1101-19 NY Times Crossword 1 Nov 19, Friday

Constructed by: Robyn Weintraub
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 12m 30s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Von Trapp daughter in “The Sound of Music” : LIESL

The von Trapps portrayed in the musical “The Sound of Music” were a real family, as is well known. In the musical and film, the eldest daughter is Liesl, although in real life her name was Agathe. Agathe came with her family to the US in 1938, and operated a private kindergarten in Baltimore, Maryland for 35 years. Agathe passed away in 2010.

10 Some bad joke tellers, stereotypically : DADS

I tell dad jokes all the time, just to annoy the kids …

  • I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. It’s impossible to put down!
  • If you see a robbery at an Apple Store does that make you an iWitness?
  • A termite walks into a bar and asks, “Is the bar tender here?”
  • Two guys walk into a bar, the third one ducks.
  • What’s the best part about living in Switzerland? I don’t know, but the flag is a big plus.

14 Major for a future museum curator : ART HISTORY

The term “curator” is Latin and applies to a manager, guardian or overseer. In English, the original curators were the guardians and overseers of minors and those with mental disease.

16 Singer Brickell : EDIE

Edie Brickell is a singer-songwriter from Dallas, Texas. Brickell has been married to fellow singer Paul Simon since 1991.

18 Wheedle : COAX

To coax is to cajole, to influence using gentle persuasion. Back in the 16th century, “coax” was a noun meaning “fool”, and was used in the sense of “make a coax of, make a fool of”.

“To wheedle” is to influence by flattery for one’s gain. Such a lovely verb, I think …

20 Mila of “Black Swan” : KUNIS

Mila Kunis is a Ukrainian-born, American actress who plays Jackie Burkhart on “That ’70s Show”. Fans of the cartoon series “Family Guy” might recognize her voicing the Meg Griffin character. In ”Black Swan”, Kunis plays a rival ballet dancer to the character played by Natalie Portman. In her personal life, Kunis dated Macaulay Culkin for 8 years, but married Ashton Kutcher, her co-star from “That 70s Show”, in 2015.

The 2010 movie “Black Swan” is a psychological thriller (described by some as a horror film) set against the background of a ballet company staging Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake”. Natalie Portman plays an obsessive ballerina who seems perfect for the role of the White Swan in “Swan Lake”, but doesn’t seem to have the passion to also play the Black Swan. Then things start to go wonky …

21 Cinematography tool : DOLLY

A dolly is a small platform on rollers, especially on a movie set. Apparently, it is so called because it’s supposed to look like a doll. No, it doesn’t. I don’t believe it …

32 Garments worn at Hogwarts : ROBES

In J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” universe, the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was founded by the four most brilliant witches and wizards of their time: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw and Salazar Slytherin. Each of the founders lent their name to a House in the school, i.e. Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin.

33 Language in which “thank you” is “khob chai” : LAO

Lao, the language of Laos, does not use spaces between words (or periods!), although this is apparently changing. Spaces are used between sentences and clauses.

34 Peppery herb : CRESS

Garden cress is a leafy vegetable that is closely related to watercress and mustard. Cress is particularly popular in the UK where it is a common ingredient in sandwiches.

35 Shopping destination that sounds risqué : STRIP MALL

Surprisingly (to me!), our word “mall”, meaning “shady walk” or “enclosed shopping space”, comes from the Italian for “mallet”. All of our shopping-style malls are named for “The Mall” in St. James’s Park in London. This tree-lined promenade was so called as it used to a famous spot to play the croquet-like game called “pall-mall”. The game derived its name from the Italian for ball (palla) and mallet “maglio”. The London thoroughfare called the Mall still exists, at one end of which is Buckingham Palace. Indeed, parallel to the Mall is a street called Pall Mall.

37 Coloring : TINCT

To tinct is to add a little color to something. The term “tinct” ultimately derives from the Latin verb “tingere” meaning “to dye”.

40 Sides in chess, symbolically : ARMIES

It is believed that the game of chess originated in northwest India. It evolved from a 6th-century game called “chaturanga”, a Sanskrit word meaning “four divisions”. These four (military) divisions were represented in the game:

  • Infantry (now “pawns”)
  • Cavalry (now “knights”)
  • Elephants (now “bishops”)
  • Chariots (now “rooks”)

41 Block at sea : BERG

An iceberg is a large piece of freshwater ice that is floating freely after having broken away from a glacier or ice shelf. Out use of “iceberg” comes from the Dutch word for the same phenomenon “ijsberg”, which translates literally as “ice mountain”.

42 One who tells a tale full of sound and fury, per Macbeth : IDIOT

There is a famous soliloquy in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” that is spoken by the title character. It is usually referred to as “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow”, from the second sentence:

She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
— To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.

