1012-19 NY Times Crossword 12 Oct 19, Saturday

Constructed by: Andrew J. Ries
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 19m 00s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Crumbly salad ingredient : FETA

Feta is a Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk. The cheese is salted and cured in a brine solution for several months before it is eaten.

11 It might involve a DNA test : CSI

Crime scene investigation (CSI)

14 Love of mythology? : AMOR

Cupid was the god of love in Roman mythology. Cupid’s name comes from the Latin verb “cupere” meaning “to desire”. Cupid’s Latin name was Amor, and his Greek counterpart was Eros.

15 Exam required before entering uni : A-LEVEL

The UK’s education system was reformed in the fifties with the introduction of the General Certificate of Education (GCE). There were two levels of certification that could be awarded in most subjects. The GCE Ordinary Level (O Level) was a much less rigorous standard of examination than the GCE Advanced Level (A Level). The O Levels have largely been replaced now, but students still sit A Level examinations.

In Australia (Down Under), and in Britain and Ireland, the term “uni” is routinely used for “university”.

16 Something good in baseball, but bad in banking : RUN

The Federal Reserve System is more usually known simply as “the Fed”, and is the central banking system of the US. It was introduced in 1913 in response to a number of financial panics at the beginning of the 20th century. The original role for the Fed was to act as a lender of last resort, in case there was a run on a bank. This can happen as most of the money that is deposited by customers in a bank is reinvested by that bank, so it has very little liquid cash available. If too many customers look for their money at one time, then the bank can be short of cash and this can start a “run”. The Fed’s responsibilities have broadened since those early days …

17 Kind of ball for indoor play : NERF

Nerf is soft material used in a whole series of toys designed for “safe” play indoors. The Nerf product is used to make darts, balls and ammunition for toy guns. “NERF” is an acronym, standing for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.

20 It’s named for a Norse goddess of wisdom: Abbr. : FRI

The days of the week are named for celestial bodies and gods

  • Sunday — Sun’s Day
  • Monday — Moon’s Day
  • Tuesday — Tiu’s day
  • Wednesday — Woden’s day
  • Thursday — Thor’s day
  • Friday — Freya’s day
  • Saturday — Saturn’s day

25 Punk cousin : EMO

The emo musical genre originated in Washington D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from “emotional hardcore”. “Emo” is also the name given to the associated subculture. Not my cup of tea …

27 “Right on” : AMEN

The word “amen” translates as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is also likely to be influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

28 Characters in “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” : COMMAS

Our word “comma” comes into English via Latin from the Greek “komma” meaning “clause in a sentence”.

“It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” is a 1963 comedy film with quite the cast. The list of great comedic actors appearing seems to be endless and includes: Sid Caesar, Mickey Rooney, Buddy Hackett, Jonathan Winters, Milton Berle, Ethel Merman, Spencer Tracy, Terry-Thomas, Phil Silvers, Jim Backus, Jimmy Durante and Peter Falk. In addition, there were cameo appearances by Jack Benny, Buster Keaton, Don Knotts, Carl Reiner, the Shirelles and the Three Stooges. I can’t remember any other movie with such a cast …

30 Batman portrayer of TV and film : ADAM WEST

Adam West was the actor who played the title role in the sixties TV series “Batman”. More recently West voiced the character named “Adam West” on the animated show “Family Guy”. Back in 1970, West was offered the role of James Bond in the movie “Diamonds are Forever”, but he turned it down!

35 Online feed letters : RSS

Many websites and blogs publish content in a format known as Rich Site Summary (RSS). The “feed” can be read using an RSS reader. The advantage of using an RSS reader, is that the user doesn’t have to check the website for new content. That new material is fed to the RSS reader as soon as it is published.

38 Unaccredited university, say : DEGREE MILL

A “diploma mill” or “degree mill” is a higher education institution that offers degrees and diplomas that aren’t really legitimate, and that can be obtained for a fee.

