1120-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 20 Nov 15, Friday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Mary Lou Guizzo
THEME: None
BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 31m 06s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Event handouts : SWAG
“Swag” is “loot, stolen property”, a term that started out as criminal slang in England in the 1830s. Swag is also the name given to the promotional freebies available at some events.

5. Others, to Octavia : ALIA
“Alia” is Latin for “others”.

14. They’re named for Detroit’s founder : CADILLACS
The Cadillac Automobile Company was founded in 1902, as an independent company. The company was named for the French explorer Antoine Laumet de la Mothe, sieur de Cadillac. Cadillac founded the city of Detroit in 1701. The company was taken over by GM in 1909, and over the next thirty years GM did a great job establishing Cadillac as the luxury car one just had to own.

18. Croatian head? : SERBO-
The language known as Serbo-Croatian is the primary language spoken in Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro.

22. Subject of the 2008 biography “Woman of the House” : PELOSI
Nancy Pelosi is a former Speaker of the House, the 60th person to hold that position. Ms. Pelosi represents a district not far from here, which covers most of San Francisco. She was the first Californian, the first Italian-American and the first woman to be Speaker of the House. As Speaker, she was also second in line, after the Vice President, to take over if President Obama could not finish his term. That made Nancy Pelosi the highest-ranking female politician in US history.

23. Cartoon canine : REN
“The Ren and Stimpy Show” is an animated television show that ran on Nickelodeon from 1991 to 1996. The title characters are Marland “Ren” Höek, a scrawny Chihuahua, and Stimpson J. Cat, a rotund Manx cat. Not my cup of tea …

26. Rapper with the 2006 #1 album “Press Play” : DIDDY
When Sean John Combs started his rapping career, he used the stage name Puff Daddy. Then he went with P. Diddy, and is now recording simply as Diddy. Having said that, he has to stick with P. Diddy in some countries as he lost a legal battle over use of the simpler “Diddy” name as there is another artist called Richard “Diddy” Dearlove. There’s now talk of Mr. Combs going with the name “Ciroc Obama”.

29. Accessory for Che : BERET
“Guerrillero Heroico” is the name of an iconic photograph taken Alberto Korda of the revolutionary Che Guevara. With the title translating into English as “Heroic Guerrilla Fighter”, the image shows Guevara in a dark beret, with an “implacable” stare. It is versions of this photo that have been used so many time in tattoos, poster, paintings, etc. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has determined that “Guerrillero Heroico” has been reproduced more than any other image in the history of photography.

30. Irlande, e.g. : ILE
In French, “Irlande” (Ireland) is an “île” (island).

31. Shipping specifications: Abbr. : RTES
Route (rte.)

33. Grp. that often files amicus briefs : ACLU
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has its roots in the First World War when it was founded to provide legal advice and support to conscientious objectors. The ACLU’s motto is “Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself”. The ACLU also hosts a blog on the ACLU.org website called “Speak Freely”.

An amicus curiae is a “friend of the court”, and is a concept that originated in Roman law. An amicus curiae is someone who assists a court in a decision, without being a party to the case in question. The opinion, testimony or treatise provided by the amicus curiae is known as the “amicus brief”.

34. Letters before John F. Kennedy or George H. W. Bush : USS
The abbreviation “USS” stands for “United States Ship”. The practice of naming US Navy vessels in a standard format didn’t start until 1907 when President Theodore Roosevelt issued an executive order that addressed the issue.

36. Student drivers? : BUSES
We use the term “bus” for a mode of transportation, an abbreviated form of the original “omnibus”. We imported “omnibus” via French from Latin, in which language it means “for all”. The idea is that an omnibus is a “carriage for all”.

37. Song by the #1 band on VH1’s “100 Greatest One Hit Wonders” : MACARENA
“Macarena” is a dance song in Spanish that was a huge hit worldwide for Los Del Río in 1995-1996.

46. Three-time N.B.A. Coach of the Year : PAT RILEY
Pat Riley is a former professional basketball player and NBA head coach, and is currently the team president of the Miami Heat. Off the court Riley is quite the celebrity, and is noted as a snappy dresser. He is friend of Giorgio Armani and wears Armani suits at all his games. Riley even modeled suits at an Armani fashion show.

