1213-19 NY Times Crossword 13 Dec 19, Friday

Constructed by: Leslie Rogers
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 16m 59s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 National park west of Calgary : BANFF

Banff is a town located within the bounds of Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. Banff is located high in the Canadian Rockies and is a popular tourist destination. The town and park were given their name in 1884 by the then president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, George Stephen. He named Banff for his birthplace of Banffshire in Scotland.

16 Works : OPERA

The Latin for “work” is “opus”, with the plural being “opera”. We sometimes also use the plural “opuses” in English.

18 Participant in a joust : STEED

“Jousting” and “tilting” are synonyms describing the medieval competition in which two horsemen yielding blunted lances attempt to unseat each other. Such an event has been referred to as “jousting” since the 1300s. At some point, the path of the two charging horsemen was separated by a cloth barrier known as a tilt (“tilt” meant “cloth covering”). The term “tilting” was applied to the sport in the 1500s, although by then the cloth barrier had been upgraded to a wooden fence.

23 Non-English letter used in set theory : ALEPH

Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and beth is the second.

25 ___ Blakely, Spanx founder and self-made billionaire : SARA

Spanx is an underwear brand. Most Spanx garments are designed to make the wearer appear thinner. Spanx is a privately held company that was founded by entrepreneur Sara Blakely in 2000. Despite the success of the product line, there is some controversy. Spanx have been referred to as the corset of the modern era.

27 Old TV actress Swenson : INGA

Inga Swenson is an American actress. Her best known role was “Gretchen Kraus”, the German cook, and later housekeeper, on the TV show “Benson”. Swenson also appeared in a couple of episodes of “Bonanza” playing the second wife of Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene), and mother of Hoss Cartwright (Dan Blocker). This was despite the fact that in real life, she was actually 4 years younger than Blocker!

29 Noodle dish served with bean sprouts : PAD THAI

The delicious dish called pad Thai is a meld of stir-fried rice noodles with tamarind juice, red chili pepper plus a mix of vegetables and possibly tofu, meat or fish. It is usually topped with crushed peanuts, coriander and lime. The name “pad Thai” translates as “fried Thai-style”.

31 Treat rarely prepared indoors : S’MORE

S’mores are treats peculiar to North America that are usually eaten around a campfire. A s’more consists of a roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two graham crackers. The earliest written reference to the recipe is in a 1927 publication called “Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts”. Girl Scouts always did corner the market on cookies and the like!

41 Beef alternative : VEAL

Veal is the meat from calves, whereas beef is the meat from mature cattle. Most veal comes from male calves, as the females can be more valuable as producers of cow’s milk. Historically, veal production has been one of the most controversial practices in animal farming. Some farmers restricted the movement of veal calves by confining them in crates for the whole of their short lives in order to produce paler and more tender meat.

42 Aconcagua is its highest point : ANDES

The Andes range is the longest continuous chain of mountains in the world. It runs down the length of the west coast of South America for about 4,300 miles, from Venezuela in the north to Chile in the south. The highest peak in the Andes is Mt. Aconcagua, at an elevation of 22,841 feet. Interestingly, the peak of Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador is the furthest point on the Earth’s surface from the center of the planet. That’s because of the equatorial “bulge” around the Earth’s “waist”.

43 Hose, e.g. : LEGWEAR

The word “hose” meaning “covering for the leg” has the same roots as the contemporary German word “Hose” meaning “trousers, pants”.

45 Word before and after “a” : MANO

“Mano a mano” is Spanish for “hand-to-hand”, and is used in English to mean “face-to-face”.

47 Heavenly instrument : LYRE

The lyre is a stringed instrument that is most closely associated with ancient Greece, and with the gods Hermes and Apollo in particular. According to myth, Hermes slaughtered a cow from a sacred herd belonging to Apollo and offered it to the gods but kept the entrails. Hermes used the entrails to make strings that he stretched across the shell of a tortoise, creating the first lyre. Apollo liked the sound from the lyre and agreed to accept it as a trade for his herd of cattle.

