1031-19 NY Times Crossword 31 Oct 19, Thursday

Constructed by: Ezra Brauner & Jeff Chen
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Double-Blind

Ten down-answers skip over a circled letter in the grid, i.e. we are BLIND to these letters. The skipped letters come in pairs (DOUBLES), and spell out the word CLONES:

  • 59A Kind of experiment … or a hint to 10 Down answers in this puzzle : DOUBLE-BLIND
  • 3D Colorful French cookies : MACAROONS (MACARONS)
  • 6D Whopper : LICE (LIE)
  • 7D Surgery sites, for short : ORCS (ORS)
  • 10D Get the lead out? : MILNE (MINE)
  • 11D Foot, fathom or furlong : UNLIT (UNIT)
  • 23D Japanese noodle dish : UNDONE (UDON)
  • 26D Bud : OPAL (PAL)
  • 28D Fertilization targets : NOVAE (OVA)
  • 34D Is for two? : ARES (ARE)
  • 35D Damage : MARS (MAR)

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

Bill’s time: 9m 18s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Sofa feature : ARM

“Sofa” is a Turkish word meaning “bench”.

13 Mauna ___ : LOA

Mauna Loa on the “Big Island” of Hawaii is the largest volcano on the planet (in terms of volume). The name “Mauna Loa” is Hawaiian for “Long Mountain”.

14 Lincoln ___, creator of the comic strip “Big Nate” : PEIRCE

“Big Nate” is a comic strip that was launched in 1991, written and illustrated by Lincoln Peirce. The hero of the strip is a rebellious sixth-grader named Nate Wright.

17 They get kicked around a lot : SOCCER BALLS

Soccer (also known as “association football”) is the most popular sport in the world. The term “association football” was introduced in 1863 in England, with the name chosen to distinguish the sport from rugby football. The term “soccer” started to appear about 20 years later in Oxford, as an abbreviation for “association”.

19 Ceremonial goblets : CHALICES

A chalice is large drinking cup. The term “chalice” comes from the Latin word “calix” meaning “cup”. A chalice is often used for drinking during ceremonies. One notable example is the Holy Chalice of the Christian tradition, in which Jesus served wine to his apostles at the Last Supper.

23 Basic cable channel : USA

The USA Network cable television channel has been around since 1971. Back in 1971, it was called the Madison Square Garden Network, and became USA in 1979.

24 Travelers from afar, for short : ETS

Extraterrestrial (ET)

25 Rural shindigs : HOOTENANNIES

Our colloquial word “hootenanny” is now used for a party featuring folk music. The term came into English as a word similar to “thingamajig” or “whatsit”. Out current usage is more akin to its original meaning back in Scotland, i.e. “celebration, party”.

“Shindig” is such a lovely word, I think. It describes a party that usually includes some dancing. Although its origin isn’t really clear, the term perhaps comes from “shinty”, a Scottish game that’s similar to field hockey.

30 Co. milestone : IPO

An initial public offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).

31 Brouhaha : TO-DO

“Brouhaha”, meaning “ado, stir”, was a French word that back in the 1550s meant “the cry of the devil disguised as clergy” . Wow!

38 English county that’s the setting for Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” : DEVON

Devon (formerly “Devonshire”) is a county in the southwest of England. The county town of Devon is Exeter, and the largest city in the county is Plymouth, the port from which the Mayflower Pilgrims departed.

“Ten Little Indians” is a mystery novel by Agatha Christie. The story was adapted for the big screen several times, including a 1989 version that used the same title as the novel. An earlier 1974 version used the title “And Then There Were None”. Actor Herbert Lom appeared in both versions.

39 Money in Istanbul : LIRA

The currency of Turkey is the Turkish lira, which is divided into 100 kuruş. In 1927, the Turkish lira replaced the Ottoman lira, which had been in use since 1844.

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.

41 One-named supermodel of the 1970s-’80s : IMAN

Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid is a supermodel from Somalia who goes simply by the name “Iman” these days. “Iman” is an Arabic word for “faith”. Iman is a smart cookie. Imam has a degree in Political Science and is fluent in five languages: Somali, Arabic, Italian, French and English. Iman was married to English rock star David Bowie from 1992 until his death in 2016.

42 German article : DER

The definite article in German is der, die or das, for masculine, feminine and neuter nouns. The indefinite article is ein, eine or ein, again depending on the gender of the noun. A further complication, relative to English, is that the masculine form (and only the masculine form) of the article changes when used in the accusative case, when used with the object of a sentence. The accusative forms are “den” and “einen”.

53 Profile persona : AVATAR

The Sanskrit word “avatar” describes the concept of a deity descending into earthly life and taking on a persona. It’s easy to see how in the world of “online presences” one might use the word avatar to describe one’s online identity.

55 Mélanges : AMALGAMS

Amalgam is an alloy of mercury with some other metal. Many dental fillings are made of an amalgam of silver and mercury. We started using “amalgam” to mean “blend of different things” around 1790.

“Mélange” is the French word for “mixture”.

