1123-19 NY Times Crossword 23 Nov 19, Saturday

Constructed by: Trenton Charlson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 19m 45s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

16 Founding member of the Justice League : AQUAMAN

Aquaman is a comic book superhero who first appeared in 1941. Aquaman was inspired by a character in a Russian science-fiction novel named “Amphibian Man”.

The Justice League is a team of superheroes in the DC Comics universe. The team first appeared in 1960, as the Justice league of America. Membership of the league changed over the years, but the original lineup was:

  • Aquaman
  • Batman
  • The Flash
  • Green Lantern
  • Martian Manhunter
  • Superman
  • Wonder Woman

18 Rap group with six Grammys : OUTKAST

OutKast is a hip hop duo consisting of rappers André 3000 and Big Boi.

21 Who’s first? : SILENT W

The first letter in the word “who” is a silent letter W.

24 Predominant language in Darjeeling : NEPALI

Darjeeling is a town in West Bengal in the east of India in the Lesser HImalayas. Today, Darjeeling is perhaps best known outside India for the black tea that bears its name. In the days of the British Raj, the cooler climate of Darjeeling made it a popular destination for British residents seeking respite from the summer heat at the lower elevations.

31 Pounded paste : POI

I am a big fan of starch (being an Irishman I love potatoes). That said, I think that poi tastes horrible! Poi is made from the bulbous tubers (corm) of the taro plant by cooking the corm in water and mashing it until the desired consistency is achieved.

32 Pollen repositories : SACS

The fine powder known as pollen is basically a flower’s sperm. Pollen carries a seed plant’s male reproductive cells.

41 What happens after a zany plot twist : HILARITY ENSUES

Something described as zany is clownish and bizarre. “Zany” can also be a noun, a term used for a clown or buffoon. The original noun was “Zanni”, a Venetian dialect variant of Gianni, short for Giovanni (John). Zanni was a character who appeared in comedy plays of the day, and was someone who aped the principal actors.

47 “Madonna of the Pinks” artist : RAPHAEL

Raphael was an artist and architect from Central Italy. Raphael was active during the High Renaissance and is often considered alongside Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci who were active in the same time frame in Italy,

49 Constrictive creature : BOA

Boa constrictors are members of the Boidae family of snakes, all of which are non-venomous. Interestingly, the female boa is always larger than the male.

50 He wrote “All that we see or seem / Is but a dream within a dream” : POE

Edgar Allan Poe (EAP) lived a life of many firsts. Poe is considered to be the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. He was also the first notable American author to make his living through his writing, something that didn’t really go too well for him as he was always financially strapped. In 1849 he was found on the streets of Baltimore, delirious and in dire need of medical help. Poe died a few days later in hospital at 39 years of age.

52 Combo component : ALTO SAX

The saxophone was invented by Belgian musician Adolphe Sax. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if his affliction was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax’s grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

55 Straightaway : BEELINE

To make a beeline for somewhere or something, one takes a direct route. The term derives from excellent homing instinct of bees.

56 “Borat” and others : SATIRES

The full name of the 2006 “mockumentary” is “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”. Borat is played by a British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. Not my cup of tea …

57 Contemporaries of the Pharisees and Sadducees : ESSENES

The Essenes were a Jewish religious group who are most noted these days perhaps as the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Down

1 City that’s home to the Mausoleum of Aga Khan : ASWAN

The Egyptian city of Aswan lies in the south of the country, on the River Nile. Aswan is famous for its stone quarries, going back to ancient times. The most celebrated granite rock from the area is called syenite. Stone from Aswan was shipped northwards along the Nile and used in the construction of the pyramids. From ancient times right up to 1970, the annual flooding of the Nile was a significant event in Egypt. The flooding allowed the deposition of fertile silt far beyond the banks of the river, helping the region’s agriculture. However, the flooding was unpredictable. So the Aswan Dam was built in the sixties and from 1970 the flooding was brought under control.

“Aga Khan” is a hereditary title of the Imam of a large sect within the Shi’a Muslim faith known as the Nizari Ismailis. The current Aga Khan is Shah Karim al-Hussayni, who has held the position since 1957.

3 Online reference : SITEMAP

A sitemap is a hierarchical list of pages on a web site. A well-designed sitemap can be useful to site visitors, but is more commonly used by search engines to get a complete and accurate picture of a site so that it is correctly represented in search results.

4 The American Messenger Co., today : UPS

United Parcel Service (UPS) is based in Sandy Springs, Georgia and has its own airline that operates out of Louisville, Kentucky. UPS often goes by the nickname “Brown”, because of its brown delivery trucks and brown uniforms.

7 13th-century literary work : EDDA

The “Poetic Edda” and “Prose Edda” are two ancient works that are the source for much of Norse mythology. Both Eddas were written in the 13th century in Iceland.

8 Borderer of the Mekong : LAOS

The present-day nation of Laos can trace its roots back to the historic Lao kingdom of Lan Xang that existed from 1354 to 1707. The full name of the kingdom was “Lan Xang Hom Khao”, which translates as “The Land of a Million Elephants and the White Parasol”.

At over 2,700 miles in length, the Mekong is the twelfth longest river in the world. It rises in the Tibetan Plateau and empties into the South China Sea at the famed Mekong Delta in Vietnam.

10 Usual suspect? : BUTLER

The cliché “the butler did it” is often attributed to a 1930 crime novel called “The Door” by Mary Roberts Rinehart. In “The Door”, the butler actually did commit the crime.

11 What pros usually do : MAKE PAR

That would be golf.

13 Moves two pieces at once, in a way : CASTLES

In the notation used to record moves in games of chess, castling with the kingside rook can be recorded as O-O, and with the queenside rook as O-O-O.

