1129-19 NY Times Crossword 29 Nov 19, Friday

Constructed by: Sam Buchbinder
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 12m 03s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14 Cuddly-looking lemur in the “Madagascar” movies : MORT

“Madagascar” is an animated film released in 2005. It’s a story about zoo animals, used to “the easy life” in captivity, getting shipwrecked on the island of Madagascar off the African coast.

21 17+ : R-RATED

The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) film-rating system (PG-13, R, etc.) is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new movies.

22 It begins in juin : ETE

In French, the season of “été” (summer) starts in “juin” (June). Note that the names of months are not capitalized in French.

23 Official language of Belize: Abbr. : ENG

Belize was formerly known as British Honduras, which explains why English is the country’s official language. Belize is located on the northeastern coast of Central America, and borders Mexico and Guatemala.

40 Art tiles : TESSERAE

A tessera is an individual tile used in making a mosaic. Tesserae are usually formed in the shape of cubes.

42 One might be loaded in a getaway car : GAT

“Gat” is a slang term for a gun that is derived from “Gatling gun”, the precursor to the modern machine gun. The Gatling gun was invented by Dr. Richard J. Gatling in 1861. Apparently he was inspired to invent it so that one man could do as much damage as a hundred, thereby reducing the size of armies and diminishing the suffering caused by war. Go figure …

43 Record : LOG

The word “logbook” dates back to the days when the captain of a ship kept a daily record of the vessel’s speed, progress etc. using a “log”. A log was a wooden float on a knotted line that was dropped overboard to measure speed through the water.

45 Twice-committed crime? : BIGAMY

“Bigamy” means having two wives or husbands at the same time. The term comes from the Latin “bigamus” meaning “twice married”.

49 It’s found at the start of this clue : CAPITAL I

There is a capital letter I at the start of the word “It’s”.

51 Loose garments of velvet or brocade : OPERA COATS

Brocade is a very decorative fabric usually made from silk and often incorporating gold and silver thread. The name “brocade” comes from the Italian word “broccato” meaning “embossed cloth”.

56 Mount in Greek mythology : 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.

Down

3 Employers of spin doctors : PR AGENCIES

Public relations (PR)

“Spin doctor” is a slang term describing a professional in the field of public relations (PR).

4 Concern for an ophthalmologist : STYE

Ophthalmology is that branch of medicine dealing with the physiology and health of the eye. “Ophthalmos” is the Greek word for “eye”.

5 Ellipsoidal : OBLONG

The word “oblong” comes from the Latin “oblongus” which means “somewhat long”.

11 Piece of sad news : OBIT

Our word “obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”. The Latin term was used for “record of the death of a person”, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

12 Plant of the genus Prunus : SLOE

The sloe is the fruit of the blackthorn bush, and the main flavoring ingredient in sloe gin. A sloe looks like a small plum, but is usually much more tart in taste.

16 Alternative to Dos Equis : CORONA

The Mexican beer called Corona is the biggest-selling imported beer in the United States.

Dos Equis lager was originally brewed in 1897, and back then was called “Siglo XX” (20th century) to celebrate the arrival of the new century. The name was changed later to simply “Dos Equis” (two exes).

20 Predecessor of Rabin as prime minister : MEIR

Golda Meir was known as the “Iron Lady” when she was Prime Minister of Israel, long before that sobriquet came to be associated with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Golda Meir was born Golda Mabovitch in Kiev (in modern-day Ukraine), and when she was a young girl she moved with her family to the United States and settled in Milwaukee. As a teenager she relocated to Denver where she met and married Morris Meyerson, at the age of 19. She and her husband joined a kibbutz in Palestine in 1921, when she was in her twenties. Meir had been active in politics in the US, and continued her political work in Palestine. She was very influential during WWII, and played a leading role in negotiations after the war leading to the setting up of the state of Israel. By the time she was called on to lead the country, Meir had already retired, citing exhaustion and ill health. But serve she did, and led Israel during turbulent times (e.g. the massacre at the Munich Olympics, and the Yom Kippur War). She eventually resigned in 1974, saying that was what the people wanted.

Yitzhak Rabin was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, and the first Prime Minister to have been born in the relatively young state of Israel. Rabin was a signatory of the Oslo Accords in 1993, along with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, and US President Bill Clinton. Sadly, this led to his death as he was assassinated two years later by a right-wing radical who opposed the Accords.

24 Kind of cake : BUNDT

Here in the US, what we know as bundt cake takes its name from the ring-shaped pan in which it is usually baked. This pan was introduced in 1950 by the company Nordic Ware, at which time the “Bundt” name was trademarked.

26 Organization that Jordan was once part of : BULLS

The Chicago Bulls have won six NBA championships in the life of the franchise, all of them in the nineties. They won in the 1991, 1992 and 1993 seasons (a so-called “three-peat”), and then again in 1996, 1997 and 1998 (a second “three-peat”).

27 “The 12 Days of Christmas” sextet : GEESE

The fabulous Christmas Carol called “The Twelve Days of Christmas” dates back at least to 1780 when it was first published in England, though it may be French in origin. The concept of twelve days of Christmas comes from the tradition that the three kings came to visit the Christ Child twelve days after he was born. This same tradition is the origin of the title to Shakespeare’s play “Twelfth Night”.

