1227-19 NY Times Crossword 27 Dec 19, Friday

Constructed by: Sam Trabucco
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 13m 50s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Shareable PC files : PDFS

Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format introduced by Adobe Systems in 1993. PDF documents can be shared between users and read using many different applications, making them more universally accessible than documents saved by one particular program.

14 Military trainee : PLEBE

A “plebe” is a freshman in the US military and naval academies. The term is probably short for “plebeian”, the name given to someone of the common class in ancient Rome (as opposed to a Patrician). “Pleb” is a shortened version of “plebeian”, and is a term used outside of the military schools.

15 Co-creator of the “Watchmen” comic books : ALAN MOORE

Alan Moore is an English writer of “graphic novels”, a term that Moore himself introduced in order to differentiate his work from “comic books”.

21 Malicious creations of hackers : BOTNETS

A botnet is a network of computers running cooperatively to send spam messages. The computers are usually private machines infected with malware that running the bots without the owners’ knowledge.

26 Like Goldilocks : BLONDE

The story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” was first recorded in 1837 in England, although the narrative was around before it was actually written down. The original fairy tale was rather gruesome, but successive versions became more family-oriented. The character that eventually became Goldilocks was originally an elderly woman, and the three “nameless” bears became Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear.

27 Things opened in bars : TABS

When we run a “tab” at a bar, we are running a “tabulation”, a listing of what we owe. Such a use of “tab” is American slang that originated in the 1880s.

32 Locale of Dingle and Donegal : EIRE

“Éire”, is the Irish word for “Ireland”. The related “Erin” is an anglicized version of “Éire” and actually corresponds to “Éirinn”, the dative case of “Éire”.

33 Historic speaker at Israel’s Knesset on 11/20/1977 : SADAT

Anwar Sadat was the third President of Egypt right up to the time of his assassination in 1981. Sadat won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978 along with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin for the role played in crafting the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1978 at Camp David. It was this agreement that largely led to Sadat’s assassination three years later.

The Knesset is the legislative branch of the Israeli government, and does its business in the Givat Ram neighborhood of central Jerusalem.

34 It’s icy and coated with salt : FROZEN MARGARITA

No one seems to know for sure who first created the cocktail known as a margarita. The most plausible and oft-quoted is that it was invented in 1941 in Ensenada, Mexico. The barman mixed the drink for an important visitor, the daughter of the German ambassador. The daughter’s name was Margarita Henkel, and she lent her name to the new drink. The basic recipe for a margarita is a mixture of tequila, orange-flavored liqueur (like Cointreau) and lime juice.

38 Light unit : LUMEN

The lumen is a measure of the amount of visible light emitted by a source.

44 Onetime part of the Air France fleet, in brief : SST

The most famous supersonic transport (SST) is the retired Concorde. Concorde was developed and produced under an Anglo-French treaty by France’s Aérospatiale and the UK’s British Aircraft Corporation (BAC). Concordes were mainly operated by Air France and British Airways, with both companies buying the planes with substantial subsidies from the French and British governments. The final Concorde flight was a British Airways plane that landed in the UK on 26 November 2003.

47 Brand with a paw print in its logo : IAMS

Iams dog food was introduced by animal nutritionist Paul Iams. He felt that household pets were suffering somewhat by being fed a diet of table scraps, so he developed a dry dog food that he felt was more nutritious and suitable for pet dogs. He founded the Iams company, now part of Procter & Gamble, in 1946.

55 Hill on the Hill, once : ANITA

Anita Hill is an attorney who is currently a professor at Brandeis University. Hill garnered a lot of attention in 1991 when she accused US Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. Judge Thomas was confirmed anyway. Many say that Hill’s testimony during the confirmation hearings launched public awareness of the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace. Within a year, complaints of harassment were up by fifty percent.

57 Jason of “How I Met Your Mother” : SEGEL

Actor Jason Segel is best known for playing Marshall on the sitcom “How I Met Your Mother”. Segel is an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church and performed a wedding ceremony on “The Tonight Show” in 2010.

60 Forum troublemaker : TROLL

In Internet terms, a troll is someone who attempts to disrupt online group activities. The fishing term “troll” is used to describe such a person as he or she throws out off-topic remarks in an attempt to “lure” others into some emotional response. I must admit to feeling sorry for people who have such sad lives …

Down

1 1918 pandemic : SPANISH FLU

A pandemic is an outbreak of a disease over a large area, such as a whole country or perhaps even the whole world.

2 Jurassic creature whose name means “different lizard” : ALLOSAURUS

The most popular dinosaurs depicted in the movies, especially the older ones, are the Tyrannosaurs and the Allosauruses. They look very similar, with the former being the really big guy.

