0619-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 19 Jun 17, Monday

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CROSSWORD CONSTRUCTOR: Susan Gelfand
THEME: Duets
Each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase and a DUET of sorts. It is a combination comprising the family names of two famous singers referenced in the clue:

37A. Performances by two singers … like 21- and 49-Across and 3- and 29-Down? : DUETS

21A. Singers Johnny and Fiona? : ROTTEN APPLE (Johnny Rotten & Fiona Apple)
49A. Singers Keith and John? : URBAN LEGEND (Keith Urban & John Legend)
3D. Singers Patti and Tina? : PAGE-TURNER (Patti Page & Tina Turner)
29D. Singers Tori and Al? : KELLY GREEN (Tori Kelly & Al Green)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 5m 33s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Doll-making tribe of the Southwest : HOPI
Many of the Hopi nation live on a reservation that is actually located within the much larger Navajo reservation in Arizona.

14. Mathematician Turing : ALAN
Alan Turing was an English mathematician. He was deservedly well-respected for his code-breaking work during WWII at Bletchley Park in England. However, despite his contributions to cracking the German Enigma code and other crucial work, Turing was prosecuted for homosexuality in 1952. He agreed to chemical castration, treatment with female hormones, and then two years later he committed suicide by taking cyanide. Turing’s life story is told in the 2014 film “The Imitation Game” with Benedict Cumberbatch playing the lead. I thoroughly enjoyed that film …

15. Circa : ABOUT
“Circa” is a Latin word meaning “around, near, about the time of”. We use “circa” directly in English to mean “about the time of”, as well as in derivative words such as “circle” and “circus”.

17. Lively Irish dances : JIGS
The dance known as a “jig” is most associated with Ireland and Scotland. In traditional Irish dancing, the jig is second in popularity only to the reel. The most famous Irish jig is probably “The Irish Washerwoman”. I may not dance a jig, but I sure do know the tune of “The Irish Washerwoman” …

18. Sierra ___ (African land) : LEONE
The Republic of Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa, lying on the Atlantic Coast. The capital city of Freetown was originally set up as a colony to house the “Black Poor” of London, England. These people were mainly freed British slaves of Caribbean descent who were living a miserable life in the run-down parts of London. Perhaps to help the impoverished souls, perhaps to rid the streets of “a problem”, three ships were chartered in 1787 to transport a group of blacks, with some whites, to a piece of land purchased in Sierra Leone. Those who made the voyage were granted British citizenship and protection. The descendants of these immigrants, and others who made the journey over the next 60 years, make up the ethnic group that’s today called the Sierra Leone Creole.

19. Supermodel from Somalia : IMAN
Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid is a supermodel from Somalia who goes simply by the name “Iman” these days. “Iman” is an Arabic word for “faith”. Iman is smart cookie. Imam has a degree in Political Science and is fluent in five languages: Somali, Arabic, Italian, French and English. Iman was married to English rock star David Bowie from 1992 until his death in 2016.

21. Singers Johnny and Fiona? : ROTTEN APPLE (Johnny Rotten & Fiona Apple)
Johnny Rotten is the former stage name of English punk rock singer John Lydon. Lydon was most famous as the lead singer for the Sex Pistols in the seventies. Apparently he was given the name “Rotten” as he had very poor oral hygiene as a teenage, which turned his teeth green. So, one of the Sex Pistols declared, “You’re rotten, you are!”

Fiona Apple is a singer-songwriter and pianist from New York City. “Fiona Apple” is the artist’s real name, although “Apple” is a given name. She was born Fiona Apple McAfee-Maggart.

23. Good dogs for pheasant hunters : SETTERS
The breeds of dog known as setters are all gundogs and are used in hunting game.

25. Billiard stick : CUE
The name of the game billiards comes from the French word “billiard” that originally described the wooden cue stick. The Old French “bille” translates as “stick of wood”.

36. Wildcat with tufted ears : LYNX
The lynx is a wild cat, of which there are four species. These are:

  • The Eurasian lynx: the biggest of the four species.
  • The Canada lynx: well-adapted to life in cold environments.
  • The Iberian lynx: a native of the Iberian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and the most endangered cat species in the world.
  • The Bobcat: our North American wildcat, the smallest of the four lynxes

42. Desserts with layered fruit and whipped cream : PARFAITS
A parfait is a frozen dessert made from sugar, syrup, egg and cream. The American version of this popular French dessert is a layered creation, featuring parfait cream, ice cream and flavored gelatins topped with whipped cream and possibly a liqueur. The term “parfait” is French for “perfect”.

