0105-21 NY Times Crossword 5 Jan 21, Tuesday

Constructed by: Amy Schecter & Christina Iverson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: He or She’s in Disguise

Themed answers appear to be common two-word phrasal verbs. However, each has been reinterpreted, using the first word as a person’s with the abbreviated form of “is”, followed by a preposition:

  • 16A Singer Benatar feels blue : PAT’S DOWN
  • 20A Author Grafton has arrived for dinner : SUE’S OVER
  • 26A Actress Wells has just entered the scene : DAWN’S ON
  • 37A Actor Nicholson will bat next : JACK’S UP
  • 48A Baseball’s Boggs has agreed to join us : WADE’S IN
  • 53A Actor Norris got tagged : CHUCK’S IT
  • 59A TV father Cleaver has just left the starting line : WARD’S OFF

Bill’s time: 8m 13s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Petite pooch, familiarly : POM

The Pomeranian is a small breed of dog named for the Pomerania region of Europe (part of eastern Germany and northern Poland). The breed was much loved by the royalty of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, Queen Victoria owned a particularly small Pomeranian. Due to the notoriety of the monarch’s pet, the Pomeranian was bred for small size, so that during the Queen’s admittedly long reign, the size of the average “pom” was reduced by 50% …

13 Group of docs : AMA

The list of American Medical Association (AMA) past-presidents includes William James Mayo (1906-07) and Charles Horace Mayo (1917-18). William and Charles were brothers, and were two founders of the famous Mayo Clinic located in Rochester, Minnesota.

15 Lassie, for one : COLLIE

The canine character Lassie is the creation of Eric Knight, an author who wrote a short story that he expanded into a novel called “Lassie Come Home” published in 1940. “Lassie Come Home” was turned into a movie three years later, the first of a very successful franchise. The original Lassie (a female) was played by a dog called Pal (a male). In fact, all of the dogs that played Lassie over the years were males, because they looked better on camera, retaining a thick coat even during the summer months.

16 Singer Benatar feels blue : PAT’S DOWN

Pat Benatar is a singer from Brooklyn, New York who was born Patricia Andrzejewski. She married her high school boyfriend Dennis Benatar in 1972 when she was 19 years old, but they divorced in 1979. Presumably, she kept the Benatar name as her career was already showing signs of taking off. Benatar’s biggest hits are “Hit Me with Your Best Shot”, “Love is a Battlefield” and “We Belong”.

19 Aromatic dried pepper : ANCHO

An ancho is a dried poblano pepper that is used in Mexican cuisine. The poblano is a mild chili.

20 Author Grafton has arrived for dinner : SUE’S OVER

Sue Grafton wrote detective novels, and her “alphabet series” feature the private investigator Kinsey Millhone. She started off with “’A’ Is for Alibi” in 1982 and worked her way up to “‘Y’ is for Yesterday” before she passed away in 2017.

25 California ball team : PADRES

The San Diego Padres baseball team was founded in 1969, and immediately joined the ranks of Major League Baseball as an expansion team. The Padres took their name from a Minor League team that had been in the city since 1936. The name is Spanish for “fathers” and is a reference to the Franciscan Friars from Spain who founded San Diego in 1769.

26 Actress Wells has just entered the scene : DAWN’S ON

Mary Ann Summers is the “wholesome” young lady on the sitcom “Gilligan’s Island”, played by actress Dawn Wells. Sadly, Wells passed away at the end of 2020 after contracting COVID-19.

28 First company to feature a gay couple in a mainstream U.S. TV ad (1994) : IKEA

The IKEA furniture chain was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943, when he was just 17-years-old. IKEA is an acronym standing for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd (don’t forget now!). Elmtaryd was the name of the farm where Ingvar Kamprad grew up, and Agunnaryd is his home parish in Sweden.

30 Slugger’s stat : RBI

Run batted in (RBI)

37 Actor Nicholson will bat next : JACK’S UP

There have been only two actors who have been nominated for an Academy Award in every decade from the 1960s to the 2000s. One is Jack Nicholson, and the other is Michael Caine.

44 One of a fairy tale threesome : BEAR

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.

