1121-19 NY Times Crossword 21 Nov 19, Thursday

Constructed by: Aimee Lucido
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Mind the Gap

We have a pseudo-rebus puzzle today, with the letters GAP appearing in some squares. Those letters are included in across-answers, but are skipped over in down-answers:

  • 39A Underground warning … or a warning about four squares in this grid : MIND THE GAP
  • 23A Classic fraternity bash : TOGA PARTY
  • 25A New York City : THE BIG APPLE
  • 57A Native of the Lion City : SINGAPOREAN
  • 60A Activewear akin to leggings : YOGA PANTS
  • 5D Car tower : REPO / MAN
  • 10D “Uh-oh! Don’t do that!” : BAD / IDEA
  • 41D Bit of workout gear : GYM / SHOE
  • 44D Long cold spell : ICE / AGE

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

Bill’s time: 17m 59s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Setting for “Amazing Grace,” maybe : MASS

The principal act of worship in the Roman Catholic tradition is the Mass. The term “Mass” comes from the Late Latin word “missa” meaning “dismissal”. This word is used at the end of the Latin Mass in “Ite, missa est” which translates literally as “Go, it is the dismissal”.

“Amazing Grace” is a very, very famous hymn, with words written by John Newton in 1779. The words have been set to a number of different melodies, and what we are used to hearing today is music from a tune called “New Britain”.

Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
T’was blind but now I see

19 Barre bends : PLIES

A barre is a handrail used by ballet dancers for warm-up exercises and to provide support when practicing certain moves.

The French word for “bent” is “plié”. In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent. A “demi-plié” is a similar move, but with less bending of the knees.

25 New York City : THE BIG APPLE

Apparently, the first published use of the term “Big Apple” to describe New York City dates back to 1909. Edward Martin wrote the following in his book “The Wayfarer in New York”:

Kansas is apt to see in New York a greedy city. . . . It inclines to think that the big apple gets a disproportionate share of the national sap.

Over ten years later, the term “big apple” was used as a nickname for racetracks in and around New York City. However, the concerted effort to “brand” the city as the Big Apple had to wait until the seventies and was the work of the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau.

30 ___ Pro : IPAD

The iPad Pro tablet computer, when it was released in November 2015, featured a larger screen than all prior iPad models. The iPad Pro also came with some interesting accessories, including an attachable keyboard and the Apple Pencil.

32 Cavaliers, on scoreboards : CLE

The Cavaliers are the professional basketball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavs joined the NBA as an expansion team in 1970.

33 Peak in Thessaly : OSSA

Mount Ossa in Greece is located between Mount Pelion in the south, and the famed Mount Olympus in the north. Mount Ossa is also known as Kissavos.

The region of Greece known as Thessaly used to be called Aeolia, and appears in Homer’s “Odyssey” under the latter name.

37 “Melrose Place” actor Rob : ESTES

Rob Estes is the actor who played Harry Wilson on the TV show “90210” and Kyle McBride on “Melrose Place”.

“Melrose Place” is a soap opera that originally aired from 1992 to 1999. “Melrose” was a spin-off of the hit show “Beverly Hills, 90210”. The show’s name comes from where the story is set, in an apartment complex with the address of 4616 Melrose Place in West Hollywood, California. “Melrose Place” was rebooted in 2009 (and some called “Melrose Place 2.0”, but was canceled after just one season.

39 Underground warning … or a warning about four squares in this grid : MIND THE GAP

“Mind the gap” is a very famous announcement made in several stations on the London Underground. The announcement is needed as there can be a large gap between the doorways of trains and the platform. This gap arises because the platforms of some stations are quite curved, while the train cars are of course straight.

42 Raindrop in the sunlight, e.g. : PRISM

When light passes through a prism, it splits up (disperses) into differing wavelengths. It then becomes clear that white light is actually a mixture of different colors, which show up as beautiful spectrum.

50 “Parks and ___” (familiar name of a TV sitcom) : REC

“Parks and Recreation” is a sitcom that started airing on NBC in 2009, and is a show that has grown on me. It stars the “Saturday Night Live” alum Amy Poehler. The creators of “Parks and Recreation” are part of the team responsible for the American version of “The Office”, so you’ll notice some similarities in the style of the two shows, and some actors that have appeared in both.

51 Rudolph formerly of “S.N.L.” : MAYA

Comic actress Maya Rudolph got her break as a regular cast member on “Saturday Night Live”. Rudolph’s mother was singer Minnie Ripperton, who had a big hit in 1975 with the single “Lovin’ You”.

53 How Twitter trolls often comment : MEANLY

In Internet terms, a troll is someone who attempts to disrupt online group activities. The fishing term “troll” is used to describe such a person as he or she throws out off-topic remarks in an attempt to “lure” others into some emotional response. I must admit to feeling sorry for people who have such sad lives …

55 Like the acid in pickle juice : ACETIC

Acetic acid has the formula CH3COOH, and is the main component of vinegar.

