0509-20 NY Times Crossword 9 May 20, Saturday

Constructed by: Erik Agard & Miriam Estrin
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 11m 17s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 Among other things : INTER ALIA

“Inter alia” is Latin for “among other things”.

19 Shaped like a clementine : OBLATE

Something that is described as having an oblate shape is spherical and slightly depressed at top and bottom, just like the Earth for example.

21 Played at work, for short : DJ’ED

The world’s first radio disc jockey (DJ) was one Ray Newby of Stockton, California who made his debut broadcast in 1909, would you believe? When he was 16 years old and a student, Newby started to play his records on a primitive radio located in the Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless in San Jose. The records played back then were mostly recordings of Enrico Caruso.

24 Something Jane Goodall, Rube Goldberg and Nadine Gordimer have in common? : EGO

The letter sequence “E GO” is hidden in each of the names Jane Goodall, Rube Goldberg and Nadine Gordimer.

Jane Goodall is a British anthropologist famous for studying wild chimpanzees in Africa for 45 years. Working at Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania, Goodall made many discoveries. She was the first to see chimps constructing and using tools, an activity thought to be limited to the human species. She also found out that chimpanzees are vegetarians.

Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist, engineer and inventor who became famous for designing overly-complicated gadgets to perform the simplest of tasks. Goldberg produced a famous series of cartoons depicting such designs. Such was the success of his work, the Merriam-Webster dictionary accepted the phrase “Rube Goldberg” as an adjective in 1931, an adjective meaning “accomplishing something simple through complex means”.

Nadine Gordimer is an author and political activist from South Africa. Gordimer’s writing was recognized in 1991 when she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. One of the main focuses of her works is the apartheid that was once part of South African culture and law.

29 Big name in perfumery : ESTEE

Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, and someone with a great reputation as a salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …

31 Bollywood’s ___ Rukh Khan : SHAH

“Bollywood” is the informal name given to the huge film industry based in Mumbai in India. The term “Bollywood” is a melding of “Bombay” (the former name of Mumbai), and “Hollywood”.

32 Image on the ceiling of la chapelle Sixtine : DIEU

In French, one can find an image of “Dieu” (God) on the ceiling of “la chapelle Sixtine” (the Sistine Chapel).

The Sistine Chapel is located in the Pope’s residence in Rome. The chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who was responsible for restoring the old Capella Magna in the 15th century. It was about a century later (1508-1512) that Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel under the patronage of Pope Julius II.

37 Vegan serving in a bun : IMPOSSIBLE BURGER

Heme (also “haem”) is an organic structure containing iron, and is a component of hemoglobin, the protein that transports primarily oxygen around the body. It is the “heme” in “hemoglobin” that binds the oxygen atoms. A plant-derived version of heme is the magic ingredient in the famous Impossible Burger that has become so popular on vegetarian menus.

44 Runnin’ ___ (N.C.A.A. team nickname) : UTES

The Runnin’ Utes are the basketball team of the University of Utah. The team was given the nickname the Runnin’ Redskins back when Jack Gardner was the head coach from 1953 to 1971. The “Runnin’” part of the name was chosen because Gardner was famous for playing quick offenses. The “Redskins” name was later dropped in favor of the less controversial “Utes”.

49 Bad mood : PET

Apparently, there’s a phrase “in a pet” meaning “in a snit, in a temper”.

52 Aroma du vin : NEZ

In French, the “nez” (nose) is the “aroma du vin” (aroma of the wine).

54 Mammal with a pouch where it can store its favorite rock : OTTER

Sea otters actually hold hands while sleeping on their backs so that they don’t drift apart. When sea otter pups are too small to lock hands, they clamber up onto their mother’s belly and nap there.

56 ___ Laemmle, film pioneer who co-founded Universal Pictures : CARL

Universal Studios was founded in 1912 in New York as the Universal Film Manufacturing Company by a group of investors led by Carl Laemmle. Just three years later, Laemmle opened Universal City Studios not far from Hollywood, on a 230-acre converted farm. Universal Studios made three films that were destined to become the highest-grossing films of their time: “Jaws” (1975), “”E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and “Jurassic Park” (1993).

58 Good name for a gas station attendant? : PHILIP

“Philip” sounds like “fill up”.

60 Short rides : MINIBUSES

We use the term “bus” for a mode of transportation, as it is an abbreviated form of the original “omnibus”. We imported “omnibus” via French from Latin, in which language it means “for all”. The idea is that an omnibus is a “carriage for all”.