4 Key material : EBONY

The traditional materials used for the manufacture of piano keys were ebony (black) and ivory (white). Ebony is still used, but now for both white and black keys. The white keys are made by covering ebony with white plastic.

5 Alien-seeking org. : SETI

“SETI” is the name given to a number of projects that are searching for extraterrestrial life. The acronym stands for “Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence”. One of the main SETI activities is the monitoring of electromagnetic radiation (such as radio waves) reaching the Earth in the hope of finding a transmission from a civilization in another world.

8 Father figure? : DAD BOD

A “dad bod” is a man’s body that is softly rounded. Well, that’s the description I like to use …

9 Encouraging cheer : ENCORE!

“Encore” is French for “again, one more time”, and is a shout that an audience member will make here in North America to request perhaps another song. But, the term is not used this way in France. Rather, the audience will shout “Bis!”, which is the Italian for “twice!”

11 “Sweet!” : DOPE!

Apparently, something that is described as “dope” is really, really cool …

12 Guitar part : FRET

A fret is a metal strip embedded in the neck of a stringed instrument, a guitar perhaps. The fingers press on the frets, shortening a string and hence changing the note played. The note increases by one semitone as a finger shortens a string by one fret.

16 ___ Smith, player of the Doctor on “Doctor Who” : MATT

The iconic science-fiction television show “Doctor Who” first aired in 1963 on the BBC, and relaunched in 2005. The relaunched series is produced in-house by the BBC in Cardiff in Wales, the location that is the setting of the successful “Doctor Who” spin-off called “Torchwood”. The new show is about the Cardiff branch of the Torchwood Institute which investigates incidents involving extraterrestrials. Why “Torchwood”? Well, “Torchwood” is an anagram of “Doctor Who”.

20 Michael’s “Weekend Update” co-anchor on “S.N.L.” : COLIN

“Weekend Update” is the longest-running of any recurring sketch on “Saturday Night Live” (SNL). In fact, the segment made its debut on the very first show, back in 1975. The first “anchor” at the “Weekend Update” was Chevy Chase.

28 Alternative to “Hasta la vista!” : ADIOS, AMIGO!

The term “adiós” is Spanish for “goodbye”. “Adiós” comes from the phrase “a Dios vos acomiendo” meaning “I commend you to God”.

“Hasta la vista” is Spanish for “goodbye”. The phrase translates literally as “until the seeing”, i.e. “goodbye until we see each other again”.

29 Establishment with 12 cabins in a classic 1960 film : BATES MOTEL

Bates Motel and house were constructed on the backlot of Universal Studios for the 1960 HItchcock movie “Psycho”. They are still standing, and for me are highlights of the backlot tour that is available to visitors.

33 Noted retailer across the street from Rockefeller Center : SAKS

Saks Fifth Avenue is a high-end specialty store that competes with the likes of Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus. The original Saks & Company business was founded by Andrew Saks in 1867. The first Saks Fifth Avenue store was opened on Fifth Avenue in New York City in 1924. There are now Saks Fifth Avenue stores in many major cities in the US, as well in several locations worldwide.

Rockefeller Center is actually made of nineteen buildings in Midtown Manhattan. The site was developed by John D. Rockefeller, who first leased the 22-acre lot back in 1928. The original plan was to build a new opera house for the Metropolitan Opera, but the stock market crash of 1929 led to those plans being canceled. Because of the Great Depression, Rockefeller was forced to fund the whole development project himself, a huge undertaking, but a very successful one.

37 Singer with the 2012 #1 hit “Somebody That I Used to Know” : GOTYE

“Gotye” is the stage name of Belgian-Australian singer Wally De Backer. The stage name comes from the French name “Gauthier” meaning “Walter” (Wally).

46 Wedding circle? : HORA

The hora is a circle dance that originated in the Balkans. It was brought to Israel by Romanian settlers, and is often performed to traditional, Israeli folk songs. The hora (also horah) is a regular sight at Jewish weddings. Sometimes the honoree at an event is raised on a chair during the hora.

48 Cold War weapon, for short : ICBM

An Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) is a ballistic missile with the range necessary to cross between continents. Being ballistic (unlike a cruise missile), an ICBM is guided during the initial launch phase, but later in flight just relies on thrust and gravity to arrive at its target. It is defined as intercontinental as it has a range greater than 3,500 miles. ICBMs are really only used for delivering nuclear warheads. Scary stuff …

The term “Cold War” was coined by the novelist George Orwell in a 1945 essay about the atomic bomb. Orwell described a world under threat of nuclear war as having a “peace that is no peace”, in a permanent state of “cold war”. The specific use of “cold war” to describe the tension between the Eastern bloc and the Western allies is attributed to a 1947 speech by Bernard Baruch, adviser to Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

50 Southern university or the town it’s in : ELON

Elon is a city in the Piedmont region of North Carolina located close to the city of Burlington. Elon University is a private liberal arts school founded in 1889.

