0510-23 NY Times Crossword 10 May 23, Wednesday

Constructed by: Victor Barocas
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): This One’s up There

Themed answers are common phrases reinterpreted with reference to constellations. Clever …

  • 17A Ursa Major and Ursa Minor? : OVER BEARS
  • 29A Scorpio and Cancer? : NIGHT CRAWLERS
  • 49A Sagittarius and Orion? : SHOOTING STARS
  • 65A Pegasus? : HIGH HORSE

Bill’s time: 6m 59s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Opposite of “sans” : AVEC

In French, “avec” (with) and “sans” (without) are opposites.

9 Crime lord strangled by Princess Leia : JABBA

Jabba the Hutt is the big blob of an alien that appears in the “Star Wars” movie “The Return of the Jedi”. Jabba’s claim to fame is that he enslaved Princess Leia and kitted her out in that celebrated metal bikini.

14 Tibetan monk : LAMA

“Lama” is a Tibetan word meaning “chief, high priest”.

15 Home of the Sphinx : GIZA

Giza is located on the west bank of the Nile, about 20 km southwest of Cairo. The nearby Giza Plateau is home to some of the most amazing ancient monuments on the planet, including the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Great Sphinx.

The Great Sphinx of Giza is a huge limestone statue of a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head of a human. It is the largest monolithic statue in the world. Famously, the Great Sphinx is missing its nose and beard.

16 Elba who portrayed Nelson Mandela : IDRIS

“Long Walk to Freedom” is a 1994 autobiography by the revolutionary and eventual statesman Nelson Mandela. The book was adapted into a very successful film entitled “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”, with English actor Idris Elba in the title role. The movie was released in South Africa at the end of November 2013, and Nelson Mandela passed away just a few days later.

17 Ursa Major and Ursa Minor? : OVER BEARS

The constellation Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called “the Big Dipper” because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, “the Plough”.

Ursa Minor (Latin for “Smaller Bear”) sits right beside the constellation Draco (Latin for “Dragon”). Ursa Minor used to be considered the wing of Draco, and was once called “Dragon’s Wing”. The tail of the “Smaller Bear” might also be considered as the handle of a ladle, and so the constellation is often referred to as the Little Dipper.

19 They’re found around castles : MOATS

A moat is a protective trench that surrounds a castle, say, or an exhibit in a zoo. A moat may or may not be filled with water.

20 1992 role for Robin Williams or 2019 role for Will Smith : GENIE

The “genie” in the bottle takes his or her name from “djinn”. “Djinns” were various spirits considered lesser than angels, with people exhibiting unsavory characteristics said to be possessed by djinn. When the book “The Thousand and One Nights” was translated into French, the word “djinn” was transformed into the existing word “génie”, because of the similarity in sound and the related spiritual meaning. This “génie” from the Arabian tale became confused with the Latin-derived “genius”, a guardian spirit thought to be assigned to each person at birth. Purely as a result of that mistranslation the word genie has come to mean the “djinn” that pops out of the bottle. A little hard to follow, I know, but still quite interesting …

The Disney animated feature “Aladdin” was released in 1992. It is one of the best movies to come out of the studio, in my opinion, largely due to the great performance by Robin Williams who voiced the Genie. “Aladdin” was the most successful film of 1992, earning over $500 million worldwide, an unusual feat for an animated movie.

The 2019 Disney movie “Aladdin” is a live-action adaptation of Disney’s 1992 animated feature of the same name starring Robin Williams. In the 2019 film, Will Smith plays the genie, and Mena Massoud plays the title character.

24 Side dish with ribs : SLAW

The term “coleslaw” is an Anglicized version of the Dutch term “koolsla”, which in itself is a shortened form of “Koolsalade” meaning “cabbage salad”.

27 Mystical mixtures : ELIXIRS

An elixir is a solution of alcohol and water that is used to deliver a medicine. The term “elixir” can also be used to mean a medicine that has the power to cure all ills.

29 Scorpio and Cancer? : NIGHT CRAWLERS

The constellation Scorpius is named for the scorpion. One of the brighter stars in Scorpius is Antares, which has a clearly perceptible red hue that is said to rival the redness of the planet Mars.

