0102-20 NY Times Crossword 2 Jan 20, Thursday

Constructed by: Ed Sessa
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: The Dark Side

Themed answers each include the word DARK hidden in a black square in the grid:

  • 60A Where Darth Vader gets his strength … or what eight answers in this puzzle share : THE DARK SIDE
  • 17A Nyctophobic : AFRAID OF THE DARK
  • 19A 1990 Sam Raimi superhero film : DARKMAN
  • 23A 1967 thriller for which Audrey Hepburn received an Oscar nomination : WAIT UNTIL DARK
  • 26A Surprise winner : DARK HORSE
  • 36A Not know something others know : BE IN THE DARK
  • 38A Cocktail made with ginger beer : DARK ‘N’ STORMY
  • 51A Post-sunset : AFTER DARK
  • 53A Sweet that lacks milk : DARK CHOCOLATE

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 9m 53s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Sight on a dollar bill : SEAL

The Great Seal of the United States is a device used to authenticate some US federal documents. The obverse (front) of the Great Seal is used as the coat of arms of the US, and is a design that can be seen on all American passports.

14 Ballet movement : PLIE

The French word for “bent” is “plié”. In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent. A “demi-plié” is a similar move, but with less bending of the knees.

17 Nyctophobic : AFRAID OF THE DARK

Nyctophobia is a fear of the dark or of the night. The term “nyctophobia” ultimately derives from “nyx”, the Greek word for “night”.

19 1990 Sam Raimi superhero film : DARKMAN

“Darkman” is yet another one of those superhero movies. This one is a little different in that the title character doesn’t have a pedigree in comic books, but was created just for the movie.

20 Zoophilist’s org. : SPCA

Unlike most developed countries, the US has no umbrella organization with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an organization called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

23 1967 thriller for which Audrey Hepburn received an Oscar nomination : WAIT UNTIL DARK

“Wait Until Dark” is a play by Frederick Knott, and a really great work guaranteed to thrill the audience. It opened on Broadway in 1966, and ran for 374 performances. It did even better in the West End in London, running for almost two years. It’s a favorite piece for local theater (where I saw it) so keep an eye out. Or, take a look at the excellent film adaptation that came out in 1967 under the same name and starring the magnificent Audrey Hepburn.

30 R.M.N. or L.B.J. : PRES

President Richard Milhous Nixon (RMN) used “Milhous” in his name in honor of his mother Hannah Milhous. Richard was born in a house in Yorba Linda, California. You can visit that house today as it is on the grounds of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. It’s a really interesting way to spend a few hours if you ever get to Yorba Linda …

Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) was born in Stonewall, Texas to Samuel Ealy Johnson, Jr. and Rebekah Baines.

31 Battle stat : MIA

Missing in action (MIA)

34 Former Mideast alliance, for short : UAR

The United Arab Republic (UAR) was a union between Egypt and Syria established in 1958. The UAR dissolved in 1961 when Syria pulled out of the arrangement.

38 Cocktail made with ginger beer : DARK ‘N’ STORMY

A dark ‘n’ stormy is a classic cocktail made from dark rum and ginger beer, served over ice. The name comes from the ingredients, with the “dark” being the rum, and the “stormy” being the ginger beer.

43 A-O.K. : JAKE

Both “jake” and “dandy” are slang words meaning “fine”, as in “things are just dandy”.

44 Fair-hiring inits. : EEO

“Equal Employment Opportunity” (EEO) is a term that has been around since 1964 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was set up by the Civil Rights Act. Title VII of the Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion.

48 National park through which the Virgin River runs : ZION

To me, the most spectacular feature of southwestern Utah’s Zion National Park is the magnificent Zion Canyon. The canyon cuts through red Navajo sandstone and truly is a beautiful sight.

50 Bio lab medium : AGAR

Julius Richard Petri was a German bacteriologist and was the man after whom the Petri dish is named. The petri dish can have an agar gel on the bottom which acts as a nutrient source for the specimen being grown and studied, in which case the dish plus agar is referred to as an “agar plate”.

