1115-19 NY Times Crossword 15 Nov 19, Friday

Constructed by: Debbie Ellerin
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 11m 30s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel : EL CHAPO

“El Chapo” is the nickname of Mexican drug lord Joaquín Guzmán.

14 State of obliviousness : LA-LA LAND

“La-la land” is a euphemism for a state of unconsciousness or a dreamworld.

16 Home of the Nefud and Rub’ al Khali deserts : ARABIA

The Arabian Peninsula (also “Arabia”) is part of Western Asia that is located just north-east of Africa. The peninsula is bordered to the west by the Red Sea, to the northeast by the Persian Gulf, and to the southeast by the Indian Ocean. Most of the Arabian Peninsula is taken up by Saudi Arabia, but also included are Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen. And, it’s the largest peninsula in the world, covering about 1¼ million square miles.

17 World capital designated a Unesco World Heritage Site due to its modernist architecture : BRASILIA

Brasília is the capital of Brazil, and is located in the central-west of the country. A decision was made in 1956 to move the nation’s capital from Rio de Janeiro on the coast, to a more central location. So, Brasília was founded in 1960, and is now by far the fastest growing city in the country.

20 Ronnie who was a 10-time N.F.L. Pro Bowler : LOTT

Ronnie Lott is a former NFL footballer who played most of his professional career with the San Francisco 49ers. After Lott retired, he co-founded the investment firm HRJ Capital with Harris Barton and Joe Montana (the H and J in “HRJ”). HRJ was in business for nine years, but collapsed in 2009.

23 Singer of “I’m Your Man” and “Hallelujah” : LEONARD COHEN

I’ve never been a big fan of the music of Canadian singer Leonard Cohen (don’t all yell at me at the same time!). That said, his 1984 song “Hallelujah” is superb, and I particularly like the version recorded by Jeff Buckley in 1994.

29 Headquarters of LG Electronics : SEOUL

LG is a very large South Korean manufacturer of electronics, chemicals and telecom products. The company used to be known as Lucky-Goldstar, whence the initialism “LG”.

35 Indication of another name : NEE

“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”. The term “née” is mainly used in English when referring to a married woman’s birth name, assuming that she has adopted her husbands name, e.g. Michelle Obama née Robinson, and Melania Trump née Knavs.

37 Indication of another name : AKA

Also known as (aka)

41 Practical jokes : JAPES

“To jape” means “to joke or quip”. The exact origins of “jape” are unclear, but it does seem to come from Old French. In the mid-1600s, “to jape” was a slang term meaning “to have sex with”. No joke!

43 Serenade, maybe : CROON

A serenade is a musical performance in the open air, specifically at night. We tend to think of the term applying to a young man serenading his lover from below her window. We imported the word via French from the Italian “serenata” meaning “evening song”, influenced by the Italian “sera” meaning “evening”.

44 Hindu god of beginnings : GANESH

Ganesh is a Hindu deity who is usually depicted with the head of an elephant.

50 Grammy winner for “My Heart Will Go On” : DION

French-Canadian singer Céline Dion first came to international attention when she won the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest, in which she represented Switzerland in the competition that was hosted in Dublin, Ireland. She is now the the best-selling Canadian artist of all time.

“My Heart Will Go On” is the love theme from the 1997 blockbuster movie “Titanic”. It was recorded by Céline Dion, and hit the number one spot in the charts all around the world. “My Heart Will Go On” was destined to become Dion’s biggest hit, and the best-selling single in the world for 1998.

51 Ida for whom a massage therapy is named : ROLF

Rolfing is a trademarked massage technique developed by Ida Pauline Rolf in the fifties.

Down

1 Island to which one is able to return? : ELBA

“Able” spelled backwards (returned) is “Elba”.

2 Cook’s supply : LARD

Fat, when extracted from the carcass of an animal, is called suet. Untreated suet decomposes at room temperature quite easily so it has to be rendered, purified to make it stable. Rendered fat from pigs is what we call lard. Rendered beef or mutton fat is known as tallow.

3 Not au naturel : CLAD

“Au naturel” is a French phrase, one simply meaning “in a natural state”. We use the term in English in the same sense, and also to mean “nude”.

5 Mahershala of “Green Book” : ALI

Mahershala Ali is an actor and sometime rapper. Among the more memorable roles Ali has had are lobbyist Remy Danton in TV’s “House of Cards”, and Colonel Boggs in “The Hunger Games” series of movies. He also won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for playing Juan in the 2016 drama “Moonlight”.

