1020-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 20 Oct 15, Tuesday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Sam Buchbinder
THEME: Roulette … the circled letters in the center of the grid give us a ROULETTE wheel. Surrounding the ROULETTE wheel we have the bets BLACK and RED, EVEN and ODD:

17A. *Oil, informally : BLACK GOLD
61A. *”Weird, huh?” : ODD, ISN’T IT?
10D. *Fair : EVENHANDED
28D. *Colorful Gulf Coast fish : RED SNAPPER

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 6m 10s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Genesis brother : ABEL
In the story of Cain and Abel in the Book of Genesis, Cain murders his brother Abel. Subsequently, God asks Cain, “Where is Abel thy brother?” Cain replies, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

5. An “art” for Donald Trump : DEAL
“Trump: The Art of the Deal” is a bestselling 1987 book by businessman and presidential candidate Donald Trump. The book was co-written by journalist Tony Schwartz.

14. Japanese electronics giant : PANASONIC
Not so long ago, Panasonic was called Matsushita Electronics, the name it took from its founder when the company started in 1918. The products manufactured back then were lamp sockets, and in 1927 the company introduced a bicycle lamp. Even after the company became famous for producing electrical and electronic goods, Matsushita had a very successful line of Panasonic bicycles, as the founder was raised in a family with a bicycle shop and he was passionate about cycling.

16. Like lambs and rams : OVINE
The Latin word for “sheep” is “ovis”, giving us the adjective “ovine”, meaning “like a sheep”.

18. Some titillating messages : SEXTS
“Sexting” (a portmanteau of “sex” and “texting”) is the sending of explicit dialog and images between cell phones. The term “sexting” was first coined by the UK’s “Sunday Telegraph Magazine” in a 2005 article. Apparently the practice is “rampant” among teens and young adults. Whatever happened to dinner and a movie …?

19. Perpendicular to a ship’s midline : ABEAM
The beam is the widest part of a nautical vessel. Something pointed out as lying “abeam” is something that it is 90 degrees from a line through the bow and the stern, in other words directly off to the right or the left.

21. Longtime Lorne Michaels-produced show, for short : SNL
NBC first aired a form of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) in 1975 under the title “NBC’s Saturday Night”. The show was actually created to give Johnny Carson some time off from “The Tonight Show”. Back then “The Tonight Show” had a weekend episode, and Carson convinced NBC to pull the Saturday or Sunday recordings off the air and hold them for subsequent weeknights in which Carson needed a break. NBC turned to Lorne Michaels and asked him to put together a variety show to fill the vacant slot, and he came up with what we now call “Saturday Night Live”.

Lorne Michaels is a television producer, best known as the creator of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL). We can get some insight into Michaels’ character and demeanor by watching the show “30 Rock”. The character played by Alec Baldwin is inspired by Michaels.

22. Lady ___, first female member of Parliament : ASTOR
Nancy Astor (nee Langhorne) was born in the US, in Virginia. When Nancy was 26 years old she moved to England with her younger sister. In England she married an American living there, Waldorf Astor, and the couple lived a very comfortable life. Nancy Astor became very active in English politics, and eventually became the first woman elected to the British Parliament.

26. Long-eared hopper : HARE
Hares belong to the genus Lepus, and young hares, that are under one-year-old, are called leverets.

27. Bitter : ACERB
“Acerb” is a variant of “acerbic”, meaning sour or bitter-tasting, acidic.

30. Home on the range: Var. : TIPI
A tepee (also written as “tipi” and “teepee”) is a cone-shaped tent traditionally made from animal hides that is used by the Great Plains Native Americans. A wigwam is a completely different structure and is often a misnomer for a tepee. A wigwam is a domed structure built by Native Americans in the West and Southwest, intended to be a more permanent dwelling. The wigwam can also be covered with hides but more often was covered with grass, reeds, brush or cloth.

32. Passover meal : SEDER
The Passover Seder is a ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish Passover holiday, celebrating the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.

