1111-19 NY Times Crossword 11 Nov 19, Monday

Constructed by: Evan Kalish
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Think Tank

Themed answers each end with a kind of TANK:

  • 64A Research institute … or, when read as a direction, a hint to the ends of the answers to the starred clues : THINK TANK or THINK “TANK”
  • 17A *Hustler with a cue stick : POOL SHARK (giving “shark tank”)
  • 24A *Showy basketball two-pointer : WINDMILL DUNK (giving “dunk tank”)
  • 40A *Riot dispersal weapon : TEAR GAS (giving “gas tank”)
  • 51A *1960s-’70s teen idol with the hit “Julie, Do Ya Love Me” : BOBBY SHERMAN (giving “Sherman Tank”)

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

Bill’s time: 4m 44s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Fallout from a volcano : ASH

Our word “volcano” comes from “Vulcano”, the name of a volcanic island off the coast of Italy. The island’s name comes from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. The Romans believed that the island of Vulcano was the chimney of the forge belonging to the god Vulcan. The Romans also believed that the eruptions on Mount Etna in Sicily were caused by Vulcan getting angry and working his forge so hard that sparks and smoke flew out of the top of the volcano.

14 Vietnamese bowlful : PHO

Pho (pronounced “fuh”) is a noodle soup from Vietnam that is a popular street food.

15 Southwestern plant with swordlike leaves : YUCCA

Yuccas are a genus of shrubs and trees that live in hot and dry areas of North and South America. One of the more famous species of Yucca is the Joshua tree. Yuccas has a unique pollination system, with moths transferring pollen from plant to plant.

17 *Hustler with a cue stick : POOL SHARK (giving “shark tank”)

A pool shark is a player who hustles others in a pool hall with the goal of making money unfairly in competition. The term “pool shark” used to be “pool sharp”.

19 Japanese beer brand : ASAHI

Asahi is a beer, and the name of the brewery that produces it. “Asahi” is Japanese for “morning sun”. Asahi introduced a “dry beer” in 1987, igniting a craze that rocketed the brewery to the number one spot in terms of beer production in Japan, with Sapporo close behind.

20 March 17 honoree, informally : ST PAT

There is a fair amount known about Saint Patrick, some of which comes from two letters written in his own hand. St. Patrick lived in the fifth century, but was not born in Ireland. He was first brought to Ireland at about 16 years of age from his native Britain, by Irish raiders who made him a slave for six years. Patrick managed to escape and returned to his homeland where he studied and entered the Church. He went back to Ireland as a bishop and a missionary and there lived out the rest of his life. There seems to be good evidence that he died on March 17th (now celebrated annually as Saint Patrick’s Day), although the year is less clear. The stories about shamrock and snakes, I am afraid they are the stuff of legend.

24 *Showy basketball two-pointer : WINDMILL DUNK (giving “dunk tank”)

A dunk tank is a funfair attraction consisting of a large tank filled with water, over which a volunteer sits on a collapsing seat. Balls that are successfully thrown at a target cause the seat to collapse, and the unfortunate volunteer gets dunked.

32 Many book-marks, for short : URLS

An Internet address (like NYXCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a Uniform Resource Locator (URL).

40 *Riot dispersal weapon : TEAR GAS (giving “gas tank”)

Technically speaking, tear gas is a lachrymatory agent. This means that it causes tearing (“lacrima” is Latin for “tear”).

42 On the ___ (fleeing) : LAM

To be on the lam is to be in flight, to have escaped from prison. “On the lam” is American slang that originated at the end of the 19th century. The word “lam” also means to “beat” or “thrash”, as in “lambaste”. So “on the lam” might derive from the phrase “to beat it, to scram”.

43 Arabian Peninsula resident : OMANI

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.

45 Little Red Riding ___ : HOOD

“Little Red Riding Hood” is a fairy tale that originated in Europe and was first published in France by Charles Perrault in 1697. The title translates into French as “Le Petit Chaperon Rouge”.

46 Money in Mexico : PESO

The 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”.

51 *1960s-’70s teen idol with the hit “Julie, Do Ya Love Me” : BOBBY SHERMAN (giving “Sherman Tank”)

Bobby Sherman was a singer, actor and teen idol during the sixties and early seventies. Sherman became famous as an actor of the TV series “Here Come the Brides”, which originally ran from 1968 to 1970.

61 Ministore at a mall : KIOSK

Our word “kiosk” came to us via French and Turkish from the Persian “kushk” meaning “palace, portico”.

64 Research institute … or, when read as a direction, a hint to the ends of the answers to the starred clues : THINK TANK or THINK “TANK”

A think tank is a research institute. The use of the term “think tank” dates back to 1959, and apparently was first used to describe the Center for Behavioral Sciences in Palo Alto, California.

