1203-19 NY Times Crossword 3 Dec 19, Tuesday

Constructed by: Ed Sessa
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answers: Voice … Actor

The first word from each themed answer gives us the “phrase” HERD BUTT KNOT SCENE. This sounds like a phrase that might describe a VOICE ACTOR, i.e. HEARD BUT NOT SEEN:

  • 62A With 64-Across, performer who is like the words sounded out at the starts of the answers to the four starred clues : VOICE …
  • 64A See 62-Across : … ACTOR
  • 20A *Inclination to follow the majority : HERD INSTINCT (giving “heard”)
  • 32A *Phones inadvertently : BUTT-DIALS (giving “but”)
  • 43A *Boy Scout handbook topic : KNOT-TYING (giving “not”)
  • 55A *One upstaging a star, say : SCENE STEALER (giving “seen”)

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

Bill’s time: 5m 21s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Bart who was the first Super Bowl M.V.P. : STARR

Bart Starr was a football player and coach who spent his whole career with the Green Bay Packers, playing quarterback for the Packers from 1956 to 1971. Starr was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the first two Super Bowls.

6 In a funk : SAD

Funk is ill-humor, and is a word that dates back to the mid-1700s. “Funk” is probably a term that came from Scottish and northern English.

9 Evita who was played by Madonna : PERON

Eva Perón was the second wife of President Juan Perón who was in office from 1946 to 1955. The Argentine First Lady was known affectionately by the people as “Evita”, the Spanish language diminutive of “Eva”. “Evita” is also the title of a tremendously successful musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice that is based on the life of Eva Perón.

“Evita” was the follow-up musical to “Jesus Christ Superstar” for Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Both of these works were originally released as album musicals, and very successful ones at that (I remember buying them when they first came out). “Evita” was made into a film in 1996, with Madonna playing the title role and Welsh actor Jonathan Pryce playing her husband Juan Perón.

14 Civil rights leader Williams, who was an associate of Martin Luther King Jr. : HOSEA

Hosea Williams was a minister and civil rights leader who was a friend and associate of Martin Luther King, Jr. Williams served in Europe during WWII, and spent a year in hospital due to wounds received in a Nazi bombing. When he returned home, he was beaten up by a gang of white men for drinking from a fountain marked “Whites Only”. Presumed dead, he was loaded into a hearse. The hearse driver noticed that Williams was barely breathing, and drove him over 100 miles to a veterans’ hospital that would accept black patients. Williams spent another month in hospital recuperating from his wounds incurred in the US.

17 Started the kitty : ANTED

The pot in a card game has been referred to as “the kitty” since the 1880s. It’s not certain how the name “kitty” evolved but possibly it comes from “kit”, the necessary equipment for the game.

22 Sign of a theatrical hit : SRO

Standing room only (SRO)

25 Liturgical vestment : ALB

An alb is a white, neck-to-toe vestment worn by priests, usually with a rope cord around the waist. The term alb comes from “albus”, the Latin word for “white”.

28 Wonderland cake words : EAT ME

In Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, Alice follows the white rabbit down a rabbit hole and finds a bottle labelled “DRINK ME”. When she drinks the contents, it causes her to shrink. She also sees a cake adorned with the words “EAT ME” written using currants, and when she eats the cake she grows so big she finds it hard to stand up. After eating the cake, she utters the words, “Curiouser and curiouser”.

30 News anchor Holt : LESTER

Lester Holt is a television journalist. When Holt became the permanent anchor of “NBC Nightly News” in 2015, he became the first African-American solo anchor for a daily network news program.

36 Mother of Prince Harry : DIANA

Charles, Prince of Wales married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. The wedding was a huge television event, with about 750 million people tuning in worldwide. Although the event was billed as a fairytale wedding, the couple separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996. Famously, Lady Diana died in a car crash in Paris the following year.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex is the younger of the two sons of Charles and Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales. Famously, Prince Harry married American actress Meghan Markle in 2018. The groom’s name was Prince Henry of Wales until the marriage, at which time his name officially changed to “Prince Harry”.