34. Call from behind the deli counter : NEXT!
The word “delicatessen” (or “deli” for short) came into English from the German “Delikatessen”. The Germans borrowed the word from French, in which language “délicatesse” means “delicious things (to eat)”. The term’s ultimate root is “delicatus”, the Latin for “giving pleasure, delightful”.

35. Feature of Rome’s Pantheon : DOME
The Pantheon was built as a temple to all the gods of Ancient Rome. Even though the Pantheon was built almost two thousand years ago, the dome at its center is the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome.

39. Droids : BOTS
A “bot” is a robot.

“Droid” is short for “android” and is used to describe a robot that resembles a human. The Latin word “androides” was used in English in the 18th century to mean “like a man”. Science fiction writers introduced us to “android” in the early 1950s.

44. Monopoly card listings : RENTS
The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of “The Landlord’s Game” created in 1903 by a Quaker woman called Lizzie Phillips. Phillips used her game as a tool to explain the single tax theory of American economist Henry George. The Landlord’s Game was first produced commercially in 1924. The incredibly successful derivative game called Monopoly was introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow, who became a very rich man when Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game just two years later in 1935.

49. Supply-and-demand subj. : ECON
Economics (econ.)

50. Dodo : IDIOT
The use of the word “dodo” to mean an idiot in a sense predates the term’s use for the now-extinct bird. “Dodo” comes from the Portuguese “doudo” meaning “fool, simpleton”. Portuguese sailors used the term to describe the awkward-looking bird found on the island of Mauritius, which became “dodo” in English. We started calling foolish people “dodos” in the late 1800s, importing the word from the name of the extinct bird.

The dodo was a direct relative of the pigeon and dove, although the fully-grown dodo was usually three feet tall. One of the reasons the dodo comes to mind when we think of extinction of a species, is that it disappeared not too long ago and humans were the reason for its demise. The dodo lived exclusively on the island of Mauritius and when man arrived, we cut back the forests that were its home. We also introduced domestic animals, such as dogs and pigs, that ransacked the dodo’s nests.

51. Yemeni capital : SANA
Sana (also Sanaa) is the capital city of Yemen. Within the bounds of today’s metropolis is the old fortified city of Sana, where people have lived for over 2,500 years. The Old City is now a World Heritage Site.

55. “Blade” star Wesley : SNIPES
Wesley Snipes is a movie actor, and a martial artist. The role most associated with Snipes is the title character in the “Blade” series of films. Snipes was sent to federal prison in 2010 to serve a 3-year sentence for wilful failure to file tax returns, and was released earlier this month.

57. Casino staple : POKER
The official birthplace of the incredibly popular poker game of Texas hold ’em is Robstown, Texas where the game dates back to the early 1900s. The game was introduced into Las Vegas in 1967 by a group of Texan enthusiasts including Doyle Brunson, a champion often seen playing on TV today. Doyle Brunson published a poker strategy guide in 1978, and this really helped increase the popularity of the game. But it was the inclusion of Texas hold ’em in the television lineup that really gave the game its explosive surge in popularity, with the size of the prize money just skyrocketing.

68. Captain Hook’s sidekick : SMEE
In J. M. Barrie’s play and novel about Peter Pan, Smee is one of Captain Hook’s pirates and is Hook’s right-hand man. Smee is described by Barrie as being “Irish” and “a man who stabbed without offence”. Nice guy! Captain Hook and Smee sail on the pirate ship called the Jolly Roger.

69. Small memory amount : BYTE
In the world of computers, a “bit” is the basic unit of information. It has a value of 0 or 1. A “byte” is a small collection of bits (usually 8), the number of bits needed to uniquely identify a character of text. The prefix mega- stands for 10 to the power of 6, so a megabyte (meg) is 1,000,000 bytes. And the prefix giga- means 10 to the power of 9, so a gigabyte (gig) is 1,000,000,000 bytes. Well, those are the SI definitions of megabyte and kilobyte. The purists still use 2 to the power of 20 for a megabyte (i.e. 1,048,576), and 2 to the power of 30 for a gigabyte.

