0101-20 NY Times Crossword 1 Jan 20, Wednesday

Constructed by: Christina Iverson & Jeff Chen
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Y2K

Happy New Year, everyone! Themed answers are common phrases with a letter Y changed TO a letter K:

  • 38A Big scare of a couple of decades ago … or a phonetic hint to this puzzle’s theme : Y2K
  • 17A Employer of nurse sharks? : MAKO CLINIC (from “Mayo Clinic”)
  • 25A “It’s green and slimy” and “It tastes like the ocean”? : KELP REVIEWS (from “Yelp reviews”)
  • 46A Nerd’s goal on a dating app? : FINDING DORK (from “Finding Dory”)
  • 57A Pointy bill or tail feathers? : END OF STORK (from “end of story”)

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 8m 04s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 First verb in the Lord’s Prayer : ART

Our Father … (“Pater noster” in Latin) are the opening words of the Lord’s Prayer, which is probably the best-known prayer in the Christian tradition.

17 Employer of nurse sharks? : MAKO CLINIC (from “Mayo Clinic”)

The shortfin mako shark can appear on restaurant menus, and as a result the species is dying out in some parts of the world. The mako gets its own back sometimes though, as attacks on humans are not unknown. It is the fastest-swimming shark, and has been clocked at speeds of over 40 miles/hour. And the shark in Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea”, that’s a mako. “Mako” is the Maori word for “shark” or “shark tooth”.

The Mayo Clinic started out as a private practice run by Dr. William Mayo, an immigrant from the North of England who arrived in the US in 1846. Mayo’s first practice was with his two sons, which evolved into a clinic set up with six other doctors.

19 Name spelled out in a Kinks hit : LOLA

“Lola” is a fabulous song that was written by Ray Davies and released by the Kinks back in 1970. Inspired by a real life incident, the lyrics tell of young man who met a young “lady” in a club, danced with her, and then discovered “she” was actually a transvestite. The storyline isn’t very traditional, but the music is superb.

The Kinks were an English band who participated in the British Invasion of America in the sixties, although only briefly. After touring the US in the middle of 1965, the American Federation of Musicians refused permits for the Kinks to book concerts for four years, apparently in response to some rowdy on-stage behavior by the band.

21 ___ Claire, Wis. : EAU

Eau Claire, Wisconsin is named for the Eau Claire River, which in turn was named by French explorers. The explorers had been travelling down the muddy Chippewa River and diverted into the clear water of what is now called the Eau Claire River. They exclaimed “Voici l’eau claire!” meaning “Here is clear water!” The French phrase “Voici l’eau claire” is now the city’s motto that appears on the city seal.

22 Delicacy in a tiny spoon : CAVIAR

Caviar is the roe of a large fish that has been salted and seasoned, and especially the roe of a sturgeon. Beluga caviar comes from the beluga sturgeon, which is found primarily in the Caspian Sea. It is the most expensive type of caviar in the world. 8 ounces of US-farmed beluga caviar can be purchased through Amazon.com for just over $850, in case you’re feeling peckish …

24 Fig. in the form XXX-XX-XXXX : SSN

A Social Security number (SSN) is divided into three parts i.e AAA-GG-SSSS, Originally, the Area Number (AAA) was the code for the office that issued the card. Since 1973, the Area Number reflects the ZIP code from which the application was made. The GG in the SSN is the Group Number, and the SSSS in the number is the Serial Number. However, this is all moot. Since 2011 SSNs are assigned randomly. However, some random numbers have been excluded from use, i.e. Area Numbers 000, 666 (!) and 900-999.

25 “It’s green and slimy” and “It tastes like the ocean”? : KELP REVIEWS (from “Yelp reviews”)

Kelps are large seaweeds that grow in kelp forests underwater. Kelps can grow to over 250 feet in length, and do so very quickly. Some kelps can grow at the rate of 1-2 feet per day.

yelp.com is a website that provides a local business directory and reviews of services. The site is sort of like Yellow Pages on steroids, and the term “yelp” is derived from “yel-low p-ages”.

29 Site of the fall of man : EDEN

In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This went against the bidding of God, and was at the urging of the serpent. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them from becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.