45 Jazzy James : ETTA

“Etta James” was the stage name of celebrated blues and soul singer Jamesetta Hawkins. James’ most famous recording was her 1960 hit “At Last”, which made it into the pop charts. James performed “At Last” at the age of 71 in 2009 on the reality show “Dancing with the Stars”, which was to be her final television appearance. She passed away in 2012.

48 Baseball’s Boggs has agreed to join us : WADE’S IN

Wade Boggs is a former Major League Baseball player. He was a third baseman noted for his hitting ability.

52 Online magazine covering politics and culture : SLATE

“Slate” is an online magazine that was founded in 1996. “Slate” was originally owned by Microsoft and was part of the MSN online offering. The magazine has been available for free since 1999 (it is ad-supported) and has been owned by the Washington Post Company since 2004.

53 Actor Norris got tagged : CHUCK’S IT

Chuck Norris is a martial artist and actor from Ryan, Oklahoma. Norris’s first real exposure to martial arts was in the US Air Force when he was serving in South Korea. When he left the service Norris opened up a chain of karate schools, and among his clients were Steve McQueen and his son, as well as Donny and Marie Osmond.

55 ___ Lama : DALAI

The Dalai Lama is a religious leader in the Gelug branch of Tibetan Buddhism. The current Dalai Lama is the 14th to hold the office. He has indicated that the next Dalai Lama might be found outside of Tibet for the first time, and may even be female.

59 TV father Cleaver has just left the starting line : WARD’S OFF

Ward Cleaver and his wife June were the parents of Wally Cleaver and his younger brother “The Beaver”. The four family members appeared in the fifties sitcom “Leave It to Beaver”.

62 Some garden dwellers : GNOMES

In English folklore, the fairy’s anti-hero is the diminutive gnome, an evil ugly character. Although the charastics of gnomes vary in folklore, typically they are described as diminutive humanoids who live underground. Over the centuries, the gnome has become more lovable. We now have garden gnomes, and even the Travelocity Gnome.

63 Skin care brand : OLAY

Oil of Olay was developed in South Africa in 1949. When Oil of Olay was introduced internationally, it was given slightly different brand names designed to appeal in the different geographies. In Ireland we know it as Oil of Ulay, for example, and in France it is Oil of Olaz.

64 Org. with an inspector general : IRS

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was set up during the Civil War to raise money to cover war expenses. Prior to the introduction of income tax in 1862, the government was funded by levies on trade and property.

66 Lily that is Utah’s state flower : SEGO

The sego lily is the state flower of Utah, and is a perennial plant found throughout the Western United States.

67 Head of England? : LOO

It has been suggested that the British term “loo”, meaning “toilet”, comes from “Waterloo” (water closet … water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of “lanterloo”, in which the pot was called the loo!

Down

2 Country whose name can be an exclamation : OMAN

Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Oman is a monarchy, and the official name of the state is the Sultanate of Oman. All of the country’s legislative, executive and judiciary power resides with the hereditary sultan.

4 Condo restriction : NO DOGS

The terms “condominium” and “apartment” tend to describe the same type of residential property, namely a private living space with facilities shared with others residing in the same building or complex. The difference is that a condominium is usually owned, and an apartment is rented. At least that’s how it is in the US. The word “condominium” comes from the Latin “com-” (together) and “dominum” (right of ownership).

6 “Just so you know…,” in a text : BTW …

By the way (BTW)

7 “___ and Lovers” (D. H. Lawrence novel) : SONS

D. H. Lawrence was very much a reactionary novelist, in the sense that his work tended to decry the social impact of the industrial revolution. His novels were also criticized for their erotic content, so much so that Lawrence was publicly labelled as a pornographer by the end of his days. His most famous novels are “Sons and Lovers”, “The Rainbow”, “Women in Love” and “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”.

10 “12 Years a ___” : SLAVE

“12 Years a Slave” is a powerful 2013 film adapted from the memoir “Twelve Years a Slave” by Solomon Northup. Northup was an African American who was born a free man in Upstate New York where he worked as a farmer and a violinist. He was lured to Washington, D.C. where slavery was legal, and there was kidnapped by slave traders. Northup spent twelve years as a slave in Louisiana before an intermediary made contact with friends and family who were able to obtain his release. The slave trader in Washington who committed the crime was arrested and tried, although he was acquitted, because D.C. law prohibited an African American from testifying against Caucasians.