33 Low-cost carrier based in Kuala Lumpur : AIRASIA

AirAsia is a low-cost airline based in Malaysia, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Reportedly, AirAsia has the lowest actual cost of operations of any airline in the world.

The capital city of Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur, which is often abbreviated to “KL”. The name “Kuala Lumpur” translates into English as “muddy estuary”. Famously, KL is home to the spectacular Petronas Twin Towers, which are currently the tallest twin towers in the world and was the tallest of any building from 1998 to 2004.

35 Dish often served with soy sauce : SASHIMI

Sashimi is thinly sliced raw fish, although it can also be raw meat. The word “sashimi” translates literally as “pierced body”, which may be a reference to the practice of sticking the tail and fin to sliced fish to identify it.

39 Calendar abbr. : TUE

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

43 She accompanied Ferris on his day off : SLOANE

The character Sloane Peterson in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is played by actress Mia Sara. Sloane is the girlfriend of the title character.

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is one of my favorite movies of all time. It was written and directed by John Hughes and released in 1986. There are so many classic scenes in the film, including two wonderful musical interludes. The more sedate of these is a vignette shot in the Art Institute of Chicago that is beautifully filmed. The more upbeat musical scene is a rendition of “Twist and Shout” during a Von Steuben Day parade.

46 “The Battle of the ___” (D. W. Griffith film) : SEXES

“The Battle of the Sexes” is a 1914 film that was directed by D. W. Griffith. This original film is now “lost”, as no known copy exists. Griffith made another version of the film in 1928, releasing it as both a silent movie and as a “talkie”.

D. W. Griffith was a movie director in the early days of cinema. Griffith’s most famous work is “The Birth of a Nation” released in 1915. “The Birth of a Nation” was technically very innovative, but has proved to be controversial due to Griffith’s negative portrayal of African Americans, and positive portrayal of slavery and the Klu Klux Klan.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Temper, in a way : ASSUAGE
8 Experiment subjects : LAB MICE
15 Passed on : SKIPPED
16 Founding member of the Justice League : AQUAMAN
17 Boiling point? : WITS’ END
18 Rap group with six Grammys : OUTKAST
19 Nail : ACE
20 Rustic expanse : LEA
21 Who’s first? : SILENT W
22 “Your call” : NAME IT
24 Predominant language in Darjeeling : NEPALI
25 Places where drivers get tickets : PARKING GARAGES
29 Term of endearment : PRECIOUS
30 Recharge, perhaps : REST
31 Pounded paste : POI
32 Pollen repositories : SACS
36 Fruitarianism and others : FAD DIETS
41 What happens after a zany plot twist : HILARITY ENSUES
44 Appeared : ARISEN
45 Toughens : STEELS
47 “Madonna of the Pinks” artist : RAPHAEL
49 Constrictive creature : BOA
50 He wrote “All that we see or seem / Is but a dream within a dream” : POE
51 Parent’s peremptory “reason” : I SAID SO
52 Combo component : ALTO SAX
54 Least giving : FIRMEST
55 Straightaway : BEELINE
56 “Borat” and others : SATIRES
57 Contemporaries of the Pharisees and Sadducees : ESSENES

Down

1 City that’s home to the Mausoleum of Aga Khan : ASWAN
2 Bit of winter knitwear : SKI CAP
3 Online reference : SITEMAP
4 The American Messenger Co., today : UPS
5 Oafish : APELIKE
6 Passed on, in a way : GENETIC
7 13th-century literary work : EDDA
8 Borderer of the Mekong : LAOS
9 “Summa Theologica” philosopher : AQUINAS
10 Usual suspect? : BUTLER
11 What pros usually do : MAKE PAR
12 “It all gets done somehow” : I MANAGE
13 Moves two pieces at once, in a way : CASTLES
14 Interweave : ENTWIST
23 Slip : ERR
26 Try to bite : NIP AT
27 Small perk : GOODY
28 Expedition hiree : GUIDE
32 Muslim magistrates : SHARIFS
33 Low-cost carrier based in Kuala Lumpur : AIRASIA
34 Low-budget pictures? : CLIP ART
35 Dish often served with soy sauce : SASHIMI
36 Soft touch : FINESSE
37 Arch supports : INSOLES
38 Willing subjects : ESTATES
39 Calendar abbr. : TUE
40 Enters gradually : SEEPS IN
42 Anthology : READER
43 She accompanied Ferris on his day off : SLOANE
46 “The Battle of the ___” (D. W. Griffith film) : SEXES
48 A ton : LOTS
49 Term of endearment : BABE
53 Jubilant cry : OLE!

9 thoughts on “1123-19 NY Times Crossword 23 Nov 19, Saturday”

  1. 25:56. In retrospect, not too complicated for a Saturday, but the cluing made it tough. Took a long time to get a foothold. HILARITY ENSUES was my big breakthrough.

    Best –

  2. After an initial review I figured I was in for trouble but somehow I filled the bottom with little trouble and then worked my way up. Amazing what one can pull out of the fog.

  3. 1:01:27 with no errors but a lot of references to “my notes” from previous puzzles and the dictionary …..I also completed the NYT # 1215 with no errors but for some reason I couldn’t make any comments at the end of the explanations….maybe it’s just my worn out IPad .

  4. 25:47, no errors. Agree with previous posters, challenging puzzle; happy to get a clean fill. I had a lot of confidence in some wrong initial guesses: 8A LAB RATS before LAB MICE; 36D CARESSE before FINESSE; 45A INURES before STEELS.

  5. Left the NW corner till last, where I needed a couple of look-ups to “finish”. Otherwise (yes, that’s a big “otherwise”), relatively easy for Saturday.

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