66 Japanese mushroom : ENOKI

Enokitake (also known as “enoki”) are long and thin white mushrooms often added to soups or salads.

67 “___, meenie …” : EENIE

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch the tiger/monkey/baby by the toe.
If it hollers/screams let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, you are it!

Down

7 Rugby formation : SCRUM

If you’ve ever seen a rugby match, you’ll recognize the “scrum”, where the players designated as “forwards” bind together and push against the forwards on the opposing team. It’s a way of restarting the game after various types of stoppages. Scrum is short for “scrummage”, which in itself is a variation of “scrimmage”. And “scrimmage” has its roots in the word “skirmish”. If you get the chance, take a look at the Matt Damon-Morgan Freeman movie called “Invictus”, directed by Clint Eastwood. It’s all about rugby in South Africa after Nelson Mandela came to power. A powerful film …

8 George of the original “Star Trek” : TAKEI

Mr. Hikaru Sulu was played by George Takei in the original “Star Trek” series. Takei has played lots of roles over the years, and is still very active in television. Did you know that he appeared in the 1963 film, “Pt-109”? He played the helmsman steering the Japanese destroyer that ran down John F. Kennedy’s motor torpedo boat. From destroyer helmsman to starship helmsman …

11 Water creatures that hatch on land : SEA TURTLES

Sea turtles don’t reach sexual maturity until they are decades old. Turtles mate at sea and then the females head to the shore to lay their eggs. Often times, the female turtle returns to the very same beach where she herself hatched.

12 Protection sold at an Apple Store : IPHONE CASE

The technical support desk found in Apple Retail Stores is rather inventively called the Genius Bar. The certified support technicians are known as “Geniuses”. The trainees are called GYOs: Grow-Your-Own-Geniuses.

25 Protected Hawaiian bird : NENE

The nene is a bird that is native to Hawaii, and is also known as the Hawaiian goose. The name “nene” is imitative of its call. When Captain Cook landed on the islands in 1778, there were 25,000 nene living there. By 1950, the number was reduced by hunting to just 30 birds. Conservation efforts in recent years have been somewhat successful. The nene was named State Bird of Hawaii in 1957.

27 Simon & Garfunkel, e.g. : DUO

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel performed together as “Simon & Garfunkel”, as I am sure we all know. The friends started singing together way back in the fifties when they were still in school together. The name of their act black then was “Tom & Jerry”.

28 Competition between two heavyweights : SUMO

Sumo is a sport that is practiced professionally only in Japan, the country of its origin. There is an international federation of sumo wrestling now, and one of the organization’s aims is to have the sport accepted as an Olympic event.

29 Gym equipment with springs : TRAMPOLINE

The first modern trampoline was developed in 1936. The apparatus was given its name from the Spanish “trampolín” meaning “diving board”. Trampolines were used during WWII in the training of pilots, to give them exposure to some spatial orientations that would be encountered during flight. Trampolines were also used by astronauts training in the space flight program. The sport of trampolining became in Olympic event starting in the 2000 Games.

30 Rapid green growth in a lake or pond : ALGAL BLOOM

When algae growth takes over a body of water, it is known as an “algal bloom”. When this happens, the water gets very discolored and the algae suck up the oxygen in the water, basically asphyxiating other life forms.

38 Certain insurers, for short : HMOS

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

41 One with a first-person narrative? : ADAM

According to the Bible, God created Adam from “the dust of the ground”. Eve was created as Adam’s companion, from Adam’s rib.

46 ___ grigio (wine) : PINOT

The Pinot gris grape is used to make white wine called Pinot gris, which is also known as Pinot grigio. DNA analysis has shown that the Pinot gris grape mutated from the Pinot noir variety.

48 Paranormal ability, for short : ESP

Extrasensory perception (ESP)

50 Arranged, as billiard balls in a triangle : RACKED

The name of the game billiards comes from the French word “billiard” that originally described the wooden cue stick. The Old French “bille” translates as “stick of wood”.

51 Worker with an apron : BAKER

In Old French, a “naperon” was “small table-cloth”. The term was absorbed into English as “napron”, describing a cloth used to cover the front of a person at work. Over time, “a napron” was heard as “an apron”, giving us our contemporary noun “apron”.

53 Old anesthetic : ETHER

Ethers are a whole class of organic compounds, but in the vernacular “ether” is specifically diethyl ether. Diethyl ether was once very popular as a general anesthetic.

54 760-mile river that starts in Switzerland : RHINE

The river running through Europe that we know in English as the Rhine, is called “Rhein” in German, “Rhin” in French and “Rijn” in Dutch.

