1113-18 NY Times Crossword 13 Nov 18, Tuesday

Advertisement

Advertisement

Constructed by: John Ciolfi
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Andes

Themed answers comprise common phrases, AND ES at the end:

  • 69A. Mountain chain about 5,000 miles long … or a hint to 17-, 25-, 31-, 44-, 50- and 61-Across : ANDES (AND “ES”)
  • 17A. Representatives Sessions (R-TX) and Aguilar (D-CA), for instance? : HOUSE PETES (“house pet” and “es”)
  • 25A. Why many people visit Napa? : FOR THE WINES(“for the win” and “es”)
  • 31A. Nurseries? : BABY SITES(“babysit” and “es”)
  • 44A. What ice trays typically do? : BEAR CUBES (“bear cub” and “es”)
  • 50A. President Herbert’s wife and mother, e.g.? : HOOVER DAMES (“Hoover Dam” and “es”)
  • 61A. Play “Name That Tune”? : GUESS NOTES (“guess not” and “es”)

Bill’s time: 7m 06s

Bill’s errors: 0

Advertisement

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Commercial prefix with Turf : ASTRO-

AstroTurf is the trademarked name of an artificial playing surface suitable for many ball sports. AstroTurf was invented in 1965 and originally went on the market as ChemGrass. The first really big application was in 1996 in the Houston Astrodome, so the name “AstroTurf” was applied and has remained ever since.

14. First little pig’s building material : STRAW

The “The Three Little Pigs” fairy tale has been around for centuries, although it first appeared in print in the 1840s. One little pig built a house using straw and another built one using wood. The cleverest little pig built its house using bricks.

17. Representatives Sessions (R-TX) and Aguilar (D-CA), for instance? : HOUSE PETES (“house pet” and “es”)

Pete Sessions is a Republican member of the US House of Representatives from Texas. Pete is the son of former FBI director William S. Sessions.

19. “Famous” cookie name : AMOS

Wally Amos was a talent agent, one who was in the habit of taking home-baked cookies with him as an enticement to get celebrities to see him. He was urged by friends to open a cookie store (the cookies were that delicious, I guess) and this he did in Los Angeles in 1975 using the name “Famous Amos”. The store was a smash hit and he was able build on the success by introducing his cookies into supermarkets. The brand was eventually purchased, making Wally a rich man, and Famous Amos cookies are still flying off the shelf. Wally Amos also became an energetic literacy advocate. He hosted 30 TV programs in 1987 entitled “Learn to Read” that provided reading instruction targeted at adults.

21. “Bali ___” (Rodgers and Hammerstein show tune) : HA’I

The song “Bali Ha’i” is from the musical “South Pacific” by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Bali Ha’i is the name of a volcanic island that neighbors the island on which the story takes place. The matriarch of Bali Ha’i is a character named Bloody Mary, and it is Bloody Mary who sings the song in the musical.

22. Nauru’s capital : YAREN

Nauru is the world’s smallest island nation, and is located in the South Pacific 300 km to the east of Kiribati. The island was taken as a colony by Germany in the late 1800s, and came under the administration of Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom after WWI. The Japanese invaded during WWII, but Nauru was one of the islands that was bypassed in the US advance across the Pacific towards Japan. Nauru achieved independence in 1968.

24. Sault ___ Marie : STE

Sault Ste. Marie is the name of two cities on either side of the Canada-US border, one in Ontario and the other in Michigan. The two cities were originally one settlement in the 17th century, established by Jesuit Missionaries. The missionaries gave the settlement the name “Sault Sainte Marie”, which can be translated as “Saint Mary’s Falls”. The city was one community until 1817, when a US-UK Joint Boundary Commission set the border along the St. Mary’s River.

25. Why many people visit Napa? : FOR THE WINES (“for the win” and “es”)

The first commercial winery in Napa Valley, California was established way back in 1858. However, premium wine production only dates back to the 1960s, with the region really hitting the big time after its success at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. The story of that famous blind wine tasting is told in the entertaining 2008 film “Bottle Shock”.

