0619-20 NY Times Crossword 19 Jun 20, Friday

Constructed by: Greg Johnson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 9m 09s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Centerpiece of a luau : ROAST PIG

The Hawaiian party or feast known as a “luau” really dates back to 1819, when King Kamehameha II removed religious laws that governed the eating of meals. These laws called for women and men to eat separately. At the same time as he changed the laws, the king initiated the luau tradition by symbolically eating with the women who moved in his circle.

16 Rocky’s best friend in the “Rocky” films : PAULIE

If ever there was a movie that defines a career breakthrough for an actor, it would have to be “Rocky” for Sylvester Stallone. Stallone was a struggling actor in 1975 when a Muhammad Ali fight inspired Stallone to write a screenplay for a boxing movie, which he did in just three days. His efforts to sell the script went well but for the fact that the interested studios wanted a big name for the lead role, and Stallone was determined to be the star himself. Stallone persevered and “Rocky” was eventually made with him playing the title role of Rocky Balboa. The movie won three Oscars, and “Sly” Stallone had arrived …

17 Screen that keeps out bugs? : BETA TEST

In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the alpha version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a beta and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as “beta”. The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, hopefully bug-free.

Back in 1947, famed computer programmer Grace Hopper noticed some colleagues fixing a piece of equipment by removing a dead moth from a relay. She remarked that they were “debugging” the system, and so Hopper has been given credit for popularizing the term “bug” in the context of computing.

20 1970s rock band that launched the career of Sammy Hagar : MONTROSE

Rock vocalist and guitarist Sammy Hagar achieved fame in the seventies as a member of the group Montrose. He then carved out a successful solo career, and in 1985 took over from David Lee Roth as the lead vocalist of Van Halen.

23 Docking site during the 1980s-’90s : MIR

Russia’s Mir space station was a remarkably successful project. It held the record for the longest continuous human presence in space at just under 10 years, until the International Space Station eclipsed that record in 2010. Towards the end of the space station’s life however, the years began to take their toll. There was a dangerous fire, multiple system failures, and a collision with a resupply ship. The Russian commitment to the International Space Station drained funds for repairs, so Mir was allowed to reenter the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up in 2001. “Mir” is a Russian word meaning “peace” or “world”.

24 iComfort company : SERTA

Serta was founded in 1931 when a group of 13 mattress manufacturers came together, essentially forming a cooperative. Today, the Serta company is owned by eight independent licensees in a similar arrangement. Serta advertisements feature the Serta Counting Sheep. Each numbered sheep has a different personality, such as:

  • #1 The Leader of the Flock
  • #½ The Tweener
  • #13 Mr. Bad Luck
  • #53 The Pessimist
  • #86 Benedict Arnold

26 Makes deceptively attractive : GILDS

To gild is to coat with gold. The phrase “to gild the lily” means to add unnecessary ornamentation, to try to improve something that is already ideal.

28 Craps throw called “Little Joe” : TWOS

If one considers earlier versions of craps, then the game has been around for a very long time and probably dates back to the Crusades. It may have been derived from an old English game called “hazard” also played with two dice, which was mentioned in Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” from the 1300s. The American version of the game came here courtesy of the French and first set root in New Orleans where it was given the name “crapaud”, a French word meaning “toad”.

32 Guess that costs $250 : AN E

Contestants have been spinning the “Wheel of Fortune” since the game show first aired in 1975.

33 Bel canto composer : ROSSINI

Gioachino Rossini was a prolific and very successful composer from Pesaro, Italy. During his lifetime, Rossini was lauded as the most successful composer of operas in history. His best-known opera today is probably “The Barber of Seville”. His best-known piece of music is probably the finale of the overture from his opera “William Tell”.

“Bel canto” is a term used in Italian opera, the literal translation of which is “beautiful singing”. The term specifically describes a style of singing that emphasises beauty of tone over dramatic power.

38 They go down the tubes : OVA

The Fallopian tubes leading from the ovaries of female mammals in the uterus. The tubes are named for the 16th-century Italian anatomist Gabriello Fallopio, who was the first to describe them.