47. Coyote’s genus : CANIS
The coyote is a canine found in most of Central and North America. The name “coyote” is Mexican Spanish, in which language it means “trickster”. Coyotes can sometimes mate with domestic dogs, creating hybrid animals known as “coydogs”. Coyotes can also mate with wolves, creating a “coywolf”. South Dakota named the coyote its state animal in 1949.

49. Slide presentation? : AMEBA
An ameba (or “amoeba” as we spell it back in Ireland) is a single-celled microorganism. The name comes from the Greek “amoibe”, meaning change. The name is quite apt, as the cell changes shape readily as the ameba moves, eats and reproduces.

50. Words of parting at a Mass : GO IN PEACE
The principal act of worship in the Roman Catholic tradition is the Mass. The term “Mass” comes from the Late Latin word “missa” meaning “dismissal”. This word is used at the end of the Latin Mass in “Ite, missa est” which translates literally as “Go, it is the dismissal”.

51. Pass again at Daytona : RELAP
The coastal city of Daytona Beach in Florida is known for hard-packed sand on the beach. This makes a good surface for driving motorized vehicles, and resulted in Daytona Beach becoming a center for motorsports.

52. Canoodle, in Canterbury : SNOG
“Snogging” is British slang of unknown origin that dates back to the end of WWII. The term is used for “kissing and cuddling”, what we call “making out” over here in the US.

“To canoodle” is to indulge in caresses and kisses.

Canterbury is a city in the southeast of England in the county of Kent. Canterbury is famous for Canterbury Cathedral where Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170, making it a pilgrimage destination for Christians. It was one of these pilgrimages that was the inspiration for Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” written in the 14th century.

53. Kind of butter used in lip gloss : SHEA
“Shea butter” is a common moisturizer or lotion used as a cosmetic. It is a fat that is extracted from the nut of the African shea tree. There is evidence that shea butter was used back in Cleopatra’s Egypt.

Down
2. Joe of the Eagles : WALSH
Joe Walsh is a musician who has been a member of several successful bands, including the Eagles and Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band.

The Eagles band formed in 1971, with the founding members being Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner. Frey and Henley were hired as session musicians by Linda Ronstadt. The four then played live together backing Ronstadt in a gig at Disneyland in 1971, and recorded their debut album together in England the following year.

5. Nelson who wrote “A Walk on the Wild Side” : ALGREN
Nelson Algren was an author from Detroit who is best known today for his 1949 novel “The Man with the Golden Arm”. The famous novel won the National Book Award and was made into a celebrated 1955 film of the same name starring Frank Sinatra. Algren also wrote a novel called “A Walk on the Wild Side”, the title of which was used in a great 1972 Lou Reed song.

6. Flock members : LAICS
Anything described is laic (or “laical, lay”) is related to the laity, those members of the church who are not clergy. The term “laic” ultimately comes from the Greek “laikos” meaning “of the people”.

7. Pepsi Freeze is one of its flavors : ICEE
Slush Puppie and ICEE are brands of frozen, slushy drinks. Ostensibly competing brands, ICEE company now owns the Slush Puppie brand.

9. Big Swedish export : ABSOLUT
I must admit, if I ever do order a vodka drink by name, I will order the Absolut brand. I must also admit that I do so from the perspective of an amateur photographer. I’ve been swayed by the Absolut marketing campaign that features such outstanding photographic images. I’m sure you’ve come across examples …

10. Yarn label specification : DYE LOT
As the color of dyed yarn can vary slightly from batch to batch, yarn manufacturers put a dye lot number on their product so that consumers can be sure to purchase yarn for a single project that has all been dyed in the same vat.

11. NEWS for the four directions, and others : ACROSTICS
An acrostic is a set of words that form another word by using a certain letter from the original letters. For example, the first letter from each of the four cardinal directions (north, east, west, south) from the word NEWS.

12. With 4-Down, congresswoman in 2011 news : GABRIELLE
(4D. See 12-Down : GIFFORDS)
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords from Arizona participated in the reading of the US Constitution in the floor of the House of Representatives just a few days before she was shot in Tucson, Arizona on January 8, 2011. The First Amendment was that part of the Constitution that Congresswoman Gifford chose to read.

13. Destination of NASA’s NEAR : EROS
433 Eros is the second-largest of the near-Earth asteroids, with 1036 Ganymed being the largest. The NASA spacecraft NEAR Shoemaker went into orbit around Eros in 2000, and then landed on the asteroid in 2001. That makes Eros the first asteroid orbited and soft-landed on by a spacecraft.

