1112-19 NY Times Crossword 12 Nov 19, Tuesday

Constructed by: Gabrielle Friedman & Jakob Weisblat
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Bye Bye Bye

Themed answers each start with a BYE-sound:

  • 58A 2000 ‘N Sync hit … or a hint to 17-, 26- and 45-Across : BYE BYE BYE
  • 17A Interested in experimenting sexually, maybe : BI-CURIOUS
  • 26A Stick with U.S.-made products : BUY AMERICAN
  • 45A Easily : BY A LONG SHOT

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

Bill’s time: 5m 50s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Egyptian snakes : ASPS

The venomous snake called an asp was a symbol of royalty in ancient Egypt.

14 “Roger ___” : THAT

The term “roger”, meaning “yes” or “acknowledged”, comes from the world of radiotelephony. The British military used a phonetic alphabet in the fifties that included “Roger” to represent the letter “R”. As such, it became customary to say “Roger” when acknowledging a message, with R (Roger) standing for “received”.

15 One of three on a semi : AXLE

An 18-wheeler semi-trailer truck has eight wheels under the trailer, i.e. four on each of the two rear axles. There are 10 wheels under the tractor unit. Two of the ten wheels are on the front axle, and eight are on the rear two axles that sit under the front of the trailer.

21 What the thunk of a watermelon indicates : RIPENESS

The watermelon that we find in the grocery store is actually a berry produced by the flowering, vine-like watermelon plant. Seedless watermelons were developed by Japanese scientists in 1939, and now seedless varieties account for over 80% of watermelon sales in the US.

25 Avis competitor : ALAMO

The third largest car rental company in recent years is Alamo, which was founded in 1974. Alamo made inroads (pun!) into the market by popularizing the idea of “unlimited mileage”.

30 Scottish funeral accompanist : BAGPIPER

Bagpipes have been played for centuries all across Europe, in parts of Asia and North Africa, and in the Persian Gulf. However, the most famous versions of the instrument today are the Scottish Great Highland bagpipe and the Irish uilleann pipes, my personal favorite (I’m biased). The bag in the Scottish version is inflated by blowing into it, whereas the Irish version uses a bellows under the arm.

38 Lots of ink, in slang : TATS

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are sometimes referred to as “ink”.

47 Feature of e-cigarettes : NO TAR

The partially-combusted particulate matter that is produced as a cigarette burns forms a resinous material called “tar”. Cigarette tar is different than the tar used on roads, but it is still very toxic. Marijuana smoke produces a very similar tar to cigarette smoke, and is just as dangerous.

An electronic cigarette (also called an “e-cigarette”) is a battery-powered device that resembles a real cigarette. The e-cigarette vaporizes a solution that contains nicotine, forming a vapor that resembles smoke. The vapor is inhaled in a process called “vaping”, delivering nicotine into the body. The assumption is that an e-cigarette is healthier than a regular cigarette as the inhaled vapor is less harmful than inhaled smoke. But, that may not be so …

48 Soldiers’ IDs : DOG TAGS

The identification tags worn by soldiers are often called “dog tags”, simply because they do resemble tags worn by dogs. US military personnel are required to wear dog tags when in the field. Each soldier wears either two tags or a special tag that breaks easily into two identical pieces. The idea is that if a soldier is killed then one half can be removed for notification and the remaining half stays with the body. Each tag contains basics such as name and ID number, medical information like blood type, and possibly a religious preference.

53 Colonial grievance that was a cause of the Revolutionary War : STAMP TAX

A “stamp act” is a law requiring that taxes be paid when certain documents are “stamped” to make them legal. Such taxes are known as “stamp duty”. The infamous Stamp Act of 1765 was a tax imposed by Britain on the American colonies. The colonies famously rejected the Act declaring “No Taxation without Representation”, and the disagreement became a significant factor in the decision to declare independence.

56 Sikh headwear : TURBAN

Sikhism is a religion that was founded in the Punjab region, which straddles the India-Pakistan border. Even though Sikhism was established relatively recently, it is now the fifth-largest organized religion in the world. Sikhism was founded in the 15th century by Guru Nanak.

58 2000 ‘N Sync hit … or a hint to 17-, 26- and 45-Across : BYE BYE BYE

“Bye Bye Bye” is a 2000 hit song recorded by the boy band NSYNC. It was originally written another boy band, the English group 5ive, but they passed on it.

60 Bob ___ (restaurant chain) : EVANS

Bob Evans is a restaurant chain that started out in 1946 with a truck stop diner located near Bob Evans Farm in Rio Grande, Ohio.

61 Et ___ (and others) : ALIA

“Et alii” (et al.) is the equivalent of “et cetera” (etc.), with “et cetera” being used in place of a list of objects, and “et alii” used for a list of names. In fact, “et al.” can stand for “et alii” (a group of males, or males and females), “et aliae” (a group of women) and “et alia” (a group of neuter nouns, or a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

62 River that’s home to 1-Across : NILE
(1A Egyptian snakes : ASPS)

Depending on definition, the Nile is regarded generally as the longest river on the planet. The Nile forms from two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, which join together near Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. From Khartoum the Nile flows north, traveling almost entirely through desert making it central to life for those living along its length.