Down
1. Alert for a fleeing prisoner, in brief : APB
An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

5. You better believe it : DOGMA
A dogma is a set of beliefs, with the plural being “dogmata” (or “dogmas”, if you’re not a pedant like me!)

6. Ambient musician Brian : ENO
Brian Eno was one of the pioneers of the “ambient” genre of music. Eno composed an album in 1978 called “Ambient 1: Music for Airports”, the first in a series of four albums with an ambient theme. Eno named the tracks somewhat inventively: 1/1, 2/1, 2/1 and 2/2.

8. 20, for 1/4 and 1/5, e.g.: Abbr. : LCD
The lowest/least common denominator (LCD) of a set of fractions is the least common multiple of the denominators of those fractions. For example, the LCD of ⅓ an ¼ is 12 as both ⅓ and ¼ can be expressed in multiples of 1/12 (⅓ is 4/12 and ¼ is 3/12).

9. Big name in stereo speakers : BOSE
Bose Corporation was founded in 1964 by Amar G. Bose, and is a company that specializes in manufacture of audio equipment.

12. Hazardous mailing : ANTHRAX
Anthrax is a potentially lethal disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The bacterium can form dormant spores that can be stored, and potentially weaponized. When the spores are inhaled or ingested, or even touched, they can activate and infect the victim.

15. Cousin of reggae : SKA
Ska originated in Jamaica in the late fifties and was the precursor to reggae music. No one has a really definitive etymology of the term “ska”, but it is likely to be imitative of some sound.

21. Carrier to Sweden : SAS
SAS was formerly known as Scandinavian Airlines System and is the flag carrier of three countries: Denmark, Norway and Sweden. SAS is based at Stockholm Arlanda Airport located just north of the Swedish capital.

24. Juan’s uncle : TIO
In Spanish, an uncle (tio) is the brother of the father or the mother (hermano del padre o de la madre).

28. *Colorful Gulf Coast fish : RED SNAPPER
The red snapper that we get in restaurants is often not the true “red snapper” species (Lutjanus campechanus). Frequently we are served other snapper species or rockfish in order to meet demand.

29. Homie : BRO
“Homie” is short for “homeboy”, someone from one’s home neighborhood.

38. Bush press secretary Fleischer : ARI
Ari Fleischer was the White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush. Fleischer now runs his own media consulting firm that specializes in representing sports players and organizations. Fleischer helped Mark McGwire handle the media when he had to admit to the use of steroids, and was briefly hired by Tiger Woods as he planned his return to the PGA after dropping out of the spotlight to handle the problems in his personal life.

39. Popular British brew : BASS ALE
The red triangle on the label of a bottle of Bass Ale was registered in 1875 and is UK Registered Trade Mark (TM) No: 00001, the first trademark issued in the world.

41. Like the pinky compared to the other fingers : TINIEST
The use of “pinkie” or “pinky” for the little finger comes into English from “pinkje”, the Dutch word for the same digit. Who knew?

47. Canonized woman of Fr. : STE
“Sainte” (ste.) is French for “saint”, when referring to a female.

The act of creating a saint is known as “canonization”. The term derives from the process of placing someone in the canon (or “calendar”) of saints.

56. Online crafts site : ETSY
Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.

58. ___Kosh B’Gosh : OSH
OshKosh B’gosh is a company that produces and sells children’s clothes. The trademark OshKosh bib-overalls remind us of the company’s roots, as it was originally a manufacturer of adult work clothes based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

61. Has too much, informally : ODS
Overdoses (ODs)

62. Beaver’s construction : DAM
Beavers build dams so that they can live in and around the slower and deeper water that builds up above the dam. This deeper water provides more protection for the beavers from predators such as bears. Beavers are nocturnal animals and do all their construction work at night.