45 Jason of “The Incredibles” : LEE

“The Incredibles” is a 2004 animated feature from Pixar, and not a great movie if you ask me. But asking me probably isn’t a good idea, as the film won two Oscars …

48 Arab nation once colonized by the Portuguese : OMAN

Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Oman is a monarchy, and the official name of the state is the Sultanate of Oman. All of the country’s legislative, executive and judiciary power resides with the hereditary sultan.

49 This might sound sad : MINOR CHORD

Experts, unlike me, can wax lyrical on the technical differences between major and minor keys and scales. To me, music written in major keys is very strident, often very joyful and “honest”. Music written in minor keys (usually my favorite) is more feminine, more delicate and often quite sad.

51 Value not appearing on any Scrabble tile : NINE

The game of Scrabble has been produced in many international versions, and each of these editions has its own tile distribution to suit the local language. For example, in English we have two tiles worth ten points: one “Q” and one “Z”. If you play the game in French then there are five tiles worth ten points: one “K”, one “W”, one “X”, one “Y” and one “Z”.

53 Online marketplace since 2005 : ETSY

Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.

54 Some referee calls, for short : TKOS

In boxing, a knockout (KO) is when one of the fighters can’t get up from the canvas within a specified time, usually 10 seconds. This can be due to fatigue, injury, or the participant may be truly “knocked out”. A referee, fighter or doctor may also decide to stop a fight without a physical knockout, especially if there is concern about a fighter’s safety. In this case the bout is said to end with a technical knockout (TKO).

55 Joint part : TENON

One simple type of joint used in carpentry is a mortise and tenon. It is basically a projection carved at the end of one piece of wood that fits into a hole cut into the end of another. In the related dovetail joint, the projecting tenon is not rectangular but is cut at a bias, so that when the dovetails are joined they resist being pulled apart. You’ll see dovetail joints in drawers around the house.

Down

1 Dr. Zhivago’s love : LARA

The heroine of Boris Pasternak’s epic novel “Doctor Zhivago” is Lara. The Lara character was inspired by Pasternak’s mistress Olga Ivinskaya.

2 State flower of Tennessee : 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.

4 Marine mollusk exoskeleton vendor, in a tongue twister? : SHE

She sells sea-shells on the sea-shore.
The shells she sells are sea-shells, I’m sure.
For if she sells sea-shells on the sea-shore
Then I’m sure she sells sea-shore shells.

5 Pronto : LICKETY-SPLIT

“Lickety-split” is the latest in a line of terms that come from the word “lick”, which was used in the sense of a “fast sprint in a race” back in the early 1800s. From “lick” there evolved “licketie”, “lickety-click”, “lickety-cut” and finally “lickety-split”, all just colorful ways to say “fast”.

7 Enemy of the Avengers : LOKI

The Avengers are a team of superheroes in the Marvel Comics universe. The original lineup, which dates back to 1963, consisted of Ant-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and the Wasp. Soon after their formation, the Avengers rescued Captain America trapped in ice, and thereafter he joined the team. There is a 2012 movie called “The Avengers” that features Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk and Thor.

9 Setting for 400+ miles of the Euphrates: Abbr. : SYR

The Euphrates is one of the two rivers that formed the main boundaries of the historical region known as Mesopotamia, the other being the Tigris.

29 Monty Python genre : SLAPSTICK

Slapstick is a physical form of comedy or horseplay. Back in the late 19th century, the term “slapstick” described a device made from two sticks loosely fastened together, which could be “slapped” together to create a sound effect offstage. The sound effect added to the laugh when a clown or actor was given a slap on stage.

The zany comedy show called “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” first aired in 1969 on the BBC. The show ran for four seasons and finished up soon after John Cleese decided to leave the team and move onto other projects.

30 Yiddish language author Sholem : ASCH

Sholem Asch was a Polish-born American novelist and dramatist who published his work in Yiddish. One of his plays was “God of Vengeance”, a highly-regarded work performed all over Europe and translated into many languages. It opened on Broadway in 1923, but the adult themes (it was set in a brothel, and featured a lesbian relationship) led to the entire cast being arrested and convicted on obscenity charges.

31 Winter setting in Tinseltown : PST

Pacific Standard Time (PST)

Back in the mid-1400s, the word “tinsel” applied to cloth into which was woven gold or silver thread. The term came from the Middle French word “estincelle” meaning “spark, spangle”, which ultimately derived from the Latin “scintilla” meaning “spark”. By the end of the 1500s, “tinsel” described thin strip of shiny metal. The word “Tinseltown” wasn’t applied to Hollywood until 1972.

36 ___ Greene, mobster in “The Godfather” : MOE

Moe Greene is a character in Mario Puzo’s novel “The Godfather”. The character bears a resemblance to the real-life gangster Bugsy Siegel, as both Siegel and Greene are driving forces behind the development of the gambling industry in Las Vegas. In “The Godfather” movies, Moe Greene was portrayed by Alex Rocco.

