1030-19 NY Times Crossword 30 Oct 19, Wednesday

Constructed by: David Steinberg
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Camouflage

Four rows in the grid each include a hidden animal that is known for its ability to CAMOUFLAGE itself:

  • 35A “Trick” used by the creatures found in rows 3, 5, 11 and 13 : CAMOUFLAGE
  • 17A French white sauce : BECHAMEL
  • 18A Celebrity gossip site : E! ONLINE (hiding “CHAMELEON)
  • 23A Aspiring prof, maybe : POSTDOC
  • 25A Bunk bed option : TOP
  • 26A The Beatles’ “Back in the ___” : USSR (hiding “OCTOPUS“)
  • 45A Fund-raising letter, e.g. : PLEA
  • 46A Bit of scuba equipment : FIN
  • 47A Stadium ticket info : SECTION (hiding “LEAF INSECT“)
  • 54A Astronomer who first observed Saturn’s rings : GALILEO
  • 56A “Sorry!” : PARDON ME! (hiding “LEOPARD“)

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

Bill’s time: 7m 23s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Painter of melting pocket watches : DALI

“The Persistence of Memory” is probably Salvador Dalí’s most famous work. It features the celebrated “melting clocks”, and you can see them in the painting in the MoMA in New York City.

8 Neighbors of Poles : CZECHS

Czechoslovakia existed as a sovereign state in Europe from 1918, at which time it declared itself independent from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The country went through much turmoil through the days of Nazi and Soviet occupation, but democracy was restored in 1989 after the nonviolent Velvet Revolution that overthrew the communist government. Nationalist tendencies did develop over time, leading to a peaceful dissolution of the country in 1993, and the creation of the two independent states of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic (aka “Slovakia”).

17 French white sauce : BECHAMEL

Béchamel sauce is a roux made from butter and flour cooked in milk. It is sometimes known simply as white sauce. Béchamel is also considered the “mother sauce” in French cuisine as it is the base of other sauces. For example, Mornay sauce is béchamel with cheese.

19 Michael who directed “Fahrenheit 9/11” : MOORE

Michael Moore is a documentary filmmaker, famously from Flint, Michigan. Moore is known for several documentaries that have performed well at the box office, especially “Fahrenheit 9/11” (2004), “Bowling for columbine” (2002) and “Sicko” (2007).

22 One may have a black eye : PEA

Black-eyed peas (also called “black-eyed beans”) are a type of cowpea. Black-eyed peas are especially popular in soul food and other southern cuisine.

26 The Beatles’ “Back in the ___” : USSR

By the time the Beatles recorded “Back in the U.S.S.R”, they were having a lot of problems working with each other. The song was recorded in 1968, with the band formally dissolving in 1970. Tensions were so great during the recording of “Back in the U.S.S.R” that Ringo Starr actually stormed out saying that he had quit, and the remaining three Beatles made the record without Ringo. Drums were played mainly by Paul McCartney, but there are also drum tracks on the final cut by both George Harrison and John Lennon. Interesting, huh?

28 Numbered composition : OPUS

The Latin for “work” is “opus”, with the plural being “opera”. We sometimes also use the plural “opuses” in English.

32 Late-night Starbucks choice : DECAF

Starbucks is a coffee company based in Seattle, Washington. It is the largest coffeehouse company in the world and has over 19,000 stores. In the 1990s, Starbucks was opening one new store every single day! Starbucks is named after the chief mate on the Pequod in Herman Melville’s book “Moby Dick”.

35 “Trick” used by the creatures found in rows 3, 5, 11 and 13 : CAMOUFLAGE

Our word “camouflage” (often abbreviated to “camo”) evolved directly from a Parisian slang term “camoufler” meaning “to disguise”. The term was first used in WWI, although the British navy at that time preferred the expression “dazzle-painting” as it applied to the pattern painted on the hulls of ships.

44 Spiky yet soothing plant : ALOE

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in relatively dry climates. The plants leaves are full of biologically-active compounds that have been studied extensively. Aloe vera has been used for centuries in herbal medicine, mainly for topical treatment of wounds.