41 Rights org. whose logo includes a rabbit : PETA

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is a very large animal rights organization, with 300 employees and two million members and supporters worldwide. Although the group campaigns for animal rights across a broad spectrum of issues, it has a stated focus in opposition of four practices:

  • Factory farming
  • Fur farming
  • Animal testing
  • Use of animals in entertainment

44 Newspaper fig. : CIRC

Circulation (circ.)

48 TV’s Burnett and Andrews : ERINS

Erin Burnett is a television journalist and the host of her own show on CNN called “Erin Burnett OutFront”. Apparently Burnett also used to show up occasionally as advisor to Donald Trump on “The Celebrity Apprentice”.

Erin Andrews is a sports reporter. I don’t watch much in the line of sports but I do know Ms. Andrews for her appearances on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2010. She did quite well and made it to the final of the show. And now, she is the show’s co-host alongside Tom Bergeron.

51 Former Portuguese territory : MACAO

Macau (also “Macao”) is an autonomous territory of China located on the Pearl River estuary about 40 miles west of Hong Kong. Macau was a Portuguese colony from the mid-1500s until 1999. It was in fact the first European colony in China, and the last, having been handed back to the Chinese in 1999, two years after Hong Kong was returned by the British. Macau’s economy is driven by tourism and gambling. The territory’s gaming revenue is the highest for any gambling center in the world.

56 Neapolitan song whose first line translates to “What a beautiful thing is a sunny day!” : O SOLE MIO

“O sole mio” is a famous Italian song from Naples, written in 1898. The song’s lyrics are usually sung in the original Neapolitan, as opposed to Italian. The title translates from Neapolitan into “My Sun” (and not into “O, My Sun” as one might expect). It’s a love song, sung by a young man declaring that there is a sun brighter than that in the sky, the sun that is his lover’s face. Awww …

60 Owned (up) : FESSED

The term “fess” is most often seen as part of the phrasal verb “to fess up” meaning “to admit to something”. “Fess” is simply a shortened form of “confess”.

61 Recurring “Weekend Update” character for Gilda : ROSEANNE

Gilda Radner was a comedian and actress, and one of the original cast members of the hit television show “Saturday Night Live”. Radner left her first husband to marry comedic actor Gene Wilder, whom she met while they were both filming the Sidney Poitier movie “Hanky Panky”.

Down

2 Balance for a tree pose : ONE LEG

“Asana” is a Sanskrit word that translates literally as “sitting down”. The asanas are the poses that a practitioner of yoga assumes. The most famous is the lotus position, the cross-legged pose called “padmasana”.

3 Kazakh capital renamed Nur-Sultan in 2019 : ASTANA

Astana is the capital of Kazakhstan, although only since 1997. Prior to 1997, the nation’s capital was Almaty. The decision to move the capital was made as Almaty is in a part of the country populated by ethnic Russians and the new government wanted to distance itself even further from its Soviet history. The city was renamed Nur-Sultan in 2019 in honor of the nation’s first president Nursultan Nazarbayev.

5 Where les bérets go : TETES

In French, one wears a “chapeau” (hat), a “béret” (beret) perhaps, on one’s “tête” (head).

6 Univ. bigwig : PRES

A bigwig is someone important. The use of the term “bigwig” harks back to the days when men of authority and rank wore … big wigs.

8 Ad campaign featuring “mustaches” : GOT MILK?

The “got milk?” advertising campaign was funded originally by the California Milk Processor Board and later by milk processors and dairy farmers. The “got milk?” ads encourage us to drink cow’s milk, and lots of it.

10 Word after hot or fancy : … PANTS

Hot pants were quite the fad. They were introduced in fashion shows in the winter of 1970/71, and became a huge sensation in the summer of ’71. By the end of the year, hot pants were “gone”.

11 Small tower : TURRET

A “turret” is a small tower, and a word coming to us from Latin via French. The French word is “tourette” meaning small “tour”, small “tower”.