45. Rap’s ___ Wayne : LIL’
Lil’ is a short form of the word “little”. There are a whole slew of rappers named Lil’ something, like Lil’ Wayne, Lil’ J, and Lil’ Kim.

49. Singers Keith and John? : URBAN LEGEND (Keith Urban & John Legend)
Keith Urban is a country singer from Australia, who was actually born in New Zealand. Urban moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1992. He married Australian actress Nicole Kidman in 2006.

“John Legend” is the stage name of singer-songwriter John Stephens. Sorry … I’ve never heard of him outside of the occasional crossword …

54. GPS option: Abbr. : RTE
A global positioning system (GPS) might point out a route (rte.).

56. Glittery jewelry : BLING
Bling-bling (often simply “bling”) is the name given to all the shiny stuff sported by rap stars in particular i.e. the jewelry, watches, metallic cell phones, even gold caps on the teeth. The term comes from the supposed “bling” sound caused by light striking a shiny metal surface.

60. Ryan of “Boston Public” : JERI
Jeri Ryan’s most famous role is that of the de-assimilated Borg known as Seven of Nine, on “Star Trek: Voyager”. I haven’t seen that show, so I know Ryan from a supporting role on the legal drama “Shark”, playing opposite James Woods. She also plays Ronnie Cooke on “Boston Public”.

Down
1. Ones who’ve traveled to Mecca : HAJIS
A Haji (also “Hajji”) is the term used for someone who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca, and it is sometimes also used as a form of address for such a person. The journey itself goes by the name “haj” or “hajj”.

2. Martini garnish : OLIVE
The term “martini” probably takes it name from the “Martini & Rossi” brand of dry vermouth, although no one seems to be completely sure. What is clear is that despite the Martini name originating in Italy, the martini drink originated in the US. The original martini was made with gin and sweet vermouth, but someone specifying a “dry” martini was given gin and dry vermouth. Nowadays we use dry vermouth for all martinis and the term “dry” has become a reference to how little vermouth is included in the drink. Famously, Noel Coward liked his drink very dry and said that a perfect martini is made by “filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy”. The German-American journalist and satirist H. L. Mencken referred to the martini as “the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet”.

3. Singers Patti and Tina? : PAGE-TURNER (Patti Page & Tina Turner)
“Patti Page” is the stage name of Clara Ann Fowler, the best-selling female artist in the 1950s. Patti Page’s signature song is “Tennessee Waltz”, a big hit for her that spent 13 weeks at number one in the charts in 1950. She also had a number one with “(How Much Is That) Doggie in the Window” in 1953.

“Tina Turner” is the stage name used by Anna Mae Bullock, the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll”. Turner has always loved Europe and moved there in the eighties. She now splits her time between her homes in England, France and Switzerland.

5. In abundance : GALORE
Our word “galore”, meaning “in great numbers”, comes from the Irish phrase “go leór” that translates as “sufficiently, enough”.

7. Stolen stuff : LOOT
“Loot” is the name given to anything taken by dishonesty or force, particularly during war. The term came into English from the Hindi “lut” meaning “goods taken from an enemy”.

8. Debussy’s “Clair de ___” : LUNE
“Clair de lune” is the beautiful third movement from Claude Debussy’s piano work called the “Suite bergamasque”. “Clair de lune” is French for “moonlight”.

10. Motions left or right on Tinder : SWIPES
Tinder is a matchmaking app that uses Facebook profiles. Users “swipe” photos of potential matches, either to the right (“like”) or to the left (“not interested”). Users who “match” each other can then chat within the app.

12. Like the president’s office : OVAL
Although there have been several “oval offices” used by US presidents in the White House, the current Oval Office was designed and constructed at the bequest of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The room has four doors: one door opens onto the Rose Garden; a second door leads to a small study and dining room; a third opens onto the main corridor running through the West Wing; the fourth door opens to the office of the president’s secretary.

13. Trait transmitter : GENE
A gene is a section of a chromosome that is responsible for a particular characteristic in an organism. For example, one gene may determine eye color and another balding pattern. We have two copies of each gene, one from each of our parents, with each copy known as an allele.