54 Brit. military honor : DSO

The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is a British military award that is usually presented to officers with the rank of major or higher.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Cracker boxes? : SAFES
6 Criticized continuously : RODE
10 Shareable PC files : PDFS
14 Military trainee : PLEBE
15 Co-creator of the “Watchmen” comic books : ALAN MOORE
17 Earmark : ALLOT
18 Where stars may align : RED CARPET
19 “That was mean” : NOT NICE
21 Malicious creations of hackers : BOTNETS
22 “Well, well” : I SAY
23 In a way : OF SORTS
25 Rested : SAT
26 Like Goldilocks : BLONDE
27 Things opened in bars : TABS
31 “You said what?” : HUH?
32 Locale of Dingle and Donegal : EIRE
33 Historic speaker at Israel’s Knesset on 11/20/1977 : SADAT
34 It’s icy and coated with salt : FROZEN MARGARITA
38 Light unit : LUMEN
39 Weirdo : KOOK
40 Contraction missing a “v” : O’ER
41 ___ error : USER
42 Mountebanks, less formally : CHEATS
44 Onetime part of the Air France fleet, in brief : SST
45 “Heavens!” : OH LORDY!
47 Brand with a paw print in its logo : IAMS
48 Completely shunned : ICED OUT
51 Follow-up series to MTV’s “16 and Pregnant” : TEEN MOM
53 The National Weather Service has one for storm severity : COLOR CODE
55 Hill on the Hill, once : ANITA
56 Express affection from afar : BLOW A KISS
57 Jason of “How I Met Your Mother” : SEGEL
58 Golfer Carol who won the 1965 U.S. Women’s Open : MANN
59 TV time : SLOT
60 Forum troublemaker : TROLL

Down

1 1918 pandemic : SPANISH FLU
2 Jurassic creature whose name means “different lizard” : ALLOSAURUS
3 Was completely comfortable : FELT AT HOME
4 Key material : EBONY
5 Alien-seeking org. : SETI
6 Good state for a performer to be in : RARE FORM
7 Encouraging cheer : OLE!
8 Father figure? : DAD BOD
9 Encouraging cheer : ENCORE!
10 Stormy Daniels, e.g. : PORN STAR
11 “Sweet!” : DOPE!
12 Guitar part : FRET
13 Goes down : SETS
16 ___ Smith, player of the Doctor on “Doctor Who” : MATT
20 Michael’s “Weekend Update” co-anchor on “S.N.L.” : COLIN
24 Bit of court wear : SNEAKER
26 “It’s ___ fun!” : BEEN
28 Alternative to “Hasta la vista!” : ADIOS, AMIGO!
29 Establishment with 12 cabins in a classic 1960 film : BATES MOTEL
30 Don’t try to do everything at once : START SMALL
33 Noted retailer across the street from Rockefeller Center : SAKS
35 Favorable loan term : ZERO DOWN
36 Take for a spin, say : ROAD TEST
37 Singer with the 2012 #1 hit “Somebody That I Used to Know” : GOTYE
42 Disapproving sounds : CLUCKS
43 Deep-frying need : HOT OIL
46 Wedding circle? : HORA
47 Private : INNER
48 Cold War weapon, for short : ICBM
49 Mixer option : COLA
50 Southern university or the town it’s in : ELON
52 It’s right there on the map! : EAST
54 Brit. military honor : DSO

10 thoughts on “1227-19 NY Times Crossword 27 Dec 19, Friday”

    1. From Merriam-Webster: Mountebank derives from the Italian montimbanco, which was formed by combining the verb “montare” (“to mount”), the preposition “in” (converted to im, meaning “in” or “on”), and the noun “banco” (“bench”). Put these components together and you can deduce the literal origins of “mountebank” as someone mounted on a bench – the “bench” being the platform on which charlatans from the 16th and 17th centuries would stand to sell their phony medicines. Mountebanks often included various forms of light entertainment on stage in order to attract customers. Later, extended uses of “mountebank” referred to someone who falsely claims to have knowledge about a particular subject or a person who simply pretends to be something he or she is not in order to gain attention.

  1. Same here. No errors, but not sure how. Stared at 52-D for a bit before the light went on. Would have been a good clue to end with a ?.

  2. 22:45, no errors. This looked like a DNF to me as well. All of the proper names except Anita HILL and Anwar SADAT were complete unknowns. I consider it a good puzzle when it challenges me to my limits, but is still solvable.

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