58 Territory east of Ukraine on a Risk board : URAL

Risk is a fabulous board game that was introduced in France in 1957. It was invented by a very successful French director of short films called Albert Lamorisse. Lamorisse called his new game “La Conquête du Monde”, which translates into English as “The Conquest of the World”. A game of Risk is a must during the holidays in our house …

60 Where Darth Vader gets his strength … or what eight answers in this puzzle share : THE DARK SIDE

Darth Vader is (to me) the most colorful antagonist in the “Star Wars” universe. Born as Anakin “Ani” Skywalker, he was corrupted by the Emperor Palpatine, and turned to “the Dark Side”. In the original films, Darth Vader was portrayed by English bodybuilder David Prowse, and voiced by actor James Earl Jones. Jones asked that he go uncredited for the first two “Star Wars” films, feeling that his contributions were insufficient to warrant recognition. I disagree …

67 Prospector’s accessory : PAN

When prospectors pan for gold, they do so by mixing soil and water in a pan. Because gold is very dense, gravel and soil can be washed over the side of the pan leaving the heavy precious metal at the bottom. The gold has been “panned out”, and so we often use “pan out” figuratively to mean “turn out, succeed”.

68 Many John Wayne films, informally : OATERS

The term “oater” that is used for a Western movie comes from the number of horses seen, as horses love oats!

John Wayne was named Marion Mitchell Morrison at birth, after his grandfather who was a Civil War veteran. When young Marion was a little boy, a local fireman used to call him “Little Duke” because he was always seen walking with his large dog called “Duke”. Marion liked the name “Duke” and so he called himself Duke Morrison for the rest of his life. That said, Duke Morrison also used John Wayne as a stage name.

69 “The Night of the Hunter” screenwriter James : AGEE

“The Night of the Hunter” is a novel by Davis Grubb, and a bestseller first published in 1953. The book is based on the true story of Harry Powers, a murderer who was hanged in 1932. The story was adapted into a movie directed by Charles Laughton in 1955 (Laughton’s only directorial work) starring Robert Mitchum and Shelley Winters.

Down

1 Eponymous Belgian town : SPA

The word “spa” migrated into English from Belgium, as “Spa” is the name of a municipality in the east of the country that is famous for its healing hot springs. The name “Spa” comes from the Walloon word “espa” meaning “spring, fountain”.

5 Wheels for four : SEDAN

The American sedan car is the equivalent of the British saloon car. By definition, a sedan car has two rows of seating and a separate trunk (boot in the UK), although in some models the engine can be at the rear of the car.

6 Cash flow tracker, for short : CFO

Chief financial officer (CFO)

7 Like much freelance work : OFFSITE

The term “free lance” was coined by Sir Walter Scott in his 1820 novel “Ivanhoe”, when he used it to describe a medieval mercenary warrior. Forty years later, a “freelancer” was a journalist who did work for more than one publication without a long-term commitment.

8 Stinging plant : NETTLE

Most nettle species have stinging hairs that secrete formic acid. This formic acid is the same chemical that is found in the venom injected with a bee or ant sting. The Latin word for ant is “formica”, which gives its name to the acid.

10 N.B.A. All-Star Curry : STEPH

Steph Curry is a professional basketball player who was named the league’s MVP in 2015, the same season that he led the Golden State Warriors to their first NBA championship since 1975. Steph’s father is former NBA player Dell Curry, and the older brother of current NBA player Seth Curry.

11 Hedy of old Hollywood : LAMARR

Hedy Lamarr was an American actress who was actually born in Vienna in modern-day Austria. Not only was Lamarr a successful Hollywood performer, during WWII she was the co-inventor of the frequency-hopping spread-spectrum method of transmitting radio signals that is still used to this day in wireless communication. Impressive …

18 Critical hosp. area : ICU

Many a hospital (hosp.) includes an intensive care unit (ICU).

24 Grammy winner India.___ : ARIE

India.Arie is an American soul and R&B singer who was born India Arie Simpson in Denver, Colorado.

25 “Nature’s great healer,” per Seneca : TIME

Seneca the Younger was a tutor and advisor to Nero, emperor of ancient Rome. Although maybe innocent, Seneca was forced to commit suicide by Nero as it was alleged that Seneca participated in a plot to kill the emperor. To kill himself, Seneca cut into a number of veins in order to bleed to death.

29 Perfume ingredient : MUSK

Musk has such an elegant connotation these days because of its use in the world of perfumery. However, its origin is not quite so glamorous. The original substance called musk, also used in perfumes, was extracted from a gland in the rectal area of the male musk deer. The name “musk” is a Sanskrit word for “testicle”.

32 Transport to remote areas, briefly : ATV

All-terrain vehicle (ATV)

33 Bistro sign word : CHEZ

“Chez” is a French term meaning “at the house of”, which comes from the Latin word “casa” meaning “cottage” or “hut”.

“Bistro” was originally a Parisian slang term for a “little wine shop or restaurant”.