Cancer is the fourth astrological sign of the zodiac, and is associated with the constellation named Cancer. The zodiac symbol for Cancer is the crab, and “cancer” is the Latin word for “crab”. A person born under the sign of Cancer is sometimes referred to as a Moon Child.

33 Therapists’ org. : APA

American Psychiatric Association (APA)

35 Taqueria topping : SALSA

“Salsa” is simply Spanish for “sauce”.

38 Thomas who won the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature : MANN

Thomas Mann was a German novelist whose most famous work is probably his novella “Death in Venice”, which was published originally in German in 1912 as “Der Tod in Venedig”. The story was famously adapted for the big screen in 1971, in a movie starring Dirk Bogarde.

40 Critical resource harvested in “Dune” : SPICE

“Dune” is a science fiction novel written by Frank Herbert, first published in 1965. It is widely considered to be one of the greatest science fiction novels of all time. The book has a large and dedicated fanbase, who refer to themselves as “Duners” or “Dune fans.”

46 Tupperware lid sound : BURP

Back in the 1930s, Earl Tupper was working at the DuPont Chemical Company, and from DuPont obtained inflexible pieces of polyethylene slag. Tupper purified the slag and shaped it into unbreakable containers. He added airtight lids with a “burping seal” that provided tight seals similar to that provided by the lids on paint cans. He called his new product Tupperware.

48 Onetime Saturn S.U.V. : VUE

The VUE is a compact SUV made by General Motors under the Saturn brand from 2001 to 2009. The VUE was the best-selling of all Saturn models.

49 Sagittarius and Orion? : SHOOTING STARS

Sagittarius is the ninth sign of the zodiac, with “sagittarius” being the Latin for “archer”. The related constellation is usually represented by a centaur (half-bull, half-man) with a bow.

According to Greek mythology, Orion was a giant hunter who was placed in the night sky by Zeus, the king of the gods. Orion is very recognizable as a constellation, especially with the three bright stars known as “Orion’s Belt”. The brightest star in the sky, Sirius, is said to be Orion’s hunting dog, and this star sits at Orion’s “foot”.

55 Something to perform tricks with : YO-YO

A common yo-yo trick is to “walk the dog”. It involves spinning the yo-yo at the end of its string, and then letting the yo-yo touch the ground. The spin then causes the yo-yo to “walk” along the ground beside you, as if you are walking a dog.

56 Low stat for a top pitcher : ERA

Earned run average (ERA)

63 Telegraph pioneer Samuel : MORSE

The first telegraph message in the US was sent by Samuel Morse from the US Capitol in 1844. The message was received by a B&O railroad depot in Baltimore, Maryland. The message content was the words “WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT”, a quotation from the Book of Numbers in the Bible.

65 Pegasus? : HIGH HORSE

Pegasus is a white, winged stallion of Greek mythology. He was sired by Poseidon and foaled by Medusa.

69 “___ Enchanted” (2004 film) : ELLA

“Ella Enchanted” is a fantasy novel written by Gail Carson Levine, and published in 1997. It is a retelling of the story of Cinderella, with lots of mythical creatures added. A film adaptation was released in 2004 that features Anne Hathaway in the title role.

70 Many a textbook : TOME

“Tome” first came into English from the Latin “tomus” which means “section of a book”. The original usage in English was for a single volume in a multi-volume work. By the late 16th century, “tome” had come to mean “large book”.

71 Famed diarist Samuel : PEPYS

Samuel Pepys was a British Member of Parliament and naval administrator, and is more famous these days for his diary than for his contribution to political history. Pepys started to keep a diary on New Year’s Day in 1660 and recorded his daily life for almost ten years. His writings include details of his personal life as well as firsthand accounts of the important events of the 1660s such as the Great Plague of 1665 and the Great Fire of London in 1666.

Down

1 Modern journal : BLOG

Many folks who visit this website regard it as just that, a website. That is true, but more specifically it is referred to as a blog, as I make regular posts (actually daily posts) that then occupy the “front page” of the site. The blog entries are in reverse chronological order, and one can just look back day-by-day, reading older and older posts. “Blog” is a contraction of the term “web log”.

