1102-19 NY Times Crossword 2 Nov 19, Saturday

Constructed by: Paolo Pasco and Erik Agard
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 15m 04s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 2008 Lil Wayne hit whose title is slang for lots of money : A MILLI

“Lil Wayne” is the stage name used by rap artist Dwayne Carter, Jr. from New Orleans.

25 Tool used in angioplasty : STENT

Angioplasty is the mechanical widening of a narrowed artery. In the surgical procedure, a balloon catheter is inflated at the point of the obstruction to open up the artery. A stent may then be inserted to make sure the vessel remains open.

30 Middle of a bell curve : NORM

A bell curve graph is more correctly known as a Gaussian function. The frequency with which many phenomena occur in nature results in a bell curve shape.

33 Like a milquetoast : MEEK

Someone described a “milquetoast” is particularly weak and timid. The term comes from a character called Caspar Milquetoast in the comic strip “The Timid Soul” drawn by H. T. Webster. Webster came up with Caspar’s name by deliberately misspelling “milk toast”, which is a bland food that is suitable for someone with a weak stomach.

41 Pomme de ___ (potato: Fr.) : TERRE

“Pomme de terre” is French for “potato” and translates literally as “earth apple”.

45 Woman’s name that’s an anagram of two men’s names : EDNA

“Edna” is an anagram of “Dean” and “Dane”.

47 Snowflake shape : FRACTAL

A fractal is a fascinating geometric shape, one that can be split into parts, each of which is a smaller version (almost identical to) of the larger shape. The name “fractal” comes from the Latin “fractus” meaning “broken” or “fragmented”. Fractals are found all over nature, most notably the shapes created by ice crystals. It can be hard to tell the difference between the shapes of ice as it freezes on glass, viewed with the eye or viewed under a microscope. Fractals can also be seen in clouds, snowflakes, and even in cauliflower and broccoli!

52 Shell material : NACRE

Nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl, is the strong iridescent material laid down by some mollusks on the inside of their shells, and it’s also what makes up pearls. The creature lays down nacre as a defensive mechanism, protecting the soft tissue of its body from the rough surface of the outer shell. Similarly, it uses nacre to encapsulate harmful debris or a parasite that penetrates the shell, and that’s how a pearl is formed. Cultured pearls are made by inserting a tissue graft from a donor oyster, around which nacre is laid down.

54 Mourner in the Book of Ruth : NAOMI

The Book of Ruth in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament tells the story of Ruth. Ruth was one of two women who married the two sons of Elimelech and Naomi. Father and sons died, leaving the three widows to fend for themselves. Naomi decided that it was best to go to Bethlehem. Orpah was Naomi’s second daughter-in-law, and she decided to return to her home. Ruth decided to stick with her mother-in-law, using the words “Whither thou goest, I will go”.

55 Abu ___ : DHABI

Abu Dhabi is one of the seven Emirates that make up the federation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The two largest members of the UAE (geographically) are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the only two of the seven members that have veto power over UAE policy. Before 1971, the UAE was a British Protectorate, a collection of sheikdoms. The sheikdoms entered into a maritime truce with Britain in 1835, after which they became known as the Trucial States, derived from the word “truce”.

57 Org. that operates the Large Hadron Collider : CERN

“CERN” is an acronym standing for “Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire” (European Council for Nuclear Research. CERN’s mission is to provide the largest particle physics lab in the world, and it does just that, having built several enormous particle accelerators. The CERN particle accelerator most in the news these days is the Large Hadron Collider located near Geneva.

The Large Hadron Collider is the world’s largest particle accelerator. It is located on the French-Swiss border near Geneva, in a circular tunnel that is a whopping 17 miles in circumference.

66 Allen Ginsberg, e.g. : BEAT POET

The group of American writers known as the Beat Generation first came to prominence at a poetry reading at the Six Gallery in San Francisco in October of 1955. Five young poets presented their work that day:

  • Allen Ginsberg
  • Philip Lamantia
  • Michael McClure
  • Gary Snider
  • Philip Whalen

Down

1 When Apgar tests are performed : AT BIRTH

The Apgar scale is used to assess the health of newborn babies. The newborn is evaluated in five categories that are given by the acronym APGAR, namely:

  • Appearance
  • Pulse
  • Grimace
  • Activity
  • Respiration

The acronym is actually a “backronym”, as the test is named for Dr. Virginia Apgar who devised it in 1952.