37 Not worth ___ (valueless) : A SOU

A sou is an old French coin. We use the term “sou” to mean “an almost worthless amount”.

38 Hazards on the links : TRAPS

The oldest type of golf course is a links course. The name “links” comes from the Old English word “hlinc” meaning “rising ground”. “Hlinc” was used to describe areas with coastal sand dunes or open parkland. As a result, we use the term “links course” to mean a golf course that is located at or on the coast, often amid sand dunes. The British Open is always played on a links course.

40 Prison at sea : BRIG

A brig is a two-masted sailing vessel, with the name “brig” coming from the related vessel known as a brigantine. Brigs and brigantines are both two-masted, but there is a difference in the sails used. It was the use of retired brigs as prison ships that led to the use of “brig” as the word for a jail or prison cell on a seagoing vessel.

41 ___ Island Red (chicken) : RHODE

The Rhode Island Red is a breed of chicken that was developed in Rhode Island and Massachusetts from the Malay chicken, and as such, the new chickens were originally named Red Malays. The Rhode Island Red was made the state bird of Rhode Island in 1954.

43 *Boy Scout handbook topic : KNOT-TYING (giving “not”)

As every little boy (of my era) knows, the Scouting movement was founded by Lord Baden Powell, in 1907. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) soon followed, in 1910. And, the Boy Scouts motto is “Be Prepared”.

45 League of Nations city : GENEVA

Genève (“Geneva” in English) is the largest city in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. I’ve been to Geneva only once, and sadly what I remember most is how expensive it is. It is in fact the fourth or fifth most expensive city in the world.

The First World War formally ended with the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, following the armistice of 1918. The Conference set the peace terms for the defeated powers, and also created the League of Nations. The League of Nations was the world’s first attempt to maintain peace across the planet. It operated until the 1930s, despite inconsistent support from member nations. The League eventually was replaced by the United Nations after it failed to prevent aggression by the Axis powers that led to WWII.

47 Soak one’s bib : DROOL

The word “bib” comes from the Latin “bibere” meaning “to drink”, as does our word “imbibe”. So, maybe a bib is less about spilling the food, and more about soaking up the booze …

49 “Six-pack” muscles : ABS

The abdominal muscles (abs) are more correctly referred to as the rectus abdominis muscles. They might be referred to as a “six-pack”, or even a “ten-pack”, in a person who has developed the muscles and who has low body fat. In my case, more like a keg …

51 Bit of body art : TAT

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are sometimes referred to as “ink”.

58 On and on and on … : AD NAUSEAM

To do something “ad nauseam” is to do so to a ridiculous degree, to the point of nausea. “Ad nauseam” is the Latin for “to sickness”.

63 Greeting in old Rome : AVE

“Ave” is a Latin word meaning “hail” as in “Ave Maria”, which translates as “Hail Mary”. “Ave” can also be used to mean “goodbye”.

66 Barbie’s beau : KEN

Barbie’s male counterpart doll is Ken, and Ken’s family name is Carson. Barbie’s full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts. When Ken was introduced in 1959, it was as Barbie’s boyfriend. In 2004 it was announced that Ken and Barbie were splitting up, and needed to spend quality time apart. Soon after the split, Barbie “met” Blaine, a boogie boarder from Australia.

67 V-formation flier : GOOSE

A collection of geese is referred to as a “gaggle” when on the ground. When geese are in V-formation in flight, they are referred to collectively as a “skein”.

Apparently, birds that fly in a V-formation do so for a couple of reasons. One is that it makes for efficient flight and conserves energy. The leading bird gets no advantage, but every following bird gets to “slipstream” a little. It has been noted that the lead bird drops to the back of the formation when he/she gets fatigued. It’s also thought that the flock can stick together more easily when in formation, so it is more difficult to lose someone along the way.

Down

1 Persian rulers : SHAHS

Before 1935, the country we know today as Iran was referred to as Persia by the Western world. The official name of the country since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 is the “Islamic Republic of Iran”.