12 Oracle : SEER

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 Pythia, the high priestess to Apollo at Delphi.

21 News inits. : UPI

Founded in 1958, United Press International (UPI) used to be one of the biggest news agencies in the world, sending out news by wire to the major newspapers. UPI ran into trouble with the change in media formats at the end of the twentieth century and lost many of its clients as the afternoon newspapers shut down due to the advent of television news. UPI, which once employed thousands, still exists today but with just a fraction of that workforce.

23 Circular wedding dance : 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.

24 “Fast Money” channel : CNBC

CNBC is a business news channel owned by NBC. Launched in 1989, CNBC was known as the Consumer News and Business Channel up until 1991.

31 Mike’s candy partner : IKE

“Mike and Ike” is a brand of fruit-flavored candy made by Just Born starting in 1940. Just Born launched quite a unique marketing campaign in 2012 asserting that Mike and Ike had “split up due to creative differences”. The campaign involved production of two different boxes for the candy showing one or the other name scratched out. Clever …

33 Some engine fuel : DIESEL OIL

Rudolf Diesel was a German engineer, and the inventor of the diesel engine. Diesel died under mysterious circumstances, having disappeared from a passenger vessel sailing from Antwerp to London. Whether death was due to an accident, suicide or murder is the subject of much speculation.

34 Purple berry : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

35 Relative of a sea gull : TERN

Terns are a family of seabirds. They are similar to gulls, but are more slender and more lightly built. Many species of tern are known for their long-distance migrations, with the Arctic tern migrating so far that it is believed to see more daylight in a year than any other animal.

37 Zipped along on a watercraft : JET-SKIED

“Jet Ski” is actually a brand name owned by Kawasaki Heavy Industries of Japan. The generic term, not often used, is “personal watercraft”. Most people use the term “Jet Ski” generically, although “WaveRunner” is also popular. But that’s another brand name, one owned by Yamaha.

38 Proverbs : SAWS

A saw is an old saying, one that is often repeated and is very familiar. The term “old saw” is actually a tautology, as by definition a “saw” is “old”.

39 Name of a mountain range or a river : URAL

The Ural River rises in the Ural Mountains in Russia and flows for half its length through Russian territory until it crosses the border into Kazakhstan, finally emptying into the Caspian Sea. It is the third-longest river in Europe, after the Volga and Danube. The Ural is often cited as defining a long stretch of the border between Europe and Asia, although the exact position of that border is open to debate.

44 Trial stages : BETAS

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.

47 The Cards, on scoreboards : ARI

The Arizona Cardinals were founded in 1898 as the Chicago Cardinals. That makes the Cardinals the oldest, continuously-run professional football team in the whole country.

51 Science fiction awards : HUGOS

The Hugo Awards are presented annually for excellence in science fiction and fantasy writing. The awards are named for Hugo Gernsback, founder of the sci-fi magazine “Amazing Stories”.

53 Classic N.Y.C. punk rock venue : CBGB

The music club known as CBGB opened in 1973 intending to feature country, bluegrass and blues music (hence the name “CBGB”, Country, BlueGrass and Blues). The club developed an association in the eighties with New York’s underground hardcore punk music.

60 Ginger ___ : ALE

The brand most closely associated with ginger ale is Canada Dry. “Canada Dry Pale Ginger Ale” was first formulated in 1904 by a Canadian chemist called John McLoughlin from Ontario. Prohibition in the United States helped sales of the drink as it was particularly effective in masking the taste of illegally-produced, homemade liquor.

61 Jaunty piano tune : RAG

Ragtime music was at the height of its popularity in the early 1900s. It takes its name from its characteristic “ragged” rhythms. The most famous ragtime composer was Scott Joplin, who had a big hit with his “Maple Leaf Rag” when it was published in 1899. He followed that up with a string of hits, including the “Pine Apple Rag” (sic). Ragtime fell out of favor about 1917 when the public turned to jazz. It had a resurgence in the forties when jazz musicians started to include ragtime tunes in their repertoires. But it was the 1973 movie “The Sting” that brought the true revival, as the hit soundtrack included numerous ragtime tunes by Scott Joplin, including the celebrated “The Entertainer” originally published in 1902.

