0530-20 NY Times Crossword 30 May 20, Saturday

Constructed by: Brian Thomas
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 16m 26s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

11 Fixture in un parc : BANC

“Banc” is the French word for bench or seat.

16 Actress ___ Shawkat of “Arrested Development” : ALIA

Alia Shawkat is an actress who might be best known for playing Maeby Fünke on the sitcom “Arrested Development”. Shawkat is best friends with fellow actress Ellen Page, whom she met while filming the 2009 movie “Whip It”.

18 Horace who championed public education : MANN

Horace Mann was Massachusetts politician, and the first Secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of Education. Mann made sweeping educational reforms in the state, with other states around the country adopting many of the policies he developed. Such was his influence that he is known by historians as the “Father of the Common School Movement”. And as an aside, Mann was brother-in-law to author Nathaniel Hawthorne.

19 Console release of 2006 : WII

Introduced in 2006, Nintendo’s Wii quickly became the biggest-selling game console in the world.

23 Something sought for the House biennially : SEAT

The six-year terms enjoyed by US senators are staggered, so that every two years about one third of the US Senate seats come up for reelection. Members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms, with elections taking place every even year.

28 Asian city on the Yamuna River : AGRA

Agra is a medieval city on the banks of the river Yamuna in India. Agra was also the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1658. The city is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

  • The Taj Mahal: the famous mausoleum built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal.
  • Agra Fort: the site where the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond was seized.
  • Fatehpur Sikri: a historic city that’s home to well-preserved Mughal architecture.

30 Blend of vegetables, perhaps : PUREE

A purée is a food that has been made smooth by straining or blending. “Purée” is a French term, which I believe is now used to mean “pea soup” (more completely written as “purée de pois”). The French verb “purer” means “to strain, clean”, from the Latin “purare” meaning “to purify, clean”.

38 Zap : TASE

Victor Appleton wrote a novel for young adults called “Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle”. The company that developed the TASER electroshock weapon partly named its product as a homage to the novel. The acronym “TASER” stands for “Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle”.’

39 Rotund archenemy of Sonic the Hedgehog : EGGMAN

Sonic the Hedgehog is a title character in a videogame and the mascot of Sega, the computer game developer. Sonic was set up as a rival to Nintendo’s mascot Mario.

41 They precede slashes: Abbr. : MOS

Months (mos.)

50 Place to get your fill? : PUMP

The gas pump was actually around before there were cars on the road. The first gas pump was the invention of one Sylvanus Bowser from Fort Wayne, Indiana. His first pump was designed to pump kerosene for lamps and stoves, and was introduced in 1885. As automobiles became popular, he modified the design to pump gasoline. He introduced the Self-Measuring Gasoline Storage Pump in 1905. He marketed his devices all around the world, and in some parts the name “bowser” is still used sometimes to refer to fuel pumps, and indeed some fuel tankers.

52 It’s commemorated on Maundy Thursday : LAST SUPPER

Maundy Thursday (also “Holy Thursday”) is the Christian holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter. The celebration commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles. The exact origins of the name “Maundy” are unclear. The Washing of Feet is a traditional rite performed on the day, with the washing of feet intended to be a sign of humility.

Down

2 1920s-’30s skating legend Sonja : HENIE

Sonja Henie was a World and Olympic Champion figure skater from Oslo, Norway who competed in the days when “amateur” sports stars were not paid. Henie made up for her lack of income from competing by developing a career in Hollywood. She was one of the highest-paid film stars at the height of her movie career.

3 Two of hearts : ATRIA

The heart has four chambers. The two upper chambers (the atria) accept deoxygenated blood from the body and oxygenated blood from the lungs. The atria squeeze those blood supplies into the two lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles), “priming” the pump, as it were. One ventricle pumps deoxygenated blood to the lungs, and the other pumps oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.

5 Former inits. in for-profit education : ITT

ITT Technical Institute was a private educational establishment with over 130 campuses all over the US. Founded in 1969, ITT closed down in 2016 after it was basically exposed as a scam. ITT students can now apply to the US Department of Education to avoid repaying their student loans.

6 Only account Edward Snowden follows on Twitter : NSA

National Security Agency (NSA)

Edward Snowden is a former NSA contractor who leaked several top secret NSA documents to the media beginning in June 2013. After disclosing his name as the source of the leaks, Snowden tried to seek asylum in Ecuador. While travelling to Ecuador he had a layover in Moscow. While in Moscow, the US government revoked his passport, which effectively left him stranded in the transit area of Moscow Airport. The Russian government eventually granted him annually-renewable temporary asylum.

7 Notable feature of the opening clarinet solo in “Rhapsody in Blue” : GLISSANDO

In music, a glissando (plural “glissandi”), is a “glide” from one pitch to another, a rapid “slide” through a series of consecutive notes. On a piano, this can be accomplished by swiping a finger across the keys. On a harp, the effect is achieved with a similar action across the strings.