26 One of many in most families : GENUS

Biological classification is a method used to group organisms by biological type. The method uses a hierarchy of nested classes, with an organism being classified with reference to evolutionary traits. The major taxonomic ranks used are:

  • Life
  • Domain
  • Kingdom
  • Phylum (plural “phyla”)
  • Class
  • Order
  • Family
  • Genus (plural “genera”)
  • Species

27 Oracles : SEERS

In ancient Greece and Rome, an oracle was someone believed inspired by the gods to give wise counsel. The word “oracle” derives from the Latin “orare” meaning “to speak”, which is the same root for our word “orator”. One of the most important oracles of ancient Greece was the priestess to Apollo at Delphi.

31 Wall St. deal : LBO

A leveraged buyout (LBO) is a transaction in which an investor acquires a controlling volume of stock in a company, but buys that stock with borrowed funds (hence “leveraged”). Often the assets of the acquired company are used as collateral for the borrowed money. There is a special form of LBO known as a management buyout (MBO) in which the company’s own management team purchases the controlling interest.

34 William Tell was given one : OVERTURE

“Guillaume Tell” is an opera by Gioachino Rossini based on the legend of William Tell. It is actually Rossini’s last opera, and is certainly the Rossini opera with the most recognizable overture. The whole of the overture is superb, but the driving finale is widely recognized as the theme from the television show “The Lone Ranger”.

37 How many Guinness World Record attempts are performed : ON CAMERA

“The Guinness Book of World Records” holds some records of its own. It is the best-selling, copyrighted series of books of all time and is one of the books most often stolen from public libraries! The book was first published in 1954 by two twins, Norris and Ross McWhirter. The McWhirter twins found themselves with a smash hit, and eventually became very famous in Britain hosting a TV show based on world records.

40 Group whose lies are much discussed on TV : PGA TOUR

The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) was founded in 1916 and today has its headquarters (unsurprisingly) in Florida, where so many golfers live. Back in 1916, the PGA was based in New York City.

45 Occupation for the Three Stooges in “An Ache in Every Stake” : ICEMEN

An iceman is someone who delivers ice to homes. As one might imagine, the occupation was more popular back in the day. Way back when, the ice was harvested from frozen lakes and ponds.

46 Measure equal to about 57° : RADIAN

The radian is a unit of angular measure. The unfortunate radian has been demoted, as the SI unit of angular measure is the steradian.

47 Prairie predator : COYOTE

The coyote is a canine found in most of Central and North America. The name “coyote” is Mexican Spanish, in which language it means “trickster”. Coyotes can sometimes mate with domestic dogs, creating hybrid animals known as “coydogs”. Coyotes can also mate with wolves, creating a “coywolf”. South Dakota named the coyote its state animal in 1949.

51 Battle royal : MELEE

Our term “melee” comes from the French “mêlée”, and in both languages the word means “confused fight”.

54 Partners of cones : RODS

The retina is the tissue that lines the inside of the eye, the tissue that is light-sensitive. There are (mainly) two types of cells in the retina that are sensitive to light, called rods and cones. Rods are cells that best function in very dim light and only provide black-and-white vision. Cones on the other hand function in brighter light and can perceive color.