9 Not quite a buzz, but almost : CREW CUT

The term “crew cut” probably originated in Yale in the 1890s. The Yale football players were noted for wearing their hair relatively long, as it helped protect their heads inside the flimsy leather football helmets of the day. In contrast, the rowing team wore their hair relatively short, in a style that came to be known as the “crew cut”.

11 Cousin of voodoo : OBEAH

“Obeah” is a West Indian term that describes the folk magic practiced in many of the Caribbean islands.

12 Durable stocking fabric : LISLE

Lisle is a cotton fabric that has been through an extra process at the end of its manufacture that burns off lint and the ends of fibers leaving the fabric very smooth and with a clean edge. Cotton lisle is mainly used in the manufacture of underwear and stockings. The process to make the thread was invented in the French city of Lille (formerly “Lisle”), hence the name.

15 Modern-day “miner” : DATA SCIENTIST

The process of data mining is used to extract information from a database and present it in a form that facilitates further use.

24 Wash. Nationals games are played in it : EDT

Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

The Washington Nationals (“Nats”) started out life as the Montreal Expos in 1969, and were the first Major League Baseball team in Canada. The Expos moved to Washington in 2005 becoming the Nats. There are only two Major Leagues teams that have never played in a World Series, one being the Mariners and the other the Nats.

26 City near Virginia City : RENO

Reno, Nevada was named in honor of Major General Jesse Lee Reno, a Union officer killed in the Civil War. The city has a famous “Reno Arch”, a structure that stands over the main street. The arch was erected in 1926 to promote an exposition planned for the following year. After the expo, the city council decided to keep the arch and held a competition to decide what wording should be displayed, and the winner was “The Biggest Little City in the World”.

27 Feat with double and triple versions : AXEL

An axel is a forward take-off jump in figure skating. The maneuver was first performed by Norwegian Axel Paulsen at the 1882 World Figure Skating championships.

31 Encroachment : INROAD

Our verb “to encroach” came into English meaning “to acquire, get”, from the Old French “encrochier” meaning the same thing. The Old French term literally translated as “to catch with a hook”.

32 Use a Juul, say : VAPE

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 …

34 Who wrote “Parsley / Is gharsley” : NASH

Ogden Nash the poet was well known for his light and humorous verse, such as:

Parsley
Is gharsley

41 Mo. whose birthstone is garnet : JAN

Here is the “official” list of birthstones, by month, that we tend to use today:

  • January: Garnet
  • February: Amethyst
  • March: Bloodstone or Aquamarine
  • April: Diamond
  • May: Emerald
  • June: Pearl or Moonstone
  • July: Ruby
  • August: Sardonyx or Peridot
  • September: Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli
  • October: Opal or Pink Tourmaline
  • November: Topaz or Citrine
  • December: Turquoise or Zircon (also now, Tanzanite)

44 Gets excited : GINS UP

“To gin up” is slang meaning “to enliven, excite”. The term probably derives from the older “to ginger up”. Gingering up was the rather nasty practice of putting ginger up inside a horse to make it lively and move with a high tail.

45 Online back-and-forth, informally : IM’ING

Even though instant messaging (sending and receiving IMs) has been around since the 1960s, it was AOL who popularized the term “instant message” in the eighties and nineties. The “AOL Instant Message” service was known as AIM.

46 Cookie topped with toasted coconut, caramel and chocolate : SAMOA

Depending on which bakery makes the particular variety of Girl Scout cookies, the name can vary. For example, Little Brownie Bakers makes the Samoa cookies, while ABC Bakers uses the same recipe and calls the cookies Caramel deLites. The assumption is that these cookies have the exotic name “Samoa” because they contain the tropical ingredients of coconut and cocoa. The most popular variety of Girl Scout cookies sold are Thin Mints.

52 Wind in a pit : OBOE

When you hear an orchestra tuning before a performance, you’ll note (pun!) that the oboe starts off the process by playing an “A”. The rest of the musicians in turn tune to that oboe’s “A”.

