAINTED LOVE
36 What often follows thunder and lightning : BOLT
37 Version before a stable release : BETA
38 “The ___ of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice”: M.L.K. : ARC
41 Not be oneself, but rather be one’s elf? : ROLE-PLAY
45 “The nerve!” : I NEVER!
47 In keeping with tradition : AS USUAL
48 Bliss : ECSTASY
49 Sugar substitute : HON
50 Matador’s cape : MULETA
52 Give someone a hand : CLAP
53 Coy comeback : MOI?
54 Like apartment buildings with fireplaces and hardwood floors, typically : PRE-WAR
55 Otter’s lair : HOLT
56 Amazon worker : ANT
57 Most balanced : SANEST
58 Old gaming inits. : NES

Down

1 Coca-Cola offering from 1974 to 2001 : MR PIBB
2 Something a kindergartner doesn’t want to get : COOTIE
3 Like Beijing : SMOGGY
4 Who once wrote “Nothing is less important than which fork you use” : EMILY POST
5 Jules et Jim, e.g. : NOMS
6 Minor player : COG
7 Billionaire who lent his name to a stadium on New York’s Randalls Island : ICAHN
8 Movable type? : NOMAD
9 Buck in the jukebox : OWENS
10 Lab assistant, maybe? : GUIDE DOG
11 Harris who sang with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt : EMMYLOU
12 Sites for some mics : LAPELS
14 Longtime Sacha Baron Cohen character : ALI G
21 Enter quickly : RUSH IN
23 ___ Johnson a.k.a. The Rock : DWAYNE
25 Tiptoed past, say : EASED BY
28 What mud can do : CAKE
30 Certain laundry load : WHITES
31 ___ Reese, soldier in “The Terminator” : KYLE
32 Works during a painter’s blue period? : EROTIC ART
33 Furniture that’s often backless : DIVANS
34 Place for a TV and books : WALL UNIT
35 “We can’t joke about this yet?” : TOO SOON?
36 Member of a holy trinity : BRAHMA
38 Toyota sedan since 1994 : AVALON
39 ___ value : RESALE
40 Catacombs : CRYPTS
42 Parts of soap dispensers : PUMPS
43 1944 Gene Tierney classic : LAURA
44 Wrench handle? : ALLEN
46 Prepare a plate, in a way : ETCH
48 Things in airport windows, for short : ETAS
51 Queen of she-baa? : EWE

8 thoughts on “1011-19 NY Times Crossword 11 Oct 19, Friday”

  1. 22:30. I found COOTIE and the EMILY POST quote pretty amusing. Some good misdirection and puns in the cluing as well.

    Best –

  2. Not particularly difficult today so no errors. Crosses helped to clear the way for things I half remembered. Can’t say I understand 54-across, though.

    1. I grew up in one of those apartments in Chicago which was built before WWI. It had hardwood floors and a fireplace converted to use gas. The clue should probably have mention which war.

  3. No errors but lots of head scratchers. Definitely Friday type of clueing. I thought the three long answers in the middle and some of the crosses constituted the most difficult section.

  4. I finished a Friday puzzle with a little help from Hubs. Once I finally remembered Tainted Love, it started to come together. Not fast, but finished!

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