41 Regatta markers : BUOYS

The word “regatta” is Venetian dialect and was originally used to describe boat races among the gondoliers of Venice on the Grand Canal back in the mid-1600s.

42 One of the Nereids : IONE

In Greek mythology, Nereus and Doris had fifty daughters, and these were called the sea nymphs or nereids. The nereids often hung around with Poseidon and were generally very helpful creatures to sailors in distress. Mainly they were to be found in the Aegean, where they lived with their father in a cave in the deep. Some of the more notable names of the nereids were: Agave, Asia, Calypso, Doris, Erato, Eunice and Ione.

47 Fall location : EDEN

In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This went against the bidding of God, and was at the urging of the serpent. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them from becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.

50 Realm of Otto I: Abbr. : HRE

Otto I the Great ruled the Holy Roman Empire (HRE) in the 10th century, from 962 until his death in 973.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Von Trapp daughter in “The Sound of Music” : LIESL
6 Range for 1-Across : ALPS
10 Some bad joke tellers, stereotypically : DADS
14 Major for a future museum curator : ART HISTORY
16 Singer Brickell : EDIE
17 Steam-powered device? : RICE COOKER
18 Wheedle : COAX
19 Schmutz on Santa’s boots : ASH
20 Mila of “Black Swan” : KUNIS
21 Cinematography tool : DOLLY
22 Cast opener : TELE-
23 Calls to account : CHIDES
25 Knives can make them : SLITS
27 Props (up) : SHORES
28 Morally reprehensible : SLIMY
29 Headwear almost never worn outdoors : SHOWER CAP
32 Garments worn at Hogwarts : ROBES
33 Language in which “thank you” is “khob chai” : LAO
34 Peppery herb : CRESS
35 Shopping destination that sounds risqué : STRIP MALL
37 Coloring : TINCT
38 On the up and up? : ASLOPE
39 Leasing unit : MONTH
40 Sides in chess, symbolically : ARMIES
41 Block at sea : BERG
42 One who tells a tale full of sound and fury, per Macbeth : IDIOT
43 Hypes : TOUTS
45 Jason of “The Incredibles” : LEE
48 Arab nation once colonized by the Portuguese : OMAN
49 This might sound sad : MINOR CHORD
51 Value not appearing on any Scrabble tile : NINE
52 “Don’t be such a baby!” : ACT YOUR AGE!
53 Online marketplace since 2005 : ETSY
54 Some referee calls, for short : TKOS
55 Joint part : TENON

Down

1 Dr. Zhivago’s love : LARA
2 State flower of Tennessee : IRIS
3 Chisel, say : ETCH
4 Marine mollusk exoskeleton vendor, in a tongue twister? : SHE
5 Pronto : LICKETY-SPLIT
6 When to meet for lunch, maybe : AT ONE
7 Enemy of the Avengers : LOKI
8 Nursery : PRESCHOOL
9 Setting for 400+ miles of the Euphrates: Abbr. : SYR
10 Useful cryptography tool to have on hand? : DECODER RING
11 Not mature : ADOLESCENT
12 Array on an instrument panel : DIALS
13 Super-hot : SEXY
15 Preacher’s charge : SOULS
21 DVD special feature : DIRECTOR’S CUT
22 Adage suggesting the value of working expeditiously : TIME IS MONEY
24 The way : HOW
25 Pay phone feature : SLOT
26 Ones turning up the volume? : LIBRARIANS
27 Some mudrock : SHALE
28 Yearbook grp. : SRS
29 Monty Python genre : SLAPSTICK
30 Yiddish language author Sholem : ASCH
31 Winter setting in Tinseltown : PST
36 ___ Greene, mobster in “The Godfather” : MOE
39 Daily newspaper section : METRO
40 ___ one : ADMIT
41 Regatta markers : BUOYS
42 One of the Nereids : IONE
44 Not fooled by : ONTO
45 Dangerous kind of shark : LOAN
46 Post hoc, ___ propter hoc (common fallacy) : ERGO
47 Fall location : EDEN
49 Dismount surface : MAT
50 Realm of Otto I: Abbr. : HRE

4 thoughts on “1101-19 NY Times Crossword 1 Nov 19, Friday”

  1. 23:56. Middle right was the last to fall for me. Calling Monty Python SLAP STICK doesn’t do it justice. There is slap stick at times, but a lot of its humor is situational, zany (to quote Bill) and often requires a decent knowledge of history to appreciate.

    Quite coincidentally, I’m off the the Wynn hotel this evening to see John Cleese perform…at 80 years old. Should be interesting.

    Best –

    1. Well, shucks, Big Fellah … ya needn’t bother yer head about that … MacBeth was a Scottish thang … er … thane …

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