3 “Preach it!” : AMEN!

The word “amen” translates as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is also likely to be influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

7 Journalist Klein who co-founded Vox : EZRA

Ezra Klein is a journalist and blogger who writes for “The Washington Post”, “Bloomberg” and “MSNBC”. Klein’s contribution at “The Washington Post” is the most-read blog that the paper publishes.

8 First nut listed on a can of Planters Deluxe Mixed Nuts : CASHEW

The cashew is the seed of the cashew tree. The pulp of the cashew tree fruit (the cashew apple) is also consumed, and is usually processed into a fruit drink or distilled as a liquor.

Planters is the company with the Mr. Peanut icon. Mr. Peanut was the invention of a first-grader named Antonio Gentile, a young man who won a design contest in 1916. A remarkable achievement, I’d say …

9 Pries open : JIMMIES

“Jimmy” is a variant of the word “jemmy”. A jemmy is a type of crowbar, one associated with burglars back in the 1800s.

11 World capital 50 miles from Vienna : BRATISLAVA

Bratislava is the capital and largest city of Slovakia. The city itself actually borders Austria and Hungary, making Bratislava the only national capital in the world that borders two foreign countries.

25 Good hole cards in Texas hold ’em : ACES

In the card game called Texas hold ‘em, two hole cards are dealt to each player, and five community cards are dealt face up on the table. The community cards are dealt in the three stages. The first three cards are dealt in one stage (the flop), then the fourth card is shown (the turn), and finally the fifth card (the river).

28 It sees right through you : X-RAY

X-rays were first studied comprehensively by the German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen (also “Roentgen”), and it was he who gave the name “X-rays” to this particular type of radiation. Paradoxically, in Röntgen’s native language of German, X-rays are routinely referred to as “Röntgen rays”. In 1901, Röntgen’s work on X-rays won him the first Nobel Prize in Physics that was ever awarded.

31 Genre for N.W.A and Ice-T : GANGSTA RAP

Gangsta rap is a type of hip hop music with lyrics that reflect the violent lifestyle experienced by some inner-city youth.

32 Defensive line? : ALIBI

“Alibi” is the Latin word for “elsewhere” as in, “I claim that I was ‘elsewhere’ when the crime was committed, I have an ‘alibi’”.

39 Classic soft drink brand : NEHI

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.

41 Big Apple educational syst. : CUNY

New York City’s public university system is called the City University of New York (CUNY). CUNY is made of 24 institutions and is the largest urban university in the whole country. It is also the third largest university system in the US, after the State University of New York and California State University.

45 154 Shakespeare works : SONNETS

William Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets. Here is Sonnet 110:

Alas! ’tis true, I have gone here and there,
And made my self a motley to the view,
Gored mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most dear,
Made old offences of affections new;
Most true it is, that I have looked on truth
Askance and strangely; but, by all above,
These blenches gave my heart another youth,
And worse essays proved thee my best of love.
Now all is done, have what shall have no end:
Mine appetite I never more will grind
On newer proof, to try an older friend,
A god in love, to whom I am confined.
Then give me welcome, next my heaven the best,
Even to thy pure and most most loving breast.

50 Avignon affirmative : OUI

Avignon is a city in the southeast of France on the Rhône river. Avignon is sometimes called the “City of Popes” as it was home to seven popes during the Catholic schism from 1309 to 1423.

52 Tundra, for one : TOYOTA

The Toyota Tundra was the first full-size pickup truck to be manufactured in North America by a Japanese automobile company.

58 Bulk storage area : SILO

“Silo” is a Spanish word that we absorbed into English. The term ultimately derives from the Greek “siros”, which described a pit in which one kept corn.

62 Cattail, e.g. : REED

Cattails are flowering plants found in wetlands. We call them bulrushes back in Ireland …

64 John le Carré figure : SPY

“John le Carré” is the pen name of David Cornwell, an English author who is famous for his spy novels. Cornwell worked for British Intelligence during the fifties and sixties, even as he was writing his spy thrillers. He left MI6 soon after his most famous 1963 novel “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold”, became such a great success.