46 Bit of scuba equipment : FIN

The self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) was co-invented by celebrated French marine explorer Jacques Cousteau.

50 Org. that recognizes nearly 200 breeds : AKC

The American Kennel Club (AKC) is the organization that handles registration of purebred dogs The AKC also promotes dog shows around the country, including the famous Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

51 Fishing basket : CREEL

A creel is a basket used for catching sea creatures (lobsters, for example). Creel is also the name given to the small wicker basket used to hold fish that have been caught by an angler. “Creel” is originally a Scottish word.

54 Astronomer who first observed Saturn’s rings : GALILEO

Saturn is easily visible from Earth with the unaided eye, but we need some help to see the planet’s famous rings. Galileo was the first person to see Saturn’s rings, when he turned his primitive telescope towards the night sky in 1610. However, he misinterpreted what he was observing and assumed that the rings were in fact two smaller planets located at either side of the larger Saturn.

63 Dog on the yellow brick road : TOTO

Toto is Dorothy’s dog in the film “The Wizard of Oz”, and in the original book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum. Toto was played in the movie by a dog called Terry, but Terry’s name was soon changed to Toto in real life due to the success of the film.

According to L. Frank Baum’s series of “Oz” novels, there are two Yellow Brick Roads that lead to the Emerald City from Munchkin Country, and it turns out that Dorothy chose the harder of the two. In addition to the yellow roads, there is also a Red Brick Road, which leads from Munchkin County to the Country of the Quadlings.

Down

2 Sea ___ (tide pool dweller) : ANEMONE

The name “anemone” means “daughter of the wind” in Greek, and at one time it was believed that the wind was what actually caused the flower to bloom. The sea anemone is named for the terrestrial plant even though the sea anemone isn’t a plant at all. The sea anemone is a predatory animal found on the ocean floor.

3 Polo shirt brand : LACOSTE

René Lacoste was a French tennis player who went into the clothing business, and came up with a more comfortable shirt that players could use. This became known as a “tennis shirt”. When it was adopted for use in the sport of polo, the shirts also became known as “polo shirts”. The “golf shirt” is basically the same thing.

7 Island with volcanoes and rice paddies : BALI

Bali is both an island and a province in Indonesia. It is a popular tourist spot, although the number of visitors dropped for a few years as a result of terrorist bombings in 2002 and 2005 that killed mainly tourists. Bali became more popular starting in 2008 due to a significant and favorable change in the exchange rate between the US dollar and the Indonesian rupiah.

8 Infant’s ailment : CROUP

The respiratory condition known as “croup” results in a characteristic cough that produces a “barking” sound. The condition is usually caused by the viral infection in the upper airway.

9 The “Z” of ZIP code : ZONE

ZIP codes were introduced in 1963. The acronym “ZIP” stands for “Zone Improvement Plan”, a name indicating that mail travels more efficiently when the codes are included in the postal address.

10 Fluency-building subj. : ESL

English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

16 Colombian coins : PESOS

The coin called a “peso” is used in many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. The coin originated in Spain where the word “peso” means “weight”. The original peso was what we know in English as a “piece of eight”, a silver coin of a specific weight that had a nominal value of eight “reales”.

21 Like some peppers and ballot boxes : STUFFED

Today, a ballot is a piece of paper used to cast a vote. Back in the 1500s, a “ballot” was a small “ball” used in the process of voting.

24 2017 Disney/Pixar film set in the Land of the Dead : COCO

“Coco” is a 2017 Pixar movie about a 12-year-old boy named Miguel who ends up in the land of the dead by accident. There, he seeks out the help of the great-great-grandfather to get back to his family in the land of the living.

29 Film critic Kael : PAULINE

Pauline Kael was a film critic who wrote for “The New Yorker” magazine from 1968 to 1991.

30 Parties, e.g., for D.J.s : GIGS

Musicians use “gig” to describe a job, a performance. The term originated in the early 1900s in the world of jazz. The derivative phrase “gig economy” applies to a relatively recent phenomenon where workers find themselves jumping from temporary job to temporary job, from gig to gig.