Our words “jaunty” and “genteel” are related in that they both derive from the French “gentil” meaning “nice, pleasing”. In modern usage, someone described as jaunty has a buoyant air. Someone described as genteel is refined in manner.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Petite pooch, familiarly : POM
4 Small lumps : NUBS
8 Plot twists may elicit them : GASPS
13 Group of docs : AMA
14 Aware of, as a scheme : ONTO
15 Lassie, for one : COLLIE
16 Singer Benatar feels blue : PAT’S DOWN
18 Consignment shop business : RESALE
19 Aromatic dried pepper : ANCHO
20 Author Grafton has arrived for dinner : SUE’S OVER
22 An alto probably can’t hit it : HIGH C
25 California ball team : PADRES
26 Actress Wells has just entered the scene : DAWN’S ON
28 First company to feature a gay couple in a mainstream U.S. TV ad (1994) : IKEA
29 How a used item may be sold : AS IS
30 Slugger’s stat : RBI
32 Stop by : END AT
36 Tailor’s concern : FIT
37 Actor Nicholson will bat next : JACK’S UP
40 Medium for some sculptures with short lifespans : ICE
41 Sample : TASTE
43 “Fly swatter” for an elephant : EAR
44 One of a fairy tale threesome : BEAR
45 Jazzy James : ETTA
48 Baseball’s Boggs has agreed to join us : WADE’S IN
50 Shot follower : CHASER
52 Online magazine covering politics and culture : SLATE
53 Actor Norris got tagged : CHUCK’S IT
55 ___ Lama : DALAI
58 Chart-topper, e.g. : BIG HIT
59 TV father Cleaver has just left the starting line : WARD’S OFF
62 Some garden dwellers : GNOMES
63 Skin care brand : OLAY
64 Org. with an inspector general : IRS
65 Located (in) : BASED
66 Lily that is Utah’s state flower : SEGO
67 Head of England? : LOO

Down

1 “Come to ___” : PAPA
2 Country whose name can be an exclamation : OMAN
3 Compete intellectually (with) : MATCH WITS
4 Condo restriction : NO DOGS
5 Numero ___ : UNO
6 “Just so you know…,” in a text : BTW …
7 “___ and Lovers” (D. H. Lawrence novel) : SONS
8 Throws a lo-o-ong pass : GOES DEEP
9 One who didn’t make it to the office : ALSO-RAN
10 “12 Years a ___” : SLAVE
11 Things some sorters make : PILES
12 Oracle : SEER
15 Sound like an old floorboard : CREAK
17 Protected body parts for goalies and baseball catchers : SHINS
21 News inits. : UPI
23 Circular wedding dance : HORA
24 “Fast Money” channel : CNBC
26 Addlebrained : DAFT
27 Locale of both the highest and lowest points on the earth’s surface : ASIA
31 Mike’s candy partner : IKE
33 Some engine fuel : DIESEL OIL
34 Purple berry : ACAI
35 Relative of a sea gull : TERN
37 Zipped along on a watercraft : JET-SKIED
38 Proverbs : SAWS
39 Name of a mountain range or a river : URAL
42 “How do you do it? I want to know” : TEACH ME
44 Trial stages : BETAS
46 Trial stages : TESTS
47 The Cards, on scoreboards : ARI
49 Cool cat : DADDY-O
50 Where the compass was invented : CHINA
51 Science fiction awards : HUGOS
53 Classic N.Y.C. punk rock venue : CBGB
54 Counting by them takes half the time : TWOS
56 Big do : AFRO
57 In that case : IF SO
60 Ginger ___ : ALE
61 Jaunty piano tune : RAG

6 thoughts on “0105-21 NY Times Crossword 5 Jan 21, Tuesday”

  1. 7:46 after finding and fixing yet another fat-fingering. I found the theme helpful, but somehow a little … brain-twisting … 😜.

  2. 11:21. Good theme. I appreciate the DAWN Wells reference as she just passed away a few days ago. She was Miss Nevada back in 1959. I always liked her better than Ginger anyway.

    Best –

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