1125-19 NY Times Crossword 25 Nov 19, Monday

Constructed by: Daniel Mauer
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Ack! Ack!

Themed answers each include two instances of the syllable “ack”:

  • 17A Reason to raid the fridge : SNACK ATTACK
  • 29A No longer astray : BACK ON TRACK
  • 45A 1986 Keith Haring antidrug mural : CRACK IS WACK
  • 60A Gab : YACKETY YACK

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

Bill’s time: 6m 13s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Very bottom : NADIR

The nadir is the direction pointing immediately below a particular location (through to the other side of the Earth for example). The opposite direction, that pointing immediately above, is called the zenith. We use the terms “nadir” and “zenith” figuratively to mean the low and high points in a person’s fortunes.

6 [OMG!] : [GASP!]

“OMG” is text-speak for “Oh My Gosh!” “Oh My Goodness!” or any other G-words you might care to use …

10 Super Mario Bros. console, for short : NES

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was sold in North America from 1985 to 1995. The NES was the biggest selling gaming console of the era. Nintendo replaced the NES with Wii, which is also the biggest-selling game console in the world.

“Super Mario” is a series of video games created by Nintendo that features the character Mario, and his adventures in the Mushroom Kingdom.

14 Killer whales : ORCAS

The taxonomic name for the killer whale is “Orcinus orca”. The use of the name “orca”, rather than “killer whale”, is becoming more and more common. The Latin word “Orcinus” means “belonging to Orcus”, with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

16 Be ___ loss for words : AT A

Like a crossword solver at times …

19 Biol. or chem. : SCI

Chemisty (chem.) and biology (biol.) are sciences (scis.).

20 What a pun rarely evokes : LAUGH

Here are some of my favorite puns:

  • A man died today when a pile of books fell on him. He only had his shelf to blame.
  • I hate negative numbers and will stop at nothing to avoid them.
  • I wasn’t going to get a brain transplant, but then I changed my mind.
  • I should have been sad when my flashlight batteries died, but I was delighted.

25 Iranian currency : RIAL

The rial is the currency of Iran (as well as Yemen, Oman, Cambodia and Tunisia). Generally, there are 1,000 baisa in a rial.

32 Tony winner Menzel : IDINA

Actress and singer Idina Menzel came to public attention when she was a member of the original Broadway cast of “Rent”. She is known on the small screen for playing Shelby Corcoran on the musical TV show “Glee”. On the big screen, her most noted performance was as the voice actor behind Queen Elsa in the Disney hit “Frozen”. It is Menzel who sings the Oscar-winning song “Let It Go” in “Frozen”.

35 Batter’s grip-enhancing goo : PINE TAR

Pine tar is applied to the handles of baseball bats as it is a sticky substance and improves the batter’s grip. In a 1983 game, the Yankees manager Billy Martin protested a home run hit by George Brett of the Royals because the pine tar on his bat extended beyond the regulation 18 inches. The home run was later allowed as it was determined that the 18-inch rule was in place for economic reasons, and had nothing to do with competitive advantage. If pine tar gets on a baseball it renders it unusable for play, and baseballs cost money!

45 1986 Keith Haring antidrug mural : CRACK IS WACK

Keith Haring was an artist who started out making chalk drawings on the New York City subway system in the late seventies and early eighties. As his work gained some recognition, he became friends with Andy Warhol, who helped Haring achieve his success.

50 Muscles used in pull-ups, informally : BIS

The biceps muscle is made up of two bundles of muscle, both of which terminate at the same point near the elbow. The heads of the bundles terminate at different points on the scapula or shoulder blade. “Biceps” is Latin for “two-headed”.

51 Greeting in Granada : HOLA

Granada is a city and province in Andalusia in the south of Spain. Granada should not to be confused with Grenada (note the different spelling), an island nation in the Caribbean that was invaded by the US in 1983.

54 The “A” of D.J.I.A. : AVERAGE

Dow Jones & Company was founded as a publishing house in 1882 by three newspaper reporters, Charles Dow, Edward Jones and Charles Bergstresser. Today, the company’s most famous publication has to be “The Wall Street Journal”. In 1884, Charles Dow started reporting the average dollar value of the stock of eleven companies, an index which spawned a whole host of metrics that carry the Dow Jones name to this day. The most famous of these metrics is the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), also known as “the Dow 30” or simply “the Dow”.

