1119-21 NY Times Crossword 19 Nov 21, Friday

Constructed by: John Hawksley
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme None

Bill’s time: 10m 05s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Phrase popularized by Long John Silver of “Treasure Island” : SHIVER ME TIMBERS

The phrase “shiver me timbers” is a mock oath that is often uttered by a pirate in a work of fiction. Most famously, Long John Silver uses the phrase in the 1883 novel “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson. The timbers in question are the wooden support frames of a sailing ship.

16 It’s “on a dark desert highway,” in song : HOTEL CALIFORNIA

“Hotel California” is the title song from a 1976 album released by the Eagles. The song is allegorical in nature, and tells of a luxury hotel where one can check in, but never check out. The hotel is a symbol for the California music industry of the seventies that destroyed so many people who were trapped by it. There is an unrelated Hotel California in San Francisco, my favorite of the city’s “boutique” and reasonably-priced places to stay.

18 Le Dakota du Sud or le Dakota du Nord : ETAT

In French, an “état” (state) is an “entité politique” (political entity).

24 Typesetting unit : PICA

A pica is a unit of measure used in typography. One pica is equivalent to 1/6 of an inch. Also, each pica unit contains 12 points.

29 N.B.A. M.V.P. of 2015 and ’16, familiarly : STEPH

Stephen “Steph” Curry is a professional basketball player who was selected by the Golden State Warriors in the 2009 draft. Steph’s father is former NBA player Dell Curry, and his younger brother is current player Seth Curry. Steph Curry is noted for accuracy in shooting. Curry set the record for three-pointers made in a regular season in 2013, broke that record in 2015, and broke it yet again in 2016.

31 “I don’t do ___. I am ___”: Salvador Dalí : DRUGS

Artist Salvador Dalí liked to make a splash in public. He was known to walk an anteater on a lead around Paris. He also brought an anteater on stage to an interview on “The Dick Cavett Show” in 1970.

32 Eponymous instrument inventor Adolphe : SAX

The saxophone was invented by Belgian musician Adolphe Sax, hence the name. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if his affliction was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax’s grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

37 “What do you call cheese that isn’t yours? Nacho cheese!,” e.g. : DAD JOKE

I tell dad jokes all the time, just to annoy the kids …

  • I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. It’s impossible to put down!
  • If you see a robbery at an Apple Store, does that make you an iWitness?
  • A termite walks into a bar and asks, “Is the bar tender here?”
  • Two guys walk into a bar, the third one ducks.
  • What’s the best part about living in Switzerland? I don’t know, but the flag is a big plus.

39 Periods that aren’t usually added, for short? : OTS

Overtime (OT)

40 “Live in ___” (clothing slogan) : LEVIS

Levi Strauss was the founder of the first company in the world to manufacture blue jeans. Levi Strauss & Co. opened in 1853 in San Francisco. Strauss and his business partner were awarded a patent in 1873 for the use of copper rivets to strengthen points of strain on working pants.

43 Japanese camera : NIKON

The Japanese company Nikon was founded in 1917 with the merger of three manufacturers of various optical devices. After the merger, Nikon’s main output was lenses (including the first lenses for Canon cameras, before Canon made its own). During the war, Nikon sales grew rapidly as the company focused on (pun!) equipment for the military including periscopes and bomb sights.

44 Protagonist of “The O.C.” : RYAN

“The O.C.” is a teen drama that aired for four seasons on Fox finishing up in 2007. I never watched it, but I understand that it is set in Newport Beach in Southern California. And, “O.C.” stands for “Orange County”.

45 What may be thrown down for a duel : GLOVE

Gauntlets are gloves, usually with an extended cuff that extends to cover the forearm. Gauntlets were often made of metal and were used as part of a suit of armor. In days of yore a knight might “throw down the gauntlet”, tossing one of his gauntlets to the ground symbolizing that he has issued a challenge. The prospective opponent would pick up the gauntlet if he accepted that challenge.

47 Popular video game series with cars, for short : GTA

“Grand Theft Auto” is an extremely successful series of video games. The game garners some negative attention because of its adult themes and the level of violence in the storyline. The original version of “Grand Theft Auto” was actually banned in Brazil.