38 Erstwhile iPod type : NANO

The iPod Nano was the successor to the iPod Mini and was introduced to the market at the end of 2005. There were seven versions of the Nano, until it was discontinued in 2017.

40 Spam, for one : MEAT

Spam is a precooked meat product that is sold in cans. It was introduced by Hormel Foods in 1937. The main meat ingredients are pork shoulder meat and ham. The name “Spam” was chosen as the result of a competition at Hormel, with the winner earning himself a hundred dollars. According to the company, the derivation of the name “Spam” is a secret known by only a few former executives, but the speculation is that it stands for “spiced ham” or “shoulders of pork and ham”. Spam is particularly popular in Hawaii, so popular that it is sometimes referred to as “the Hawaiian steak”.

43 Guy in a suit : JOHN DOE

Though the English court system does not use the term today, “John Doe” first appeared as the “name of a person unknown” in England in 1659, along with the similar “Richard Roe”. An unknown female is referred to as “JaneDoe ”, and the equivalent to Richard Roe is Jane Roe (as in Roe v. Wade, for example). Variants of “John Doe” used outside of the courts are “Joe Blow” and “John Q. Public”.

46 “I bless the rains down in ___” (lyric from a 1983 #1 hit) : AFRICA

Toto is an American rock band dating back to 1977. As well as their big hit “Rosanna”, Toto also sang another good tune titled “Africa”.

47 College of ___ Island (CUNY school) : STATEN

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.

50 #49 : ALASKA

Alaska became the 49th state to join the United States on January 3rd, 1959. Hawaii became the 50th state just a few months later, on August 21st.

55 Planet of 1970s-’80s TV : ORK

“Mork & Mindy” is a sitcom that originally aired from 1978 to 1982. The title characters were played by Robin Williams and Pam Dawber. Mork is an alien from the planet Ork who reports back to his superior called Orson. Orson is played by voice actor Ralph James. Ralph James was also known for providing the voice of Mr. Turtle in famous Tootsie Pop commercials in the seventies. Nanu nanu!

57 Kind of butter used in cosmetics : SHEA

Shea butter is a common moisturizer and 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.

61 Train schedule abbr. : ARR

Arrival (arr.)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Sight on a dollar bill : SEAL
5 Offerings at many coffeehouses : SCONES
11 Rent : LET
14 Ballet movement : PLIE
15 Result : EFFECT
16 “For a quart of ___ is a dish for a king”: Shak. : ALE
17 Nyctophobic : AFRAID OF THE DARK
19 1990 Sam Raimi superhero film : DARKMAN
20 Zoophilist’s org. : SPCA
21 Impermanent fixes : STOPGAPS
23 1967 thriller for which Audrey Hepburn received an Oscar nomination : WAIT UNTIL DARK
26 Surprise winner : DARK HORSE
27 “A simple yes ___ will suffice” : OR NO
28 Unit in a shopping cart : ITEM
30 R.M.N. or L.B.J. : PRES
31 Battle stat : MIA
32 Crowning point : ACME
34 Former Mideast alliance, for short : UAR
36 Not know something others know : BE IN THE DARK
38 Cocktail made with ginger beer : DARK ‘N’ STORMY
42 Independence in Washington, e.g.: Abbr. : AVE
43 A-O.K. : JAKE
44 Fair-hiring inits. : EEO
45 Container in a tasting room : CASK
48 National park through which the Virgin River runs : ZION
50 Bio lab medium : AGAR
51 Post-sunset : AFTER DARK
53 Sweet that lacks milk : DARK CHOCOLATE
56 Uses as partial payment : TRADES IN
58 Territory east of Ukraine on a Risk board : URAL
59 Little peeve : NIT
60 Where Darth Vader gets his strength … or what eight answers in this puzzle share : THE DARK SIDE
64 Top gun : ACE
65 Suck in again, scientifically : RESORB
66 Didn’t doubt a bit : KNEW
67 Prospector’s accessory : PAN
68 Many John Wayne films, informally : OATERS
69 “The Night of the Hunter” screenwriter James : AGEE

