1014-19 NY Times Crossword 14 Oct 19, Monday

Constructed by: Gary Cee
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Make the Cut

Themed clues each end with something that can be CUT:

  • 65A Survive elimination … or what one may do to the ends of 17-, 31-, 38- and 50-Across? : MAKE THE CUT
  • 17A Carpet woven in Iran : PERSIAN RUG (giving “cut a rug”)
  • 31A Tangy condiment : HOT MUSTARD (giving “cut the mustard”)
  • 38A One of two in the larynx : VOCAL CORD (giving “cut the cord”)
  • 50A Where planes land on an aircraft carrier : FLIGHT DECK (giving “cut the deck”)

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

Bill’s time: 5m 36s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 Stackable cookie : OREO

How the Oreo cookie came to get its name seems to have been lost in the mists of time. One theory is that it comes from the French “or” meaning “gold”, a reference to the gold color of the original packing. Another suggestion is that the name is the Greek word “oreo” meaning “beautiful, nice, well-done”.

16 Moviemaker Preminger : OTTO

Otto Preminger was noted for directing films that pushed the envelope in terms of subject matter, at least in the fifties and sixties. Great examples would be 1955’s “The Man with the Golden Arm” that dealt with drug addiction, 1959’s “Anatomy of a Murder” that dealt with rape, and 1962’s “Advise and Consent” that dealt with homosexuality. If you’ve seen these films, you’ll have noticed that the references are somewhat indirect and disguised, in order to get past the censors.

17 Carpet woven in Iran : PERSIAN RUG (giving “cut a rug”)

To cut a rug is to dance. The etymology of “cut a rug” isn’t clearcut (pun!), but the wear caused by repeatedly dancing on a rug seems to be the culprit in one form or another.

21 First responder, for short : EMT

Emergency medical technician (EMT)

24 Key to the left of “Q” : TAB

Like most features on our computer keyboards, the tab key is a hangover from the days of typewriters. When using a typewriter, making entries into a table was very tedious, involving lots of tapping on the spacebar and backspace key. So, a lever was added to typewriters that allowed the operator to “jump” across the page to positions that could be set by hand. Later this was simplified to a tab key which could be depressed, causing the carriage to jump to the next tab stop in much the same way that the modern tab key works on a computer.

27 Ho-hum feeling : ENNUI

“Ennui” is the French word for “boredom”, and a word that we now use in English. It’s one of the few French words we’ve imported that we haven’t anglicized, and actually pronounce “correctly”.

31 Tangy condiment : HOT MUSTARD (giving “cut the mustard”)

The expression “to cut the mustard” means “to meet expectations”. Apparently, the origins of the phrase are unclear, but some suggest it may come from “cut the muster”. But “cut the muster” has a very different meaning, i.e. “not turn up for a military parade”. I’ve also heard people use “cut the mustard” and “not pass muster” interchangeably. It’s all so confusing …

37 August 1 birth, astrologically : LEO

Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac. People born from July 23 to August 22 are Leos.

38 One of two in the larynx : VOCAL CORD (giving “cut the cord”)

The vocal cords are also known as the vocal folds, and are two folds of mucous membrane that project into the larynx. The folds vibrate when air passes through the larynx, allowing sounds to be made.

The voice box or larynx is where pitch and volume of sound are manipulated when we talk. The structure called the Adam’s apple that protrudes from the human neck is formed by the thyroid cartilage that surrounds the larynx. The Adam’s apple of males tends to increase in size during puberty, so the feature tended to be associated more with males in days gone by, perhaps leading to the name “Adam’s” apple. A doctor specializing in treating the larynx is a laryngologist.

42 Network to keep an “eye” on : CBS

CBS used to be known as the Columbia Broadcasting System. CBS introduced its “eye” logo in 1951. That logo is based on a Pennsylvania Dutch hex sign.