28. Key on the left side of a keyboard : TAB

Like most features on our computer keyboards, the tab key is a hangover from the days of typewriters. When using a typewriter, making entries into a table was very tedious, involving lots of tapping on the spacebar and backspace key. So, a lever was added to typewriters that allowed the operator to “jump” across the page to positions that could be set by hand. Later this was simplified to a tab key which could be depressed, causing the carriage to jump to the next tab stop in much the same way that the modern tab key works on a computer.

29. “Handy” thing to know, for short? : ASL

It’s really quite unfortunate that American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) are very different, and someone who has learned to sign in one cannot understand someone signing in the other.

30. RR stop : STA

A station (“stn.” or “sta.”) is a railroad (RR) stop.

36. Bud in baseball’s Hall of Fame : SELIG

Bud Selig was the Commissioner of Baseball for Major League Baseball from 1998 to 2015. Selig became acting commissioner in 1992 after the resignation of Fay Vincent. The team owners searched for a new commissioner for six years, and finally gave the permanent job to Selig in 1998.

39. Outlet from the left ventricle : AORTA

The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

46. Its symbol is Sn : TIN

The Latin word for tin is “stannum”, and so tin’s atomic symbol is “Sn”. One of the ores used as a source of tin is “stannite”.

47. Western tribe : UTE

The Ute are a group of Native American tribes who now reside in Utah and Colorado. The Ute were not a unified people as such, but rather a loose association of nomadic groups. The word “Ute” means “Land of the Sun”, and “Ute” also gave us the state name “Utah”.

49. Overrule : NIX

The use of “nix” as a verb, meaning “to shoot down”, dates back to the early 1900s. Before that “nix” was just a noun meaning “nothing”. “Nix” comes from the German “nichts”, which also means “nothing”.

50. President Herbert’s wife and mother, e.g.? : HOOVER DAMES (“Hoover Dam” and “es”)

When the magnificent Hoover Dam was completed in 1936 it was the largest hydroelectric plant in the world, as well as being the world’s largest concrete structure. The edifice was originally known as Boulder Dam, due to its location near Boulder City, Nevada. The dam was eventually named after Herbert Hoover for his role in having the dam built when he was Secretary of Commerce, and his later support as US President. There was a formal dedication ceremony held in September 1935 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt was in the area, when only work on the powerhouse was incomplete. President Roosevelt managed to make his dedication speech without once referring to the name of his former opponent President Hoover. When the dam was finally put into service in 1936, the project was two years ahead of schedule. Those were the days …

54. Company with a mascot named Leo : MGM

The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) film studio was founded in 1924 by Marcus Loew. Loew was already a successful movie theater owner when he purchased Metro Pictures Corporation in 1919, and then Goldwyn Pictures in 1924. Later in 1924, Loew also purchased Louis B. Mayer Pictures, mainly so that Louis B. Mayer could merge all three studios and run them himself as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

There has been a lion in the logo of the MGM studio since 1924. The original was an Irishman (!), a lion named Slats who was born in Dublin Zoo in 1919. However, it wasn’t until Jackie took over from Slats in 1928 that the roar was heard, as the era of silent movies was coming to an end. The current lion is called Leo, and he has been around since 1957.

59. De ___ (by law) : JURE

Conceptually, “de jure” and “de facto” are related terms, one meaning “concerning, according to law”, and the other meaning “concerning, according to fact”. There is an example of the use of the two terms together from my homeland of Ireland. According to our constitution, Irish is the first language of the country, and yet almost everyone in the country uses English as his or her first language. One might say that Irish is the de jure first language, but English is the first language de facto.