59 Kind of experiment … or a hint to 10 Down answers in this puzzle : DOUBLE-BLIND

In the scientific procedure called a single-blind trial, the subjects do not know whether or not they are in the test group or the control group, but the researcher does. In a double-blind trial, neither the subjects nor the researcher know who is in the test and control groups, until the study is completed.

65 ID checker : TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in 2001, soon after the 9/11 attacks. TSA personnel carry out the baggage and body searches at US airports. The TSA has a Trusted Traveler program that allows certain passengers to move more quickly through security screening. These passengers pay the TSA a one-time fee that covers a background check after which successful applicants are issued a Known Traveler Number (KTN).

Down

1 A Baldwin brother : ALEC

Alec Baldwin is the oldest of the acting Baldwin brothers. I think Alec’s big break was playing Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan in “The Hunt for Red October”, but thank goodness that role was taken over by Harrison Ford for the subsequent Jack Ryan movies. Baldwin also made a name for himself playing Jack Donaghy on “30 Rock”, opposite Tina Fey. More recently, he is known for impersonating President Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live”.

2 Kind of I.R.A. : ROTH

Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (Roth IRAs) were introduced in 1997 under a bill sponsored by Senator William Roth of Delaware, hence the name.

3 Colorful French cookies : MACAROONS (MACARONS)

A macaron is a meringue-based cookie associated with French cuisine, although the original confection hailed from Italy. Macarons are often confused with macaroons, small cookies made from ground almonds, and often coconut.

5 Former liberal, maybe : NEOCON

By definition, a neoconservative (neocon) is a formerly left-aligned politician who has moved to the right, and who now supports the use of American power and military might to bring democracy, liberty, equality and human rights to other countries.

7 Surgery sites, for short : ORCS (ORS)

Surgery (surg.) is usually performed in an operating room (OR).

12 Playing pieces in Othello : DISCS

The game of Reversi is also sold as Othello. The name “Othello” was chosen as a nod to the play by William Shakespeare.

15 Who said “Where there is oppression, there is resistance” : MAO

Mao Zedong (also “Mao Tse-tung”) was born on December 16, 1893 in the Hunan Province of China. As Mao was the son of a peasant farmer, his prospects for education were limited. Indeed he left school at age 13 to work on the family farm but did eventually get to secondary school in Changsha, the provincial capital. In the years following, Mao continued his education in Beijing and actually turned down an opportunity to study in France.

20 Court cry : LET!

That would be tennis, perhaps.

23 Japanese noodle dish : UNDONE (UDON)

Udon noodles are made from wheat-flour and are very popular in Japanese cuisines such as tempura.

27 Returning to the original speed, on scores : A TEMPO

“A tempo” is a Italian for “in time”. The phrase is used on a musical score to instruct a performer to return to the main tempo of the piece, perhaps after slowing down or speeding up.

29 The Blues of the N.H.L., on scoreboards : STL

The St. Louis Blues hockey team takes its name from the song “St. Louis Blues”, a jazz and popular music classic.

37 Swimmer in an ornamental pond : KOI

Koi are fish that are also known as Japanese carp. Koi have been bred for decorative purposes and there are now some very brightly colored examples found in Japanese water gardens.

45 Orange Monopoly card : CHANCE

Players of the board game Monopoly are familiar with the accompanying sets of Chance and Community Chest cards. The original version of the game came with just the Chance cards, and those cards came with quotes attributed to Thomas Jefferson, John Ruskin and Andrew Carnegie.

46 One kneeling with the ball in a field goal attempt : HOLDER

That would be football.

48 Gal in “Wonder Woman” : GADOT

Gal Gadot is an actress and former Miss Israel. She plays Gisele Yashar in the “Fast & Furious” film franchise, and then began portraying Wonder Woman in superhero movies.

50 Hot spot : SAUNA

As my Finnish-American wife will tell you, “sauna” is a Finnish word, and is pronounced more correctly as “sow-nah” (with “sow” as in the female pig).

54 TV channel with the slogan “We’re comedy” : TBS

The tbs cable television station started out in 1967 as local broadcast TV station in Atlanta. The station’s first call letters were WJRJ-TV, and this was changed to WTCG in 1970 when it was acquired by Ted Turner (the TCG stood for Turner Communications Group). In 1976, Turner started distributing WTCG via satellite making its programming available in other parts of the country. WTCG was only the second channel to transmit via satellite, following HBO. The difference was that WTCG was broadcast without requiring a premium subscription. The station’s call sign was changed again in 1979 to WTBS, with “TBS” standing for Turner Broadcasting System. In 1981, the channel adopted the moniker “Superstation WTBS”.