30 Late Saudi journalist Khashoggi : JAMAL

Jamal Khashoggi was a Saudi Arabian national and American resident who worked as a columnist for “The Washington Post”. Infamously, Khashoggi was lured into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018 by Saudi agents, who murdered him before dismembering the body to dispose of it.

40 Own (up) : FESS

The term “fess” is most often seen as part of the phrasal verb “to fess up” meaning “to admit to something”. “Fess” is simply a shortened form of “confess”.

41 “___ mío!” (Spanish cry) : DIOS

“Dios mio!” translates from Spanish as “My God!”

43 Deadlocked : EVEN

A deadlock is a standstill, a stalemate. The suggestion is that the term “deadlock” was coined in the 1779 play called “The Critic”, from the pen of Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

46 Nerd’s goal on a dating app? : FINDING DORK (from “Finding Dory”)

I consider “dork” and “adorkable” to be pretty offensive slang. “Dork” originated in the sixties among American students, and has its roots in another slang term, a term for male genitalia.

Pixar’s 2016 animated feature “Finding Dory” is a sequel to the megahit film “Finding Nemo”. “Finding Dory” seems to have built on the success of its predecessor and had the highest-grossing opening weekend ever in North America for an animated movie.

53 Ciaos at luaus : ALOHAS

The Hawaiian word “aloha” has many meanings in English: affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy. More recently, “aloha” has come to mean “hello” and “goodbye”, but only since the mid-1800s.

54 Brouhaha : ADO

“Brouhaha”, meaning “ado, stir”, was a French word that back in the 1550s meant “the cry of the devil disguised as clergy” . Wow!

55 Fruit in some gin : SLOE

The sloe is the fruit of the blackthorn bush, and the main flavoring ingredient in sloe gin. A sloe looks like a small plum, but is usually much more tart in taste.

56 Animal relative of a hinny : MULE

A hinny is the offspring of a male horse (the “h-” from h-orse) and a female donkey/ass (the “-nny” from je-nny). A mule is more common, and is the offspring of a female horse and male donkey/ass.

57 Pointy bill or tail feathers? : END OF STORK (from “end of story”)

Storks are large wading birds with long legs, long necks and long bills. Storks use those long bills to search for frogs, fish and other small animals under the water. When the stork finds its prey, the bill snaps shut in about 25 millisecs, which is one of the fastest known reaction times of any vertebrate.

60 Dr. ___, film enemy of Austin Powers : EVIL

Dr. Evil is a character played by Mike Myers in the “Austin Powers” series of movies. The character lampoons various James Bond villains, just as Austin Powers lampoons James Bond himself.

62 Unidentified person, in slang : RANDO

“Rando” is a slang term describing a “random person”. The term tends not be used flatteringly.

63 Climax in “Hamilton” : DUEL

Alexander Hamilton was one of America’s Founding Fathers, chief of staff to General George Washington and the first Secretary of the Treasury. It was Hamilton who established the nation’s first political party, the Federalist Party. He is also famous for fighting a duel with Vice President Aaron Burr, which resulted in Hamilton’s death a few days later.

“Hamilton” is a 2015 musical based on the life of US Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, as described in the 2004 biography by Ron Chernow. The show opened off-Broadway in February 2015, and transferred to Broadway in August of the same year. Advance ticket sales for the Broadway production were unprecedented, and reportedly amounted to $30 million. The representations of the main characters is decidedly ground-breaking. The show is rooted in hip-hop and the main roles such as Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington are all played by African-American and Hispanic actors.

65 Having a body mass index over 30, medically : OBESE

The body mass index (BMI) is the ratio of a person’s height to his or her mass.

Down

1 Actor Edward James ___ : OLMOS

Edward James Olmos is a Mexican-American actor. I mostly remember Olmos as the Lieutenant who was the boss of Crockett and Tubbs on television’s “Miami Vice”.

4 Sci-fi travelers, for short : UFOS

Unidentified flying object (UFO)

5 Presidential advisory grp. : NSC

The National Security Council (NSC) was created by President Harry S. Truman in 1947. The NSC is chaired by the sitting president and meets in the White House Situation Room.