60. Singer Guthrie : ARLO

Singer Arlo Guthrie is known for his protest songs, just like his father Woody Guthrie. The younger Guthrie only ever had one song in the top 40: a cover version of “City of New Orleans”. He has lived for years in the town of Washington, just outside Pittsfield, Massachusetts. His 1976 song “Massachusetts” has been the official folk song of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts since 1981.

61. Play “Name That Tune”? : GUESS NOTES (“guess not” and “es”)

“Name That Tune” is a TV game show that actually started out on radio, in 1952. The show was most popular in the mid-to-late seventies.

64. Where Cinderella lost her slipper : BALL

The folk tale about “Cinderella” was first published by French author Charles Perrault in 1697, although it was later included by the Brothers Grimm in their famous 1812 collection. The storyline of the tale may date back as far as the days of Ancient Greece. A common alternative title to the story is “The Little Glass Slipper”.

65. Swarming pest : GNAT

Gnats are attracted to the smell of rotting food, and to vinegar. Simple homemade traps that use vinegar are often constructed to attract and kill gnats.

66. Biblical queendom : SHEBA

Sheba is referenced in the Bible several times. The Queen of Sheba is mentioned as someone who traveled to Jerusalem to behold the fame of King Solomon. No one knows for sure where the kingdom of Sheba was located, although there is evidence that it was actually the ancient Semitic civilization of Saba. The Sabeans lived in what today is Yemen, on the Arabian Peninsula.

69. Mountain chain about 5,000 miles long … or a hint to 17-, 25-, 31-, 44-, 50- and 61-Across : ANDES (and “es”)

The Andes range is the longest continuous chain of mountains in the world. It runs down the length of the west coast of South America for about 4,300 miles, from Venezuela in the north to Chile in the south. The highest peak in the Andes is Mt. Aconcagua, at an elevation of 22,841 feet. Interestingly, the peak of Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador is the furthest point on the Earth’s surface from the center of the planet. That’s because of the equatorial “bulge” around the Earth’s “waist”.

Down

2. Relative of a mink : STOAT

The stoat has dark brown fur in the summer, and white fur in the winter. Sometimes the term “ermine” is used for the animal during the winter when the fur is white. Ermine skins have long been prized by royalty and are often used for white trim on ceremonial robes.

There are two species of mink extant, the European Mink and the American Mink. There used to be a Sea Mink which was much larger than its two cousins, but it was hunted to extinction (for its fur) in the late 1800s. American Minks are farmed over in Europe for fur, and animal rights activists have released many of these animals into the wild when raiding mink farms. As a result the European Mink population has declined due to the presence of its larger and more adaptable American cousin.

7. Weird Al Yankovic’s first hit : EAT IT

“Weird Al” Yankovic is a singer-songwriter who is noted for writing and performing parodies of popular songs. Of the 150 or so such songs, the best known are probably “Eat It” (parodying “Beat It” by Michael Jackson) and “Like a Surgeon” (parodying “Like a Virgin” by Madonna).

8. Classic Jaguar model : XK-E

XK and XK-E are models of Jaguar motor car.

10. Game company that introduced Breakout : ATARI

We knew them as E-type Jags in my part of the world growing up, but they were marketed over in the US as the Jaguar XK-E line. The XK-E was manufactured from 1961 to 1974.

11. Movement that Ms. magazine developed out of : WOMEN’S LIB

“Ms.” magazine is a feminist publication co-founded by political activist Gloria Steinem in 1971. The first issue was an insert in “New York” magazine, with the first stand-alone issue being published the following year in 1972. That first issue used the byline “Wonder Woman for President”, and featured the cartoon character.

12. Period enjoyed by an introvert : ALONE TIME

The Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung popularized the terms “Introvert” and “extrovert”, although he believed that we all have introverted and extroverted sides to us. Nowadays we tend to think of extroversion and introversion as extremes on a continuum. We sad bloggers, sitting at home glued to our laptops, tend to the introverted end of the scale …

25. Followers of mis : FAS

The solfa syllables are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti.