48 So-called “hippie-mobile,” for short : VW BUS

The iconic Volkswagen Bus was introduced in 1950, and was VW’s second automobile design to go into production. As such, it was initially marketed as the Volkswagen Type 2, as the Beetle/Bug had been designated in the factory as the Type 1.

53 Where many snowbirds winter, for short : BOCA

The name of the city of Boca Raton in Florida translates from Spanish as “Mouse Mouth”. There doesn’t seem to be a definitive etymology of the name but one plausible explanation is a nautical one. “Boca”, as well as meaning “mouth” can mean “inlet”. “Ratón”, as well as meaning “mouse” was also used to describe rocks that chewed away at a ship’s anchor cable. So possibly Boca Raton was named for a rocky inlet.

Snowbirds are people from Canada and the northern US who head south for the winter, to places like Florida and California.

56 Protest loudly : RAIL

To rail at or against something is to complain bitterly about it.

57 Noted name in whiskey : DEWAR

Dewar’s is a blended Scotch whisky introduced to the market in 1846 by John Dewar. Dewar’s White Label is the company’s most popular Scotch. It was first sold in 1899, and with a taste that is described as “heather and honey”. Dewar’s also make some single malts, under the labels Aberfeldy 12 and Aberfeldy 21. Today, Dewar’s is owned by Bacardi.

58 Symbol of time elapsed in “Beauty and the Beast” : ROSE PETAL

“Beauty and the Beast” is a fairy tale that was written by novelist Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont. Titled “La belle et la bête” in French, the story was first published in 1756. The “beauty” in the tale is named “Belle”.

62 Landlady on “I Love Lucy” : ETHEL

In the hit television show “I Love Lucy”, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz play Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. The Ricardos’ best friends are also their landlords, Fred and Ethel Mertz. The Mertzes are played by William Frawley and Vivian Vance.

Down

2 Jungian principle : ANIMA

The concepts of anima and animus are found in the Carl Jung school of analytical psychology. The idea is that within each male there resides a feminine inner personality called the anima, and within each female there is a male inner personality known as the animus.

3 Fabric in theater curtains : SCRIM

“Scrim” is the name given to that transparent fabric that hangs down onto a theater’s stage, often used with special lighting for various effects.

7 Fifth-century military leader : ATTILA

In his day, Attila the Hun was the most feared enemy of the Roman Empire, until he died in 453 AD. Attila was the leader of the Hunnic Empire of central Europe and was famous for invading much of the continent. However, he never directly attacked Rome.

8 Athlete/model Gabrielle : REECE

Gabrielle Reece is quite the athlete. She was on the team that won the first ever Beach Volleyball World Championship, in 1997. She is also a great golfer, and tried hard to make it onto the LPGA circuit.

9 Beverage marketed as a blend of 23 different flavors : DR PEPPER

Dr Pepper was introduced in 1885 in Waco, Texas, one year before the competing Coca-Cola was released to the market. I spent an entertaining few hours at the Dr Pepper Museum in Waco a few years ago. And, note the lack of a period after “Dr”.

10 Bartlett alternative : BOSC

Bosc is a cultivar of the European pear that is grown mainly in the northwest of the United States. It is named for French horticulturist Louis Bosc. The cultivar originated in Belgium or France in the early 19th century. The Bosc is that pear with a skin the color of a potato, with a long neck.

The Bartlett is the most commonly grown pear outside of Asia, a cultivar of the European pear. Back in the UK, where the Bartlett originated, it is called a Williams Pear, or more completely a Williams’ Bon Chretien (Williams’ good Christian). Several Williams trees were imported to the US in 1799 and planted in Massachusetts. The land on which the trees were planted was eventually bought by one Enoch Bartlett, and he started to distribute the pears and basically introduced the variety to the US. He didn’t know that the pears were called Williams, so he named them after himself!