20. Destination of NASA’s Dawn : CERES
Ceres is the smallest dwarf planet in our solar system. Ceres was discovered in 1801 and is the largest body in the asteroid belt. For fifty years Ceres was classified as the eighth planet circling our sun. The Dawn space probe launched by NASA in 2007 went into orbit around Eros in 2015.

22. Under-the-sink fitting : P-TRAP
Most sinks in a home have a P-trap in the outlet pipe that empties into the sewer line. This P-trap has at its heart a U-bend that retains a small amount of water after the sink is emptied. This plug of water serves as a seal to prevent sewer gases entering into the home. By virtue of its design, the U-bend can also capture any heavy objects (like an item of jewelry) that might fall through the plughole. But the “trapping” of fallen objects is secondary to the P-traps main function of trapping sewer gases.

24. Seat of Alabama’s Dallas County : SELMA
The Alabama city of Selma is noted for the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches from 1965.

The Bloody Sunday march took place between Selma and Montgomery, Alabama on 7 March 1965. The 600 marchers involved were protesting the intimidation of African-Americans registering to vote. When the marchers reached Dallas County, Alabama they encountered a line of state troopers reinforced by white males who had been deputized that morning to help keep the peace. Violence broke out with 17 marchers ending up in hospital, one nearly dying. Because the disturbance was widely covered by television cameras, the civil rights movement picked up a lot of support that day.

25. Subject of a Latin hymn : DEUS
“Deus” is Latin for “god”.

28. Player of the new girl on the sitcom “New Girl” : DESCHANEL
Zooey Deschanel is an actress and singer-songwriter from Los Angeles. Zooey is the younger sister of Emily Deschanel who plays the title role on the TV show “Bones”. Now Zooey is playing Jess Day, the lead character on the sitcom “New Girl”.

29. Run like a gazelle : BOUND
When running at a sustained speed, gazelles can move along at 30 miles per hour. If needed, they can accelerate for bursts up to 60 miles per hour.

32. Groups of scullers : CREWS
A scull is a boat used for competitive rowing. The main hull of the boat is often referred to as a shell. Crew members who row the boat can be referred to as “oars”.

33. Aegis : AUSPICES
Someone is said to be under the aegis (also “egis”) of someone else (for example) if that other person provides protection, or perhaps sponsorship. The word “aegis” comes from the Greek word for a goat (“aigis”), the idea being that the goatskin shield or breastplate worn by Zeus or Athena, gave some measure of protection.

35. It’s transported in phloem : TREE SAP
Phloem is the vascular tissue in many plants that carries organic nutrients to all parts of the plant where needed.

38. Exuberant Mexican exclamation : ARRIBA!
“Arriba” is Spanish for “above”. Speedy Gonzales used to yell out “Arriba!” a lot, meaning “get up”.

39. Endgame action : MATING
In the game of chess, when the king is under immediate threat of capture it is said to be “in check”. If the king cannot escape from check, then the game ends in “checkmate” and the player in check loses. In the original Sanskrit game of chess, the king could actually be captured. Then a rule was introduced requiring that a warning be given if capture was imminent (today we announce “check!”) so that an accidental and early ending to the game doesn’t occur.

42. Much-praised name : ALLAH
The term “Allah” comes from the Arabic “al-” and “ilah”, meaning “the” and “deity”. So “Allah” translates as “God”.

44. Uber-competitive : TYPE A
The Type A and Type B personality theory originated in the fifties. Back then, individuals were labelled as Type A in order to emphasize a perceived increased risk of heart disease. Type A personality types are so called “stress junkies”, whereas Type B types are relaxed and laid back. But there doesn’t seem to be much scientific evidence to support the linkage between the Type A personality and heart problems.

46. Grunt : PEON
A peon is a lowly worker with no real control over his/her working conditions. The word comes into English from Spanish where it has the same meaning.