2 Southernmost team in the N.B.A. : MIAMI HEAT

The Miami Heat basketball team debuted in the NBA in the 1988-89 season. The franchise name was chosen in a competitive survey, with “Miami Heat” beating out “Miami Vice”.

4 One-point throw in horseshoes : LEANER

In the game of horseshoes, a ringer is scored when the tossed shoe lands around the target stake. A leaner is almost as good as a ringer, and is scored when a horseshoe lands upright or leans against the stake.

5 Computer connection letters : LAN

Local Area Network (LAN)

6 Modern-day home of where the biblical Abraham was born : IRAQ

Abraham is a prominent figure in the Jewish, Christian and Muslim religions. Abraham was descended from Noah and was the “father” of many tribes, including the Israelites and Ishmaelites. In the Christian tradition Jesus was a descendant of Abraham through the Israelite tribe, and in the Muslim tradition Muhammad was a descendant of Abraham through the Ishmaelite tribe.

9 Despot with a nuclear arsenal : KIM

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has a lengthy list of official titles, including:

  • Bright Sun of the 21st Century
  • Amazing Politician
  • Ever-Victorious, Iron-Willed Commander
  • Glorious General, Who Descended from Heaven

12 Arrive on the scene : ENTER

As in a play, for example.

24 Reversible word : SEMORDNILAP

“Semordnilap” is a palindrome of “palindromes”.

The three most famous palindromes in English have to be:

  • Able was I ere I saw Elba
  • A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
  • Madam, I’m Adam

One of my favorite terms is “Aibohphobia”, although it doesn’t appear in the dictionary and is a joke term. “Aibohphobia” is a great way to describe a fear of palindromes, by creating a palindrome out of the suffix “-phobia”.

29 ___ Slam (sports feat) : SERENA

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.

39 Pope Francis III? : TRE

In Italian, “uno” (one) plus “due” (two) makes “tre” (three).

Pope Francis was elected on 13 March 2013 as the 266th Bishop of Rome and leader of the Roman Catholic church. The new pope is famously taking a much simpler and more modest approach to the office, as he did with his life back in Argentina. Francis is the first pope since 1903 not to reside in the papal residence, choosing to live instead in the less lavish Vatican guesthouse.

48 1875 premiere at Paris’s Opéra-Comique : CARMEN

When Georges Bizet wrote his famous opera “Carmen”, he used the melody of what he thought was an old folk song as a theme in the lovely aria “Habanera”. Not long after he finished “Carmen”, he discovered that the folk song was in fact a piece that had been written by another composer, who had died just ten years before “Carmen” was published. Fittingly, Bizet added a note to the score, declaring the original source.

49 Jack Nicholson’s classic line “You can’t handle the truth,” for one : AD LIB

“Ad libitum” is a Latin phrase meaning “at one’s pleasure”. In common usage, the phrase is usually shortened to “ad lib”. On the stage, the concept of an ad lib is very familiar.

The line, “You can’t handle the truth!” is a line spoken by the Jack Nicholson character in the superb 1992 movie “A Few Good Men”. The line was voted the 29th greatest American movie quote of all time in the AFI’s 2005 list (“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” was at the number-one spot).

50 1949 Jack Schaefer novel made into an Oscar-nominated film : SHANE

The classic 1953 western movie called “Shane” is based on the novel of the same name by Jack Schaefer published in 1949. Heading the cast is Alan Ladd in the title role, alongside Jean Arthur and Van Heflin.

51 “Se ___ español” : HABLA

“Habla español?” is Spanish for “Do you speak Spanish?” “Aquí se habla español” translates as “Spanish is spoken here”.

58 Longtime CBS drama spinoff : NCIS

NCIS is the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which investigates crimes in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The service gives its name to the CBS TV show “NCIS”, a spin-off drama from “JAG” in which the main “NCIS” characters were first introduced. The big star in “NCIS” is the actor Mark Harmon. “NCIS” is now a franchise, with spin-off shows “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “NCIS: New Orleans”.

61 Word hidden in this clue that might hold up negotiations : EGO

The word “ego” is hidden in the word “negotiations”.