53 Former-Yankee-turned-broadcaster, to fans : A-ROD

Baseball player Alex Rodriguez, nicknamed “A-Rod”, hit his 600th home run on August 4th, 2010. He had hit his 500th home run exactly three years earlier, on August 4th, 2007, when he became the youngest player in Major League history to join the 500-home run club.

59 Digs near a flower bed, say : GARDEN APARTMENT

“Digs” is short for “diggings” meaning “lodgings”. Where “diggings” came from, no one seems to know.

Down

6 Pioneering brand of caffeine-free soft drink : RC COLA

Claude A. Hatcher ran a grocery store in Columbus, Georgia. He decided to develop his own soft drink formula when he balked at the price his store was being charged for Coca-Cola syrup. Hatcher launched the Union Bottling Works in his own grocery store, and introduced Royal Crown Ginger Ale in 1905. The Union Bottling Works was renamed to Chero-Cola in 1910, the Nehi Corporation in 1925, and Royal Crown Company in the mid-fifties. The first RC Cola hit the market in 1934.

8 Longest-serving U.S. first lady, informally : ELEANOR

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was the daughter of Elliot, brother to President Theodore Roosevelt. Eleanor met Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was her father’s fifth cousin, in 1902. The two started “walking out together” the following year after they both attended a White House dinner with President Theodore Roosevelt.

9 One might be open for business : TILL

What we usually call a cash register here in North America, we mostly call a “till” in Ireland and the UK. I haven’t heard the word “till” used much here in that sense …

10 “___ tree falls …” : IF A

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody’s around to hear it, does it make a sound? Answers on a postcard please …

11 Big time for long-distance calling : MOTHER’S DAY

Note the official punctuation in “Mother’s Day”, even though one might think it should be “Mothers’ Day”. President Wilson and Anna Jarvis, who created the tradition, specifically wanted Mother’s Day to honor the mothers within each family and not just “mothers” in general, so they went with the “Mother’s Day” punctuation.

12 Prickly shrubs : BRIARS

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

14 Places for curlers : RINKS

I think curling is such a cool game (pun!). It’s somewhat like bowls, but played on a sheet of ice. The sport was supposedly invented in medieval Scotland, and is called curling because of the action of the granite stone as it moves across the ice. A player can make the stone take a curved path (“curl”) by causing it to slowly rotate as it slides.

23 Apparel often worn with sandals : TOGA

In ancient Rome, the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae” or “togas”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

25 Computer addresses, for short : IPS

An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a numerical label assigned to every device on a computer network. The device that you’re using to read this blog post on has been assigned a unique IP address, as has the computer that I’m using to make this post …

26 Green stew : CHILI VERDE

The full name of the dish that is often called simply “chili” is “chili con carne”, Spanish for “peppers with meat”. The dish was created by immigrants from the Spanish Canary Islands in the city of San Antonio, Texas (a city which the islanders founded). The San Antonio Chili Stand was a popular attraction at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and that stand introduced the dish to the rest of America and to the world.

28 Outfit : DUDS

“Duds” is an informal word meaning “clothing”. The term comes from the word “dudde” that was used around 1300 as the name for a cloak.

29 NorCal airport : SFO

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) served as the main base of operations for Virgin America (sold to Alaska Airlines), and is also the maintenance hub for United Airlines. Even though SFO is owned and operated by the City and County of San Francisco, the airport is located to the south in San Mateo County.

Northern California (NorCal)

31 “Whip It” rock band : DEVO

Devo is a band from Akron, Ohio formed back in 1973. The band’s biggest hit is “Whip It” released in 1980. Devo have a gimmick: the wearing of red, terraced plastic hats that are referred to as “energy domes”. Why? I have no idea …

32 It travels at Mach 1 : SOUND WAVE

The Mach number of a moving object (like say an airplane) is its speed relative to the speed of sound. A plane travelling at Mach 2, for example, is moving at twice the speed of sound. The term “Mach” takes its name from the Austrian physicist Ernst Mach who published a groundbreaking paper in 1877 that even predicted the “sonic boom”.

33 Black sorority with 300,000+ members, in brief : AKA

Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA)

36 The Cowardly Lion’s counterpart in Kansas : ZEKE

Zeke is the farmworker played by Bert Lahr in 1939’s “The Wizard of Oz”. Zeke is the character who morphed into the Cowardly Lion in Dorothy’s dream.