8 “Jeez, I did NOT need to know that!” : TMI!

Too much information (TMI)

9 Fictional sport whose rules are invented during play : CALVINBALL

Calvinball is a game played by the title characters in the “Calvin and Hobbes” comic strip. The game is touted as the antithesis of organized sports. Hobbes claims, “No sport is less organized than Calvinball!”.

10 Sarge’s superior : LOOIE

A “looie” (lieutenant) has a higher rank than a “noncom” (noncommissioned officer) such as a “sarge” (sergeant).

18 Levi’s alternatives : LEES

The Lee company that is famous for making jeans was formed in 1889 by one Henry David Lee in Salina, Kansas.

23 One of 17 Monopoly properties: Abbr. : AVE

The street names in the original US version of the board game Monopoly are locations in or around Atlantic City, New Jersey.

25 Traditional wedding wear, for some : KILT

The Scottish skirt called a “kilt” takes its name from the Middle English word “kilten” meaning “to tuck up”. The idea is that the kilt can be tucked up around the body to give freedom to the legs.

30 What “choosy moms choose,” in ads : JIF

Jif is the leading brand of peanut butter in the US, and has been since 1981. Introduced in 1958, Jif is now produced by Smuckers.

32 Necessity for life, chemically speaking : H2O

A water molecule is composed of an oxygen atom with two hydrogen atoms on roughly opposite sides (at about a 150-degree angle). So, sometimes the molecule is represented by “HOH”, although more usually it’s “H2O”.

34 Be a hermit, say : LIVE ALONE

The Greek word for “uninhabited” is “eremos”, which is the root for “eremia” meaning both “desert” and “solitude”. The Greek word eremites then means “a person of the desert”. This was absorbed into Latin as “ermita”, meaning someone who lived in solitude or in an uninhabited area. We use “eremite” to mean the same thing, although the derivative term “hermit” is more common.

36 Five-time Pro Bowl receiver Welker : WES

Wes Welker is a former wide receiver who made his NFL debut with the San Diego Chargers in 2004. Welker has built a successful career in football for himself, despite joining the NFL as an undrafted free agent. Notably, he owns a reasonably successful racehorse called “Undrafted”.

45 T.A.’s overseer : PROF

Teaching assistant (TA)

47 Message on a candy heart : I LUV U

The forerunner to Sweethearts candy was introduced in 1866, with the famous sayings written on the candy tailored for use at weddings. One of the original expressions was, “Married in pink, he will take a drink”. The original candy was a lot bigger, to fit all those words! The smaller, heart-shaped candy hit the shelves in 1901. We’ve been able to buy Sweethearts with the words “Text me” since 2010.

52 Black tea variety : PEKOE

A pekoe (or more commonly “orange pekoe”) is a medium-grade black tea. There is no orange flavor in an orange pekoe tea. The “orange” name most likely derived from the name of the trading company that brought the tea to Europe from Asia.

58 Promoter of Teacher Appreciation Week: Abbr. : NEA

The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest labor union in the country, and mainly represents public school teachers.

59 Sellout show inits. : SRO

Standing room only (SRO)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Sounds exciting,” sarcastically : OH FUN
6 First verb in the Lord’s Prayer : ART
9 Trim : CLIP
13 Pages (through) : LEAFS
14 Commercial follower of “-o-” : RAMA
16 Super-duper : A-ONE
17 Employer of nurse sharks? : MAKO CLINIC (from “Mayo Clinic”)
19 Name spelled out in a Kinks hit : LOLA
20 Laudatory lines : ODES
21 ___ Claire, Wis. : EAU
22 Delicacy in a tiny spoon : CAVIAR
24 Fig. in the form XXX-XX-XXXX : SSN
25 “It’s green and slimy” and “It tastes like the ocean”? : KELP REVIEWS (from “Yelp reviews”)
27 Climate agreement city : PARIS
29 Site of the fall of man : EDEN
30 Late Saudi journalist Khashoggi : JAMAL
31 “With this ring, I ___ wed” : THEE
33 Crushing setback : BLOW
37 Seal the deal : ICE IT
38 Big scare of a couple of decades ago … or a phonetic hint to this puzzle’s theme : Y2K
39 Sign away : WAIVE
40 Own (up) : FESS
41 “___ mío!” (Spanish cry) : DIOS
42 Storied toymakers : ELVES
43 Deadlocked : EVEN
45 Less colorful : PALER
46 Nerd’s goal on a dating app? : FINDING DORK (from “Finding Dory”)
51 Yodeler’s peak : ALP
53 Ciaos at luaus : ALOHAS
54 Brouhaha : ADO
55 Fruit in some gin : SLOE
56 Animal relative of a hinny : MULE
57 Pointy bill or tail feathers? : END OF STORK (from “end of story”)
60 Dr. ___, film enemy of Austin Powers : EVIL
61 Bring up … or something that might be brought up : REAR
62 Unidentified person, in slang : RANDO
63 Climax in “Hamilton” : DUEL
64 Dunderhead : ASS
65 Having a body mass index over 30, medically : OBESE