64 Half of a salad bar implement : TONG

A pair of tongs is a tool with a scissor-like hinge used to pick up things, like meat cooking on a barbecue grill or ice from an ice bucket. The verb “to tong” means “to handle with tongs”.

65 Bucks, does and fawns : DEER

A male deer is usually called a buck, and a female is a doe. However, the male red deer is usually referred to as a stag. The males of even larger species of deer are often called bulls, and females cows. In older English, male deer of over 5 years were called harts, and females of over 3 years were called hinds. The young of small species are known as fawns, and of larger species are called calves. All very confusing …

Down

2 English county : SHIRE

The word “shire” comes from the Old English “scir” meaning “administrative district”. The term was replaced with county as far back as the 14th century, but the usage persists to this day, largely because some counties retain the use of “-shire” as a suffix (Yorkshire, Lancashire etc.).

4 Many a “Jackass” segment : STUNT

“Jackass” is a reality show that originally aired on MTV from 2000 to 2001. The show features a group of men doing stunts in which they usually get injured to some extent. The leader of the group is called Johnny Knoxville, who appears in the stunts and who also created the show. Not my cup of tea …

6 Big brand of kitchenware : OXO

The OXO line of kitchen utensils and housewares is designed to be ergonomically superior to the average household tools. The intended user of OXO products is someone who doesn’t have the normal range of motion or strength in the hands e.g. someone suffering from arthritis.

11 Skype call, say : VIDEO CHAT

The main feature of the Skype application when introduced was that it allows voice communication to take place over the Internet (aka VoIP). Skype has other features such as video conferencing and instant messaging, but the application made its name from voice communication. Skype was founded by two Scandinavian entrepreneurs and the software necessary was developed by a team of engineers in Estonia. The development project was originally called “Sky peer-to-peer” so the first commercial name for the application was “Skyper”. This had to be shortened to “Skype” because the skyper.com domain name was already in use.

12 Yale students : ELIS

Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut was founded in 1701, making it the third-oldest university in the US. Originally called the Collegiate School, it was renamed to Yale University in honor of retired merchant Elihu Yale, who made generous contributions to the institution. Yale University’s nickname is “Old Eli”, in a nod to the benefactor.

13 Figs. on tax forms : SSNS

The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an identity number to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income, so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So, from 1986 onward, it is a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the age of 5. Sure enough, seven million dependents “disappeared” in 1987.

18 Bar mitzvah officiant : RABBI

A Jewish girl becomes a bat mitzvah at 12 years of age, the age at which she becomes responsible for her actions. Boys become bar mitzvahs at 13. The terms translate into English as daughter and son of the commandments.

27 Zodiac ram : ARIES

Aries the Ram is the first astrological sign in the Zodiac, and is named after the constellation. Your birth sign is Aries if you were born between March 21 and April 20, but if you are an Aries you would know that! “Aries” is the Latin word for “ram”.

28 Contents of el Prado : ARTE

The Museo del Prado is in Madrid, the capital of Spain, and has one of the finest art collections in the world. The gallery’s most famous work is “Las Meninas” By Velazquez.

29 Prominent part of Snoopy : NOSE

Snoopy is a central and much-loved character in the Charles M. Schulz comic strip “Peanuts”. He is Charlie Brown’s pet beagle, and first appeared in “Peanuts” just two days after the strip’s debut in 1950. He was identified as “Snoopy” a month later, and first “spoke” (in a thought balloon) in 1952. Initially depicted as a more traditionally dog-like figure, Schulz started to anthropomorphize Snoopy in 1952, first drawing him upright on his hind legs in 1952, while ice-skating on a frozen lake.

31 Greeting at sea : AHOY!

“Ahoy!” is a nautical term used to signal a vessel. When the telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell, he suggested that “ahoy” be used as a standard greeting when answering a call. However, Thomas Edison came up with “hello”, and we’ve been using that ever since.

32 Flip out : GO BANANAS

The expression “to go bananas” is one that I would have imagined had a clear etymology but that doesn’t seem to be the case. A further surprise is that we’ve only been “going bananas” since the sixties, in the days of flower power. One apt theory about the hippy roots of the phrase is that there was an unfounded belief that ingesting roasted banana peels had a similar hallucinogenic effect as magic mushrooms.

33 2013 film for which Judi Dench received a Best Actress nomination : PHILOMENA

“Philomena” is a very moving 2013 film that tells the true story of Irishwoman Philomena Lee, and her search for her son who was taken from her at birth. The film is based on journalist Martin Sixsmith’s book “The Lost Child of Philomena Lee”. Sixsmith is played in the movie by English actor and comedian Steve Coogan, and Philomena is played by the marvelous Judi Dench. Highly recommended …

Dame Judi Dench is an outstanding English actress who has appeared for decades in her home country on stage and screen. Dench’s film career took off in the nineties with a relatively trivial role as “M” in the James Bond series of films. Since then she has played leading roles in several excellent movies including “Shakespeare in Love”, “Mrs. Brown”, “Notes on a Scandal” and “Philomena”.

