1109-18 NY Times Crossword 9 Nov 18, Friday

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Constructed by: Robyn Weintraub
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 13m 03s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10. Madres’ kin : TIAS

In Spanish, the “hermana” (sister) of your “madre” (mother) is your “tia” (aunt).

17. Soup noodle : UDON

Udon noodles are made from wheat-flour and are very popular in Japanese cuisines such as tempura.

18. Drapers’ units: Abbr. : YDS

When I was growing up on the other side of the pond, a drapery was a shop where one could buy cloth for making clothes or curtains. It was only when I came to America that I heard the term “drapes” used for curtains.

19. Wig out : GO APE

The idea behind the expression “to wig out”, meaning “to go crazy”, is that there is so much going on in your brain that it might “lift your hair/wig”.

21. “Fish are friends, not ___” (line from “Finding Nemo”) : FOOD

“Finding Nemo” is a 2003 animated blockbuster from Pixar. The film was the winner of the Oscar that year for Best Animated Feature. Believe it or not, “Finding Nemo” is the best-selling DVD of all time and, until 2010’s “Toy Story 3”, it was the highest-grossing, G-rated movie at the box office.

27. Touchy sort? : MIDAS

King Midas of Greek mythology might be termed an alchemist as he had the power to turn everything he touched into gold i.e. the Midas touch. The power that he was given became be a curse, as everything he touched turned to gold, including his food and drink and even his children.

28. ___ Bar, Ireland’s oldest pub, dating to A.D. 900 : SEAN’S

Sean’s Bar is a pub in the town of Athlone, which is located in Irish Midlands and on the River Shannon. Dating back to 900 CE, it is the oldest pub in the country, and may even be the oldest pub in the world.

29. Pioneer mover : CONESTOGA

A Conestoga is a large covered wagon that was used in many of the wagon trains that crossed North America in the late 1700s and early 1800s. The name was taken from the Conestoga Valley near Lancaster, Pennsylvania where the design was developed. The Conestoga wagon resembled a boat on wheels, and often the gaps between the planks were caulked so that it would float when crossing water.

34. Old Speckled Hen, for one : ALE

Old Speckled Hen is a very tasty English beer, and a favorite of mine. It was first brewed in Abingdon-on-Thames to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the local MG car factory. There are colorful stories that link the name “Old Speckled Hen” to the MG plant, but I’m not sure which to believe. I would drink the beer regardless …

41. “Vamoose!” : AMSCRAY!

Pig Latin is in effect a game. One takes the first consonant or consonant cluster of an English word and moves it to the end of the word, and then adds the letters “ay”. So, the Pig Latin for the word “nix” is “ixnay” (ix-n-ay), and for “scram” is “amscray” (am-scr-ay).

To vamoose is to to leave, coming from the Spanish “vamos” meaning “let’s go”.

45. Butterfly chrysalises, e.g. : PUPAE

The pupa is an intermediate stage in the development of an insect. All four stages are embryo, larva, pupa and imago.

46. Fishing basket : CREEL

A creel is a basket used for catching sea creatures (lobsters, for example). Creel is also the name given to the small wicker basket used to hold fish that have been caught by an angler. “Creel” is originally a Scottish word.

48. Eponymous Belgian resort town : SPA

The word “spa” migrated into English from Belgium, as Spa is the name of a municipality in the east of the country that is famous for its healing hot springs. The name “Spa” comes from the Walloon word “espa” meaning “spring, fountain”.

51. Like some early learning, for short : PRE-K

Pre-kindergarten (pre-K)

54. Something found near the tongue? : LACE

That would be a shoe.

55. Ones who find it difficult to go out? : INSOMNIACS

Our word “insomnia” ultimately comes from the Latin prefix “-in” meaning “not” and “somnus” meaning “sleep”.

56. Group whose past members have included six U.S. presidents : ELKS

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) was founded in 1868, and is a social club that has about a million members today. It started out as a group of men getting together in a “club” in order to get around the legal opening hours of taverns in New York City. The club took on a new role as it started to look out for poor families of members who passed away. The club now accepts African Americans as members (since the seventies) and women (since the nineties), but atheists still aren’t welcome. The list of US presidents that have been members of the BPOE includes Presidents Eisenhower, Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Ford.

57. Much of Generation Z, today : TEENAGERS

Definitions vary, but it seems that the term “Generation Z” is reserved for the children of “Generation X”.

The term “Generation X” originated in the UK where it was the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture”. By one definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.

Down

3. “Jingle Bells” contraction : O’ER

The traditional Christmas song “Jingle Bells” was first published in 1857, penned by James Lord Pierpont. We associate the song with Christmas, although in fact Pierpont wrote it as a celebration of Thanksgiving.

Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
O’er the fields we go
Laughing all the way

5. Reprobate : NO-GOOD

A reprobate is a depraved or unprincipled person, and in particular is a lost soul, one rejected by God.

10. Times Square, you might say : TOURIST TRAP

Times Square in New York City isn’t a square at all, but rather a triangle. When the New York Times newspaper opened new headquarters in the area in 1904, the city agreed to the name “Times Square”, changing it from Longacre Square.

11. Setting for “Siddhartha” : INDIA

The 1922 novel “Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse focuses on the spiritual journey of a man called Siddhartha. Even though the Buddha’s name was Siddhartha Gautama before he renounced his former life, Hesse’s Siddhartha is a different character who lived around the time of the Buddha.

21. Fair fare : FUNNEL CAKES

Funnel cake is a traditional serving at American carnivals and seaside resorts. The cake is made by pouring cake batter from a funnel into hot cooking oil in a circular pattern, and then deep frying until it is golden-brown.

24. Wine town in Piedmont : ASTI

Asti is a city in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The region is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.