Down

1 Actor Edward James ___ : OLMOS
2 State of mind : HEADSPACE
3 Jokey parts of prank calls, often : FAKE NAMES
4 Sci-fi travelers, for short : UFOS
5 Presidential advisory grp. : NSC
6 Times New Roman alternative : ARIAL
7 Accumulated, as expenses : RAN UP
8 “Jeez, I did NOT need to know that!” : TMI!
9 Fictional sport whose rules are invented during play : CALVINBALL
10 Sarge’s superior : LOOIE
11 Something a bride or groom might acquire : IN-LAW
12 Fruit from an orchard : PEARS
15 Give in (to) : ACCEDE
18 Levi’s alternatives : LEES
23 One of 17 Monopoly properties: Abbr. : AVE
25 Traditional wedding wear, for some : KILT
26 Really needs a bath, say : REEKS
28 Complained angrily and loudly : RAISED HELL
30 What “choosy moms choose,” in ads : JIF
31 Knot-___ (scout’s skill) : TYING
32 Necessity for life, chemically speaking : H2O
34 Be a hermit, say : LIVE ALONE
35 Supreme leaders : OVERLORDS
36 Five-time Pro Bowl receiver Welker : WES
39 Diluted : WEAK
41 Not as bright : DENSER
44 Itinerary word : VIA
45 T.A.’s overseer : PROF
46 Having renown : FAMED
47 Message on a candy heart : I LUV U
48 “Cross my heart!” : NO LIE!
49 Pops, to tots : DADAS
50 Things that might make one cry “Foul!”? : ODORS
52 Black tea variety : PEKOE
55 Knife : STAB
58 Promoter of Teacher Appreciation Week: Abbr. : NEA
59 Sellout show inits. : SRO

10 thoughts on “0101-20 NY Times Crossword 1 Jan 20, Wednesday”

  1. 14:24. A Y2K theme – a blast from the past to bring in 2020. Clever idea. I got the reveal and just put in Y2K knowing it couldn’t be anything else – even before I saw H2O.

    I learned the term RANDO from this puzzle. Now is it possible to unlearn it somehow?

    I was reading in “Wordplay” about what theme answers didn’t make it to the grid. Amusingly, the answer LIKELY STORK was clued with “Result of unprotected sex?” . It didn’t make the puzzle, but I found it amusing.

    Happy New Year to all

    Best –

  2. 14:18, no errors. This puzzle highlights my weakness with modern pop culture references and terms. Had the most difficulty grasping YELP REVIEW, FINDING DORY and RANDO.

    Calvin and Hobbes is one of my all time favorite comic strips. My wife gave me the 4 volume set of all C&H comics. I’m on my third reading.

  3. One letter incorrect at the LOLA/LOOIE cross. I had a U for the O. I suppose my leap to spell out LOUIE came from the fact that “Lieutenant” has a U in it. As for LOLA, I have no excuse. I never knew the song but I have come across this exact same entry in previous puzzles so I should have remembered.

    The Y2K scare was something that I have never completely understood. I would like to see some academic examination of the whole phenomenon. I have so many questions about it. The whole subject might be a good choice for a thesis or dissertation research choice. Someone?

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