“Rhapsody in Blue” is one of the most popular works by the great George Gershwin. The piece has a famous clarinet glissando at its opening, but is a work for solo piano and orchestra. Gershwin himself played the piano at its premiere in 1924. We can’t be certain how that original “Rhapsody” sounded as Gershwin improvised some of what he was playing, and didn’t write out the piano part until after the first performance.

8 “Roots” surname : KINTE

Not only did Alex Haley author the magnificent novel “Roots”, he was also the collaborator with Malcolm X on “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”. His 1976 novel “Roots” is based on Haley’s own family history, and he claimed to be a direct descendant of the real life Kunta Kinte, the slave who was kidnapped in the Gambia in 1767. If you remember the original television adaptation of “Roots”, you might recall that Kunta Kinte was played by LeVar Burton, who later went on to play another famous role, Geordi La Forge on “Star Trek: the Next Generation”.

12 Portrayer of the Chief in 2008’s “Get Smart” : ALAN ARKIN

Actor Alan Arkin won his only Oscar (Best Supporting Actor) for his role in “Little Miss Sunshine” from 2006, a movie that I just did not understand …

13 Number that can be spelled with only one-point Scrabble tiles : NINETEEN

The game of Scrabble has been around since 1938, the invention of an architect named Alfred Mosher Butts. Butts determined how many tiles of each letter, and the point value of each tile, by analyzing letter distributions in publications like “The New York Times”.

21 Autumnal salad ingredients : PEPITAS

Pumpkin seeds are also known as pepitas, from the Mexican Spanish term “pepita de calabaza” meaning “little seed of squash”.

25 Bathsheba’s husband before David : URIAH

Uriah the Hittite was a soldier mentioned in the Bible, a soldier in the army of King David. Uriah was married to Bathsheba with whom King David had an affair. David had Uriah killed and then took Bathsheba as his wife. Bathsheba and David became the parents of Solomon who succeeded David as king.

27 Lancaster and Cornwall, for two : DUCHIES

Lancaster is the county town of Lancashire in England. The House of Lancaster was a famous branch of the English royal family, and one of the factions in the Wars of the Roses (along with the House of York). The Duchy of Lancaster provides income for the English monarch, and the current Duke of Lancaster is actually Queen Elizabeth II.

Camilla Parker Bowles became the Duchess of Cornwall when she married Charles, Prince of Wales in 2005. The Duchess of Cornwall title derives from Duke of Cornwall, one of Charles secondary designations. The use of the primary title Princess of Wales wasn’t considered a good idea as it was closely associated with Lady Diana Spencer, Charles’ first wife.

29 Like the Acropolis : GRECIAN

The term “acropolis” translates from Greek as “high city” or “city on the extremity”. In English we use the term “citadel” to mean the same thing. The most famous citadel bearing the name is the Acropolis of Athens. This Acropolis is a large, flat-topped rock in the city of Athens that rises almost 500 feet above sea level. The most recognizable building that stands on the Acropolis is the Parthenon, also known as the Temple of Athena.

32 Automotive debut of 1964 : GTO

The Pontiac GTO was produced by GM from 1964 to 1974, and again by a GM subsidiary in Australia from 2004 to 2006. The original GTO’s design is credited to Pontiac chief engineer at the time John DeLorean, who later founded the DeLorean Motor Company.

34 Día divisions : HORAS

In Spanish, there are 24 “horas” (hours) in a “día” (day).

43 Stomach soother, for short : PEPTO

Pepto-Bismol was originally marketed as a remedy for infant diarrhea, and sold under the name “Bismosol: Mixture Cholera Infantum”.

44 Summertime coolers : ICEES

Icee and Slurpee are brand names of slushy drinks. Ugh …

45 Co-writer of “The Christmas Song” : TORME

Mel Tormé was a jazz singer, with a quality of voice that earned him the nickname “The Velvet Fog”. Tormé also wrote a few books, and did a lot of acting. He was the co-author of the Christmas classic known as “The Christmas Song”, which starts out with the line “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire …”

The Christmas classic known as “The Christmas Song”, which starts out with the line “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire”, was written in 1944 by Bob Wells and singer Mel Tormé. According to Tormé, the song was actually written on a very hot summer day, with Wells providing the lyrics. Apparently without the intention of writing a song, Wells jotted down four “Christmassy” phrases in an effort to “stay cool by thinking cool”. Those phrases were:

  • Chestnuts roasting
  • Jack Frost nipping
  • Yuletide carols
  • Folks dressed up like Eskimos

“The Christmas Song” is now the most-performed Christmas song in the world.

48 Home of the Dr Pepper Museum : WACO

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”.

51 Prompt an “M.Y.O.B.,” say : PRY

Mind your own business (MYOB)

53 Overindulger, of a sort : SOT

Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning “fool”. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s.

