1118-19 NY Times Crossword 18 Nov 19, Monday

Constructed by: Alan Arbesfeld
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): A Batty Theme, Perhaps?

Themed answers each start with an animal-like adjective ending in -Y:

  • 17A Containers for leftovers : DOGGY BAGS
  • 25A Prominent position from which to pontificate : BULLY PULPIT
  • 44A In a diagonal position (to) : CATTY CORNER
  • 58A Savings repository for a kid : PIGGY BANK

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

Bill’s time: 4m 41s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Brother of Cain : ABEL

In the story of Cain and Abel in the Book of Genesis, Cain murders his brother Abel. Subsequently, God asks Cain, “Where is Abel thy brother?” Cain replies, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

9 Alpha’s opposite : OMEGA

The Greek alphabet starts with the letter “alpha”, and ends with the letter “omega”.

14 Cookie that’s often pulled apart : OREO

There is an “official” competition involving Oreo cookies, in case anyone is interested in participating. A competitor has to take several steps to finish an OREO Lick Race:

  1. Twist open the cookie.
  2. Lick each half clean of creme.
  3. Show the clean cookie halves to the fellow competitors.
  4. Dunk the cookie halves in a glass of milk.
  5. Eat the cookie halves.
  6. Drink the milk.
  7. Ready, set, go …

19 Singer Shore or Washington : DINAH

Dinah Shore had a lot of success as a singer in the forties and fifties in the Big Band Era, and then in the sixties as a hostess of variety programs on television. Shore was also a big fan of golf, both as a player and a spectator. She founded the Colgate Dinah Shore golf tournament which is now the Kraft Nabisco Championship, one of the four majors on the LPGA Tour.

“Dinah Washington” was the stage name of the blues and jazz singer Ruth Lee Jones. When she was once performing at the celebrated London Palladium, she announced (with Queen Elizabeth II sitting in the Royal Box), “There is but one Heaven, one Hell, one queen, and your Elizabeth is an impostor.” That would have created a bit of a stir …

23 Tooth in the back of the mouth : MOLAR

Molars are grinding teeth. The term “molar” comes from the Latin “mola” meaning “millstone”.

24 Mexican moolah : PESOS

Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dough, scratch, cheddar, simoleons, clams and moola(h) are all slang terms for money.

31 Island state of Australia : TASMANIA

Tasmania is a large island lying off the southeast coast of Australia. In 1642, the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sail past the island. Tasman named his discovery Van Diemen’s Land after the Governor of the Dutch East Indies, Anthony van Diemen. The name was officially changed to Tasmania, after the discoverer himself, in 1856. In Australia, a more familiar name used is “Tassie”.

35 Jerry’s gal pal on “Seinfeld” : ELAINE

The character Elaine Benes, unlike the other lead characters (Jerry, Kramer and George), did not appear in the pilot episode of “Seinfeld”. NBC executives specified the addition of a female lead when they picked up the show citing that the situation was too “male-centric”.

36 James who wrote “A Death in the Family” : AGEE

James Agee was a noted American film critic and screenwriter. Agee wrote an autobiographical novel “A Death in the Family” that won him his Pulitzer in 1958, albeit posthumously. He was also one of the screenwriters for the 1951 classic movie “The African Queen”.

37 Old Renault : LE CAR

French automaker Renault made the “mini-like” Renault 5 and sold it as the Renault Le Car in North America. My Dad had a Renault 5 in Ireland, back in the day …

Renault is a French automaker that was founded in 1899 by Louis Renault and his brothers. I’ve seen relatively few Renault cars here in North America, but have driven them many times in Europe, which is the company’s core market.

39 Slender shorebird : TERN

Terns are seabirds that are found all over the world. The Arctic Tern makes a very long-distance migration. One Arctic Tern that was tagged as a chick in Great Britain in the summer of 1982, was spotted in Melbourne, Australia just three months later. The bird had traveled over 14,000 miles in over those three months, an average of about 150 miles a day. Remarkable …

40 Capital of Angola : LUANDA

Luanda is the capital city of Angola. Luanda is a large seaport that was founded by the Portuguese in 1576. For centuries, Luanda served as the main center of the slave trade from Africa to the Portuguese colony of Brazil.