63. Hip-hop’s Dr. ___ : DRE
Dr. Dre is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

64. Gym shirt : TEE
Our word “gymnasium” comes from the Greek “gymnasion” meaning “public place where exercise is taken”. The Greek term comes from “gymnos” meaning “naked”, as that physical training was usually done unclothed.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Genesis brother : ABEL
5. An “art” for Donald Trump : DEAL
9. “If you want to throw a fit, fine” : BE MAD
14. Japanese electronics giant : PANASONIC
16. Like lambs and rams : OVINE
17. *Oil, informally : BLACK GOLD
18. Some titillating messages : SEXTS
19. Perpendicular to a ship’s midline : ABEAM
20. Amounts after a decimal point : TENTHS
21. Longtime Lorne Michaels-produced show, for short : SNL
22. Lady ___, first female member of Parliament : ASTOR
26. Long-eared hopper : HARE
27. Bitter : ACERB
30. Home on the range: Var. : TIPI
31. On ___ with (comparable to) : A PAR
32. Passover meal : SEDER
33. Trounce : ROUT
34. Call from behind the deli counter : NEXT!
35. Feature of Rome’s Pantheon : DOME
37. Modern paint no-no : LEAD
39. Droids : BOTS
42. Feminine ending : -ETTE
44. Monopoly card listings : RENTS
48. Has ___ (is connected) : AN IN
49. Supply-and-demand subj. : ECON
50. Dodo : IDIOT
51. Yemeni capital : SANA
52. “___ how I roll” : THAT’S
54. Stick with a blue tip, maybe : CUE
55. “Blade” star Wesley : SNIPES
57. Casino staple : POKER
60. Skilled : ADEPT
61. *”Weird, huh?” : ODD, ISN’T IT?
65. Misplaces : LOSES
66. Surprise winner : DARK HORSE
67. Diary part : ENTRY
68. Captain Hook’s sidekick : SMEE
69. Small memory amount : BYTE

Down
1. Alert for a fleeing prisoner, in brief : APB
2. Account amount : BALANCE
3. Made possible : ENABLED
4. Veil material : LACE
5. You better believe it : DOGMA
6. Ambient musician Brian : ENO
7. Suffer : AIL
8. 20, for 1/4 and 1/5, e.g.: Abbr. : LCD
9. Big name in stereo speakers : BOSE
10. *Fair : EVENHANDED
11. Personal music compilation : MIX TAPE
12. Hazardous mailing : ANTHRAX
13. Back-page menu item, maybe : DESSERT
15. Cousin of reggae : SKA
20. Overused : TRITE
21. Carrier to Sweden : SAS
23. Warm up before exercising : STRETCH
24. Juan’s uncle : TIO
25. Lavish : OPULENT
28. *Colorful Gulf Coast fish : RED SNAPPER
29. Homie : BRO
36. Big track events : MEETS
38. Bush press secretary Fleischer : ARI
39. Popular British brew : BASS ALE
40. Endlessly : ON AND ON
41. Like the pinky compared to the other fingers : TINIEST
43. Burned ___ crisp : TO A
45. “Almost got me!” : NICE TRY!
46. One seeing the sites : TOURIST
47. Canonized woman of Fr. : STE
53. Feature of a punk hairdo : SPIKE
56. Online crafts site : ETSY
58. ___Kosh B’Gosh : OSH
59. Radio dial : KNOB
61. Has too much, informally : ODS
62. Beaver’s construction : DAM
63. Hip-hop’s Dr. ___ : DRE
64. Gym shirt : TEE

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2 thoughts on “1020-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 20 Oct 15, Tuesday”

  1. I thought this was fine for a Tuesday, and appreciated POKER showing up in the grid, too.

    Jeff Chen over at XWord Info caught something I would have missed – the ETTE by itself but also part of ROULETTE. Apparently the ETTE in ROULETTE is the very diminutive, meaning "little wheel." Go figure. I was a French major and didn't know this.

  2. 10:01, no errors. Caught the roulette wheel theme, but didn't see the red/black/odd/even part until I came here. Thank you Bill.

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