59 T. ___ (fearsome dino) : REX

The Tyrannosaurus rex (usually written “T. rex”) was a spectacular looking dinosaur. “Tyrannosaurus” comes from the Greek words “tyrannos” (tyrant) and “sauros” (lizard) and “rex” the Latin for “king”. They were big beasts, measuring 42 feet long and 13 feet tall at the hips, and weighing 7.5 tons.

64 3-D medical test : MRI

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine uses powerful magnetic fields to generate its images so there is no exposure to ionizing radiation (such as X-rays). We used MRI equipment in our chemistry labs at school, way back in the days when the technology was still called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI). Apparently the marketing folks didn’t like the term “nuclear” because of its association with atomic bombs, so now it’s just called MRI.

65 John depicted in the biopic “Rocketman” : ELTON

Elton John’s real name is Reginald Dwight. Sir Elton was knighted in 1998, not for his music per se, but for his charitable work. He founded his own Elton John AIDS Foundation back in 1992.

66 Tiny pond plants : ALGAE

Algae are similar to terrestrial plants in that they use photosynthesis to create sugars from light and carbon dioxide, but they differ in that they have simpler anatomies, and for example lack roots.

67 Conscription org. : SSS

The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System (SSS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).

68 Garage sale caveat : AS IS

“Caveat emptor” is a Latin expression meaning “Let the buyer beware”. It is used when someone buys something, emphasizing that after the deal is closed, there’s no going back.

Down

2 ___ 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)

4 Like an ancient Andean civilization : INCAN

The Inca Empire was known as the Tawantinsuyu, which translates as “land of the four quarters”. The Inca Empire was a federal organization having a central government that sat above four “suyu” or “quarters”, four administrative regions.

5 Streaming media device : ROKU

Roku is a manufacturer of digital media players that allow access to audio and video programming over the Internet that is shown on television. Roku was founded in Los Gatos, California in 2002 by Anthony Wood. Wood chose the company name “Roku” as it is the Japanese word for “six”, and Roku is the sixth company that Wood founded.

6 Like Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” : GOTHIC

Not only did Mary Shelley pen the famous novel “Frankenstein”, she also edited the works of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who was her husband.

7 Guggenheim holdings : ART

The Guggenheim art museum on Fifth Avenue in New York opened in 1939 as the Museum of Non-Objective Painting. The museum was funded by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation that had been set up by the American businessman and philanthropist for whom the foundation was named. When Guggenheim died in 1952, the New York museum was renamed to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. I’ve only visited the museum once in my life, and I love the building (designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright). The works that I saw there … not so much …

8 Distinctively shelled bivalves : SCALLOPS

A scallop is a marine mollusk that is often served as seafood. Scallops are often served baked in milk and this method of preparation has become known as “scalloping”. So, scalloped potatoes are potatoes baked in milk.

Bivalves are marine and freshwater molluscs that have bodies enclosed in a two-part hinged shell. Examples are clams, oysters, mussels and scallops. The taxonomic name “Bivalvia” comes from the Latin “bis” meaning “two” and “valvae” meaning “leaves of a door”.

10 New Hampshire’s second-largest city : NASHUA

The New Hampshire city of Nashua was named for the Nashaway people who inhabited the upstream portions of the Nashua River Valley. The name “Nashaway” translates as “river with a pebbled bottom”.

15 Reggae relative : SKA

Ska originated in Jamaica in the late fifties and was the precursor to reggae music. No one has a really definitive etymology of the term “ska”, but it is likely to be imitative of a sound.

18 Taj Mahal city : AGRA

Agra is a medieval city on the banks of the river Yamuna in India. Agra was also the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1658. The city is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

  • The Taj Mahal: the famous mausoleum built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal.
  • Agra Fort: the site where the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond was seized.
  • Fatehpur Sikri: a historic city that’s home to well-preserved Mughal architecture.

22 French philosopher Jean-Paul : SARTRE

Jean-Paul Sartre was a leading French philosopher, as well as a writer and political activist. Sartre also served with the French army during WWII and spent nine months as a prisoner of war having been captured by German troops. He was one of the few people to have been awarded a Nobel Prize and to have then refused to accept it. Sartre was named winner of the prize for Literature in 1964, for his first novel “Nausea”. Before his win, Sartre knew that his name was on the list of nominees so he wrote to the Nobel Institute and asked to be withdrawn from consideration. The letter somehow went unread, so he found himself having to refuse the award after he had been selected.