43 Green giant : SIERRA CLUB

John Muir was a famous American naturalist, although he was born in Scotland. Muir founded the Sierra Club in 1892. He published “My First Summer in the Sierra” in 1911, which described one of Muir’s favorite places in the country, the Sierra Nevada range in California.

47 “Miss ___” : SAIGON

“Miss Saigon” is a musical that premiered in London in 1989, and one that is based on Puccini’s opera “Madame Butterfly”. “Miss Saigon” was written by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, the duo responsible for “Les Misérables”. We saw both shows in London during their heyday, and I much preferred “Miss Saigon”. Back then the big thing was to have a big “special effect” in a stage musical, and for “Miss Saigon” this is the landing of a life-size helicopter on the stage. At the performance we attended there was an announcement that “the helicopter was broken”, so we had a fun time watching actors running around pretending there was a helicopter in that climactic scene …

49 Capitol Hill activity : VOTE

Washington D.C.’s designer Pierre L’Enfant chose the crest of a hill as the site for the future Congress House. He called the location “Jenkins Hill” and “Jenkins Heights”. Earlier records show the name as “New Troy”. Today we call it “Capitol Hill”.

50 1969 novel subtitled “Ardor: A Family Chronicle” : ADA

“Ada” is a 1969 novel by Vladimir Nabokov. The story takes place in the 1800s on Antiterra, an Earth-like planet that has a history similar to ours but with interesting differences. For example, there is a United States, but that country covers all of North and South America. What we call eastern Canada is a French-speaking province called “Canady”, and western Canada is a Russian-speaking province called “Estody”. The storyline is about a man called Van Veen who, when 14 years old, meets for the first time his cousin, 11-year-old Ada. The two cousins eventually have an affair, only to discover later that they are in fact brother and sister.

56 Arctic explorer John : RAE

John Rae was a Scottish explorer who took on the task of searching for the ill-fated Franklin Expedition of 1845. The Franklin Expedition was itself searching for the elusive Northwest Passage through the Arctic Ocean connecting the Atlantic to the Pacific. John Rae stirred up much controversy back in England when he reported evidence of cannibalism among the ill-fated Franklin explorers.

58 Skin pic : TAT

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are sometimes referred to as “ink”.

62 Big Ten East sch. : PSU

Pennsylvania State University (PSU) was founded in 1855 as the Farmer’s High School of Pennsylvania. Penn State is listed as one of the “Public Ivies”, a public university that offers a quality of education comparable to that of the Ivy League.

63 Genesis peak : ARARAT

Mount Ararat is in Turkey. Ararat is a snow-capped, dormant volcano with two peaks. The higher of the two, Greater Ararat, is the tallest peak in the country. Ararat takes its name from a legendary Armenian hero called Ara the Beautiful (or Ara the Handsome). According to the Book of Genesis, Noah’s ark landed on Mount Ararat as the Great Flood subsided.

64 Bring down : RAZE

To raze (“rase”, in UK English) is to level to the ground. I’ve always thought it a little quirky that “raise”, a homophone of “raze”, means “build up”.

67 ___ Bongo, president of Gabon for 42 years : OMAR

The nation of Gabon lies on the west coast of Central Africa. Since it became independent from France in 1960, Gabon has become one of the most prosperous countries on the continent, by making use of the abundant natural resources and willing foreign investment.

Down

1 Amateur work based on existing characters, informally : FANFIC

Fan fiction (also “fanfic”) is fiction created by fans of an original work that uses characters from that original work.

2 Boston college : EMERSON

Emerson College, located in Boston’s Washington Street Theater District, offers degree programs focused on Arts and Communication. The school was founded in 1880 by Charles Wesley Emerson as the Boston Conservatory of Elocution, Oratory and Dramatic Art.

3 Singer with the 1992 double-platinum album “Little Earthquakes” : TORI AMOS

Tori Amos is an American pianist and singer. Amos started playing the piano at two years old, and was composing piano pieces by age five. She was playing in piano bars (chaperoned by her father) when she was 14. I’m going to have to find some of her music …

4 Sound from a toy : ARF!

The toy group of dogs is made up of the smallest breeds. The smallest of the small breeds are sometimes called teacup breeds.