63 Ben Jonson wrote one to himself : ODE

Ben Jonson was a contemporary of William Shakespeare, and just like Shakespeare, Jonson was a dramatist, poet and actor. Jonson’s work was very well received from 1605 to 1620, but his reputation began to wane in the 1620s. He wrote a play called “The New Inn” which was received so badly, the actors were hissed off the stage. Immediately afterwards, Jonson wrote about the failure in his poem “Ode to Himself”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 2008 Lil Wayne hit whose title is slang for lots of money : A MILLI
7 Geographical features that Mexico City and Kathmandu are built on : LAKE BEDS
15 Weakness of note? : TIN EAR
16 Emphatic refusal : I WILL NOT!
17 Laffy Taffy flavor : BANANA
18 “You wanna fight, bro?!” : COME AT ME!
19 “That’s my cue!” : I’M ON!
20 Speedy, in adspeak : QUIK
22 Relative of a tweet : CHEEP
23 Puts through a sieve : RICES
25 Tool used in angioplasty : STENT
27 Ways: Abbr. : RDS
28 Others : THE REST
30 Middle of a bell curve : NORM
32 ___ party (all-female get-together) : HEN
33 Like a milquetoast : MEEK
35 Rabid fan : FIEND
38 Commanding lead? : ACTOR-DIRECTOR
41 Pomme de ___ (potato: Fr.) : TERRE
42 Like the daughter in 2018’s “A Quiet Place” : DEAF
43 After-dinner offering : TEA
45 Woman’s name that’s an anagram of two men’s names : EDNA
47 Snowflake shape : FRACTAL
49 Shade of gray : ASH
52 Shell material : NACRE
54 Mourner in the Book of Ruth : NAOMI
55 Abu ___ : DHABI
57 Org. that operates the Large Hadron Collider : CERN
59 Shapes of some bacterial cells : RODS
60 They’ll show you what’s what : LABELERS
62 Try to counteract : COMBAT
64 Conspiring (with) : IN LEAGUE
65 Use one’s noodle, formally : IDEATE
66 Allen Ginsberg, e.g. : BEAT POET
67 Name over a return address : SENDER

Down

1 When Apgar tests are performed : AT BIRTH
2 Southernmost team in the N.B.A. : MIAMI HEAT
3 Purity : INNOCENCE
4 One-point throw in horseshoes : LEANER
5 Computer connection letters : LAN
6 Modern-day home of where the biblical Abraham was born : IRAQ
7 O.K. : LICIT
8 Disturbed, say : AWOKEN
9 Despot with a nuclear arsenal : KIM
10 Cooler filled with juice? : ELECTRIC FAN
11 Low on the excite-o-meter : BLAH
12 Arrive on the scene : ENTER
13 Round up? : DOMED
14 Things that creak in haunted houses : STEPS
21 Spanish counterpart of the French “vous” : USTED
24 Reversible word : SEMORDNILAP
26 “Don’t worry” : NO FEAR
29 ___ Slam (sports feat) : SERENA
31 Congregated : MET
34 Josh : KID
36 “I’ve seen worse” : NOT TOO BAD
37 Best of all possible whirls? : DREAM DATE
39 Pope Francis III? : TRE
40 Point (to) : REFER
44 Celeb : A-LISTER
46 Pile up : ACCRUE
48 1875 premiere at Paris’s Opéra-Comique : CARMEN
49 Jack Nicholson’s classic line “You can’t handle the truth,” for one : AD LIB
50 1949 Jack Schaefer novel made into an Oscar-nominated film : SHANE
51 “Se ___ español” : HABLA
53 Zero, in a way : RESET
56 Cardiologist’s favorite vegetable? : BEET
58 Longtime CBS drama spinoff : NCIS
61 Word hidden in this clue that might hold up negotiations : EGO
63 Ben Jonson wrote one to himself : ODE

3 thoughts on “1102-19 NY Times Crossword 2 Nov 19, Saturday”

  1. 31:55 – 2 lookups. Pressed for time so I Googled a couple of things. I guess I’ll never know if I’d have finished it on my own or not given more time. A lot of interesting stuff in this one – e.g. Mexico City was built on a LAKE BED that apparently was drained by the Spanish in the 1600’s. I also had no idea that “You can’t handle the truth” was an ad lib line.

    Best –

  2. I see why aibohphobia is your favorite word. Now it’s mine. Good on multiple levels. So themeworthy! A clever constructor could have a field day with that as a theme.

    That is, as long as tribute is properly bestowed, ala Bizet. It’s your idea, Bill. You get the credit.

    Any takers?

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