38 Presidential monogram of the early 1800s : JQA

John Quincy Adams (JQA), the son of John Adams, was the 6th US president. Like his father, John Quincy worked for many years as a diplomat representing the young United States. After leaving office, Adams served in Congress as Representative from Massachusetts, becoming the only president ever to enter the House after leaving the office of president.

44 Original “S.N.L.” cast member : RADNER

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”.

45 Home to Lake Volta, the largest artificial reservoir in the world : GHANA

The country name “Ghana” translates as “warrior king” in the local language. The British established a colony they named the Gold Coast in 1874, later to become Ghana, as part of the scramble by Europeans to settle as much of Africa as they could. One of Ghana’s most famous sons was Kofi Annan, the diplomat who served as General Secretary of the UN for ten years until the beginning of 2007.

Lake Volta is the largest artificially formed lake in the world by surface area, and the fourth largest by volume. The lake has a surface area of over 3,000 square miles. Lake Volta is located almost totally in the Republic of Ghana in West Africa. It is formed by the Akosombo Dam that holds back the White Volta River and the Black Volta River.

48 Island nation near Fiji : TONGA

The Kingdom of Tonga is made up of 176 islands in the South Pacific, 52 of which are inhabited and scattered over an area of 270,000 square miles. Tonga was given the name Friendly Islands in 1773 when Captain James Cook first landed there, a reference to the warm reception given to the visitors. The nation’s capital is the city of Nukuʻalofa on the island of Tongatapu.

51 Critic who said “Art is the closest we can come to understanding how a stranger really feels” : EBERT

Roger Ebert was a film critic for “The Chicago Sun-Times” for 50 years. He also co-hosted a succession of film review television programs for over 23 years, most famously with Gene Siskel until Siskel passed away in 1999. Siskel and Ebert famously gave their thumbs up or thumbs down to the movies they reviewed. Ebert was the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, which he did in 1975. He was diagnosed and treated for thyroid cancer in 2002, and finally succumbed to a recurrence of the disease in April 2013.

52 Daniel Webster or Henry Clay : WHIG

The Whig Party (in the US) was active from 1833 to 1856, and was the opposition party to the Democrats at that time. One of the tenets of the Whig Party was the supremacy of Congress over the Executive branch. Prominent members of the party included Presidents Zachary Taylor and John Tyler. Abraham Lincoln was also a Whig while he served a two-year term as a US Representative for the state of Illinois. By the time he became President, Lincoln was a member of the Republican Party.

Daniel Webster was a US senator for Massachusetts in the runup to the Civil War, as well as US Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Millard Fillmore, William Henry Harrison and John Tyler. Famously, Webster debated Senator Robert Hayne of South Carolina in an unscripted exchange on the Senate floor in 1830. Webster’s “second reply to Hayne” is regarded by many as the most eloquent speech ever delivered in the US Congress. Included in the speech was his assertion that the US government is “made for the people, made by the people, and answerable to the people”. These words were echoed by President Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address as “government of the people, by the people, for the people”.

Henry Clay was a statesman from Kentucky well known for his gift as an orator. He was very persuasive in his arguments in favor of war with Britain resulting in the War of 1812. In 1957, a Senate committee chaired by John F. Kennedy declared Henry Clay one of the five greatest senators in American history.

53 Sheik’s peer? : AGHA

“Aga” (also “agha”) is a title that was used by both civil and military officials in the Ottoman Empire.

54 Part of a fancy bedding set : SHAM

A sham is something that is imitation, fake. In the world of bed linens, a sham is also an imitation or fake, in the sense that it is a decorative cover designed to cover up a regular pillow used for sleeping.

56 ___ Juan : SAN

San Juan is the capital of Puerto Rico. The city was founded in 1521 by the Spanish, who called it “Ciudad de Puerto Rico” (Rich Port City).