26. Caesar’s conquest of 58-50 B.C. : GAUL

The Gauls were a Celtic race, with Gaul covering what is now known as France and Belgium. We use the term “Gallic” today, when we refer to something pertaining to France or the French.

29. Common Christmas decoration : CANDY CANE

Apparently, candy canes were created at the behest of the choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral in Germany in 1672. The sweet sticks were basically used as bribes to keep children quiet during services. The choirmaster specified that the candy sticks should have a crook at the top so that they reminded the children of the three shepherds who visited the infant Jesus just after his birth.

37. Largest carrier in Japan : ANA

All Nippon Airways (ANA) is a Japanese airline, one that is now larger in size that the nation’s flag carrier Japan Airlines (JAL).

40. J. J.’s sister on “Good Times” : THELMA

“Good Times” is a sitcom that is a spinoff of “Maude”, with “Maude” being a spinoff of “All in the Family”. “Good Times” had its original run in the seventies.

41. First U.S. company to be valued at $1 trillion : APPLE

Apple Computers was founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. The company incorporated the following year, but without Wayne. He sold his share of the company back to Jobs and Wozniak, for $800 …

42. Certain street art : MURAL

A mural is a painting that is applied directly to a wall or a ceiling. The term “mural” comes from the Latin “murus” meaning “wall”.

48. Competitor of Us Weekly : STAR

“Star” magazine is a celebrity tabloid that was introduced by Rupert Murdoch in 1974 as a potential competitor to “National Enquirer”. A regular feature in “Star” gossips about suspected plastic surgeries under the title “Knifestyles of the Rich and Famous”. I wouldn’t be a fan of celebrity magazines, but that “Knifestyles …” name, that’s funny …

“Us Weekly” is a celebrity gossip magazine that was first published in 1977 as “Us”. Originally issued every two weeks, “Us” became a monthly magazine in 1991, and moved to a weekly format in 2000.

49. Bodybuilder’s pride : PECS

“Pecs” is the familiar name for the chest muscle, which is more correctly known as the pectoralis major muscle. “Pectus” is a the Latin word for “breast, chest”.

50. Trailers, e.g. : ADS

The term “trailer” was originally used in the film industry to describe advertisements for upcoming features. These trailers were originally shown at the end of a movie being screened, hence the name. This practice quickly fell out of favor as theater patrons usually left at the end of the movie without paying much attention to the trailers. So, the trailers were moved to the beginning of the show, but the term “trailer” persisted.

52. Romeo’s was “a most sharp sauce,” per Shakespeare : WIT

At one point in William Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet”, Mercutio says to Romeo:

Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting. It is a most sharp sauce.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. High-occupancy vehicles? : CLOWN CARS
10. Madres’ kin : TIAS
14. Some high-rise constructions : TREE HOUSES
15. “This one’s ___” : ON ME
16. Backward : RETROGRADE
17. Soup noodle : UDON
18. Drapers’ units: Abbr. : YDS
19. Wig out : GO APE
20. Friendly greetings : GRINS
21. “Fish are friends, not ___” (line from “Finding Nemo”) : FOOD
22. Leaves : FOLIAGE
24. Made a case : ARGUED
27. Touchy sort? : MIDAS
28. ___ Bar, Ireland’s oldest pub, dating to A.D. 900 : SEAN’S
29. Pioneer mover : CONESTOGA
33. Call mean names, say : TAUNT
34. Old Speckled Hen, for one : ALE
35. Dispenser item : STRAW
36. “The Devil’s playthings” : IDLE HANDS
38. Crinkly fabric : CREPE
39. Provides, as aid : LENDS
40. Calls funny names, say : TEASES
41. “Vamoose!” : AMSCRAY!
44. Liner, e.g. : SHIP
45. Butterfly chrysalises, e.g. : PUPAE
46. Fishing basket : CREEL
48. Eponymous Belgian resort town : SPA
51. Like some early learning, for short : PRE-K
52. Like some college applicants : WAIT-LISTED
54. Something found near the tongue? : LACE
55. Ones who find it difficult to go out? : INSOMNIACS
56. Group whose past members have included six U.S. presidents : ELKS
57. Much of Generation Z, today : TEENAGERS

Down

1. Rep : CRED
2. Agreeable answer to an invitation : LET’S
3. “Jingle Bells” contraction : O’ER
4. Sentry’s query : WHO GOES THERE?!
5. Reprobate : NO-GOOD
6. First-aid brand : CURAD
7. Urgent letters : ASAP
8. Adjusts the parameters of : REDEFINES
9. General direction of I-77: Abbr. : SSE
10. Times Square, you might say : TOURIST TRAP
11. Setting for “Siddhartha” : INDIA
12. ___ friends : AMONG
13. Impression : SENSE
14. Take a sip of : TRY
20. Breaking it might be cause for celebration : GLASS CEILING
21. Fair fare : FUNNEL CAKES
23. Complimentary composition : ODE
24. Wine town in Piedmont : ASTI
25. Follow the script : READ
26. Caesar’s conquest of 58-50 B.C. : GAUL
27. Gets into shape? : MOLDS
29. Common Christmas decoration : CANDY CANE
30. Raw materials : ORES
31. Look of astonishment : GAPE
32. Astonishes : AWES
37. Largest carrier in Japan : ANA
40. J. J.’s sister on “Good Times” : THELMA
41. First U.S. company to be valued at $1 trillion : APPLE
42. Certain street art : MURAL
43. Dot : SPECK
44. Determined about : SET ON
47. Stop lying : RISE
48. Competitor of Us Weekly : STAR
49. Bodybuilder’s pride : PECS
50. Trailers, e.g. : ADS
52. Romeo’s was “a most sharp sauce,” per Shakespeare : WIT
53. You: Ger. : SIE