50 Where planes land on an aircraft carrier : FLIGHT DECK (giving “cut the deck”)

The first launching of an aircraft from a ship took place way back in 1910. Aviation pioneer Eugene Burton Ely flew a Curtiss Pusher airplane from a temporary platform erected on the bow of the USS Birmingham, which was anchored off Norfolk Navy Base in Virginia. Ely also recorded the first landing on a ship two months later, touching down on a platform on the USS Pennsylvania anchored in San Francisco Bay.

That would be cutting a deck of cards.

55 Specialized military group : CADRE

A cadre is most commonly a group of experienced personnel at the core of a larger organization that the small group trains or heavily influences. “Cadre” is a French word meaning “frame”. We use it in the sense that a cadre is a group that provides a “framework” for the larger organization.

63 Winter hrs. in Me. : EST

Eastern Standard Time (EST)

There seems to be some uncertainty how the US state of Maine got its name. However, the state legislature has adopted the theory that it comes from the former French province of Maine. The legislature included language to that effect when adopting a resolution in 2001 to establish Franco-American Day.

64 Bogus : SHAM

A sham is something that is imitation, fake. In the world of bed linens, a sham is also an imitation or fake, in the sense that it is a decorative cover designed to cover up a regular pillow used for sleeping.

Our word “bogus”, meaning “not genuine” was coined (pun!) in the 1830s, when it applied to counterfeit money.

68 Long-lasting hair wave, informally : PERM

“Perm” is the common name given to a permanent wave, a chemical or thermal treatment of hair to produce waves or curls.

69 Eye part covered by the cornea : IRIS

Iris is a genus of flowering plants that come in a wide variety of flower colors. The term “iris” is a Greek word meaning “rainbow”. Many species of irises are called “flags”. One suggestion is that the alternate name comes from the Middle English “flagge” meaning “reed”. This term was used because iris leaves look like reeds.

The cornea is the transparent part of the eye in the front, and the part that covers the iris and the pupil. Even though the cornea is not part of the eye’s lens, it acts as a lens. In fact, the cornea does most of the work focusing light coming in through the eye. It is in effect a fixed-focus lens passing on light to the variable-focus lens that is inside the eye.

71 West Point team : ARMY

West Point is a military reservation in New York State, located north of New York City. West Point was first occupied by the Continental Army way back in 1778, making it the longest, continually-occupied military post in the country. Cadet training has taken place at the garrison since 1794, although Congress funding for a US Military Academy (USMA) didn’t start until 1802. The first female cadets were admitted to West Point in 1976, and as of 2018, about 15% of all new cadets were women.

72 Chic : TONY

Something described as tony is elegant or exclusive. “Tony” is derived from the word “tone”.

“Chic” is a French word meaning “stylish”.

Down

3 Melted cheese over toast : RAREBIT

Welsh rarebit is a delicious dish made using a cheese-flavored sauce served over toast. It may be that the name Welsh rarebit was originally a bit of an insult to the folks in Wales. The dish was called Welsh “rabbit” back in the 1700s. In those day’s rabbit was the poor man’s meat, and the implication of the dish’s name is that in Wales cheese was the poor man’s rabbit.

4 Criticize, in slang : DIS

“Dis” (also “diss”) is a slang term meaning “insult” that originated in the eighties. It is a shortened form of “disrespect” or “dismiss”.

9 Name before Berra or Bear : YOGI …

Yogi Berra is regarded by many as the greatest catcher ever to play in Major League Baseball, and has to be America’s most celebrated “author” of malapropisms. Here are some greats:

  • It ain’t over till it’s over.
  • 90% of the game is half mental.
  • Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.
  • When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
  • It’s déjà vu all over again.
  • Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t go to yours.
  • A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.

Yogi Bear made his debut for Hanna-Barbera in 1958, on “The Huckleberry Hound Show” before he was given his own series. Do you remember that collar that Yogi wore around his neck? That was a little trick from the animators. By using the collar, for many frames all they had to do was redraw everything from the collar up, saving them lots and lots of time. Yogi and Boo-Boo lived in Jellystone Park, and made Ranger Smith’s life a misery.