53 Loos : LAVS

Our word “toilet” comes into our vocabulary via a tortuous route from the Middle French “toile” meaning “cloth, net”. The French “toilette” is a diminutive of “toile”, and described a cloth or bag for clothes. From this usage, the English word “toilet” came to mean “fine cloth cover over a dressing table”, and the “the articles used in dressing”. From there, “toilet” described the act of dressing, and then a dressing room. By the early 1800s, a toilet was a dressing room that had a lavatory attached, and eventually the lavatory itself.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel : EL CHAPO
8 Move smoothly up or down : SCROLL
14 State of obliviousness : LA-LA LAND
16 Home of the Nefud and Rub’ al Khali deserts : ARABIA
17 World capital designated a Unesco World Heritage Site due to its modernist architecture : BRASILIA
18 Revile : DETEST
19 Puts together : ADDS
20 Ronnie who was a 10-time N.F.L. Pro Bowler : LOTT
22 Thrash, with “on” : WHALE …
23 Singer of “I’m Your Man” and “Hallelujah” : LEONARD COHEN
26 Rather racy, say : RATED R
29 Headquarters of LG Electronics : SEOUL
30 Be : EXIST
31 “No words” : I CAN’T EVEN
35 Indication of another name : NEE
36 Foul moods : SNITS
37 Indication of another name : AKA
38 Things that may be settled : OLD SCORES
41 Practical jokes : JAPES
43 Serenade, maybe : CROON
44 Hindu god of beginnings : GANESH
45 “What do you think … real or not?” : IS THAT A THING?
49 Hurts : MAIMS
50 Grammy winner for “My Heart Will Go On” : DION
51 Ida for whom a massage therapy is named : ROLF
55 Pranksome : IMPISH
57 Where to order nigiri or maki : SUSHI BAR
59 “Haven’t the foggiest” : NO IDEA
60 Soul mate : TRUE LOVE
61 Overhead structure for a crane or railroad signals : GANTRY
62 Most nimble : SPRYEST

Down

1 Island to which one is able to return? : ELBA
2 Cook’s supply : LARD
3 Not au naturel : CLAD
4 Major inconveniences : HASSLES
5 Mahershala of “Green Book” : ALI
6 Tan’s opposite : PALLOR
7 It may bring you to tears : ONION
8 Blue : SAD
9 Not quite a buzz, but almost : CREW CUT
10 Squalid place : RAT HOLE
11 Cousin of voodoo : OBEAH
12 Durable stocking fabric : LISLE
13 Grow toward evening : LATEN
15 Modern-day “miner” : DATA SCIENTIST
21 Dog biscuits and such : TREATS
24 Wash. Nationals games are played in it : EDT
25 Family heads : DONS
26 City near Virginia City : RENO
27 Feat with double and triple versions : AXEL
28 50-50, say : TIED
31 Encroachment : INROAD
32 Use a Juul, say : VAPE
33 Barely gets, with “out” : EKES
34 Who wrote “Parsley / Is gharsley” : NASH
36 Stain on Santa : SOOT
39 German chancellor between Brandt and Kohl : SCHMIDT
40 Less refined : CRASSER
41 Mo. whose birthstone is garnet : JAN
42 In a rage : ANGRILY
44 Gets excited : GINS UP
45 Online back-and-forth, informally : IM’ING
46 Cookie topped with toasted coconut, caramel and chocolate : SAMOA
47 Basket always worth two points : TIP-IN
48 Word after office or off : … HOURS
52 Wind in a pit : OBOE
53 Loos : LAVS
54 Stew : FRET
56 Stable staple : HAY
58 ___ Excellency (title for an ambassador) : HER

2 thoughts on “1115-19 NY Times Crossword 15 Nov 19, Friday”

  1. 27:12 This must be musical reference week for the NYTC. I didn’t become a fan of Leonard Cohen until the later stages of his career. His live version of “Tower Of Song” makes me chuckle as he showed a humorous side that rarely surfaced in studio recordings. And yes, I did look up the usages of “whale”, “wail” and “wale” after the fact.

  2. 20:59. Had some issues in the SW, but otherwise was a smooth fun solve.

    I went to grad school at the Univ. of Texas at Austin. We used to go down to Nuevo Laredo on the Mexican border and do crazy things (it was safer back in those days) on some free weekends.

    On one weekend which we did not go down, one of our favorite restaurants was closed for a couple of hours by a group of armed men. No one left. No one came in. Turns out EL CHAPO was eating there, and that’s the only way he felt safe. He paid the tab for everyone in the restaurant, and then went on his way. We were more reserved going down there after that. I wouldn’t go anywhere near there these days.

    Best –

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.