26. “___ mañana!” : HASTA

“Hasta mañana” translates from Spanish as “See you tomorrow”, and literally “Until tomorrow”.

28. Rug rat : TYKE

“Tyke” has been used playfully to describe a young child since at least 1902, but for centuries before that a tyke was a cur or mongrel, or perhaps a lazy or lower-class man.

“Rug rat” and “ankle-biter” are familiar terms meaning “child”, and especially a child who is not yet walking.

32. Cardiologist’s X-ray : ANGIOGRAM

An angiogram is an x-ray (usually) image taken of the circulatory system. The image is often enhanced by the introduction of a radio-opaque “dye” into the bloodstream.

34. Words repeated by Lady Macbeth in Act V, Scene 1 : TO BED

“Give me your hand. What’s done cannot be undone. – To bed, to bed, to bed!”

35. Word following “Able was I …” : ERE

The three most famous palindromes in English have to be:

  • Able was I ere I saw Elba
  • A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
  • Madam, I’m Adam

One of my favorite words is “Aibohphobia”, although it doesn’t appear in the dictionary and is a joke term. “Aibohphobia” is a great way to describe a fear of palindromes, by creating a palindrome out of the suffix “-phobia”.

40. “Gunsmoke” star James : ARNESS

James Arness played the role of Matt Dillon, Marshal of Dodge City, on “Gunsmoke” for twenty years. If you count the occasions when he reprised the role for specials, he actually performed as Matt Dillon over five decades. Did you know that the real name of Peter Graves, the actor who played Jim Phelps on “Mission: Impossible”, was Peter Arness, as he and James were brothers.

“Gunsmoke” is a Western drama series that originally aired on television from 1955 to 1975, with James Arness starring as Marshall Matt Dillon. The TV show was adapted from a radio show of the same name that ran from 1952 to 1961, with William Conrad playing Marshall Dillon.

45. Modern prefix with gender : CIS-

The term “cisgender” is now used as the opposite of “transgender”. Cisgender people have a gender identity that matches the sex they were assigned at birth.

51. Baroque stringed instruments : VIOLS

The viola da gamba (also called simply “viol”) is a bass instrument in what is known as the viol family, with a tonal range that about matches that of the modern-day cello. It is the second largest of all the viols, so is played resting on the floor between the legs. In fact, “viola da gamba” is Italian translating into “viol for the leg”.

Something described as baroque is extremely ornate and convoluted. The term comes from the Baroque Period, in which many of the arts focused on great detail and elaborate design.

55. Diving bird : GREBE

A grebe is a small to medium-sized freshwater diving bird. Although they appear to be very different, recent molecular studies have shown that grebes and flamingos are closely related.

56. Monument Valley sights : MESAS

The spectacular Monument Valley, with its magnificent sandstone buttes and mesas, lies within the bounds of the Navajo Nation Reservation near the Four Corners region in the Southwest. The valley has served as a backdrop in many Hollywood movies. I always remember it as the location where Forrest Gump decided to stop running back and forth across the country.

59. Lav : JOHN

The use of “john” as a slang term for a toilet is peculiar to North America. “John” probably comes from the older slang term of “jack” or “jakes” that had been around since the 16th century. In Ireland, in less polite moments, we still refer to a toilet as “the jacks”.

60. Bygone court org. — or current court org. : ABA

The American Basketball Association (ABA) merged with the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1976. The ABA used a ball with the colors red, white and blue. The NBA uses a more traditional orange ball.

The American Bar Association (ABA) was founded back in 1878 and is a voluntary association for lawyers and law students. The ABA focuses on setting academic standards for law schools and setting ethical codes for the profession.

62. Half of due : UNO

“One, two, three” in Italian is “uno, due, tre”.