11 Its highest score is 5, in brief : AP TEST

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school. After being tested at the end of an AP course, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

14 Fidget spinners or Furbys, once : FAD

A fidget spinner is toy that supposedly can be used for stress relief. Sales of fidget spinners really took off in 2017, although versions of the toy existed back in the early nineties.

Furbys are little electronic robot toys that were all the rage around Christmas 1998 and the following year. Furbys retailed at about $35 but folks often paid several hundred dollars to get a hold of one.

27 An early withdrawal from this incurs a penalty, in brief : IRA

Individual retirement account (IRA)

30 Musician who won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature : DYLAN

President Obama used the words “There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music” when awarding musician Bob Dylan the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012. Dylan was in good company. On the same day, the president awarded the medal to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Justice John Paul Stevens, former Israeli President Shimon Peres and astronaut John Glenn. In 2016, Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.

34 ___-de-Marne (French department) : VAL

Val-de-Marne is department in France located southeast of Paris that takes its name from the Marne river.

37 Wally’s sitcom brother, with “the” : BEAV

We used to see a lot of American television programming growing up in Ireland, but “Leave It to Beaver” was one show that didn’t make it across the Atlantic. I’ve seen a couple of episodes, and I am not sure it would travel well. The show went on the air for the first time the day that Sputnik was launched by the Russians, and aired its last show just a few months before President Kennedy was assassinated. An iconic series, by all accounts.

38 Mental notes? : EARWORMS

“Earworm” is a colloquial term used for a catchy tune that is also somewhat irritating, one that you can’t get out of your head.

39 Game with a four-colored deck : UNO

In my youth I remember being taught a great card game by a German acquaintance of mine, a game called Mau Mau. Years later I discovered that UNO is basically the same game, but played with a purpose-printed deck instead of the regular deck of playing cards that’s used for Mau Mau. I hear that Mau Mau is derived from the game called Crazy Eights.

44 Clichéd company claim : WE CARE

Yeah, but about what …?

“Cliché” is a word that comes from the world of printing. In the days when type was added as individual letters into a printing plate, for efficiency some oft-used phrases and words were created as one single slug of metal. The word “cliché” was used for such a grouping of letters. It’s easy to see how the same word would become a term to describe any overused phrase. Supposedly, “cliché” comes from French, from the verb “clicher” meaning “to click”. The idea is that when a matrix of letters was dropped in molten metal to make a cliché, it made a clicking sound.

45 Breakfast bowlful : MUESLI

“Muesli” is a Swiss-German term describing a breakfast serving of oats, nuts, fruit and milk. “Muesli” is a diminutive of the German word “Mues” meaning “puree”. Delicious …

50 Doesn’t leave hungry : SATES

“Sate” is a variant of the older word “satiate”. Both terms can mean either to satisfy an appetite fully, or to eat to excess.

51 Upright, maybe : PIANO

A grand piano is one with the frame supported horizontally on three legs. An upright piano has the frame and strings running vertically. Grand pianos come in many sizes. For example, the length of a concert grand is about 9 feet, a parlor grand is about 7 feet, and a baby grand is about 5 feet.

54 Asia’s shrunken ___ Sea : ARAL

The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

56 Platinum-certified country album of 1988 : REBA

Reba McEntire is a country music singer and television actress. McEntire starred in her own sitcom called “Reba” that aired on the WB and the CW cable channels from 2001 to 2007.

