1109-19 NY Times Crossword 9 Nov 19, Saturday

Constructed by: Neil Padrick Wilson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 22m 28s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

26 Think box : BEAN

The bean, the conk, the head …

36 Grindelwald’s portrayer in “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” : DEPP

Johnny Depp got his big break as an actor on television, in the eighties television show “21 Jump Street”. Depp’s first film success came when he played the title role in 1990’s “Edward Scissorhands”. He has twice been named Sexiest Man Alive by “People” magazine.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is a 2016 spin-off and prequel to the incredibly successful “Harry Potter” series of films. The film is an adaptation of a book of the same name written by J. K. Rowling that purports to be a guide book about the magical creatures in the “Harry Potter” universe. Harry Potter carries a copy of the guide book as one of his school books in the original novel “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”.

37 Monkey suits : TUXES

Apparently, the style of men’s evening dress called a “tuxedo” was first worn to a country club event in 1886 in New York. The use of a dark dinner jacket without tails became fashionable at the club with the members, and the tradition spread from there. The country club was located in Tuxedo Park, New York, giving the style of dress its name.

43 The Quakers of the N.C.A.A. : PENN

The University of Pennsylvania (also “Penn” and “UPenn”) was founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin. Penn was the first school in the country to offer both graduate and undergraduate courses. Penn’s sports teams are known as the Quakers, and sometimes the Red & Blue.

46 Nine-time winner of the Sugar Bowl, informally : BAMA

The athletic teams of the University of Alabama (“Bama”) are nicknamed the Crimson Tide, which is a reference to the team colors of crimson and white.

49 Obsolescent aid for a businessperson, for short : PDA

Personal digital assistant (PDA)

55 “This is a travesty!” : I’M OUTRAGED!

Back in the 17th century, a travesty was a burlesque or artistic imitation of a serious work, a parody. The term “travesty” has come to mean a distorted representation in general, a sham or a mockery.

57 ___ Reader : UTNE

The “Utne Reader” is known for aggregation and republishing of articles on politics, culture and the environment from other sources in the media. The “Utne Reader” was founded in 1984 by Eric Utne, with management taken over by Eric’s wife Nina Rothschild Utne in 1990.

59 One bending over backward : YOGI

A yogi is a practitioner of yoga.

Down

2 Stereotypical exclamation from Hercule Poirot : SACRE BLEU!

French speakers don’t really use the profanity “sacré bleu”, at least not anymore, but we see it a lot in English literature featuring native French speakers. Most famously it is uttered by Agatha Christie’s delightful Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. There is some dispute about the origins of “sacré bleu” (sacred blue), but French dictionaries explain that it is a “softening” of the alternative “sacré Dieu” (Holy God).

Hercule Poirot is one of Agatha Christie’s most beloved characters. He is a wonderful Belgian private detective who plies his trade from his base in London. Poirot’s most famous case is the “Murder on the Orient Express”. First appearing in 1920’s “The Mysterious Affair at Styles”, Poirot finally succumbs to a heart condition in the 1975 book “Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case”. Famously, Poirot is fond of using his “little grey cells”.

4 Butt end? : TEES

There are two letters T (tees) at the end of the word “butt”.

8 Dirt pie ingredient : OREO

Dirt cake (sometimes “dirt pie, dirt pudding”) is a dessert usually made by breaking up Oreo cookies and scattering the pieces over chocolate pudding, and then adding gummy worms on top. Sounds delicious …

9 Part of a Halloween costume accompanying a sword : ZORRO MASK

The character Zorro was created by Johnston McCulley in 1919 for a series of stories and pulp fiction, the first title being “The Curse of Capistrano”. The name “Zorro” is the secret identity of a Spanish colonial nobleman called Don Diego de la Vega.

11 Aircraft that excels at water landings : FLOATPLANE

The aircraft known as a floatplane differs from a flying boat. The former uses pontoons under the fuselage to provide buoyancy, whereas the latter’s buoyancy comes from the fuselage itself.

13 Refine : SMELT

Metals are found in ore in the form of oxides. In order to get pure metal from the ore, the ore is heated and the metal oxides within are reduced (i.e. the oxygen is removed) in the chemical process known as smelting. The oxygen is extracted by adding a source of carbon or carbon monoxide which uses up the excess oxygen atoms to make carbon dioxide, a waste product of smelting (and, a greenhouse gas).

33 “Cry, the Beloved Country” author : ALAN PATON

“Cry, the Beloved Country” is the most successful novel by the South African author Alan Paton. As with most of Paton’s most successful works, the novel has an anti-apartheid theme.

34 Rapturous reception for Oprah Winfrey? : STANDING O

Give ’em a big hand, maybe even a standing “O”, a standing ovation.

What can you say about Oprah Winfrey that hasn’t been said already? Born into poverty to a single mother and with a harrowing childhood, Oprah is now the greatest African American philanthropist the world has ever known. Oprah’s name was originally meant to be “Orpah” after the Biblical character in the Book of Ruth, and that’s how it appears on her birth certificate. Apparently folks had trouble pronouncing “Orpah”, so she’s now “Oprah”.