57 Native of the Lion City : SINGAPOREAN

The Asian city-state of Singapore takes its name from the Malay word “Singapura” which means “Lion City”. However, lions in the wild never made it to Singapore, so the city is probably misnamed and perhaps should have been called “Tiger City”.

63 Coach Parseghian : ARA

Ara Parseghian coached the Notre Dame football team from 1964 to 1974, a period known as “The Era of Ara”.

65 Like Andrew Jackson and James Buchanan, by heritage : IRISH

Like many of the earlier US presidents, Andrew Jackson was a career military man. Jackson distinguished himself as commander of American forces during the War of 1812, particularly in the defense of New Orleans. He had a reputation of being fair to his troops, but strict. It was during this time that he was described as “tough as old hickory”, giving rise to the nickname “Old Hickory” that stuck with him for life.

James Buchanan was US President just prior to the Civil War. He was the only president from the state of Pennsylvania, and also the only president who remained a bachelor for the whole of his life. As he was unmarried, Buchanan’s niece Harriet Lane acted as First Lady. Buchanan earned the nickname “Ten-Cent Jimmie” during the 1856 presidential election campaign, as he famously claimed that ten cents a day was enough for a working man to live on.

68 “King Lear” daughter : REGAN

“King Lear” is one of William Shakespeare’s tragedies. Lear’s three daughters figure prominently in the story line. The three are, in order of age:

  • Goneril
  • Regan
  • Cordelia

70 Black widow spiders make dangerous ones : PETS

“Widow spider” is a common name given to several species of spider in the genus Latrodectus. The name comes from the reported behavior of the female eating the male after the pair have mated. The female wins the battle with the male largely because the female’s venom is three-times as potent as that of the male. The most notorious widow spider is the “black widow”. The female black widow’s venom glands are unusually large and the bite can be quite harmful to humans.

72 Cortège : POSSE

Our word “posse” comes from an Anglo-Latin term from the early 15th century “posse comitatus” meaning “the force of the county”.

Down

1 Pit boss? : MAESTRO

“Maestro” is often used to address a musical conductor. “Maestro” (plural “maestri”) is the Italian word for “master, teacher”. The plural in English is usually “maestros”.

3 Lengthy rants : SCREEDS

A screed is a long speech or piece of writing, one that is often full of anger and emotion.

4 Often-memorized string: Abbr. : SSN

Social Security number (SSN)

6 Yellow primrose : OXLIP

The plant known as the oxlip is more properly called Primula elatior. The oxlip is often confused with its similar-looking cousin, the cowslip.

27 Prime-time hour : EIGHT

In the world of television, prime time is that part of the day when networks and advertisers bring maximize revenues due to the high number of viewers. Prime time is often defined as 7-10 p.m. Mountain and Central Time, and 8-11 p.m. Pacific and Eastern Time.

35 An exhibit at F.D.R.’s presidential library is dedicated to it : D-DAY

The most famous D-Day in history was June 6, 1944, the date of the Normandy landings in WWII. The term “D-Day” is used by the military to designate the day on which a combat operations are to be launched, especially when the actual date has yet to be determined. What D stands for seems to have been lost in the mists of time although the tradition is that D just stands for “Day”. In fact, the French have a similar term, “Jour J” (Day J), with a similar meaning. We also use H-Hour to denote the hour the attack is to commence.

36 Some Gillette razors : ATRAS

Fortunately for crossword constructors, the Atra was introduced by Gillette in 1977, as the first razor with a pivoting head. The Atra was sold as the Contour in some markets and its derivative products are still around today.

44 Long cold spell : ICE AGE

Ice ages are periods in the Earth’s history when there are extensive ice sheets present in the northern and southern hemispheres. One might argue that we are still in an ice age that began 2.6 million years ago, as evidenced by the presence of ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica.

49 It may get fired because of a thought : SYNAPSE

A synapse is a junction between a nerve cell and another cell over which an electrical or chemical signal can pass.

54 Alternative to ChapStick : EOS

ChapStick is a brand of lip balm produced by Pfizer, although the brand is so popular that the term “chapstick” tends to be used generically. ChapStick was invented way back in the 1880s by a Dr. Charles Browne Fleet in Lynchburg, Virginia.

66 Kanga’s kid : ROO

Kanga is a friend of A. A. Milne’s “Winnie-the-Pooh”, and is a kangaroo. She is the mother of Roo, who appears more frequently in the storyline.