63 Persistent character of children’s lit : SAM I AM

Dr. Seuss’s famous children’s book “Green Eggs and Ham” was first published in 1960. “Green Eggs and Ham” now ranks twelfth in the list of top selling children’s books. By the way, “Harry Potter” books hold the top four slots in that list. The text of “Green Eggs and Ham” has a lot of “I am” going on. It starts with:

I am Sam
I am Sam
Sam I am

and ends with:

I do so like
green eggs and ham!
Thank you!
Thank you,
Sam-I-am

66 Puts the kibosh on : DEEP-SIXES

To deep-six something is to toss it, possibly overboard, or to completely destroy it. The derivation of this slang term is from “six feet deep”, not the length of a fathom but rather the traditional depth of a grave.

A kibosh is something that constrains or checks. “Kibosh” looks like a Yiddish word but it isn’t, and is more likely English slang from the early 1800s.

Down

3 Ones serving dictators : STENOS

Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

8 Men in black : NINJAS

The ninjas were around in Japan at the time of the samurai, but were a very different type of warrior. The ninjas were covert operatives, specializing in the use of stealth to accomplish their missions. As they were a secretive cadre they took on a mystical reputation with the public, who believed they had the ability to become invisible or perhaps walk on water. We now use the term “ninja” figuratively, to describe anyone highly-skilled in a specific field.

10 “The L Word” airer, for short : SHO

“The L Word” is a Showtime drama series. The show deals with lesbian, bisexual and transgender people living in West Hollywood. “The L word” reference is to “lesbian”.

11 Patrician : NOBLE

In ancient Rome, the patricians were the members of the families in the ruling classes. Those Romans who were not patricians by birth were known as plebs.

12 Mozart’s “Rondo ___ Turca” : ALLA

The third movement of Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major is known as the “Rondo alla turca” (Turkish March), and is one of the composer’s most recognizable works.

13 Not exactly roughing it, in modern lingo : GLAMPING

“Glamping” is “glamorous camping”, camping with comforts and amenities.

27 It’s a whole thing : SHEBANG

The word “shebang” is probably a derivative of “shebeen”, which is an Irish term describing a “speakeasy”, an establishment where liquor was drunk and sold illegally. In English, a “shebang” was originally a “hut” or a “shed”. Just how this evolved into the expression “the whole shebang”, meaning “everything”, is unclear.

32 Evil honorific in sci-fi : DARTH

Darth Vader is (to me) the most colorful antagonist in the “Star Wars” universe. Born as Anakin “Ani” Skywalker, he was corrupted by the Emperor Palpatine, and turned to “the Dark Side”. In the original films, Darth Vader was portrayed by English bodybuilder David Prowse, and voiced by actor James Earl Jones. Jones asked that he go uncredited for the first two “Star Wars” films, feeling that his contributions were insufficient to warrant recognition. I disagree …

34 Mini mint : TIC TAC

Tic Tacs aren’t American candies (as I always mistakenly believed). Tic Tacs are made by the Italian company Ferrero, and were introduced in 1969.

36 Sikh teachers : GURUS

“Guru” is a Hindi word meaning “teacher” or “priest”.

Sikhism is a religion that was founded in the Punjab region, which straddles the India-Pakistan border. Even though Sikhism was established relatively recently, it is now the fifth-largest organized religion in the world. Sikhism was founded in the 15th century by Guru Nanak.

37 Treats on sticks : ICE POPS

The term “ice pop” has largely been supplanted in the US by “popsicle”, as the Popsicle brand of ice pop became so popular. We still use “ice pop” in Ireland, and in the UK the same thing is called an “ice lolly”, and in Australia it’s an “ice block”.

48 Pam’s mom on “The Office” : HELENE

In the excellent sitcom “The Office”, the character Pam Halpert (née Beesly) is played very ably by Jenna Fischer. If you’ve seen the original version of “The Office” from the UK, then you’d have met Pam’s equivalent character, whose name is Dawn Tinsley.

50 ___ patch : BRIAR

“Briar” is a generic name describing several plants that have thorns or prickles, including the rose. Famously, Br’er Rabbit lives in a briar patch.

53 Some cocktail garnishes : ZESTS

Our word “cocktail” first appeared in the early 1800s. The exact origin of the term is not clear, but it is thought to be a corruption of the French word “coquetier” meaning “egg cup”, a container that was used at that time for serving mixed drinks.