63. Org. based in Fort Meade, Md. : NSA

Fort George G. Meade (often just “Fort Meade”) is a US Army post located near Odenton, Maryland. It is most famous these days as the location of the headquarters of the National Security Agency (NSA).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Commercial prefix with Turf : ASTRO-
6. Inspiring lust : SEXY
10. Like about half the games on a team’s schedule : AWAY
14. First little pig’s building material : STRAW
15. Rouse : WAKE
16. Snitched : TOLD
17. Representatives Sessions (R-TX) and Aguilar (D-CA), for instance? : HOUSE PETES (“house pet” and “es”)
19. “Famous” cookie name : AMOS
20. A pop : EACH
21. “Bali ___” (Rodgers and Hammerstein show tune) : HA’I
22. Nauru’s capital : YAREN
24. Sault ___ Marie : STE
25. Why many people visit Napa? : FOR THE WINES (“for the win” and “es”)
28. Key on the left side of a keyboard : TAB
29. “Handy” thing to know, for short? : ASL
30. RR stop : STA
31. Nurseries? : BABY SITES (“babysit” and “es”)
36. Bud in baseball’s Hall of Fame : SELIG
38. A thou : ONE K
39. Outlet from the left ventricle : AORTA
41. “Je t’___” (“I love you”: Fr.) : AIME
42. Fairy tale baddies : OGRES
44. What ice trays typically do? : BEAR CUBES (“bear cub” and “es”)
46. Its symbol is Sn : TIN
47. Western tribe : UTE
49. Overrule : NIX
50. President Herbert’s wife and mother, e.g.? : HOOVER DAMES (“Hoover Dam” and “es”)
54. Company with a mascot named Leo : MGM
57. ___ di Pietro, artist better known as Fra Angelico : GUIDO
58. “___ Majesty” (what to call a king) : HIS
59. De ___ (by law) : JURE
60. Singer Guthrie : ARLO
61. Play “Name That Tune”? : GUESS NOTES (“guess not” and “es”)
64. Where Cinderella lost her slipper : BALL
65. Swarming pest : GNAT
66. Biblical queendom : SHEBA
67. French buddies : AMIS
68. They may cover a lot of ground : SODS
69. Mountain chain about 5,000 miles long … or a hint to 17-, 25-, 31-, 44-, 50- and 61-Across : ANDES (and “es”)

Down

1. Fire remnants : ASHES
2. Relative of a mink : STOAT
3. Query after a knock-down-drag-out fight : TRUCE
4. Reckless, as a decision : RASH
5. Fall behind : OWE
6. Say on a stack of Bibles : SWEAR
7. Weird Al Yankovic’s first hit : EAT IT
8. Classic Jaguar model : XK-E
9. “Oh, absolutely!” : YES YES!
10. Game company that introduced Breakout : ATARI
11. Movement that Ms. magazine developed out of : WOMEN’S LIB
12. Period enjoyed by an introvert : ALONE TIME
13. Football stats: Abbr. : YDS
18. Irrational fear : PHOBIA
23. Hole punches : AWLS
25. Followers of mis : FAS
26. “___ mañana!” : HASTA
27. Wise ones : SAGES
28. Rug rat : TYKE
31. Alternative to the counter at a diner : BOOTH
32. Cardiologist’s X-ray : ANGIOGRAM
33. Mathematician Daniel after whom a principle is named : BERNOULLI
34. Words repeated by Lady Macbeth in Act V, Scene 1 : TO BED
35. Word following “Able was I …” : ERE
37. French waters : EAUX
40. “Gunsmoke” star James : ARNESS
43. Went after, in a way : SUED
45. Modern prefix with gender : CIS-
48. Band with the 1966 #1 hit “Wild Thing,” with “the” : TROGGS
51. Baroque stringed instruments : VIOLS
52. In the lead : AHEAD
53. Vapors : MISTS
54. Less bright, as colors : MUTED
55. Diving bird : GREBE
56. Monument Valley sights : MESAS
59. Lav : JOHN
60. Bygone court org. — or current court org. : ABA
62. Half of due : UNO
63. Org. based in Fort Meade, Md. : NSA