57 Like the mizzenmast : AFT

A mizzenmast is found aft of the main mast on a vessel having more than one mast. The sail on a mizzenmast is a mizzen sail, and is smaller than the mainsail.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Phrase popularized by Long John Silver of “Treasure Island” : SHIVER ME TIMBERS
16 It’s “on a dark desert highway,” in song : HOTEL CALIFORNIA
17 Ways in which different cultures interact : ETHNIC RELATIONS
18 Le Dakota du Sud or le Dakota du Nord : ETAT
19 Like some traditions : ORAL
20 Listens, old-style : HARKS
21 Have that *wow* factor : POP
22 Name ending for Mari- or Rosa- : -LYN
23 Things people often claim to have read when they haven’t : TERMS
24 Typesetting unit : PICA
27 Funky stuff : ODORS
29 N.B.A. M.V.P. of 2015 and ’16, familiarly : STEPH
31 “I don’t do ___. I am ___”: Salvador Dalí : DRUGS
32 Eponymous instrument inventor Adolphe : SAX
35 Smaller than usual, endearingly : FUN SIZE
37 “What do you call cheese that isn’t yours? Nacho cheese!,” e.g. : DAD JOKE
39 Periods that aren’t usually added, for short? : OTS
40 “Live in ___” (clothing slogan) : LEVIS
42 Water colors : AQUAS
43 Japanese camera : NIKON
44 Protagonist of “The O.C.” : RYAN
45 What may be thrown down for a duel : GLOVE
47 Popular video game series with cars, for short : GTA
49 Nickname that drops “An-” : DRE
52 Show petulance, in a way : WHINE
53 Former-Yankee-turned-broadcaster, to fans : A-ROD
54 Clean, as decks : SWAB
55 “Don’t sweat the naysayers” : HATERS GONNA HATE
58 Opening statement of an appeal? : I NEED A HUGE FAVOR
59 Digs near a flower bed, say : GARDEN APARTMENT

Down

1 Black ___ : SHEEP
2 “Too ___ Handle” (Netflix reality show) : HOT TO
3 “We’ve all been there” : IT HAPPENS
4 Let it all out : VENT
5 Hebrew name meaning “my God” : ELI
6 Pioneering brand of caffeine-free soft drink : RC COLA
7 Combine : MARRY
8 Longest-serving U.S. first lady, informally : ELEANOR
9 One might be open for business : TILL
10 “___ tree falls …” : IF A
11 Big time for long-distance calling : MOTHER’S DAY
12 Prickly shrubs : BRIARS
13 Vast, poetically : ENORM
14 Places for curlers : RINKS
15 Be wise to : SASS
23 Apparel often worn with sandals : TOGA
25 Computer addresses, for short : IPS
26 Green stew : CHILI VERDE
28 Outfit : DUDS
29 NorCal airport : SFO
30 Syllable of disapproval : TUT
31 “Whip It” rock band : DEVO
32 It travels at Mach 1 : SOUND WAVE
33 Black sorority with 300,000+ members, in brief : AKA
34 Marks, as a survey box : XES
36 The Cowardly Lion’s counterpart in Kansas : ZEKE
38 Presidential monogram of the early 1800s : JQA
41 The cool kids, e.g. : IN-GROUP
43 “That really isn’t necessary” : NO NEED
44 Original “S.N.L.” cast member : RADNER
45 Home to Lake Volta, the largest artificial reservoir in the world : GHANA
46 Volume measure : LITER
48 Island nation near Fiji : TONGA
50 Betray, in a way : RAT ON
51 Critic who said “Art is the closest we can come to understanding how a stranger really feels” : EBERT
52 Daniel Webster or Henry Clay : WHIG
53 Sheik’s peer? : AGHA
54 Part of a fancy bedding set : SHAM
56 ___ Juan : SAN
57 Like the mizzenmast : AFT

7 thoughts on “1119-21 NY Times Crossword 19 Nov 21, Friday”

  1. 14:22 Somehow it seemed significant to me that MOTHER’S DAY crossed DAD JOKE (hope dads don’t joke about it) and that we have ETHNIC RELATIONS hovering rows above HATERS GONNA HATE – seems very “today” in our world. Then I thought that DEVO should have crossed GARDEN in some fashion since the band wore those red flower pots on their heads.

    Sporadic ramblings on a Friday.

  2. 24:39, but just so I could bail out Duncan. Maybe the lack of black squares psyched me out. Looked a lot easier when all the answers were filled in.

    No idea that RC COLA has no caffeine in it. I never drank it before, and I definitely won’t now….

    I don’t remember needing a weekend more than I do right now so TGIF.

    Best –

  3. 13:30! My best Friday ever. I was either in the “zone” or just on the setter’s wavelength. Getting SHIVERMETIMBERS and HOTELCALIFORNIA right off the bat was a confidence builder. Half way through in under six minutes…and the second half was almost as fast. A very rare occurrence for me. I’ll be ready to eat a big slice of humble pie tomorrow.

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