66 Day-___ : GLO

“Day-Glo” is a registered trademark used for an ink or paint that glows when exposed to a black light in a darkened room. When Day-Glo paint is viewed in daylight, the colors can look particularly vivid because they respond to UV light present in sunlight.

67 ___ radio : HAM

Amateur radio enthusiasts were first called “ham operators” by professional telegraph operators, and the term was intended to be insulting. It came from the similar term “ham actor”, describing a person who is less than effective on the stage. But amateur operators eventually embraced the moniker, and so it stuck.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Toot one’s own horn : BRAG
5 Opposite of “sans” : AVEC
9 Crime lord strangled by Princess Leia : JABBA
14 Tibetan monk : LAMA
15 Home of the Sphinx : GIZA
16 Elba who portrayed Nelson Mandela : IDRIS
17 Ursa Major and Ursa Minor? : OVER BEARS
19 They’re found around castles : MOATS
20 1992 role for Robin Williams or 2019 role for Will Smith : GENIE
21 [I’m right here!] : [AHEM!]
23 Three-way intersection : TEE
24 Side dish with ribs : SLAW
27 Mystical mixtures : ELIXIRS
29 Scorpio and Cancer? : NIGHT CRAWLERS
33 Therapists’ org. : APA
34 Close up tight : SEAL
35 Taqueria topping : SALSA
38 Thomas who won the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature : MANN
40 Critical resource harvested in “Dune” : SPICE
43 Southern pronoun : Y’ALL
44 Outer boundaries : EDGES
46 Tupperware lid sound : BURP
48 Onetime Saturn S.U.V. : VUE
49 Sagittarius and Orion? : SHOOTING STARS
53 Entourage : RETINUE
55 Something to perform tricks with : YO-YO
56 Low stat for a top pitcher : ERA
57 Small complaints : NITS
59 Modern lead-in to squat : CYBER-
63 Telegraph pioneer Samuel : MORSE
65 Pegasus? : HIGH HORSE
68 Change with the situation : ADAPT
69 “___ Enchanted” (2004 film) : ELLA
70 Many a textbook : TOME
71 Famed diarist Samuel : PEPYS
72 Study, e.g. : ROOM
73 Wonderstruck : AWED

Down

1 Modern journal : BLOG
2 Rapturous review : RAVE
3 “Preach it!” : AMEN!
4 Obtrusively showy : GARISH
5 A growing number? : AGE
6 By way of : VIA
7 Journalist Klein who co-founded Vox : EZRA
8 First nut listed on a can of Planters Deluxe Mixed Nuts : CASHEW
9 Pries open : JIMMIES
10 Trouble : ADO
11 World capital 50 miles from Vienna : BRATISLAVA
12 Risky dog to own : BITER
13 Foolish sorts : ASSES
18 They go through loops : BELTS
22 Right-angle shape : ELL
25 Good hole cards in Texas hold ’em : ACES
26 It’s filled, and may be filling : WRAP
28 It sees right through you : X-RAY
29 Be specific about, in a way : NAME
30 Magic Keyboard go-with : IPAD
31 Genre for N.W.A and Ice-T : GANGSTA RAP
32 Defensive line? : ALIBI
36 Offensive line? : SLUR
37 Pub choices : ALES
39 Classic soft drink brand : NEHI
41 Big Apple educational syst. : CUNY
42 “And so … ” : ERGO …
45 154 Shakespeare works : SONNETS
47 Intimidate, in a way, with “out” : PSYCH …
50 Avignon affirmative : OUI
51 Tie to a post, say : TETHER
52 Tundra, for one : TOYOTA
53 Lay out in a new pattern : REMAP
54 Wear away : ERODE
58 Bulk storage area : SILO
60 Forehead : BROW
61 She’s found in “She loves me not” : ESME
62 Cattail, e.g. : REED
64 John le Carré figure : SPY
66 Day-___ : GLO
67 ___ radio : HAM

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