5 Newspaper with the slogan “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” in brief : WAPO

“The Washington Post” (WaPo) is the oldest paper still being published in the DC area, having been founded in 1877. Famously, “The Post” reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein led the media’s investigation into what we now called the Watergate scandal. “The Washington Post” was purchased in 2013 by Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com.

6 “The L Word” creator Chaiken : ILENE

Ilene Chaiken was the executive producer for the Showtime drama series “The L Word”. The show deals with lesbian, bisexual and transgender people living in West Hollywood. The title refers to “the L word”: lesbian.

7 Case worker: Abbr. : DET

Detective (det.)

11 Joe might need this : CREAMER

It seems that no one really knows why we refer to coffee as “joe”, but we’ve been doing so since early in WWII.

12 A “lousy teacher,” per Bill Gates : SUCCESS

Bill Gates is the former CEO of Microsoft, a company that he co-founded with Paul Allen. Gates has been listed as the wealthiest man in the world on several occasions over the past two decades. He now works full-time as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, alongside his wife Melinda. The Gates’ foundation is the largest transparently-operated charitable foundation in the world.

19 “The Hunger Games” actress, in tabloids : JLAW

Jennifer Lawrence (sometimes “J.Law” in the press) is an actress from Louisville, Kentucky who really hit the big time when she was cast as Katniss Everdeen, the protagonist in the “Hunger Games” series of films.

“The Hunger Games” is a 2008 novel by Suzanne Collins, and the first in a trilogy of titles that also includes “Catching Fire” (2009) and “Mockingjay” (2010). “The Hunger Games” was adapted into a very successful movie released in 2012, with the sequels following soon after. Amazon.com reports more sales of “The Hunger Games” series books than even the “Harry Potter” series.

21 Like promethium, among all the rare earth metals : SCARCEST

Rare earth elements are so called because they are rarely found in mineral form in a sufficient concentration for exploitation.

29 Italian film director Leone : SERGIO

Sergio Leone was an Italian film director, and someone very much associated with the genre known as “Spaghetti Westerns”. Perhaps most famous of Leone’s westerns were the so-called “Man with No Name” trilogy starring Clint Eastwood. The three films are:

  • “A Fistful of Dollars” (1964)
  • “For a Few Dollars More” (1965)
  • “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966)

34 Tennis feat named for the athlete who achieved it in 2003 and 2015 : SERENA SLAM

The term “Serena Slam” is a reference to tennis star Serena Williams. It describes the winning of four major tournaments in a row. This compares with a “Grand Slam”, the winning of the four major tournaments within the same season.

37 Woman’s name that sounds like two letters of the alphabet : ELLIE

The woman’s name “Ellie” sounds like the letters “LE”.

39 Winter Olympics pair : LUGE TEAM

A luge is a small sled used by one or two people, on which one lies face up and feet first. The luge can be compared to the skeleton, a sled for only one person and on which the rider lies face down and goes down the hill head-first. Yikes!

40 NyQuil alternative : ADVIL PM

NyQuil is a medication designed to relieve the symptoms of a common cold. NyQuil contains loads of ingredients that will make you sleepy, so if you are taking it, it’s safer to do so at night. It’s a Proctor & Gamble brand, and the equivalent non-drowsy formula is known as DayQuil.

41 Bishop’s territory : DIOCESE

In some Christian traditions, a district under the control of a bishop is a diocese, bishopric or see. Dioceses are in turn divided into parishes that are under the control of priests. A particularly significant diocese might be called an archdiocese, and falls under the control of an archbishop.

44 Treasure trove : BONANZA

A bonanza is a mine with a rich pocket of ore that can be exploited. “Bonanza” is the Spanish word for a rich lode, and we imported the term into English. “Bonanza” originally meant “fair weather at sea”, and from that came to mean “prosperity, good fortune”. Ultimately, “bonanza” comes from the Latin “bonus” meaning “good”.