23 Insipid one : DRIP

Something that is sapid is tasty, savory. The opposite to “sapid” is “insipid”, meaning “without taste, bland”.

24 Car with a four-ring logo : AUDI

The predecessor to today’s Audi company was called Auto Union. Auto Union was formed with the merger of four individual entities: Audi, Horch, DKW and Wanderer. The Audi logo comprises four intersecting rings, each representing one of the four companies that merged.

26 Letters before an alias : AKA

Also known as (aka)

29 Hand-dyeing technique : BATIK

Genuine batik cloth is produced by applying wax to the parts of the cloth that are not to be dyed. After the cloth has been dyed, it is dried and then dipped in a solvent that dissolves the wax. Although wax-resist dyeing of fabric has existed in various parts of the world for centuries, it is most closely associated historically with the island of Java in Indonesia.

33 Part of many a showcase on “The Price Is Right” : NEW CAR

“The Price is Right” is a television game show that first aired way back in 1956.

36 Singer/songwriter DiFranco : ANI

Ani DiFranco is a folk-rock singer and songwriter. DiFranco has also been labeled a “feminist icon”, and in 2006 won the “Woman of Courage Award” from National Organization for Women.

39 Throw a monkey wrench into : SABOTAGE

There is a story that disgruntled textile workers would kick their wooden shoes, called “sabots”, into the looms in order to disable them so that they didn’t have to work. This act of vandalism was named for the shoe, an act of … “sabotage”.

40 Singer Redding : OTIS

Otis Redding is often referred to as the “King of Soul”, and what a voice he had. Like so many of the greats in the world of popular music it seems, Redding was killed in a plane crash, in 1967 when he was just 26 years old. Just three days earlier he had recorded what was to be his biggest hit, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”.

41 Bite between meals : NOSH

Our word “nosh” has been around since the late fifties, when it was imported from the Yiddish word “nashn” meaning “to nibble”. We use “nosh” as a noun that means “snack”, or as a verb meaning “to eat between meals”.

43 Hwy. infraction after a night at the bar, maybe : DWI

In some states, there is no longer a legal difference between a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and a DUI (Driving Under the Influence). Other states retain that difference, so that by definition a DUI is a lesser offence than a DWI.

46 NASA’s Spirit and Opportunity : ROVERS

There have been several rovers sent to Mars from Earth. The Soviet Union’s Mars 2 landed in 1971, and failed. Mars 3 landed the same year, and ceased operation just 20 seconds after landing. NASA’s Sojourner landed in 1997 (what a great day that was!) and operated from July through September. The British rover Beagle 2 was lost six days before its scheduled entry into the Martian atmosphere. NASA’s Spirit landed in 2004, and operated successfully for over six years before getting trapped in sand and eventually ceasing to communicate. NASA’s Opportunity also landed in 2004, and it is still going. And then NASA’s Curiosity made a spectacular, hi-tech landing in 2012 and is continuing to explore the planet today.

47 De Tocqueville who wrote “Democracy in America” : ALEXIS

Alexis de Tocqueville was a French politician and historian who is famous in the US for his two-volume text “On Democracy in America” (“De La Démocratie en Amérique”), which was published in 1935 and 1849.

48 City often considered the birthplace of democracy : ATHENS

Athens is the capital city of Greece and is one of the world’s oldest cities, with a history that goes back around 3,400 years. In its heyday, Classical Athens was a remarkable center for the arts and philosophical debate, and was home to Plato and Aristotle. Athens is often called “the cradle of Western civilization” and “the birthplace of democracy”. The city was named for the Greek goddess Athena.

49 F.D.R.’s fireside event : CHAT

President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) gave a total of thirty evening radio addresses that were termed “fireside chats”. President Roosevelt had used similar addresses to further his political agenda while he was Governor of New York. In New York, he faced opposition from a Republican legislature and so Roosevelt appealed directly to voters to apply pressure for him.

53 ___ King, morning TV personality : 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.