3 N.L. pennant winner in 2005 and A.L. pennant winner in 2017 and 2019 : ASTRO

The Houston baseball team changed its name to the Astros (sometimes “’Stros”) from the Colt .45s in 1965 when they started playing in the Astrodome. The Astrodome was so called in recognition of the city’s long association with the US space program. The Astros moved from the National League to the American League starting in the 2013 season.

8 Bib overalls material : DENIM

Nîmes is a lovely city in the south of France. One of the claims to fame of the city is the invention of denim fabric. The French phrase “de Nîmes” (from Nimes) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Gênes” (blue of Genoa) gives us our word “jeans”.

10 Florida, e.g., to the French : ETAT

In French, “Floride” (Florida) is a “état” (state).

12 “The Lord of the Rings” fiend : ORC

According to Tolkien, Orcs are small humanoids that live in his fantasy world of Middle-earth (also called “Mordor”). They are very ugly and dirty, and are fond of eating human flesh.

13 Born, in Bordeaux : NEE

Bordeaux is perhaps the wine-production capital of the world. Wine has been produced in the area since the eighth century. Bordeaux has an administrative history too. During WWII, the French government relocated from Paris to the port city of Bordeaux when it became clear that Paris was soon to fall to the Germans. After the Germans took France, the capital was famously moved to Vichy.

19 Like Nash’s lama : ONE-L

Poet Ogden Nash is well known for his light and humorous verse. Try this one for size:

The one-L lama,
He’s a priest.
The two-L llama,
He’s a beast.
And I would bet
A silk pajama
There isn’t any
Three-L lllama.

25 Arcade game pioneer : ATARI

At one point, the electronics and video game manufacturer Atari was the fastest growing company in US history. However, Atari never really recovered from the video game industry crash of 1983.

Our word “arcade” comes from the Latin “arcus” meaning “arc”. The first arcades were passages made from a series of arches. This could be an avenue of trees, and eventually any covered avenue. I remember arcades lined with shops and stores when I was growing up on the other side of the Atlantic. Arcades came to be lined with lots of amusements, resulting in amusement arcades and video game arcades.

26 Leader on view in Red Square : LENIN

Lenin’s Tomb is a mausoleum in which lie the embalmed remains of Vladimir Lenin. The tomb lies just outside the walls of the Kremlin in Red Square. Lenin died in 1924, after which his body was housed in a wooden structure in Red Square for viewing by mourners. The current marble and granite structure was completed in 1930. The body has rested there on display ever since, except for the years of WWII when there was a perceived danger of Moscow falling to the Germans. The body was evacuated to Tyumen in Siberia for the war years.

27 Fort ___, North Carolina : BRAGG

Fort Bragg in North Carolina is a very large army installation that covers over 250 square miles. The base is named for General Braxton Bragg, the native North Carolinian who commanded the Confederate Army forces during the Civil War.

28 Chopin exercise : ETUDE

Frédéric Chopin wrote three sets of études. His 1833 Études Op. 10 were dedicated to fellow-composer and friend Franz Liszt. His 1837 Études Op. 25 were dedicated to Marie d’Agoult, Franz Liszt’s mistress.

Frédéric Chopin was a Polish composer who spent most of his life in France. He was most famous for his piano works in the Romantic style. Chopin was a sickly man and died quite young, at 39. For many of his final years he had a celebrated and tempestuous relationship with the French author George Sand (the nom de plume of the Baroness Dudevant). Those years with Sand may have been turbulent, but they were very productive in terms of musical composition.

29 Serengeti antelope : ELAND

The eland (plural “eland, elands”) is a large African antelope, in fact the largest antelope on the continent. Both male and female eland have horns, and those horns have a steady spiral ridge along their length.

The Serengeti is a region in Africa that is located in northern Tanzania and southwest Kenya. The name “Serengeti” comes from the Maasai language and means “Endless Plains”.