63 General Mills cereal since 1937 : KIX

Kix cereal has been around since 1937, would you believe? Kix used to be just puffed grains, processed to give the characteristic shape. Then the decision was made to add sugar to get better penetration into the young kid marketplace. Sad really …

65 Actress Vardalos : NIA

Nia Vardalos is an actress and screenwriter whose biggest break came with the 2002 film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, which she wrote and in which she starred. The film tells the story of a Greek-American woman marrying a non-Greek Caucasian American who converts to the Greek Orthodox Church to facilitate the marriage. The storyline reflects the actual experiences of Vardalos and her husband, actor Ian Gomez. Vardalos and Gomez appeared together as hosts for two seasons of the reality competition “The Great American Baking Show”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Fallout from a volcano : ASH
4 Where the heart is : CHEST
9 Foundation : BASIS
14 Vietnamese bowlful : PHO
15 Southwestern plant with swordlike leaves : YUCCA
16 Skilled (at) : ADEPT
17 *Hustler with a cue stick : POOL SHARK (giving “shark tank”)
19 Japanese beer brand : ASAHI
20 March 17 honoree, informally : ST PAT
21 Regrets : RUES
23 Truckload : TON
24 *Showy basketball two-pointer : WINDMILL DUNK (giving “dunk tank”)
28 Way one positions one’s legs : STANCE
31 “___ sure about that?” : YOU’RE
32 Many book-marks, for short : URLS
33 Where a cat may be picked up : NAPE
37 Make a mess of : BOTCH
39 Newsstand purchase, for short : MAG
40 *Riot dispersal weapon : TEAR GAS (giving “gas tank”)
42 On the ___ (fleeing) : LAM
43 Arabian Peninsula resident : OMANI
45 Little Red Riding ___ : HOOD
46 Money in Mexico : PESO
47 Completely flat surface : PLANE
49 Comes up : ARISES
51 *1960s-’70s teen idol with the hit “Julie, Do Ya Love Me” : BOBBY SHERMAN (giving “Sherman Tank”)
55 Everyone : ALL
56 Walkway : PATH
57 Chefs : COOKS
61 Ministore at a mall : KIOSK
64 Research institute … or, when read as a direction, a hint to the ends of the answers to the starred clues : THINK TANK or THINK “TANK”
66 Japanese mushroom : ENOKI
67 “___, meenie …” : EENIE
68 Lawyer’s charge : FEE
69 Dance version of a song, maybe : REMIX
70 Definitely not look forward to : DREAD
71 Stitch up : SEW

Down

1 Downloadable programs : APPS
2 Photographed : SHOT
3 Circular earring : HOOP
4 ___ fibrosis : CYSTIC
5 “Say again?” : HUH?
6 Digital birthday greeting : E-CARD
7 Rugby formation : SCRUM
8 George of the original “Star Trek” : TAKEI
9 What makes a ewe turn? : BAA!
10 Commercials : ADS
11 Water creatures that hatch on land : SEA TURTLES
12 Protection sold at an Apple Store : IPHONE CASE
13 Reek : STINK
18 Things that are mowed : LAWNS
22 Wily : SLY
25 Protected Hawaiian bird : NENE
26 Arcing tennis hits : LOBS
27 Simon & Garfunkel, e.g. : DUO
28 Competition between two heavyweights : SUMO
29 Gym equipment with springs : TRAMPOLINE
30 Rapid green growth in a lake or pond : ALGAL BLOOM
34 “That feels so-o-o good!” : AAH!
35 Expert : PRO
36 Lead-in to maniac : EGO-
38 Certain insurers, for short : HMOS
40 Minuscule : TINY
41 One with a first-person narrative? : ADAM
44 Capture : NAB
46 ___ grigio (wine) : PINOT
48 Paranormal ability, for short : ESP
50 Arranged, as billiard balls in a triangle : RACKED
51 Worker with an apron : BAKER
52 Loathed : HATED
53 Old anesthetic : ETHER
54 760-mile river that starts in Switzerland : RHINE
58 Bumbling sorts : OAFS
59 Take a ___ (protest, in a way) : KNEE
60 Make biased : SKEW
62 Winter Olympics item : SKI
63 General Mills cereal since 1937 : KIX
65 Actress Vardalos : NIA

2 thoughts on “1111-19 NY Times Crossword 11 Nov 19, Monday”

  1. 6:15. I wonder how BOBBY SHERMAN likes getting lumped into a bunch of tank references 🙂 Easy Monday. Nice way to start the week.

    Willie – welcome back. Are you over at the LAT again too? I suppose I can go look for myself.

    Best –

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