43 Hearing aids, in brief : PAS

Public address (PA) system

44 Amazon, e.g. : WOMAN

The Amazons of Greek mythology were a tribe of female warriors who were the daughters of Ares and Harmonia.

47 First female singer to have three simultaneous top 10 hits as a lead artist : ADELE

“Adele” is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older. Her third studio album “25”, released in 2015, broke the first-week sales records in both the UK and the US.

48 Tyler Perry title character : MADEA

Tyler Perry is an actor, comedian and writer who is perhaps best known in front of the camera for his drag performances as a tough elderly woman named Madea. Perry also created the sitcom “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” that ran for eight seasons from 2006 until 2012.

51 Buster Brown’s dog : TIGE

“Buster Brown” is a comic strip created in 1902 by Felton Outcault. Outcault took his name Buster from the very popular film star at the time, Buster Keaton. Buster’s dog Tige, was an American Pit Bull Terrier. Apparently when Tige started to “talk” in the strip, he became the first talking pet in the history of American comics.

56 ___ Fridays : TGI

T.G.I. Fridays is an American restaurant chain that was founded in 1965 in New York City. Today there are over a thousand T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants in over 50 countries. I think that Fridays has always been particularly successful overseas. I used to visit one a lot with my family when we lived in the Philippines, and I believe the most successful Fridays restaurant anywhere in the world is the one in Haymarket Leicester Square in London in the UK.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Do you think!?” : IS IT?
5 Real yawner : SNOOZE-FEST
15 Scruff : NAPE
16 “S’alright!” : NO PROBLEMO!
17 Feel the pain : ACHE
18 Real drags : UTTER BORES
19 One with something to prove : PROSECUTOR
21 Troubles : AILS
22 Scale topper : TEN
23 “And this affects me … how?” : OK … SO?
24 Pack of hot dog buns, e.g. : OCTET
26 Think box : BEAN
28 Response to a morning knock : I’M UP!
29 “Such is my fate!” : ALAS!
30 “That was really fun!” : I HAD A BLAST!
36 Grindelwald’s portrayer in “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” : DEPP
37 Monkey suits : TUXES
38 47-Down, for one : ALTO
39 1981 Rick James hit that starts “She’s a very kinky girl” : SUPER FREAK
41 Palindromic food : NAAN
42 Transportation option : RAIL
43 The Quakers of the N.C.A.A. : PENN
44 Twisted : WRUNG
46 Nine-time winner of the Sugar Bowl, informally : BAMA
49 Obsolescent aid for a businessperson, for short : PDA
51 They might be curled or dipped : TOES
52 Tried to tempt with : USED AS BAIT
55 “This is a travesty!” : I’M OUTRAGED!
57 ___ Reader : UTNE
58 Pre-moving event : GARAGE SALE
59 One bending over backward : YOGI
60 Black breakfast beverage : ENGLISH TEA
61 Insolent sort : SNOT

Down

1 Not fitting : INAPT
2 Stereotypical exclamation from Hercule Poirot : SACRE BLEU!
3 FaceTime or Wallet : IPHONE APP
4 Butt end? : TEES
5 Crept (by) : SNUCK
6 Them : NOT US
7 Decide one will : OPT TO
8 Dirt pie ingredient : OREO
9 Part of a Halloween costume accompanying a sword : ZORRO MASK
10 Die down : EBB
11 Aircraft that excels at water landings : FLOATPLANE
12 Like the woods suddenly falling silent : EERIE
13 Refine : SMELT
14 Get rid of : TOSS
20 Forever and a day : EON
25 Forest newbie : CUB
27 In the customary way : AS PER USUAL
28 It might be put in your head : IDEA
29 Spots : ADS
30 “How typical …” : IT FIGURES …
31 Pitch : HURL
32 Get rid of : AXE
33 “Cry, the Beloved Country” author : ALAN PATON
34 Rapturous reception for Oprah Winfrey? : STANDING O
35 Gob : TON
40 Hightailed it : RAN
43 Hearing aids, in brief : PAS
44 Amazon, e.g. : WOMAN
45 Corporate shuffle, for short : RE-ORG
46 Brought forth : BEGAT
47 First female singer to have three simultaneous top 10 hits as a lead artist : ADELE
48 Tyler Perry title character : MADEA
50 Face-planted : ATE IT
51 Buster Brown’s dog : TIGE
53 It’s a cinch! : SASH
54 Believes hook, line and sinker : BUYS
56 ___ Fridays : TGI

3 thoughts on “1109-19 NY Times Crossword 9 Nov 19, Saturday”

  1. 20:48. Agree that this seemed easier than Friday’s puzzle. The long answers came quickly, and that made this a faster solve than most Saturdays are for me.

    I think this setter has a sense of humor with SNOOZEFEST, OK SO, IS IT, UTTER BORES, NOT US, SASH and a few others. Fun solve overall.

    Best –

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