59 Poet who wrote “We loved with a love that was more than love” : POE

“Annabel Lee” was the last complete poem written by Edgar Allan Poe. The opening lines are:

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;

The closing lines are:

And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea—
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Skintight swimwear for a surfer : RASH GUARD
10 National park west of Calgary : BANFF
15 Bump into : ENCOUNTER
16 Works : OPERA
17 It’s a start : FIRST STEP
18 Participant in a joust : STEED
19 Issue : EMIT
20 See 34-Across : … NICE
21 Grant : CEDE
22 ___ home : RAM
23 Non-English letter used in set theory : ALEPH
25 ___ Blakely, Spanx founder and self-made billionaire : SARA
27 Old TV actress Swenson : INGA
29 Noodle dish served with bean sprouts : PAD THAI
31 Treat rarely prepared indoors : S’MORE
34 With 20-Across, “Well done!” : VERY …
35 + : AND
36 Winter event near a beach : POLAR BEAR PLUNGE
40 Event studied in eschatology, with “the” : … END
41 Beef alternative : VEAL
42 Aconcagua is its highest point : ANDES
43 Hose, e.g. : LEGWEAR
45 Word before and after “a” : MANO
47 Heavenly instrument : LYRE
48 So-called “hippie-mobile,” for short : VW BUS
50 Place where mud and stones might be found : SPA
53 Where many snowbirds winter, for short : BOCA
55 Some crust contents : ORES
56 Protest loudly : RAIL
57 Noted name in whiskey : DEWAR
58 Symbol of time elapsed in “Beauty and the Beast” : ROSE PETAL
60 Extraordinarily : ULTRA
61 “Well done,” in Italian : MOLTO BENE
62 Landlady on “I Love Lucy” : ETHEL
63 When to go on a run : SKI SEASON

Down

1 Direct : REFER
2 Jungian principle : ANIMA
3 Fabric in theater curtains : SCRIM
4 Whole bunch : HOST
5 Instinctual : GUT
6 Detangle : UNSNAG
7 Fifth-century military leader : ATTILA
8 Athlete/model Gabrielle : REECE
9 Beverage marketed as a blend of 23 different flavors : DR PEPPER
10 Bartlett alternative : BOSC
11 Its highest score is 5, in brief : AP TEST
12 “Want help?” : NEED A HAND?
13 Uncaged, perhaps : FREE-RANGE
14 Fidget spinners or Furbys, once : FAD
24 Heavenly instrument : HARP
26 Pages, e.g. : AIDES
27 An early withdrawal from this incurs a penalty, in brief : IRA
28 “The ___!” (insulted person’s cry) : NERVE
30 Musician who won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature : DYLAN
31 Give a breather : SPELL
32 Where cash goes to waist? : MONEY BELT
33 Mature, as a forest : OLD-GROWTH
34 ___-de-Marne (French department) : VAL
37 Wally’s sitcom brother, with “the” : BEAV
38 Mental notes? : EARWORMS
39 Game with a four-colored deck : UNO
44 Clichéd company claim : WE CARE
45 Breakfast bowlful : MUESLI
46 Strengths : ASSETS
49 Stream : BROOK
50 Doesn’t leave hungry : SATES
51 Upright, maybe : PIANO
52 Actor Alfie of “Game of Thrones” : ALLEN
54 Asia’s shrunken ___ Sea : ARAL
56 Platinum-certified country album of 1988 : REBA
57 Straight : DUE
59 Poet who wrote “We loved with a love that was more than love” : POE

15 thoughts on “1213-19 NY Times Crossword 13 Dec 19, Friday”

  1. 27:23. Had trouble in the NW, did the rest of the puzzle, had more trouble in the NW but finally finished it. Very interesting origin of “cliche”

    Best –

  2. I’ve been getting beat up lately on Thursday through Sunday puzzles, including today’s.

    Is it just me, or should the clue “Aconcagua is its highest point” have been plural?

    1. Thank you for that link, Glenn! Delightful glimpse at our crossword community. I am pretty good at solving, but I am NOT fast…and I erase A LOT. It was good to pick up strategies from two clever solvers.
      P.S. Martin, that “getting beat up” feeling? I know it well!

  3. Took forever and a day but I escaped intact. I had VWBUG at first and the NW took as long as most of the rest of the puzzle. Definitely an all’s well that ends well kind of experience.

  4. Took forever to get a foothold. Finally found it in the most delicate of places… Rose petal. Last Fill was in the northwest like most of my fellow solver’s.

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