57 Lead-in to cone : SNO-

A sno-cone (also “snow cone”) is just a paper cone filled with crushed ice and topped with flavored water. Italian ice is similar, but different. Whereas the flavoring is added on top of the ice to make a sno-cone, Italian ice is made with water that is flavored before it is frozen.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Centerpiece of a luau : ROAST PIG
9 Pick : OPT FOR
15 Be supervised by : ANSWER TO
16 Rocky’s best friend in the “Rocky” films : PAULIE
17 Screen that keeps out bugs? : BETA TEST
18 Register : ENROLL
19 Fan group : BLADES
20 1970s rock band that launched the career of Sammy Hagar : MONTROSE
22 Gives credit : LENDS
23 Docking site during the 1980s-’90s : MIR
24 iComfort company : SERTA
25 The same as in France : EGAL
26 Makes deceptively attractive : GILDS
28 Craps throw called “Little Joe” : TWOS
29 Steady temperament : EVEN KEEL
32 Guess that costs $250 : AN E
33 Bel canto composer : ROSSINI
36 Made more secure for shipping, say : REBOXED
38 They go down the tubes : OVA
39 Do curls, e.g. : PUMP IRON
41 Rights org. whose logo includes a rabbit : PETA
43 Topic in driver’s ed : SIGNS
44 Newspaper fig. : CIRC
48 TV’s Burnett and Andrews : ERINS
50 Evasive maneuver : ZAG
51 Former Portuguese territory : MACAO
52 Theater background : STAGE SET
54 Fix : REMEDY
55 Not reside in the center of : OUTLIE
56 Neapolitan song whose first line translates to “What a beautiful thing is a sunny day!” : O SOLE MIO
58 “Stop right there!” : FREEZE!
59 Opposite of “pig out” : UNDEREAT
60 Owned (up) : FESSED
61 Recurring “Weekend Update” character for Gilda : ROSEANNE

Down

1 Unruly crowd : RABBLE
2 Balance for a tree pose : ONE LEG
3 Kazakh capital renamed Nur-Sultan in 2019 : ASTANA
4 Wraps : SWADDLES
5 Where les bérets go : TETES
6 Univ. bigwig : PRES
7 With 9-Down, response to a knock at the door : IT’S …
8 Ad campaign featuring “mustaches” : GOT MILK?
9 See 7-Down : … OPEN!
10 Word after hot or fancy : … PANTS
11 Small tower : TURRET
12 Coat placed on the ground : FLOOR WAX
13 Tool-sharpening aid : OILSTONE
14 Out : RELEASED
21 Counter action : ORDERING
23 Reduce as much as possible : MINIMIZE
26 One of many in most families : GENUS
27 Oracles : SEERS
30 Kind of pass : VIP
31 Wall St. deal : LBO
33 Designates as inaccessible : ROPE OFF
34 William Tell was given one : OVERTURE
35 Quenches : SATIATES
37 How many Guinness World Record attempts are performed : ON CAMERA
40 Group whose lies are much discussed on TV : PGA TOUR
42 Photographers’ considerations : ANGLES
45 Occupation for the Three Stooges in “An Ache in Every Stake” : ICEMEN
46 Measure equal to about 57° : RADIAN
47 Prairie predator : COYOTE
49 Confiscate : SEIZE
51 Battle royal : MELEE
53 Growing need : SEED
54 Partners of cones : RODS
57 Lead-in to cone : SNO-

6 thoughts on “0619-20 NY Times Crossword 19 Jun 20, Friday”

  1. 31:02 wasn’t sure if 61A was “Roseanne” or “Baba Wawa”, got that settled early. Had “pig roast” at first and got that fixed…eventually. I still have 2 Montrose albums on vinyl…

  2. 19:31. Easier than an average Friday puzzle. I still managed some missteps – IVS before OVA and REPAIR before REMEDY to name 2. Both were short lived.

    Count me in for being in favor of bringing back hot PANTS.

    Best –

  3. 30:14, no errors. Took a while to get started. KALUAPIG (ROASTPIG) goofed me up for a bit even though I knew TETES. Eventually got going in the SE, used that toe hold to swing through the lower center to the SW. Worked up to the NW and wound it up in the NE. I’m satisfied.

  4. Ironic…the day Jeff puts in a vote for bringing back hot pants, which I’m 100% on board, there appears a click bait ad for “The 70’s Most Beautiful Women” website, featuring a picture of a naked 70’s siren in a 70’s “come hither” pose.

  5. 17:47 I’m happy if I finish a Friday in under an hour (if I finish at all) so I must be in an alternate universe today. Had the bottom half in about 11:00 and then the top half just cruised even faster. Like @Jeff also had REPAIR before REMEDY and had to ferret out how to spell O SOLE MIO.

    Even if relatively easy – a Damn good Friday for me.

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