32 Some diaper changers : DADS

“Diaper” is another word that I had to learn when I moved to America. What are called “diapers” over here, we call “nappies” back in Ireland. The term “diaper” is actually the original term that was used in England for the garment, where “diaper” referred to the cloth that was used. The term “diaper” was brought to the New World where it stuck. Back in Britain, “diaper” was displaced by the word “nappy”, a diminutive of “napkin”.

33 Genre for Fall Out Boy : EMO

Fall Out Boy is a rock band from Chicago that formed in 2001.

35 Musical finale : CODA

In music, a coda is primarily a passage that brings a movement to a conclusion. “Coda” is Italian for “tail”.

37 Haberdasher’s accessory : TIE CLIP

Back in the 14th century, a haberdasher was a dealer in small wares. By the late 1800s, the term had evolved to mean a purveyor of menswear, and in particular was associated with the sale of hats.

42 High-pH compound : ALKALI

The “opposite” of an acid is a base. Acids turn litmus paper red, and bases turn it blue. Acids and bases react with each other to form salts. An important subset of the chemicals called bases are alkalis, hydroxides of the alkali metals and of ammonium. The term “alkali” is sometimes used interchangeably with “base”, especially if that base is readily soluble in water.

46 Air-conditioning coolant : FREON

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.

48 Bird known for its plumes : EGRET

Egrets are a group of several species of white herons. Many egret species were faced with extinction in the 1800s and early 1900s due to plume hunting, a practice driven by the demand for egret plumes that could be incorporated into hats.

51 Muse of history : CLIO

In Greek mythology, the muses are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. The number of muses is a subject of debate at times, but the most popular view is that there are nine:

  • Calliope (epic poetry)
  • Clio (history)
  • Erato (lyric poetry)
  • Euterpe (music)
  • Melpomene (tragedy)
  • Polyhymnia (choral poetry)
  • Terpsichore (dance)
  • Thalia (comedy)
  • Urania (astronomy)

Before the adoption of the nine muses of Greek mythology, there were originally three muses, the three Boeotian Muses. These were:

  • Mneme (memory)
  • Melete (meditation)
  • Aoede (song)

52 Michelle Wie’s org. : LPGA

Michelle Wie is an American golfer on the LPGA Tour. Wie began playing golf at the age of four and was the youngest player ever to qualify for an LPGA tour event. She turned pro just before her 16th birthday.

57 Part of Verizon Media : AOL

Telecom giant Verizon acquired AOL in 2015, and Yahoo! in 2017. Just after the latter purchase, Verizon launched Oath, a subsidiary company that served as the umbrella under which AOl and Yahoo! continued to operate. Oath was renamed to Verizon Media Group after a corporate reorganization at the end of 2018.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Painter of melting pocket watches : DALI
5 Stick up : ROB
8 Neighbors of Poles : CZECHS
14 Repetition of words at the starts of successive phrases, in rhetoric : ANAPHORA
16 Place to find a driver : PRO SHOP
17 French white sauce : BECHAMEL
18 Celebrity gossip site : E! ONLINE
19 Michael who directed “Fahrenheit 9/11” : MOORE
20 Something to debate : ISSUE
22 One may have a black eye : PEA
23 Aspiring prof, maybe : POSTDOC
25 Bunk bed option : TOP
26 The Beatles’ “Back in the ___” : USSR
27 Passionate about : INTO
28 Numbered composition : OPUS
30 Stick-to-it-iveness : GRIT
31 Shorts go-with : TEE
32 Late-night Starbucks choice : DECAF
34 Omen : SIGN
35 “Trick” used by the creatures found in rows 3, 5, 11 and 13 : CAMOUFLAGE
37 Checklist heading : TO DO
38 Ballet moves : LEAPS
39 Tack (on) : ADD
42 Helps : AIDS
43 Targets for some eye makeup : LIDS
44 Spiky yet soothing plant : ALOE
45 Fund-raising letter, e.g. : PLEA
46 Bit of scuba equipment : FIN
47 Stadium ticket info : SECTION
50 Org. that recognizes nearly 200 breeds : AKC
51 Fishing basket : CREEL
53 Fortnite devotee, e.g. : GAMER
54 Astronomer who first observed Saturn’s rings : GALILEO
56 “Sorry!” : PARDON ME!
59 Feature of “G’day” or “Yes’m” : ELISION
60 Attends without a date, say : GOES STAG
61 Gas thief’s device : SIPHON
62 Key near Ctrl : ALT
63 Dog on the yellow brick road : TOTO