18 Southeast Asian housemaid : AMAH

“Amah” is an interesting word in that we associate it so much with Asian culture and yet the term actually comes from the Portuguese “ama” meaning “nurse”. Ama was imported into English in the days of the British Raj in India when a wet-nurse became known as an amah.

23 Clergy’s changing room : VESTRY

A vestry is where a priest dresses for services. Like so many English words, “vestry” came into our language via Anglo-Norman, from the Latin “vestarium” meaning “wardrobe”.

26 Temporarily conked out : STALLED

The phrase “conk out” was coined by airmen during WWI, and was used to describe the stalling of an engine.

30 Black Friday’s mo. : NOV

In the world of retail, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the US. Black Friday is when many stores start the holiday shopping season, and so offer deep discounts to get ahead of the competition.

35 Light eats : NOSHES

Our word “nosh” has been around since the late fifties, when it was imported from the Yiddish word “nashn” meaning “to nibble”. We use “nosh” as a noun that means “snack”, or as a verb meaning “to eat between meals”.

39 Pet said to have nine lives : CAT

In the English-speaking world, the myth is that cats have nine lives. In Spanish-speaking cultures, cats are said to have seven lives. They are less fortunate in Turkish and Arabic cultures, as the number of lives is limited to six.

41 Fist bump : DAP

The dap is a form of handshake, and often a complicated and showy routine of fist bumps, slaps and shakes. Some say that “dap” is an acronym standing for “Dignity And Pride”.

42 Freon initials : CFC

Freon is a DuPont trade name for a group of compounds used as a refrigerant and as a propellant in aerosols. Freon is used in the compressors of air conditioners as a vital component in the air-cooling mechanism. Freon used to contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which had a devastating effect on the Earth’s ozone layer. Use of CFCs is now banned, or at least severely restricted.

47 Massachusetts vacation area : CAPE COD

Cape Cod is indeed named after the fish. It was first called Cape Cod by English navigator Bartholomew Gosnold in 1602 as his men caught so many fish there.

48 Shaggy : HIRSUTE

“Hirsute” means “hairy”. The term comes from the Latin “hirsutus” meaning “rough, shaggy”.

49 Horse in a harness race : TROTTER

In harness racing, the horses race using one of two specific gaits, i.e. trotting or pacing.

51 Award from the Recording Academy : GRAMMY

The first Grammy Awards ceremony was held in 1959 and focused on recognizing outstanding achievement in the recording industry. The idea of a Grammy Award came up when recording executives were working on the Hollywood Walk of Fame project in the fifties. These executives concluded that there were many people in the recording industry deserving of accolades but who would probably never make it to the Walk of Fame. As a result, they founded the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. The Academy considered naming the award the “Eddies” after Thomas Edison, but then opted for “Grammy” after Edison’s invention: the gramophone.

53 One nautical mile per hour : KNOT

A knot (kt.) is a unit of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour. Traditionally a vessel’s speed was determined by using a “chip log”. A chip log is made up of a wooden board attached to a line wrapped around a reel. The line (called a “log-line”) had knots tied in it at uniform spacings. To determine the vessel’s speed the board was thrown overboard and the line allowed to unroll. The speed was then the “number of knots” paid out in a fixed time interval.

57 Old anesthetic : ETHER

Ethers are a whole class of organic compounds, but in the vernacular “ether” is specifically diethyl ether. Diethyl ether was once very popular as a general anesthetic.

61 Root in Polynesian cuisine : TARO

The corm of some taro plants is used to make poi, a traditional Hawaiian dish (that I think tastes horrible). When a taro plant is grown as an ornamental, it is often called Elephant Ears due to the shape of its large leaves.