44 In a diagonal position (to) : CATTY CORNER

“Kitty-corner” means “diagonally opposite”. Apparently, the term is used mainly in the north and west of the US.

52 Bit of acting-out in a parlor game : CHARADE

In the parlor game known as charades, players take turns acting out words or phrases. “Charade” is a French word describing a literary puzzle that was popular in 18th-century France. In said game, the word or phrase was broken into its constituent syllables, with each syllable being described somewhat enigmatically. This puzzle evolved into “acted charades”, which we now refer to simply as “charades”.

55 Peter of the “Pink Panther” films : SELLERS

Peter Sellers was British comedian and actor, and a genius (in my humble opinion). In Britain, Sellers was famous on the radio as a star on “The Goon Show”, In the rest of the world, Sellers is perhaps best-known for playing Inspector Clouseau in “The Pink Panther” series of films. Like so many of the greatest comic performers it seems, Sellers struggled with depression in his life off-camera.

Apparently, some people think that the Inspector Clouseau character (played originally by Peter Sellers) is “The Pink Panther”. It’s actually the jewel that was stolen in the original movie. Would you believe there are eleven “Pink Panther” movies in the whole series?

57 Sponsorship : AEGIS

Someone is said to be under the aegis (also “egis”) of someone else if that other person provides protection, or perhaps sponsorship. The word “aegis” comes from the Greek word for a goat (“aigis”). The idea is that the goatskin shield or breastplate, worn by both Zeus and Athena, gave some measure of protection.

58 Savings repository for a kid : PIGGY BANK

The word “pig” can be used for earthenware, or an earthenware shard. From this usage there evolved the term “pig jar” that described an earthenware pot that could be filled with water for use as a bed-warmer. Crockery pots were also used to collect coins and these were also termed “pig jars”. By the 1700s, these pig jars had evolved into the first “piggy banks”.

62 One of the Great Lakes : ERIE

Lake Erie is the fourth largest of the five Great Lakes by area (Lake Ontario is the smallest). The lake takes its name from the Erie tribe of Native Americans that used to live along its southern shore. Erie is the smallest of the Great Lakes by volume and the shallowest, something for which nearby residents must be quite grateful. Being relatively shallow, much of Erie freezes over part way through most winters putting an end to most of the lake-effect snow that falls in the snow belt extending from the lake’s edge.

63 Mournful poem : ELEGY

Perhaps the most famous elegy in the English language is that written by Thomas Gray, which he completed in 1750. His “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” is the source of many oft-quoted phrases, including:

  • Celestial fire
  • Far from the Madding Crowd
  • Kindred spirit

64 “Untouchable” Eliot : NESS

Eliot Ness was the Treasury agent charged with the task of bringing down the notorious Chicago gangster Al Capone. When Ness took on the job in 1930, Chicago law-enforcement agents were renowned for being corrupt, for being on the take. Ness handpicked 50 prohibition agents who he thought he could rely on, later reducing the group to a cadre of 15 and ultimately just 11 trusted men. That group of 11 earned the nickname “The Untouchables”, the agents who couldn’t be bought.

Down

1 Internet hookup device : MODEM

A modem is a device that is used to facilitate the transmission of a digital signal over an analog line. At one end of the line a modem is used to “modulate” an analog carrier signal to encode the digital information, and at the other end a modem is used to “demodulate” the analog carrier signal and so reproduce the original digital information. This modulation-demodulation gives the device its name: a MOdulator-DEModulator, or “modem”.

2 University of Maine town : ORONO

The town of Orono is home to the University of Maine that was founded in 1862. The college is actually located on an island (Marsh island) lying between the Penobscot and Stillwater rivers. The town of Orono is named after Joseph Orono, a chief of the Penobscot Nation. The school’s athletic teams are named the Maine Black Bears.

4 Accepted doctrine : DOGMA

A dogma is a set of beliefs. The plural of “dogma” is “dogmata” (or “dogmas”, if you’re not a pedant like me!)