Down

1 Eponymous Belgian town : SPA
2 Famously nonunionized worker : ELF
3 Tel Aviv-to-Cairo carrier : AIR SINAI
4 Reach quickly, as a conclusion : LEAP TO
5 Wheels for four : SEDAN
6 Cash flow tracker, for short : CFO
7 Like much freelance work : OFFSITE
8 Stinging plant : NETTLE
9 Unoriginal voice : ECHO
10 N.B.A. All-Star Curry : STEPH
11 Hedy of old Hollywood : LAMARR
12 Pass : ELAPSE
13 Gets ready for a punch, say : TENSES
18 Critical hosp. area : ICU
22 Lose amateur status : GO PRO
23 Baby’s first home : WOMB
24 Grammy winner India.___ : ARIE
25 “Nature’s great healer,” per Seneca : TIME
29 Perfume ingredient : MUSK
32 Transport to remote areas, briefly : ATV
33 Bistro sign word : CHEZ
35 Ended a fast : ATE
37 Plain for all to see : NAKED
38 Erstwhile iPod type : NANO
39 Entertaining lavishly : REGALING
40 Spam, for one : MEAT
41 Old days : YORE
43 Guy in a suit : JOHN DOE
45 Little shut-eye : CATNAP
46 “I bless the rains down in ___” (lyric from a 1983 #1 hit) : AFRICA
47 College of ___ Island (CUNY school) : STATEN
49 Most bone-chilling : ICIEST
50 #49 : ALASKA
52 Once more in vogue : RETRO
54 Checks : CURBS
55 Planet of 1970s-’80s TV : ORK
57 Kind of butter used in cosmetics : SHEA
61 Train schedule abbr. : ARR
62 Poor mark : DEE
63 Animal that sounds like you? : EWE

13 thoughts on “0102-20 NY Times Crossword 2 Jan 20, Thursday”

  1. 37:02 got the theme, didn’t know what a “Dark ‘N Stormy” was, that threw me for a bit. Sounds like a waste of perfectly good ginger beer. 🙂

  2. 22:26. Interesting theme. When I saw it was Star Wars related, I thought I was sunk, but it wasn’t all that complicated. Biggest issue was putting “Egypt Air” , which unfortunately fit, before AIR SINAI. Took a while to back out from that mistake. I also wanted to put a (Dark) aNd STORMY which did not fit, but I figured it out.

    Best –

  3. As a young man, I enjoyed Moscow Mules made with Shweppes ginger beer and once when out of vodka, tried mixing Bacardi anejo rum with the ginger beer. It was delicious and I thought I had invented something new. Years later, visiting my brother in Rhode Island, we were in a pop shop that sold ginger beer, which had been unavailable in my area. Proclaiming my joy at finding it to the clerk, he asked
    “Gonna make dark and stormys?”

  4. 30:10 no errors….I had to refer to “my notes” get 8D and open up the upper middle….I got the theme early and that helped a lot.

  5. Can’t believe I got a Thursday puzzle as quickly as this one! Got the theme early, which helped.

    BTW, although I see “oater” often enough in crosswords, for Westerns, has anybody ever heard or used this in real life?

    1. Sandra—-I did a little research into the background of the term OATER. It was insider slang in the Hollywood movie industry back in the day. So the term may have expanded out from there to the general population on a limited basis. It was sometimes used disparagingly by the movie production crews but the actors themselves did not seem to take any offense at the use of the word.

  6. 23:12, no errors. Fell into two huge time sinks: entered 58A ARAL before URAL, which led to CARDS in 54D; entered 4D JUMP TO, then SNAP TO, once LEAP TO dawned on me SEAL and PLIE became obvious.
    @Sandra: I have never heard the term ‘OATER’ used outside of crossword puzzles. My guess is that it’s a midwestern term.
    As with previous posters, the only Ginger Beer concoction I was familiar with was the Moscow Mule. I have dark rum and ginger beer in the house. Hmm…..

  7. One letter wrong at the RESORB/CURBS cross. Had an E for the B. NSTORMY had me fooled for a while also. Finally got it. Nice puzzle and not too hard.

  8. Fun puzzle if a little bit easy for a Thursday. I was glad to have a break with an easy solve.

    I’ve had several different ginger beers in my attempt to make the perfect dark and stormy. The one they sell at Costco seems to be my favorite. I have since made the leap to ginger beer and gin with a wedge of lime. Absolutely addicting and refreshing.

  9. I used to make a cocktail with Vodka and Stewart’s Ginger Beer. Didn’t know it had a name either; just knew I really liked it. Have tried other’s since Stewart’s stopped distributing it about 10 years ago. The closest I’ve found is Fever Tree, but it is quite expensive.

    Agree it was an easy puzzle for a Thursday, even though I DNF the NE and had some errors elsewhere. I’m happy to have gotten even that far on a Thursday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.