22. May or Polly of fiction : AUNT
Aunt May and Uncle Ben Parker are characters in the spider-Man universe created by Marvel Comics. The couple’s nephew is Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man.

Mark Twain’s famous character Tom Sawyer had a few family members. He had an Aunt Polly, an Aunt Sally Phelps, a cousin Mary and half-brother Sid.

24. Colorful cereal : TRIX
Trix is a corn-based breakfast cereal that has been around since 1954, produced by General Mills. Ads for the cereal featured Trix Rabbit, who would try hard to get hold of bowls of the cereal. He would always get caught though, and be admonished with, “Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!” With 46% sugar content, the rabbit probably wouldn’t have liked it anyway …

29. Singers Tori and Al? : KELLY GREEN (Tori Kelly & Al Green)
Kelly green is a strong yellowish green, and was given its name back in the early 1900s. The name was apparently chosen because green is popular in Ireland, and Kelly is a common Irish family name.

Tori Kelly is one of those singer-songwriters who gained attention by posting videos on YouTube. She then competed in the reality TV show “American Idol”, although she didn’t do very well.

Al Green is a gospel and soul music singer. Green was born in Arkansas, where he started out as a gospel singer and moved into R&B. In 1974, he was assaulted by a girlfriend who burned him badly on much of his body by pouring boiling grits over him (and then she committed suicide). The incident changed Green’s life and he turned to the church, becoming a pastor in Memphis in 1976. He continued to record music, but never really enjoyed the same success that he had in the early seventies with hits like “Let’s Stay Together” and “I’m Still In Love With You”.

33. Heroine of Jean Auel’s “The Clan of the Cave Bear” : AYLA
Ayla is a little Cro-Magnon girl who is orphaned and then adopted by a Neanderthal tribe, as told in “The Clan of the Cave Bear”, the first of a series of novels written by Jean Auel that set in prehistoric times. I haven’t read any of Auel’s books myself, but they are on my reading to-do list as my wife recommends them. They sound interesting …

38. ___ of one’s existence : BANE
Today we tend to use the word “bane” to mean anathema, a source of persistent annoyance. A few centuries ago, a bane was a cause of harm or death, perhaps a deadly poison.

41. James ___ (007) : BOND
The character James Bond was the creation of writer Ian Fleming. Fleming “stole” the James Bond name from an American ornithologist. The number 007 was “stolen” from the real-life, 16th century English spy called John Dee. Dee would sign his reports to Queen Elizabeth I with a stylized “007” to indicate that the reports were for “her eyes only”. There’s an entertaining miniseries that aired on BBC America called “Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond” that details Ian Fleming’s military career, and draws some nice parallels between Fleming’s experiences and aspirations and those of his hero James Bond. Recommended …

44. Watches episode after episode of a TV series, say : BINGES
I’m a big fan of binge-watching, the practice of watching perhaps two or three (even four!) episodes of a show in a row. My wife and I will often deliberately avoid watching a recommended show live, and instead wait until whole series have been released on DVD or online. I’m not a big fan of “tune in next week …”

47. Arcade pioneer : ATARI
At one point, the electronics and video game manufacturer Atari was the fastest growing company in US history. However, Atari never really recovered from the video game industry crash of 1983.

Our word “arcade” comes from the Latin “arcus” meaning “arc”. The first arcades were passages made from a series of arches. This could be an avenue of trees, and eventually any covered avenue. I remember arcades lined with shops and stores when I was growing up on the other side of the Atlantic. Arcades came to be lined with lots of amusements, resulting in amusement arcades and video game arcades.

49. Colored part of the eye : UVEA
The uvea is the middle of the three layers that make up the eyeball. The iris is the colored part of the eye with an aperture in the center that can open or close depending on the level of light hitting the eye.

51. Pear variety : BOSC
Bosc is a cultivar of the European Pear grown in the northwest of the United States. The Bosc is that pear with a skin the color of a potato, with a long neck. I always seem to use the potato as my point of reference. How Irish am I …?