5 Mon., for Monday : ABBR

The days of the week are named for celestial bodies and gods

  • Sunday — Sun’s Day
  • Monday — Moon’s Day
  • Tuesday — Tiu’s day
  • Wednesday — Woden’s day
  • Thursday — Thor’s day
  • Friday — Freya’s day
  • Saturday — Saturn’s day

7 Unit of work : ERG

An erg is a unit of mechanical work or energy. It is a small unit, with one joule comprising 10 million ergs. it has been suggested that an erg is about the amount of energy required for a mosquito to take off. The term comes from “ergon”, the Greek word for work.

8 Stahl of “60 Minutes” : LESLEY

Television journalist Lesley Stahl first appeared on “60 Minutes” in 1991, after serving as moderator of “Face the Nation” for almost 8 years starting in 1983. Stahl is married to author and journalist Aaron Latham. One of Latham’s claims to fame is that he wrote the article that inspired the movie “Urban Cowboy”.

The marvelous news magazine program “60 Minutes” has been on the air since 1968. The show is unique among all other regularly-scheduled shows in that it has never used theme music. There is just the ticking of that Aristo stopwatch.

9 King Cole was a “merry” one : OLD SOUL

Old King Cole was a merry old soul
And a merry old soul was he;
He called for his pipe, and he called for his bowl
And he called for his fiddlers three.
Every fiddler he had a fiddle,
And a very fine fiddle had he;
Oh there’s none so rare, as can compare
With King Cole and his fiddlers three.

11 Rubik with a famous cube : ERNO

What was originally called the “Magic Cube” became better known as “Rubik’s Cube”, and was named for its inventor Ernő Rubik. Rubik’s Cube is the world’s biggest selling puzzle game, with over 350 million sold in just over 30 years.

12 Composer ___ Carlo Menotti : GIAN

Composer Gian Carlo Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors” has a special place in the repertoire, in that it is the first opera specifically composed for American television. “Amahl and the Night Visitors” was commissioned by NBC and had its debut at the NBC studios in Rockefeller Center on Christmas Eve, 1951. In today’s world of commercially-driven television, I can’t imagine a network commissioning a classical work …

18 ___ Linda, California birthplace of Richard Nixon : YORBA

Yorba Linda is a city in Orange County, California. It is an affluent community, and is regularly listed as the richest city in the country based on median household income. Yorba Linda is also home to the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum.

22 Speak ill of : ASPERSE

To asperse is to spread false charges or make insinuations. The more common expression is “to cast aspersions”. “To asperse” comes from the Latin “aspergere” meaning “to sprinkle”. So, “to asperse” is also the term used when sprinkling holy water.

28 Santa Monica landmark : PIER

Santa Monica, California lies on Santa Monica Bay and is in Los Angeles County. The city is home to the world-famous Santa Monica Pier, which opened in 1909.

29 Memo opener : IN RE

The term “in re” is Latin, and is derived from “in” (in) and “res” (thing, matter). “In re” literally means “in the matter”, and is used to mean “in regard to” or “in the matter of”.

31 Powder in a medicine cabinet : TALC

Talc is a mineral, hydrated magnesium silicate. Talcum powder is composed of loose talc, although these days “baby powder” is also made from cornstarch.

34 Helping a protégé : MENTORING

A mentor is a trusted teacher or counselor. The term comes Homer’s “Odyssey” in which there is a character called Mentor. Mentor is a friend of Odysseus, although he is a relatively ineffective old man. However, the goddess Athena takes on Mentor’s appearance in order to guide Odysseus’s young son Telemachus through difficult times.

We use the term “protégé” (female form “protégée”) for someone whose career is helped along and guided by a more experienced person, a mentor. “Protégé” is French for “protected”.