54 Card game cry : 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.

55 Part of a split : PIN

In ten pin bowling, a split takes place when the number-one pin (headpin) is knocked down with the first ball and two or more non-adjacent pins are left standing. The most difficult split to deal with is the infamous 7-10 split, where just the rear pins at the extreme right and left remain standing.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 One might have oils and a brush : SHAVING KIT
11 Fixture in un parc : BANC
15 Look the other way : LET IT SLIDE
16 Actress ___ Shawkat of “Arrested Development” : ALIA
17 Under contract, as a lawyer : ON RETAINER
18 Horace who championed public education : MANN
19 Console release of 2006 : WII
20 One stuck in a corner? : STAMP
22 After taxes : NET
23 Something sought for the House biennially : SEAT
25 Single-___ : USE
26 Calm : SEDATE
28 Asian city on the Yamuna River : AGRA
30 Blend of vegetables, perhaps : PUREE
31 No oldster : SPRING CHICKEN
35 Having bitten off more than one can chew : SPREAD TOO THIN
36 Something a toddler might chug? : CHOO-CHOO TRAIN
37 Tower of ___ (classic math puzzle) : HANOI
38 Zap : TASE
39 Rotund archenemy of Sonic the Hedgehog : EGGMAN
41 They precede slashes: Abbr. : MOS
42 Two-player card game : SPIT
46 Add up to : ARE
47 Like a hopeless situation : NO-WIN
49 ___-conscious : ECO
50 Place to get your fill? : PUMP
52 It’s commemorated on Maundy Thursday : LAST SUPPER
56 2019 #1 album for Tyler, the Creator : IGOR
57 Task to get done at work : ACTION ITEM
58 Spot : ESPY
59 Confrontational : NOSE-TO-NOSE

Down

1 Prepares to enter a work zone, perhaps : SLOWS
2 1920s-’30s skating legend Sonja : HENIE
3 Two of hearts : ATRIA
4 Go (for) : VIE
5 Former inits. in for-profit education : ITT
6 Only account Edward Snowden follows on Twitter : NSA
7 Notable feature of the opening clarinet solo in “Rhapsody in Blue” : GLISSANDO
8 “Roots” surname : KINTE
9 What a germ may become : IDEA
10 x and y in “x + y” : TERMS
11 “Ka-pow!” : BAM!
12 Portrayer of the Chief in 2008’s “Get Smart” : ALAN ARKIN
13 Number that can be spelled with only one-point Scrabble tiles : NINETEEN
14 This holds water : CANTEEN
21 Autumnal salad ingredients : PEPITAS
24 Place to make draft picks : TAPROOM
25 Bathsheba’s husband before David : URIAH
27 Lancaster and Cornwall, for two : DUCHIES
29 Like the Acropolis : GRECIAN
31 Tile-cleaning tool : SPONGE MOP
32 Automotive debut of 1964 : GTO
33 Lightweight option for a suit : COTTON TIE
34 Día divisions : HORAS
35 High piles on the floor? : SHAG RUGS
36 Low-cost version, informally : CHEAPIE
40 Many-time M.L.B. All-Star Arenado : NOLAN
41 Airdrops? : MISTS
43 Stomach soother, for short : PEPTO
44 Summertime coolers : ICEES
45 Co-writer of “The Christmas Song” : TORME
48 Home of the Dr Pepper Museum : WACO
51 Prompt an “M.Y.O.B.,” say : PRY
53 Overindulger, of a sort : SOT
54 Card game cry : UNO!
55 Part of a split : PIN

12 thoughts on “0530-20 NY Times Crossword 30 May 20, Saturday”

  1. 13:10, no errors. Ms. Shawkat makes a second appearance in a crossword (second for me, that is). If she’s going to be hanging around here, I’ll have to look her up on Google … 😜.

  2. 38:59 A couple of music and TV references that I was clueless about. Much guessing on my part, but no lookups..had “serene”, before changing it to “sedate”. Just glad to be able to say I finished a Saturday!

  3. 35:59, no errors. Got the top part quickly. I thought I was off to the races only to bog down in the muddy middle and bottom. Spent a lot of time staring at blank spaces. I’m always surprised at how getting one or two words when I’m stuck will release an avalanche of solves. @DuncanR, I also had “serene” before eventually changing it to “sedate.”

  4. Bill: With regard to Holy Thursday, the “Maundy” comes originally from the Latin “Mandatum” “command” with the idea that Jesus urged (mandated) his disciples to be humble and literally and metaphorically to wash their neighbor’s feet.

  5. 29:07. One error because I evidently don’t know how to spell spring chEckin [insert big eye roll here]. Had to get GLISSANDO entirely by crosses. The middle was the stickiest part. Hand up for another “serene” before SEDATE.

    Tower of HANOI is an interesting game. It seems a lot easier than it really is – depending on how many disks you have.

    Best –

  6. No errors.. Quick fill.. About 30 minutes.,

    Never heard of TOWER OF HANOI or PEPITOS Or GLISSANDO or knew the DUCHIES or who EGGMAN was.. One of the very few times I was able to get all the cross fills.. In happy.

  7. 1:06:48 no errors…a lot of solves via crosses.
    In order to use nineteen in scrabble you would have to avail one letter from an existing word as each player has only 7 tiles…but you all most likely knew that.
    Stay safe.

  8. 20:47, no errors. I still don’t like foreign language clues, but BANC was my first entry in this puzzle. Needed to convert 29D PEPPERS into PEPITAS entirely by crosses.

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