60 TNT element? : TRI-

“TNT” is an abbreviation for “trinitrotoluene”. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

61 Dude : BRO

Our term “dude” arose as slang in New York City in the 1880s, when it was used to describe a fastidious man. In the early 1900s, the term was extended to mean “city slickers”, easterners who vacationed in the West. The first use of the term “dude ranch” was recorded in 1921.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Crumbly salad ingredient : FETA
5 Halves of some measurements : WIDTHS
11 It might involve a DNA test : CSI
14 Love of mythology? : AMOR
15 Exam required before entering uni : A-LEVEL
16 Something good in baseball, but bad in banking : RUN
17 Kind of ball for indoor play : NERF
18 Usually nonremunerative undertaking : PET PROJECT
20 It’s named for a Norse goddess of wisdom: Abbr. : FRI
21 Will figure : SON
22 Supersede : REPLACE
23 Funk of Funk & Wagnalls : ISAAC
25 Punk cousin : EMO
27 “Right on” : AMEN
28 Characters in “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” : COMMAS
30 Batman portrayer of TV and film : ADAM WEST
33 Request softener : NO PRESSURE
35 Online feed letters : RSS
36 A spy might send a message in one : SECRET CODE
38 Unaccredited university, say : DEGREE MILL
40 Do some basic math : ADD
43 Green giant : SIERRA CLUB
45 Sound around a cradle : DIAL TONE
47 “Miss ___” : SAIGON
49 Capitol Hill activity : VOTE
50 1969 novel subtitled “Ardor: A Family Chronicle” : ADA
52 Brandon ___, lead role in 1999’s “Boys Don’t Cry” : TEENA
53 Northern fishers’ implements : ICE SAWS
56 Arctic explorer John : RAE
58 Skin pic : TAT
59 Screen for a shooter : LENS FILTER
61 Corrupt, in British slang : BENT
62 Big Ten East sch. : PSU
63 Genesis peak : ARARAT
64 Bring down : RAZE
65 Crossed : MET
66 Lax in duty : REMISS
67 ___ Bongo, president of Gabon for 42 years : OMAR

Down

1 Amateur work based on existing characters, informally : FANFIC
2 Boston college : EMERSON
3 Singer with the 1992 double-platinum album “Little Earthquakes” : TORI AMOS
4 Sound from a toy : ARF!
5 Newspaper with the slogan “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” in brief : WAPO
6 “The L Word” creator Chaiken : ILENE
7 Case worker: Abbr. : DET
8 One who runs the show : TV PRODUCER
9 “___, boy!” : HERE
10 Not stay in the bucket : SLOP
11 Joe might need this : CREAMER
12 A “lousy teacher,” per Bill Gates : SUCCESS
13 Partner of purposes : INTENTS
19 “The Hunger Games” actress, in tabloids : JLAW
21 Like promethium, among all the rare earth metals : SCARCEST
24 Cranked (up) : AMPED
26 Down pat : MASTERED
29 Italian film director Leone : SERGIO
31 Kitchen drawers? : AROMAS
32 Treat, in a way : MEDICATE
34 Tennis feat named for the athlete who achieved it in 2003 and 2015 : SERENA SLAM
37 Woman’s name that sounds like two letters of the alphabet : ELLIE
39 Winter Olympics pair : LUGE TEAM
40 NyQuil alternative : ADVIL PM
41 Bishop’s territory : DIOCESE
42 Kind of bread with chopped fruit : DATE NUT
44 Treasure trove : BONANZA
46 Minimalist’s desire : LESS
48 Flap one’s gums : NATTER
51 Quarters : AREAS
54 Way off : AFAR
55 Kind of transfer : WIRE
57 Language ___ : ARTS
60 TNT element? : TRI-
61 Dude : BRO

One thought on “1012-19 NY Times Crossword 12 Oct 19, Saturday”

  1. 30:19. Tough but doable. I did learn that NERF actually stands for something. “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” being shown on tv was an event when I was a kid. I wanted to put COMicS so badly there. About fainted when I realized it was COMMAS for “Characters in…”

    Best –

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