38 ___ Arbor, Mich. : ANN

Ann Arbor, Michigan was founded in 1824 by John Allen and Elisha Rumsey. Supposedly, Allen and Rumsey originally used the name “Annsarbour” in recognition of stands of bur oak that were on the land they had purchased and in recognition of their wives, both of whom were called “Ann” (i.e. Anns’ Arbor)

41 Ming or Qing, in Chinese history : DYNASTY

The Ming Dynasty lasted in China from 1368 to 1644. The Ming Dynasty oversaw tremendous innovation in so many areas, including the manufacture of ceramics. In the late Ming period, a shift towards a market economy in China led to the export of porcelain on an unprecedented scale, perhaps explaining why we tend to hear more about Ming vases than we do about porcelain from any other Chinese dynasty.

The Qing Dynasty, also known as the Manchu Dynasty, lasted from 1644 to 1912. By the early 1900s, civil unrest was growing. Empress Dowager Cixi made changes in government designed to improve the social situation in China, but it was too late. The Wuchang Uprising of 1911 led to the formation of a new central government called the Republic of China, and over the coming months provinces switched their loyalty from the Qing Empire to the new Republic.

45 Nearest target for a bowler : ONE-PIN

Bowling has been around for an awfully long time. The oldest known reference to the game is in Egypt, where pins and balls were found in an ancient tomb that is over 5,000 years old. The first form of the game to come to America was nine-pin bowling, which had been very popular in Europe for centuries. In 1841 in Connecticut, nine-pin bowling was banned due to its association with gambling. Supposedly, an additional pin was added to get around the ban, and ten-pin bowling was born.

48 Playwright Edward who wrote “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” : ALBEE

Edward Albee won three Pulitzer Prizes for Drama:

  • 1967: “A Delicate Balance”
  • 1975: “Seascape”
  • 1994: “Three Tall Women”

Albee also won three Tony Awards:

  • 1963: “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (Best Play)
  • 2002: “The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?”
  • 2005: Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement

“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” is an Edward Albee play that premiered on Broadway in 1962. The play won a Tony in 1963, and was adapted into a successful film in 1966 starring Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, George Segal and Sandy Dennis. The stage version is a lengthy production lasting over three hours.

49 Arctic explorer Robert : PEARY

American explorer Robert Peary was supposedly the first man to reach the geographic North Pole, although that claim is disputed, even back in 1909 right after Peary returned from his trek across the polar ice. At issue is the accuracy of his navigation.

50 Nickname for Schwarzenegger : ARNIE

Body-builder, actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in Graz in Austria, the son of the local police chief. Schwarzenegger’s family name translates into the more prosaic “black plough man”. In his bodybuilding days, he was often referred to as the Austrian Oak. When he was Governor of California he was called “the Governator”, a play on his role in the “The Terminator” series of movies.

54 Fever and chills : AGUE

An ague is a fever, one usually associated with malaria.

55 Ones ranked above cpls. : SGTS

Sergeant (sgt.) is a rank above corporal (cpl.).

59 Suffix with nectar or serpent : -INE

A nectarine is a cultivar of peach. It is noted for its smooth skin, as opposed to the fuzzy skin of the traditional peach.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Shape, as clay : MOLD
5 Brother of Cain : ABEL
9 Alpha’s opposite : OMEGA
14 Cookie that’s often pulled apart : OREO
15 ___ someone to tears : BORE
16 Song snippet : LYRIC
17 Containers for leftovers : DOGGY BAGS
19 Singer Shore or Washington : DINAH
20 Charms : ENAMORS
21 “I’m finished after this” : LAST ONE
23 Tooth in the back of the mouth : MOLAR
24 Mexican moolah : PESOS
25 Prominent position from which to pontificate : BULLY PULPIT
31 Island state of Australia : TASMANIA
35 Jerry’s gal pal on “Seinfeld” : ELAINE
36 James who wrote “A Death in the Family” : AGEE
37 Old Renault : LE CAR
39 Slender shorebird : TERN
40 Capital of Angola : LUANDA
42 Got back to : ANSWERED
44 In a diagonal position (to) : CATTY CORNER
46 Upright, as a box : ON END
47 Annoy with endless talk : YAP AT
52 Bit of acting-out in a parlor game : CHARADE
55 Peter of the “Pink Panther” films : SELLERS
57 Sponsorship : AEGIS
58 Savings repository for a kid : PIGGY BANK
60 Thin and bony : GAUNT
61 Excited about : INTO
62 One of the Great Lakes : ERIE
63 Mournful poem : ELEGY
64 “Untouchable” Eliot : NESS
65 Gave the once-over : EYED