67 Beach lotion letters : SPF

In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Setting for “Amazing Grace,” maybe : MASS
5 “___ Revere, Engineer” (best-selling picture book) : ROSIE
10 Mix, as eggs : BEAT
14 Something taught in a 101 class, so to speak : ABCS
15 Over-the-top : EXTRA
16 Shrine : ALTAR
18 Bring in : EARN
19 Barre bends : PLIES
20 Abandon, informally : DITCH
21 Dir. from Lubbock to San Antonio : SSE
22 Hard labor : TOIL
23 Classic fraternity bash : TOGA PARTY
25 New York City : THE BIG APPLE
28 Not shoot straight : MISAIM
29 Exchange for cash : REDEEM
30 ___ Pro : IPAD
32 Cavaliers, on scoreboards : CLE
33 Peak in Thessaly : OSSA
34 “Fish and visitors stink after three days,” for one : ADAGE
37 “Melrose Place” actor Rob : ESTES
39 Underground warning … or a warning about four squares in this grid : MIND THE GAP
42 Raindrop in the sunlight, e.g. : PRISM
45 Like many theater kids : ARTSY
46 Keys often hit in panic: Abbr. : ESCS
50 “Parks and ___” (familiar name of a TV sitcom) : REC
51 Rudolph formerly of “S.N.L.” : MAYA
53 How Twitter trolls often comment : MEANLY
55 Like the acid in pickle juice : ACETIC
57 Native of the Lion City : SINGAPOREAN
60 Activewear akin to leggings : YOGA PANTS
62 Suffix with thick or sick : -NESS
63 Coach Parseghian : ARA
64 Get around : EVADE
65 Like Andrew Jackson and James Buchanan, by heritage : IRISH
67 Cut : SKIP
68 “King Lear” daughter : REGAN
69 “Alki,” for Washington State : MOTTO
70 Black widow spiders make dangerous ones : PETS
71 Others : REST
72 Cortège : POSSE
73 Channing with a 14-year N.B.A. career (2005-19) : FRYE

Down

1 Pit boss? : MAESTRO
2 Humiliates : ABASHES
3 Lengthy rants : SCREEDS
4 Often-memorized string: Abbr. : SSN
5 Car tower : REPO MAN
6 Yellow primrose : OXLIP
7 “Doesn’t matter, but …” : STILL …
8 Steam : IRE
9 Part of 21-Across : EAST
10 “Uh-oh! Don’t do that!” : BAD IDEA
11 Three-syllable man’s name : ELIAS
12 Draw : ATTRACT
13 Able to be felt : TACTILE
17 Moan and groan, e.g. : RHYMES
22 Draw : TIE
24 German grandmother : OMA
26 Grins : BEAMS
27 Prime-time hour : EIGHT
31 Sound recording copyright symbols : PEES
35 An exhibit at F.D.R.’s presidential library is dedicated to it : D-DAY
36 Some Gillette razors : ATRAS
38 Pickle unit : SPEAR
40 On the horizon : IMMINENT
41 Bit of workout gear : GYM SHOE
42 Occasion to speak up? : PRAYER
43 Get better : RECOVER
44 Long cold spell : ICE AGE
47 41-Down, by another name : SNEAKER
48 Enlightenment : CLARITY
49 It may get fired because of a thought : SYNAPSE
52 Pretense : ACT
54 Alternative to ChapStick : EOS
56 Spoken flourishes : TA-DAS
58 Some signatures, briefly : INITS
59 Makes a home : NESTS
61 Fool : SIMP
66 Kanga’s kid : ROO
67 Beach lotion letters : SPF

7 thoughts on “1121-19 NY Times Crossword 21 Nov 19, Thursday”

  1. 42:13…and that was with figuring out the theme early for once. Hmmmm…”car tower”, as I sat thinking of someone stacking cars. Tough one for me, but enjoyed the challenge

  2. 37:56. Pretty much the same as Duncan above. But when I read the revealer clue, I was thinking of a mine or people working underground. I had to get almost all of MIND THE GAP via crosses, then figure out the gap space, then figure out there was also a rebus in that gap then figure out the confusing fill.

    Tough one for me.

    Best –

  3. 1:24:07 DNF….the entire NW corner was a bust….I had the gap in the wrong place for 25A and that blew everything.
    YUCK or maybe BAH HUMBUG for this one

  4. I was flying through this one until I hit The Lion City. Still, no mistakes and under 30 minutes so no bah humbug from me. Very fun.

  5. 30:19, no errors. Very challenging puzzle for me as well. Tough time convincing myself that the rebus only worked horizontally, and was ignored vertically. Have never ridden the London Underground, so the ‘MIND THE GAP’ was new to me. Horrible engineering design, solved by simply insuring that the track and platform both run straight in the stations.

    Andrew Jackson demonstrated that he was tough as ‘Old Hickory’ throughout his life. Carrying scars on his head and left hand from a British soldiers sword, suffered when he was 14. A lead ball in his left lung, next to his heart, from a pistol duel at age 39; another in his upper left arm from a gun battle at age 46.

  6. Liked this tough puzzle a lot, including its theme, but didn’t finish. SINGAPORE got me. Interesting comment about Andrew Jackson, but I’m not one of his admirerers.

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