48. Some vintage sports cars : MGS
My neighbor used to keep his MG Midget roadster in my garage (away from his kids!) back in Ireland many moons ago. The Midget was produced by MG division of the British Motor Corporation from 1961 to 1979, with the MG acronym standing for “Morris Garages”.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Event handouts : SWAG
5. Others, to Octavia : ALIA
9. What may follow “they say” : ADAGE
14. They’re named for Detroit’s founder : CADILLACS
16. One way to travel : BY CAR
17. Fossils : OLD FOGIES
18. Croatian head? : SERBO-
19. Not rely just on persuasion : USE FORCE
20. Certain laundry load : COLORS
21. Going places? : THRONES
22. Subject of the 2008 biography “Woman of the House” : PELOSI
23. Cartoon canine : REN
24. Paraded : STRUTTED
26. Rapper with the 2006 #1 album “Press Play” : DIDDY
29. Accessory for Che : BERET
30. Irlande, e.g. : ILE
31. Shipping specifications: Abbr. : RTES
32. Some are vanilla-flavored : COLAS
33. Grp. that often files amicus briefs : ACLU
34. Letters before John F. Kennedy or George H. W. Bush : USS
35. One-up : TRUMP
36. Student drivers? : BUSES
37. Song by the #1 band on VH1’s “100 Greatest One Hit Wonders” : MACARENA
39. Field of note?: Abbr. : MUS
40. Astute : SHREWD
41. Bulwark : RAMPART
45. Isn’t selfish : SHARES
46. Three-time N.B.A. Coach of the Year : PAT RILEY
47. Coyote’s genus : CANIS
48. Excerpt for P.R. purposes, say : MEDIA CLIP
49. Slide presentation? : AMEBA
50. Words of parting at a Mass : GO IN PEACE
51. Pass again at Daytona : RELAP
52. Canoodle, in Canterbury : SNOG
53. Kind of butter used in lip gloss : SHEA

Down
1. One promising “to help other people at all times” : SCOUT
2. Joe of the Eagles : WALSH
3. Math columnist? : ADDER
4. See 12-Down : GIFFORDS
5. Nelson who wrote “A Walk on the Wild Side” : ALGREN
6. Flock members : LAICS
7. Pepsi Freeze is one of its flavors : ICEE
8. Buffoon : ASS
9. Big Swedish export : ABSOLUT
10. Yarn label specification : DYE LOT
11. NEWS for the four directions, and others : ACROSTICS
12. With 4-Down, congresswoman in 2011 news : GABRIELLE
13. Destination of NASA’s NEAR : EROS
15. Tunes introducer? : LOONEY
20. Destination of NASA’s Dawn : CERES
22. Under-the-sink fitting : P-TRAP
24. Seat of Alabama’s Dallas County : SELMA
25. Subject of a Latin hymn : DEUS
26. Show impatience, as with the fingers : DRUM
27. “So sad” : IT’S A SHAME
28. Player of the new girl on the sitcom “New Girl” : DESCHANEL
29. Run like a gazelle : BOUND
32. Groups of scullers : CREWS
33. Aegis : AUSPICES
35. It’s transported in phloem : TREE SAP
36. Legal injustice, informally : BUM RAP
38. Exuberant Mexican exclamation : ARRIBA!
39. Endgame action : MATING
41. Tunes player : RADIO
42. Much-praised name : ALLAH
43. Keep treating, as a sprain : REICE
44. Uber-competitive : TYPE A
45. Closing line that stays with you? : SCAR
46. Grunt : PEON
48. Some vintage sports cars : MGS

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6 thoughts on “1120-15 New York Times Crossword Answers 20 Nov 15, Friday”

  1. Another very solid and contemporary grid today. Many clues could have been reworded to be either easier or tougher, depending on your preference.

    For those who care, a snippet of Joe WALSH during his time with The Eagles.

    And extremely cool to show some love for Gabi Giffords. Her recovery from that thing continues to amaze me.

  2. 36:11, no errors. Not easy, with some tricky clues, but fun. Lots of pauses, followed by"aha!" moments..

    "Going places" ? ! … I really don't think that clue would have been allowed in my day! … (But I like it 🙂

  3. 22:09, no errors. Just clicked with the setter today, I guess. Equating 'going places' with THRONES took more than a couple of twists of interpretation.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS to all you fellow syndicatees out there.

  4. At the risk of seeming pedantic, I'd just like to point out that the definition in 11 Down ("NEWS for the four directions, and others") does not describe an acrostic (an arrangement of lines in which the first letters of each line spell out a phrase) but an acronym (a word made up of the first letters of other words, such as "radar.") And it's not even a real example of that — "news" is from Middle English "newes" and ultimately from Latin "novum." Maybe among puzzle fans, the two terms are now being used interchangeably; but it's never a good idea to give up a useful distinction. Again, Bill, thank you for this great blog. — Lela

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