67 Bird that can run up to 30 m.p.h. : EMU

The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. There was even an “Emu War” in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food. Soldiers were sent in and used machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the “invading force”. The emus were clever, breaking their usual formations and adopting guerrilla tactics, operating as smaller units. After 50 days of “war”, the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers were ignored. The emus had emerged victorious …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Kings, queens and jacks : CARDS
6 Refuse to obey : DEFY
10 State of confusion : MESS
14 To no ___ : AVAIL
15 Stackable cookie : OREO
16 Moviemaker Preminger : OTTO
17 Carpet woven in Iran : PERSIAN RUG (giving “cut a rug”)
19 “See what I ___?” : MEAN
20 Fury : IRE
21 First responder, for short : EMT
22 Send off on a different course : DIVERT
24 Key to the left of “Q” : TAB
25 Tattered threads : RAGS
27 Ho-hum feeling : ENNUI
29 Opposed to, in dialect : AGIN
31 Tangy condiment : HOT MUSTARD (giving “cut the mustard”)
34 Reveal slightly : LET ON
36 “You ___ kiddin’!” : AIN’T
37 August 1 birth, astrologically : LEO
38 One of two in the larynx : VOCAL CORD (giving “cut the cord”)
42 Network to keep an “eye” on : CBS
45 Go by sea : SAIL
46 Vessel with a silent “ch” in its name : YACHT
50 Where planes land on an aircraft carrier : FLIGHT DECK (giving “cut the deck”)
54 Duo : PAIR
55 Specialized military group : CADRE
56 Beach hill : DUNE
58 Player for money : PRO
59 Cups, saucers and a pot, say : TEA SET
62 Preschooler : TOT
63 Winter hrs. in Me. : EST
64 Bogus : SHAM
65 Survive elimination … or what one may do to the ends of 17-, 31-, 38- and 50-Across? : MAKE THE CUT
68 Long-lasting hair wave, informally : PERM
69 Eye part covered by the cornea : IRIS
70 Overact : EMOTE
71 West Point team : ARMY
72 Chic : TONY
73 More disrespectful : RUDER

Down

1 LIKE EVERY LETTER IN THIS CLUE : CAPITAL
2 C-worthy : AVERAGE
3 Melted cheese over toast : RAREBIT
4 Criticize, in slang : DIS
5 More crafty : SLIER
6 “Stay!” : DON’T GO!
7 Slip up : ERR
8 Nasty, long-running dispute : FEUD
9 Name before Berra or Bear : YOGI …
10 Never a dull ___ : MOMENT
11 Endless : ETERNAL
12 Eminence : STATURE
13 Prince, but not a princess : SON
18 Southeast Asian housemaid : AMAH
23 Clergy’s changing room : VESTRY
26 Temporarily conked out : STALLED
28 Wedding vow : I DO
30 Black Friday’s mo. : NOV
32 One might say “One, two, testing, testing” into it : MIC
33 Numero ___ (top dog) : UNO
35 Light eats : NOSHES
39 Pet said to have nine lives : CAT
40 Word after first or financial : … AID
41 Fist bump : DAP
42 Freon initials : CFC
43 Empty talk : BLATHER
44 One way to pitch : SIDEARM
47 Massachusetts vacation area : CAPE COD
48 Shaggy : HIRSUTE
49 Horse in a harness race : TROTTER
51 Award from the Recording Academy : GRAMMY
52 Overly precious : CUTESY
53 One nautical mile per hour : KNOT
57 Old anesthetic : ETHER
60 Send out, as waves : EMIT
61 Root in Polynesian cuisine : TARO
64 Day ___ (getaway) : SPA
66 Family members : KIN
67 Bird that can run up to 30 m.p.h. : EMU

3 thoughts on “1014-19 NY Times Crossword 14 Oct 19, Monday”

  1. 7:14. HIRSUTE is completely new to me. Doesn’t Welsh RAREBIT give you strange dreams and/or nightmares? Seems to me some myth or legend says so anyway.

    Best –

  2. 7:43 The Monty Python skit immediately came to mind: “It looks like ‘yacht’, it’s actually pronounced “throat warbler mangrove…”

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