Down

1 Internet hookup device : MODEM
2 University of Maine town : ORONO
3 Permissible : LEGAL
4 Accepted doctrine : DOGMA
5 Mon., for Monday : ABBR
6 Fancy items of neckwear : BOAS
7 Unit of work : ERG
8 Stahl of “60 Minutes” : LESLEY
9 King Cole was a “merry” one : OLD SOUL
10 Comment made when itching to leave a dull party : MY, IT’S LATE
11 Rubik with a famous cube : ERNO
12 Composer ___ Carlo Menotti : GIAN
13 Painful throb : ACHE
18 ___ Linda, California birthplace of Richard Nixon : YORBA
22 Speak ill of : ASPERSE
24 Protester’s sign, e.g. : PLACARD
26 Not tied, as sneakers : UNLACED
27 Falsehood : LIE
28 Santa Monica landmark : PIER
29 Memo opener : IN RE
30 Watch, as a bar : TEND
31 Powder in a medicine cabinet : TALC
32 Spanish water : AGUA
33 What an usher ushers you to : SEAT
34 Helping a protégé : MENTORING
38 ___ Arbor, Mich. : ANN
41 Ming or Qing, in Chinese history : DYNASTY
43 With tongue in cheek : WRYLY
45 Nearest target for a bowler : ONE-PIN
48 Playwright Edward who wrote “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” : ALBEE
49 Arctic explorer Robert : PEARY
50 Nickname for Schwarzenegger : ARNIE
51 Clucked in disapproval : TSKED
52 Home for a pet bird : CAGE
53 Get better : HEAL
54 Fever and chills : AGUE
55 Ones ranked above cpls. : SGTS
56 Things bigheaded people have : EGOS
59 Suffix with nectar or serpent : -INE

10 thoughts on “1118-19 NY Times Crossword 18 Nov 19, Monday”

  1. Good note for this puzzle: There is controversy involving it because it happens to copy (in the Timothy Parker scandal way, minus one letter) a puzzle from 1999. I’m waiting to see what kind of comment comes from this, but it’s definitely shocking given the Timothy Parker print that Shortz and gang allowed this one to happen.

  2. After examining the two puzzles and thinking about the theme involved, I think it’s fairly obvious that the similarity is purely a coincidence. I’m actually quite surprised that there aren’t more such coincidences. Setters are incredibly clever at coming up with new themes, but I think some overlap is inevitable and the probability of overlap can only increase as time goes on.

    Of course, those who love to hate on “Shortz and gang” will use this as an excuse to get on their high horses and double down on the task … 🙄😜.

  3. 9:05. Well wherever this puzzle and theme came from, it was my first crack at it. Seemed a little tough for a Monday, but maybe it’s just because it’s Monday…

    Best –

  4. 9:30 I’m with Jeff, my first time seeing this puzzle. Never, ever heard the term “catty corner”….”kitty corner”, yes, but not the former

  5. I have always wondered why some folks seem so quick to jump on Will and his constructors. Given the difficulty of creating a challenging puzzle daily with an escalating difficulty factor, I think they do a tremendous job.

  6. There were lots of sidetracks for me to explore in today’s non-typical Monday. As to the plagiarism from a previous puzzle as brought up by @Glenn, I will stay away from making any comment.

    I was perplexed by the quote by Dinah Washington about Queen Elizabeth as related by @Bill. I looked it up so as to put it into some context.

    It seems that Dinah was known as the Queen of the Blues. Dinah had a very big ego and said on stage that she herself was the only real “Queen”. Queen Elizabeth is, mind you, at the concert. Interestingly, the audience loved Dinah’s barb and applauded.

    Obviously, Queen of the Blues and Queen of the United Kingdom do not equate so Dinah’s quip must have been a lighthearted one.

    It has never been reported, however, just what HRH Elizabeth II may have thought about it.

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