28 Hall-of-Fame N.B.A. player Hayes : ELVIN

Elvin Hayes is a retired professional basketball player. In 1966, along with Don Chaney, Hayes became the first African American to play for the University of Houston. Hayes didn’t finish college, instead opting for a 16-year career in the NBA. When he retired from the game in 1984, he went straight back to the University of Houston and finished his degree. Well done, Elvin, is what I say …

31 Targets for SEAL Team Six : TERRORISTS

The US Special Forces unit that is popularly referred to as SEAL Team Six, is more correctly known as the US Naval Warfare Development Group (NSWDG). “SEAL Team Six” was actually the name of the unit’s predecessor, which was disbanded in 1987. The original group was created soon after the Iran hostage crisis of 1979. Two SEAL teams were deployed, and the name SEAL Team Six was used as a ruse in order to confuse the Russian intelligence services about the actual number of teams in existence.

38 On-scene reporter, in journalist lingo : LEGMAN

Lingo is specialized vocabulary. “Journalese” and “legalese” would be good examples.

39 Trio in a Christmas carol : MAGI

“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, “magi” is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born. In Western Christianity, the three Biblical Magi are:

  • Melchior: a scholar from Persia
  • Caspar: a scholar from India
  • Balthazar: a scholar from Arabia

45 Popular singer born Paul David Hewson : BONO

Irish singer Bono is a Dubliner who was born Paul David Hewson. As a youth, Hewson was given the nickname “Bono Vox” by a friend, a Latin expression meaning “good voice”, and so the singer has been known as Bono since the late seventies. His band’s first name was “Feedback”, later changed to “The Hype”. The band members searched for yet another name and chose U2 from a list of six names suggested by a friend. They picked U2 because it was the name they disliked least …

46 Market announcements, for short : IPOS

An initial public offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).

48 “Vissi d’arte,” in “Tosca” : ARIA

“Vissi d’arte” is an aria from Puccini’s “Tosca” that is sung by the title character Floria Tosca. The title translates from Italian as “I lived for art”.

49 ___ noir : CAFE

“Café noir” is French for “black coffee”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Scapegraces : IMPS
5 One making a pet’s vet appointment : OWNER
10 Throw : TOSS
14 Cuddly-looking lemur in the “Madagascar” movies : MORT
15 Wire part of a bicycle : BRAKE CABLE
17 Something to hold while waiting : TRAY
18 Fantasy concoction : LOVE POTION
19 Domination : HEGEMONY
21 17+ : R-RATED
22 It begins in juin : ETE
23 Official language of Belize: Abbr. : ENG
24 Book jacket part, in brief : BIO
25 Raked in the chips : WON BIG
27 Pressed hard on the gas : GUNNED IT
32 Go down : OCCUR
33 Soloed : WENT ALONE
34 Upset : ROIL
35 Drops : SHEDS
36 Sudden shift : VEER
37 Rough assessment of accuracy : SMELL TEST
39 Cheapskate : MISER
40 Art tiles : TESSERAE
41 Lacks the ability for : CAN’T DO
42 One might be loaded in a getaway car : GAT
43 Record : LOG
44 Implement with a blade : OAR
45 Twice-committed crime? : BIGAMY
49 It’s found at the start of this clue : CAPITAL I
51 Loose garments of velvet or brocade : OPERA COATS
53 L.A.’s ___ College of Art and Design : OTIS
54 Small price to pay : NOMINAL FEE
55 Split : LEFT
56 Mount in Greek mythology : OSSA
57 Time for a growth spurt : TEENS
58 Positive response to an invitation : LET’S!

Down

1 “Ugh, totally my fault!” : I’M THE WORST!
2 “Stay tuned” : MORE TO COME
3 Employers of spin doctors : PR AGENCIES
4 Concern for an ophthalmologist : STYE
5 Ellipsoidal : OBLONG
6 [Bzzt!] : WRONG!
7 Blue shade : NAVY
8 Squeeze (out) : EKE
9 Not originals : REPRINTS
10 “G’bye” : TA-TA
11 Piece of sad news : OBIT
12 Plant of the genus Prunus : SLOE
13 Overjoy : SEND
16 Alternative to Dos Equis : CORONA
20 Predecessor of Rabin as prime minister : MEIR
24 Kind of cake : BUNDT
26 Organization that Jordan was once part of : BULLS
27 “The 12 Days of Christmas” sextet : GEESE
28 Hall-of-Fame N.B.A. player Hayes : ELVIN
29 Nails : DOES TO A TEE
30 “My car’s out of commission” : I NEED A LIFT
31 Targets for SEAL Team Six : TERRORISTS
33 Food product that’s good even if it’s cracked : WHEAT
35 Alley scavenger : STRAY CAT
38 On-scene reporter, in journalist lingo : LEGMAN
39 Trio in a Christmas carol : MAGI
41 Thickets : COPSES
43 Grow nearer to bedtime : LATEN
45 Popular singer born Paul David Hewson : BONO
46 Market announcements, for short : IPOS
47 Treasure chest contents : GEMS
48 “Vissi d’arte,” in “Tosca” : ARIA
49 ___ noir : CAFE
50 Ring : TOLL
52 Cry at a ring : OLE!

One thought on “1129-19 NY Times Crossword 29 Nov 19, Friday”

  1. 20:33. Nice Friday effort. I had never heard the word PRANGENCIES, but I got it via crosses. Then I came to the blog, saw PR AGENCIES and felt sufficiently foolish.

    Best –

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