Down

1 Modern dance move : DAB
2 Sea ___ (tide pool dweller) : ANEMONE
3 Polo shirt brand : LACOSTE
4 Longtime Apple program whose icon featured a camera : IPHOTO
5 Amorous guy : ROMEO
6 Mine cart filler : ORE
7 Island with volcanoes and rice paddies : BALI
8 Infant’s ailment : CROUP
9 The “Z” of ZIP code : ZONE
10 Fluency-building subj. : ESL
11 Contributes a little : CHIPS IN
12 “No lie!” : HONEST!
13 Caveman’s weapon : SPEAR
15 Tough : HARD
16 Colombian coins : PESOS
21 Like some peppers and ballot boxes : STUFFED
23 Ball ___ (play area) : PIT
24 2017 Disney/Pixar film set in the Land of the Dead : COCO
26 Strong desire : URGE
29 Film critic Kael : PAULINE
30 Parties, e.g., for D.J.s : GIGS
32 Some diaper changers : DADS
33 Genre for Fall Out Boy : EMO
34 It sticks to a trunk : SAP
35 Musical finale : CODA
36 Girl in a bonnet, maybe : LASS
37 Haberdasher’s accessory : TIE CLIP
39 Not recognizable by : ALIEN TO
40 One might say “Welcome” : DOOR MAT
41 Place to hibernate : DEN
42 High-pH compound : ALKALI
43 Use, as a mattress : LIE ON
44 No more than : AT MOST
45 Leaves at the library? : PAGES
46 Air-conditioning coolant : FREON
48 Bird known for its plumes : EGRET
49 Scoundrels : CADS
51 Muse of history : CLIO
52 Michelle Wie’s org. : LPGA
55 “Kinda sorta” : ISH
57 Part of Verizon Media : AOL
58 ___-surf (Google yourself) : EGO

15 thoughts on “1030-19 NY Times Crossword 30 Oct 19, Wednesday”

  1. 14:08. A few sticky areas but nothing too insurmountable. Never heard of COCO. Disney is making movies for kids about living in the land of the dead? That’s a far cry from “The Love Bug”….

    Best –

    1. @Mary—-I think that you are asking how is it that a LEOPARD would be camouflaged, right? From my strictly inadequate knowledge gleaned from watching a few wildlife documentaries on TV—-my best guess is the fact that the leopard’s spots are actually a very good form of camouflage for itself. Keep in mind that animal eyesight is not the same as what we humans see. The leopard’s spots tend to break up the images that other species see. This is really important for a stalking animal like a leopard so as not to be seen by his prey. So the leopard really does have excellent camouflage and really does deserve a place in today’s puzzle. IMveryHO.

  2. DNF….NW corner was pretty much blank….I couldn’t understand why a Wednesday puzzle was giving me so much trouble but then I looked at who the author was….nuff
    Said

  3. In my area Starbucks quit making and serving decaf about 11:00AM-ish. This seems backwards to me. And to whoever (whomever?) wrote the clue for 32 across.

  4. One square wrong at the ANAPHORA/DAB cross. I knew it had to be a vowel and was torn between an A and a U. I think now that one is Greek and the other is Latin so I should have known on ANAPHORA. As for DAB, I have to admit that that was completely new to me. Went to YouTube and saw some dabbing. It is so simple that I would hesitate to call it a dance move, but okay…..

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