58 Actress Cannon : DYAN

Actress Dyan Cannon is perhaps best known for playing Alice in the 1969 film “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice”, for which she received a Best Actress Oscar nomination. Cannon is also famous for having been on Cary Grant’s long list of wives, from 1965 to 1968 (and he was 33 years her senior).

61 Japanese pond fish : KOI

Koi are fish that are also known as Japanese carp. Koi have been bred for decorative purposes and there are now some very brightly colored examples found in Japanese water gardens.

62 Two-timing sort : CAD

Our word “cad”, meaning “person lacking in finer feelings”, is a shortening of the word “cadet”. “Cad” was first used for a servant, and then students at British universities used “cad” as a term for a boy from the local town. “Cad” took on its current meaning in the 1830s.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Very bottom : NADIR
6 [OMG!] : [GASP!]
10 Super Mario Bros. console, for short : NES
13 ___ trump (bridge bid) : ONE NO
14 Killer whales : ORCAS
16 Be ___ loss for words : AT A
17 Reason to raid the fridge : SNACK ATTACK
19 Biol. or chem. : SCI
20 What a pun rarely evokes : LAUGH
21 Restrained, as a dog : LEASHED
23 “Shucks!,” only stronger : DAMN!
25 Iranian currency : RIAL
27 Easy camera setting : AUTO
28 Regret : RUE
29 No longer astray : BACK ON TRACK
32 Tony winner Menzel : IDINA
34 In pieces : APART
35 Batter’s grip-enhancing goo : PINE TAR
38 Encourages : SPURS ON
42 Romanced, in a way : WINED
44 “Keen!” : NEATO!
45 1986 Keith Haring antidrug mural : CRACK IS WACK
50 Muscles used in pull-ups, informally : BIS
51 Greeting in Granada : HOLA
52 Bitter part of an orange : PITH
53 “Oh, man!” : GOSH!
54 The “A” of D.J.I.A. : AVERAGE
57 Tore into : HAD AT
59 T. ___ (fearsome dino) : REX
60 Gab : YACKETY YACK
64 3-D medical test : MRI
65 John depicted in the biopic “Rocketman” : ELTON
66 Tiny pond plants : ALGAE
67 Conscription org. : SSS
68 Garage sale caveat : AS IS
69 Wanting others’ attention and approval : NEEDY

Down

1 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.: Abbr. : NOS
2 ___ Arbor, Mich. : ANN
3 Poker player’s request : DEAL ME IN
4 Like an ancient Andean civilization : INCAN
5 Streaming media device : ROKU
6 Like Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” : GOTHIC
7 Guggenheim holdings : ART
8 Distinctively shelled bivalves : SCALLOPS
9 Walk nervously back and forth : PACE
10 New Hampshire’s second-largest city : NASHUA
11 And so on, and so on, for short : ETC ETC
12 Assented : SAID OK
15 Reggae relative : SKA
18 Taj Mahal city : AGRA
22 French philosopher Jean-Paul : SARTRE
23 Insipid one : DRIP
24 Car with a four-ring logo : AUDI
26 Letters before an alias : AKA
29 Hand-dyeing technique : BATIK
30 40 winks : NAP
31 Prominent part of an elephant : TRUNK
33 Part of many a showcase on “The Price Is Right” : NEW CAR
36 Singer/songwriter DiFranco : ANI
37 Abides by, as rules : RESPECTS
39 Throw a monkey wrench into : SABOTAGE
40 Singer Redding : OTIS
41 Bite between meals : NOSH
43 Hwy. infraction after a night at the bar, maybe : DWI
45 Bracelet items : CHARMS
46 NASA’s Spirit and Opportunity : ROVERS
47 De Tocqueville who wrote “Democracy in America” : ALEXIS
48 City often considered the birthplace of democracy : ATHENS
49 F.D.R.’s fireside event : CHAT
53 ___ King, morning TV personality : GAYLE
55 “Yes, captain!” : AYE!
56 Big bash : GALA
58 Actress Cannon : DYAN
61 Japanese pond fish : KOI
62 Two-timing sort : CAD
63 Word after skeleton or answer : … KEY

One thought on “1125-19 NY Times Crossword 25 Nov 19, Monday”

  1. 6:59. Theme provided a lot of free letters. I first saw the clue for BATIK and thought they were referring to a method of dyeing one’s hands….Oh well, it is Monday.

    Best-

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