57. Dance club bookings, in brief : DJS
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.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Doll-making tribe of the Southwest : HOPI
5. Greatly annoys : GALLS
10. Long, tedious effort : SLOG
14. Mathematician Turing : ALAN
15. Circa : ABOUT
16. Surfer’s catch : WAVE
17. Lively Irish dances : JIGS
18. Sierra ___ (African land) : LEONE
19. Supermodel from Somalia : IMAN
20. “From what ___ seen …” : I’VE
21. Singers Johnny and Fiona? : ROTTEN APPLE (Johnny Rotten & Fiona Apple)
23. Good dogs for pheasant hunters : SETTERS
25. Billiard stick : CUE
26. Craving : URGE
27. Feature of the easily offended : THIN SKIN
32. 2015 climate accord city : PARIS
34. “Thou ___ not …” : SHALT
35. French summer : ETE
36. Wildcat with tufted ears : LYNX
37. Performances by two singers … like 21- and 49-Across and 3- and 29-Down? : DUETS
38. Extinguished, as birthday candles, with “out” : BLEW
39. Soccer stadium cry : OLE!
40. Dirt, dust, soot, etc. : GRIME
41. Soothing ointments : BALMS
42. Desserts with layered fruit and whipped cream : PARFAITS
44. Like fish that are difficult to eat : BONY
45. Rap’s ___ Wayne : LIL’
46. Salt’s partner in potato chip flavoring : VINEGAR
49. Singers Keith and John? : URBAN LEGEND (Keith Urban & John Legend)
54. GPS option: Abbr. : RTE
55. “Va-va-___!” : VOOM
56. Glittery jewelry : BLING
57. Negotiator’s goal : DEAL
58. Alleviate : EASE
59. Put out, as a statement : ISSUE
60. Ryan of “Boston Public” : JERI
61. Parabola shapes : ARCS
62. Heads of France : TETES
63. Huff : SNIT

Down
1. Ones who’ve traveled to Mecca : HAJIS
2. Martini garnish : OLIVE
3. Singers Patti and Tina? : PAGE-TURNER (Patti Page & Tina Turner)
4. Opposite of outs : INS
5. In abundance : GALORE
6. Conspires with : ABETS
7. Stolen stuff : LOOT
8. Debussy’s “Clair de ___” : LUNE
9. Aids in sign-lettering : STENCILS
10. Motions left or right on Tinder : SWIPES
11. Home furnishing product with a shade : LAMP
12. Like the president’s office : OVAL
13. Trait transmitter : GENE
21. Govt. rules : REGS
22. May or Polly of fiction : AUNT
24. Colorful cereal : TRIX
27. “___ fightin’ words!” : THEM’S
28. Despise : HATE
29. Singers Tori and Al? : KELLY GREEN (Tori Kelly & Al Green)
30. See 31-Down : … ITEM
31. With 30-Down, brief article in a paper : NEWS …
32. Sit (down) hard : PLOP
33. Heroine of Jean Auel’s “The Clan of the Cave Bear” : AYLA
34. Attire not usually seen on casual Friday : SUIT
37. Tool part used to create holes : DRILL BIT
38. ___ of one’s existence : BANE
40. Profit : GAIN
41. James ___ (007) : BOND
43. Bad thing to go down in : FLAMES
44. Watches episode after episode of a TV series, say : BINGES
46. Event location : VENUE
47. Arcade pioneer : ATARI
48. Ignited again : RELIT
49. Colored part of the eye : UVEA
50. Plane engine’s sound when taking off : ROAR
51. Pear variety : BOSC
52. Otherwise : ELSE
53. Main point of an idea : GIST
57. Dance club bookings, in brief : DJS

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8 thoughts on “0619-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 19 Jun 17, Monday”

  1. Quick Monday. Clever theme. NYT site says I was 51 seconds longer than my record for a Monday, but I don't think I could have gone any faster. Slight hesitation at SHALT for a few seconds.

    Best –

  2. 9:28, no errors. Very easy Monday. Cute theme, and it helped with the solve.
    Shout out to a couple of my faves, Al Green and Johnny Rotten! Nice to see them in the mix.

  3. 9:04, no errors. Caught the theme early with PAGE TURNER. About as fast as I can fill in the grid with pencil; and it seems it is taking longer to read the clues, as the font seems to be getting smaller and smaller each year. 🙂 Only one erasure, entered JERI as GERI initially.

  4. Nice puzzle. No errors. Only one erasure. For "Colored part of the eye", I originally had IRIS instead of UVEA. Those two words are close and both have four letters. I will remember that for future reference. It is bound to come up again.

  5. Enjoyable, cute Monday puzzle! 7:25, no issues. 49A nearly tripped me when I saw TOBY for Keith and ELTON for John initially…. quickly fixed that, though….

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