43 Item with a dollar sign on it, in cartoons : LOOT BAG

The dollar sign ($) was first used for the Spanish-American peso, in the late 18th century. The peso was also called the “Spanish dollar” (and “piece of eight”). The Spanish dollar was to become a model for the US dollar that was adopted in 1785, along with the dollar sign.

44 Certain computer whiz : IT GUY

Information technology (IT)

50 1960s activist Hoffman : ABBIE

Abbie Hoffman was the founder of the “Yippies”, an activist group that had violent clashes with the police during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Hoffman, along with six other defendants, were eventually brought up on charges related to the protests and became known collectively as the “Chicago Seven”.

51 Newswoman King : GAYLE

Gayle King became co-anchor on the news magazine show “CBS This Morning” when the show debuted in 2012. King met Oprah Winfrey in 1976, with the pair now describing each other as best friends.

53 Iditarod vehicle : SLED

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race covers an incredible 1,161 miles, from Anchorage to Nome in Alaska. The race starts every year on the first Saturday in March, with the first race having been held in 1973. Finishing times range from over 8 days to 15 days or more. The first few races only used a northern route, but then a southern route was added to the roster every second year. It’s kind of a good thing, because when the racers take the northern route they don’t even pass through the town of Iditarod!

54 Save for later viewing, in a way : TIVO

TiVo was introduced in 1999 and was the world’s first commercially successful digital video recorder (DVR).

55 Prefix with -phone : XYLO-

The glockenspiel and xylophone are similar instruments, the main difference being the material from which the keys are made. Xylophone keys are made from wood, and glockenspiel keys are made from metal.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Egyptian snakes : ASPS
5 Optimistic : ROSY
9 Travels here and there : ROVES
14 “Roger ___” : THAT
15 One of three on a semi : AXLE
16 The Devil’s doings : EVILS
17 Interested in experimenting sexually, maybe : BI-CURIOUS
19 Opposite of ushered out : LED IN
20 Madison Square Garden and United Center : ARENAS
21 What the thunk of a watermelon indicates : RIPENESS
23 Experimental setting, as for a new initiative : TEST BED
25 Avis competitor : ALAMO
26 Stick with U.S.-made products : BUY AMERICAN
30 Scottish funeral accompanist : BAGPIPER
34 College course in one of the social sciences, informally : ANTHRO
35 “This looks like trouble!” : UH-OH!
36 Roman 502 : DII
38 Lots of ink, in slang : TATS
39 Activity before a graduation ceremony : ROBING
42 Soldier-to-be : ENLISTEE
45 Easily : BY A LONG SHOT
47 Feature of e-cigarettes : NO TAR
48 Soldiers’ IDs : DOG TAGS
53 Colonial grievance that was a cause of the Revolutionary War : STAMP TAX
56 Sikh headwear : TURBAN
57 Top thing filled in on an I.R.S. form : LINE A
58 2000 ‘N Sync hit … or a hint to 17-, 26- and 45-Across : BYE BYE BYE
60 Bob ___ (restaurant chain) : EVANS
61 Et ___ (and others) : ALIA
62 River that’s home to 1-Across : NILE
63 Indian crepes : DOSAS
64 Half of a salad bar implement : TONG
65 Bucks, does and fawns : DEER

Down

1 Diamond opportunity : AT BAT
2 English county : SHIRE
3 A dueler may take 10 of them : PACES
4 Many a “Jackass” segment : STUNT
5 Elevate, redundantly : RAISE UP
6 Big brand of kitchenware : OXO
7 Shtalk like thish : SLUR
8 Personal affirmation : YES I AM
9 Brush up on : RELEARN
10 Things to keep on hand to prevent burns? : OVEN MITTS
11 Skype call, say : VIDEO CHAT
12 Yale students : ELIS
13 Figs. on tax forms : SSNS
18 Bar mitzvah officiant : RABBI
22 Kind of bargain : PLEA
24 Like pink or purple hair : DYED
27 Zodiac ram : ARIES
28 Contents of el Prado : ARTE
29 Prominent part of Snoopy : NOSE
30 Where many a commuter lives, informally : BURB
31 Greeting at sea : AHOY!
32 Flip out : GO BANANAS
33 2013 film for which Judi Dench received a Best Actress nomination : PHILOMENA
37 Shown crisply on TV : IN HD
40 Get an F : NOT PASS
41 Tiny buzzer : GNAT
43 Item with a dollar sign on it, in cartoons : LOOT BAG
44 Certain computer whiz : IT GUY
46 Reach aggressively for : GRAB AT
49 One might be inferred from a chart : TREND
50 1960s activist Hoffman : ABBIE
51 Newswoman King : GAYLE
52 Look with an upturned lip : SNEER
53 Iditarod vehicle : SLED
54 Save for later viewing, in a way : TIVO
55 Prefix with -phone : XYLO-
59 German “a” : EIN

2 thoughts on “1112-19 NY Times Crossword 12 Nov 19, Tuesday”

  1. 11:41. I didn’t know the song. I figured out the revealer from the other theme answers rather than the other way around this time.

    Best –

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