60 Provider of support : BRA

The word “brassière” is French in origin, but it isn’t the word that the French use for a “bra”. In France, what we call a bra is known as a “soutien-gorge”, translating to “held under the neck”. The word “brassière” is indeed used in France but there it describes a baby’s undershirt, a lifebelt or a harness. “Brassière” comes from the Old French word for an “arm protector” in a military uniform (“bras” is the French for “arm”). Later “brassière” came to mean “breastplate” and from there the word was used for a type of woman’s corset. The word jumped into English around 1900.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Sofa feature : ARM
4 Vent : UNLOAD
10 Nasty campaign accusations : MUD
13 Mauna ___ : LOA
14 Lincoln ___, creator of the comic strip “Big Nate” : PEIRCE
15 Small-scale : MINI
16 Abbr. that’s almost always preceded by a comma : ETC
17 They get kicked around a lot : SOCCER BALLS
19 Ceremonial goblets : CHALICES
21 Against expectations, say : IRONIC
22 Another go : REDO
23 Basic cable channel : USA
24 Travelers from afar, for short : ETS
25 Rural shindigs : HOOTENANNIES
30 Co. milestone : IPO
31 Brouhaha : TO-DO
32 Train to a plane : TRAM
36 Remove abruptly : YANK
38 English county that’s the setting for Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” : DEVON
39 Money in Istanbul : LIRA
40 Not to mention : ALSO
41 One-named supermodel of the 1970s-’80s : IMAN
42 German article : DER
43 “You flabbergast me” : I’M SPEECHLESS
48 Fill (up) : GAS
51 Prefix with tourism : ECO-
52 Digs up some dirt : HOES
53 Profile persona : AVATAR
55 Mélanges : AMALGAMS
59 Kind of experiment … or a hint to 10 Down answers in this puzzle : DOUBLE-BLIND
61 Trouble : WOE
62 Takes responsibility for : OWNS
63 You’re out of it if you’re in it : TRANCE
64 Wiliness : ART
65 ID checker : TSA
66 Something with a movable feast : EASTER
67 “Absolutely!” : YES!

Down

1 A Baldwin brother : ALEC
2 Kind of I.R.A. : ROTH
3 Colorful French cookies : MACAROONS (MACARONS)
4 Good potential : UPSIDE
5 Former liberal, maybe : NEOCON
6 Whopper : LICE (LIE)
7 Surgery sites, for short : ORCS (ORS)
8 Star pitcher : ACE
9 Mockery : DERISION
10 Get the lead out? : MILNE (MINE)
11 Foot, fathom or furlong : UNLIT (UNIT)
12 Playing pieces in Othello : DISCS
15 Who said “Where there is oppression, there is resistance” : MAO
18 Scottish hillside : BRAE
20 Court cry : LET!
23 Japanese noodle dish : UNDONE (UDON)
25 “Hey there!” : HIYA!
26 Bud : OPAL (PAL)
27 Returning to the original speed, on scores : A TEMPO
28 Fertilization targets : NOVAE (OVA)
29 The Blues of the N.H.L., on scoreboards : STL
33 Goes off into the sunset, say : RIDES AWAY
34 Is for two? : ARES (ARE)
35 Damage : MARS (MAR)
37 Swimmer in an ornamental pond : KOI
38 Separate : DISCRETE
44 What corn can be ground into : MEAL
45 Orange Monopoly card : CHANCE
46 One kneeling with the ball in a field goal attempt : HOLDER
47 Relay part : LEG
48 Gal in “Wonder Woman” : GADOT
49 Swears : AVOWS
50 Hot spot : SAUNA
54 TV channel with the slogan “We’re comedy” : TBS
55 [Sigh] : ALAS
56 Huge fortune : MINT
57 What a glutton always wants : MORE
58 Makeup of a match : SETS
60 Provider of support : BRA

14 thoughts on “1031-19 NY Times Crossword 31 Oct 19, Thursday”

  1. 18:08. I actually had the sense to go seek out the reveal early. That made the theme/gimmick easy to figure out. Missed the part where the circled pairs spell out “clone”

    Best –

  2. Figured out “clone”, totally failed on the 10 down gimmick. Wondered why “lice” were whoppers and “orcs” were surgery sites…although in the Lord Of The Rings movies, the orcs do a reasonable job of cutting into things… Did I mention that I still don’t know how to spell “disC”? 32:19

  3. Thanks, @dave, for reminding me about the construction of this puzzle. I get absorbed only with the solving part of the contest and forget to look at what the constructor went through. Yes, it is quite a gem of construction.

    I got through this with no errors but it was slow-going. I, too, got the theme revealer early in the process and knew that there were going to be double letters. The “blind” part of it came to me much later but was instrumental in closing the deal.

    I need a break. See you back on Monday.

  4. 19:37, no errors. I was going to comment that the French make MACARONS not MACAROONS, but then realized that was part of todays gimmick.

  5. Great puzzle today. I love THURSDAYS! Did not see the clones aspect but knocked it out in about 10 minutes. Thanks Will, Jeff and the other guy who helps Will but whose name I always forget.

  6. I hate themes like this. Hate them. I was stewing over the misspelling of “macarons” when I came here to vent about it and saw the theme reveal.

    I love crosswords for the trivia and POE opportunities; I do not do them for sneaky word play. 🙁

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