55 “A Letter to ___,” 2010 documentary co-directed by Martin Scorsese : ELIA

Movie director Martin Scorsese is very much a New York City native, and is well-known for directing movies set in the Big Apple. Among the list of great Scorsese films are “Taxi Driver”, “Raging Bull”, “Goodfellas”, “Cape Fear”, “Casino” and “The Departed”.

59 Evenings, in brief : PMS

The 12-hour clock has been around a long time, and was even used in sundial format in ancient Egypt. Our use of AM and PM dates back to Roman times, with AM standing for Ante Meridiem (before noon) and PM standing for Post Meridiem (after noon). However, the Romans originally used the AM concept a little differently, by counting backwards from noon. So, 2AM to the Romans would be two hours before noon, or 10AM as we would call it today.

62 Cow genus : BOS

Something described as bovine is related to a cow, ox or buffalo, indeed any ruminant in the genus Bos. “Bos” is the Latin for “cow”, and “bovinus” a Late Latin derivative term.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Something Old, something New? : TESTAMENT
10 Complications : SNAGS
15 Among other things : INTER ALIA
16 Get in contact, so to speak : HOLLER
18 Place to branch out : TREE TRUNK
19 Shaped like a clementine : OBLATE
20 Secure : LAND
21 Played at work, for short : DJ’ED
23 They can go from floor to ceiling : LAMPS
24 Something Jane Goodall, Rube Goldberg and Nadine Gordimer have in common? : EGO
25 Disquisition : TREATISE
28 Cropped photo? : PIC
29 Big name in perfumery : ESTEE
31 Bollywood’s ___ Rukh Khan : SHAH
32 Image on the ceiling of la chapelle Sixtine : DIEU
33 “Get ___!” : ON IT
35 Grace : ELEGANCE
37 Vegan serving in a bun : IMPOSSIBLE BURGER
41 Come together : COALESCE
42 Move like a flash : DART
43 Flubs it : ERRS
44 Runnin’ ___ (N.C.A.A. team nickname) : UTES
46 “Don’t think so” : NUH-UH
49 Bad mood : PET
50 Gripping experiences that take your breath away : BEAR HUGS
52 Aroma du vin : NEZ
54 Mammal with a pouch where it can store its favorite rock : OTTER
56 ___ Laemmle, film pioneer who co-founded Universal Pictures : CARL
57 Agitate : RILE
58 Good name for a gas station attendant? : PHILIP
60 Short rides : MINIBUSES
63 Persistent character of children’s lit : SAM I AM
64 Soon : IN A MOMENT
65 Gets warmer, say : NEARS
66 Puts the kibosh on : DEEP-SIXES

Down

1 Queen or knight : TITLE
2 Cause to explode : ENRAGE
3 Ones serving dictators : STENOS
4 Ready to go, with “up” : TEED …
5 Word before glass or house : ART …
6 Bang up : MAR
7 Dodge : ELUDE
8 Men in black : NINJAS
9 Suffer a defeat, slangily : TAKE THE L
10 “The L Word” airer, for short : SHO
11 Patrician : NOBLE
12 Mozart’s “Rondo ___ Turca” : ALLA
13 Not exactly roughing it, in modern lingo : GLAMPING
14 Action film staple : SET PIECE
17 Saving face? : RESCUER
22 Rang : DIALED
25 It may be imperfect : TENSE
26 Second edition : REISSUE
27 It’s a whole thing : SHEBANG
30 Fixing things : TOOLS
32 Evil honorific in sci-fi : DARTH
34 Mini mint : TIC TAC
36 Sikh teachers : GURUS
37 Treats on sticks : ICE POPS
38 Not just : MORE THAN
39 Like a side hustle : PART-TIME
40 Portmanteau for an arrangement of cans in a dorm room, maybe : BEERAMID
45 Martyr complex? : SHRINE
47 Providing coverage for all : UNISEX
48 Pam’s mom on “The Office” : HELENE
50 ___ patch : BRIAR
51 Bones in wings : ULNAE
53 Some cocktail garnishes : ZESTS
55 “A Letter to ___,” 2010 documentary co-directed by Martin Scorsese : ELIA
57 Persian poet whose epitaph reads “When we are dead, seek not our tomb in the earth, but find it in the hearts of men” : RUMI
59 Evenings, in brief : PMS
61 Little prankster : IMP
62 Cow genus : BOS

22 thoughts on “0509-20 NY Times Crossword 9 May 20, Saturday”

  1. 25:40, no errors. After the fact, it doesn’t seem as if this one should have taken that long, but … there it is … 😜.