31 Seeress of ancient Greece : SIBYL

The word “sibyl” and the name “Sibyl” come from the Greek word “sibylla” meaning “prophetess”. There were many prophetic sibyls, but most famous is probably the Delphic Sibyl.

32 Erie Canal craft : BARGE

The Erie Canal runs from Albany to Buffalo in the state of New York. What the canal does is allow shipping to proceed from New York Harbor right up the Hudson River, through the canal and into the Great Lakes. When it was opened in 1825, the Erie Canal had immediate impact on the economy of New York City and locations along its route. It was the first means of “cheap” transportation from a port on the Atlantic seaboard into the interior of the United States. Arguably it was the most important factor contributing to the growth of New York City over competing ports such as Baltimore and Philadelphia. It was largely because of the Erie Canal that New York became such an economic powerhouse, earning it the nickname of “the Empire State”. Paradoxically, one of the project’s main proponents was severely criticized. New York Governor DeWitt Clinton received so much ridicule that the canal was nicknamed “Clinton’s Folly” and “Clinton’s Ditch”.

34 Tweety and Sylvester, for two : TOONS

Tweety Bird is a yellow canary character that appears in Warner Brothers cartoons. In the main, Tweety Bird was voiced by the great Mel Blanc.

Sylvester J. Pussycat is also known as Puddy Tat, and is a character who appeared in “Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies” cartoons. Sylvester is the cat who is often trying to get the better of Tweety Bird, Speedy Gonzales and Hippety Hopper. Sylvester’s trademark line is the exclamation “Sufferin’ succotash!”, which emphasizes the characters pronounced lisp.

39 Ermine, by another name : STOAT

The stoat has dark brown fur in the summer, and white fur in the winter. Sometimes the term “ermine” is used for the animal during the winter when the fur is white. Ermine skins have long been prized by royalty and are often used for white trim on ceremonial robes.

46 $5 bills, slangily : ABES

The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Abraham Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.

52 Bush 43 Supreme Court appointee : ALITO

Associate Justice Samuel Alito was nominated to the US Supreme Court by President George W. Bush. Alito is the second Italian-American to serve on the Supreme Court (Antonin Scalia was the first). Alito studied law at Yale and while in his final year he left the country for the first time in his life, heading to Italy to work on his thesis about the Italian legal system.

54 “___ Jacques” : FRERE

“Frère Jacques” is a children’s song from France. The French lyrics are:

Frère Jacques, frère Jacques,
Dormez-vous ? Dormez-vous ?
Sonnez les matines ! Sonnez les matines !
Ding, daing, dong. Ding, daing, dong.

The lyrics are usually translated into English as:

Are you sleeping, are you sleeping,
Brother John? Brother John?
Morning bells are ringing! Morning bells are ringing!
Ding, dang, dong. Ding, dang, dong.

57 With the bow, musically : ARCO

“Arco” is a musical direction instructing a string player to return to normal bowing technique after a passage played using some other technique (perhaps pizzicato).

58 “Selma” director DuVernay : AVA

Ava DuVernay is a filmmaker who became the first African-American woman to win the Best Director Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, a feat she achieved in 2012 for her feature film “Middle of Nowhere”. “Middle of Nowhere” tells the story of a woman who drops out of medical school to focus on husband when he is sentenced to 8 years in prison. DuVernay also directed the 2014 film “Selma” about the 1965 voting rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

“Selma” is a 2014 film about the Selma to Montgomery marches of 1965. Directed by Ava DuVernay, the movie stars David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson.

59 Wall Street index, with “the” : DOW

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”.

60 Long of 2004’s “Alfie” : NIA

Nia Long is an American actress who is probably best known for playing Will Smith’s sometime girlfriend and fiancee Lisa Wilkes on the TV show “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”.