  2. 34:43. What Nonny said. Then again, all puzzles look easy once they’re all filled in. I need to file INTER ALIA into my crossword lizard brain. Didn’t know IMPOSSIBLE BURGER. I’m a vegetarian; I just happen to eat meat with them….

    A+ clue for 24A EGO. That sounds like the making of an early or mid week theme. I thought there was something known about the characters of those people that made them EGOtistic until I read the blog. Doh!

    Best –

  3. 1:05:45, 6 errors. Made the mistake of not s*listing this constructor and paid the price. Typical abysmal garbage from him.

  4. DNF… Agard got me… Too many unknowns BOS, SETPIECE, PET, BEERAMID and groaners PHILIP, RESCUER, TAKE THE L, TENSE, BEAR HUGS, NUHUH

    He went from real encyclopedic knowledge to off the wall slang that I’ve never heard of… I guess if it makes it pass the editors… Whatevs…

    Never found the rhythm…

  5. Young Agard’s puzzles often take me well outside my comfort zone, but I choose to view that as a positive thing, allowing me to hone my educated-guessing abilities and making me aware of new features of the language that I might otherwise never encounter. (I’ll admit that, when I see his name on a puzzle, I do adjust my solving expectations a bit … 😜.)

    And he’s certainly showing up in a variety of venues, so, by that measure, he’s doing something right … 🙂.

  6. Excellent, challenging puzzle. My mistake was inserting took the L as opposed to take the L, a misreading of tense which cost me about 15 minutes.Finished in 51 minutes, no errors.

  7. 28:30, 3 errors: D(I)RT(Y); ELEG(I)NCE; NU(Y)UH. I learned a new word ELEGANCE today.

    Totally agree with A NONNY MUSS. These puzzles are entirely elective entertainment. If a puzzle is too challenging, don’t do it. Try again next time (and get better in the process). The fault, however, is not with the puzzle or the setter.

  8. Gave up after 59:10. Stared at the NW corner for ages, it seemed. Just never got a toe-hold there. Kept wanting something old, new to be wedding related. Could not shake that thought. Maybe leaving it for a few hours and coming back might have helped.

    Bill just amazed at your Sat. times. Impressive! I take 3-4 minutes to read all the clues just to realize I don’t know where to begin.

    1. Although this puzzle took me over half an hour to finish, the first clue leapt out at me because of the capitalization on Old and New. That bolt from the blue probably saved me 10 minutes.

  9. 1:46:37 with multiple errors all in the SE corner…Eric Egard is bad enough but when like Jeff Chen find it necessary to have a partner it makes it impossible for an amateur like me to enjoy the challenge…I know that guys like Nonny and others find this stimulating but to me it’s just frustration. END OF RANT
    Stay safe everyone

    1. 1:44:58. Thought I was going have the record today… but Jack had pity on me! Yay!😄
      One letter wrong. So how do you mavens count that? One error or two?

      1. Thanks, Bruce. That makes sense, error-wise; and if it’s good enough for you and Mr Butler also, then it’s good enough for me.
        As for ART glass, thanks for the Wiki reference. My brain was stuck on a glass as a drinking vessel, couldn’t make the leap to glass as a medium for artistic things…
        Cheers.

      2. A little tardy with my response, but … I count squares that are in error, on the theory that solving a crossword puzzle is a process of writing letters into the grid, one square at a time, using some or all of the available hints to determine what to put in each square. Once you fill in the final square, you’re done, even if you didn’t even read some of the clues. In the end, it really makes no difference, as long as you (and whoever else cares) understands what you’re counting (which explains why I use a phrase like “with a one-square error” to describe my results).

        I think that Bill, in the early days of the blog, did not give his solution times and error counts and began doing so only at the suggestion of a poster. In one of my files, I made a note indicating that this happened on January 5, 2010, and I seem to remember that there was some question in his mind about which method to use for the error counts. (I haven’t actually been posting that long, but, at one point, I was curious and did a little time-travelling. 😜)

      3. And … I did a little more time-traveling in Bill’s blog. The date I gave above is correct, but I can’t find evidence for what I thought I remembered (that Bill started providing timing and error info due to a poster’s suggestion and contemplated counting squares for the latter).

        It’s interesting to see how the blog (a very useful and appreciated resource) has evolved.

  10. Nuhuh? Seriously?? I felt actual anger at parts of this puzzle. Not what I look for in a crossword … I can usually get his puzzles but this one was beyond the pale. Boo hiss!

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