There have been two versions of the movie “Alfie”. The original, and for my money the best, was made in 1966 with Michael Caine. The remake came out in 2004 and stars Jude Law in the title role. The theme song was performed by Cher in the 1966 movie, but it was Dionne Warwick’s cover version from 1967 that was the most successful in the charts.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Bart who was the first Super Bowl M.V.P. : STARR
6 In a funk : SAD
9 Evita who was played by Madonna : PERON
14 Civil rights leader Williams, who was an associate of Martin Luther King Jr. : HOSEA
15 Piece of fiction : LIE
16 Intent look : STARE
17 Started the kitty : ANTED
18 Pebble in one’s shoe, e.g. : ANNOYANCE
20 *Inclination to follow the majority : HERD INSTINCT (giving “heard”)
22 Sign of a theatrical hit : SRO
23 Lead-in to “la-la” : OOH-
24 “Couldn’t care less” : MEH
25 Liturgical vestment : ALB
28 Wonderland cake words : EAT ME
30 News anchor Holt : LESTER
32 *Phones inadvertently : BUTT-DIALS (giving “but”)
36 Mother of Prince Harry : DIANA
37 Not worth ___ (valueless) : A SOU
38 Hazards on the links : TRAPS
40 Prison at sea : BRIG
41 ___ Island Red (chicken) : RHODE
43 *Boy Scout handbook topic : KNOT-TYING (giving “not”)
45 League of Nations city : GENEVA
47 Soak one’s bib : DROOL
48 Sounds of hesitation : ERS
49 “Six-pack” muscles : ABS
51 Bit of body art : TAT
52 Comics bark : ARF!
55 *One upstaging a star, say : SCENE STEALER (giving “seen”)
58 On and on and on … : AD NAUSEAM
61 One of two on some wedding cakes : BRIDE
62 With 64-Across, performer who is like the words sounded out at the starts of the answers to the four starred clues : VOICE …
63 Greeting in old Rome : AVE
64 See 62-Across : … ACTOR
65 No longer in dreamland : AWAKE
66 Barbie’s beau : KEN
67 V-formation flier : GOOSE

Down

1 Persian rulers : SHAHS
2 Skin care product : TONER
3 N.L. pennant winner in 2005 and A.L. pennant winner in 2017 and 2019 : ASTRO
4 Marsh plant : REED
5 Commercial that might have a jingle : RADIO AD
6 Punctuation that may mean “or” : SLASH MARK
7 Nonstandard negative : AIN’T
8 Bib overalls material : DENIM
9 Pumped up, so to speak : PSYCHED
10 Florida, e.g., to the French : ETAT
11 Took to one’s heels : RAN
12 “The Lord of the Rings” fiend : ORC
13 Born, in Bordeaux : NEE
19 Like Nash’s lama : ONE-L
21 Cry in a game of tag : NOT IT!
25 Arcade game pioneer : ATARI
26 Leader on view in Red Square : LENIN
27 Fort ___, North Carolina : BRAGG
28 Chopin exercise : ETUDE
29 Serengeti antelope : ELAND
31 Seeress of ancient Greece : SIBYL
32 Erie Canal craft : BARGE
33 Helper at a wedding : USHER
34 Tweety and Sylvester, for two : TOONS
35 Guys who fish or hunt, say : SPORTSMEN
39 Ermine, by another name : STOAT
42 One fleeing a flood, perhaps : EVACUEE
44 Common promotional giveaway : TOTE BAG
46 $5 bills, slangily : ABES
50 Go furtively : SNEAK
52 Bush 43 Supreme Court appointee : ALITO
53 Second chances, casually : REDOS
54 “___ Jacques” : FRERE
55 Give the ax : SACK
56 Rain gutter site : EAVE
57 With the bow, musically : ARCO
58 “Selma” director DuVernay : AVA
59 Wall Street index, with “the” : DOW
60 Long of 2004’s “Alfie” : NIA

3 thoughts on “1203-19 NY Times Crossword 3 Dec 19, Tuesday”

  1. 13:13. I guess the grid here on the blog is different from today’s puzzle, but I’m confident Bill will get it straightened out as he always does. Had to do this in the middle of the United Club in Houston on my way down to Puerto Vallarta for vacation. It’s a miracle I could finish it at all in this place.

    Best –

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