0104-20 NY Times Crossword 4 Jan 20, Saturday

Constructed by: Adam Aaronson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 19m 52s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 You may see stars because of one : SWEAR WORD

It seems that many swear words have four letters, and are usually monosyllabic. This led to the term “four-letter word” being used as a euphemism for a curse word, starting in the early twentieth century.

10 Concerns for team docs : ACLS

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four major ligaments that support the knee.

18 Like C.G.I. : FAKE

Computer-generated imagery (CGI)

23 “Indubitably!” : YES SIREE, BOB!

Something described as indubitable cannot be doubted.

29 Gulp (down) : SNARF

To snarf down is to gobble up, to eat voraciously. “Snarf” is a slang term that is probably related to “scarf”, which has the same meaning.

30 A&W rival : MUG

Mug Root Beer is produced in San Francisco. The beverage was introduced in the city in the forties under the name Belfast Root Beer.

A&W is a brand of root beer that has been around since 1920, when Roy Allen partnered with Frank Wright to create the A&W moniker from their family names.

32 Charge : TILT AT

“Jousting” and “tilting” are synonyms describing the medieval competition in which two horsemen yielding blunted lances attempt to unseat each other. Such an event has been referred to as “jousting” since the 1300s. At some point, the path of the two charging horsemen was separated by a cloth barrier known as a tilt (“tilt” meant “cloth covering”). The term “tilting” was applied to the sport in the 1500s, although by then the cloth barrier had been upgraded to a wooden fence.

38 Served in a sauce made with orange juice, sugar and Grand Marnier : SUZETTE

Crêpe Suzette has to be my favorite dessert, although I haven’t dared to eat it in a long time. If you haven’t tried it before, you just have to indulge yourself when you get the chance. It is a pancake served with a sauce of caramelized sugar and butter, as well as orange juice and Grand Marnier. The dish is brought to your table with the alcohol flaming spectacularly.

41 How to mend a broken heart? : CPR

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has for decades involved the simultaneous compression of the chest to pump blood using the heart, and artificial respiration by blowing air into the lungs. Nowadays emergency services are placing more emphasis on heart compressions, and less on artificial respiration.

43 Mark : PIGEON

In the confidence trick known as a “pigeon drop”, the victim (the pigeon) is fooled into putting his or her money into say an envelope along with a sum provided by the trickster. The envelope is switched for an envelope stuffed with perhaps newspaper. The victim usually takes the opportunity to sneak off with the supposed money, but is actually sneaking off with nothing and leaving the trickster a handsome profit.

44 Real jerk, for short : SOB

“SOB” is indeed a rude term, very rude … son of a b****.

51 Waterway : SLUICE

A sluice is a water channel with a gate at its head that is used to control the amount of water flowing.

58 1991 Broadway musical nominated for 11 Tonys : MISS SAIGON

“Miss Saigon” is a musical that premiered in London in 1989, and one that is based on Puccini’s opera “Madame Butterfly”. “Miss Saigon” was written by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, the duo responsible for “Les Misérables”. We saw both shows in London during their heyday, and I much preferred “Miss Saigon”. Back then the big thing was to have a big “special effect” in a stage musical, and for “Miss Saigon” this is the landing of a life-size helicopter on the stage. At the performance we attended there was an announcement that “the helicopter was broken”, so we had a fun time watching actors running around pretending there was a helicopter in that climactic scene …

Down

1 Espresso unit : SHOT

Espresso is made by forcing extremely hot water, under pressure, through finely ground coffee beans. The result is a thick and concentrated coffee drink, which contains quite a lot of solids and a lot of foam. An espresso machine was first patented in 1884 in Italy, although it was a machine to make the beverage in bulk. The first patent for a machine that made individual measures was applied for in 1901, also in Italy.

2 U.S. radio station whose call letters spell the name of its city : WACO

WACO-FM is a local station in Waco, Texas. The station’s byline is “WACO 100, a station so big they named the entire city after it.” WACO is the only major city with call letters that spell out the name of the city. The smaller town of Ware in Massachusetts has an AM station with the call letters WARE.

3 Experts in 41-Across : EMTS
(41A How to mend a broken heart? : CPR)

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

4 It describes your type : ABO SYSTEM

The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same type as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected. However, blood type O-neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, A, B, AB or O, and positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a universal donor.

6 Images on the backs of South Carolina quarters : WRENS

The Carolina wren is the state bird of South Carolina.

7 Princess Fiona, e.g. : OGRESS

Princess Fiona is the title character’s love interest in the “Shrek” series of films.

8 Author of “One Day at HorrorLand” : RL STINE

Author R. L. Stine is sometimes referred to as the Stephen King of children’s literature, as he writes horror stories for young people.

9 ___ Terr., 1861-89 : DAK

The Dakota Territory was formed in 1861 and ceased to exist with the admission to the Union of the states of North Dakota and South Dakota. The territory was split into two states in 1889 largely due to lobbying by the Republican Party, which enjoyed a lot of support in the Dakota Territory. The admission of two states added to the political power of the party in the US Senate, by adding four safe Republican seats.

10 Classic BBC sitcom, to fans : ABFAB

“Absolutely Fabulous” (sometimes shortened to “AbFab”) is a cult-classic sitcom produced by the BBC. The two stars of the show are Jennifer Saunders (Edina Monsoon) and Joanna Lumley (Patsy Stone). “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” hit the screens in 2016. I haven’t seen it yet, but my wife did and really enjoyed it. She said that there’s a veritable cavalcade of British stars that make an appearance …

15 Competition hosted by the U.S. every four years : RYDER CUP

The Ryder Cup trophy was donated to the sport of golf by Samuel Ryder, an English entrepreneur. Ryder made his money selling garden seeds in small packets. He only took up golf when he was in his fifties but became quite the enthusiast and eventually donated the trophy in 1927, when it was valued at 100 guineas. The Ryder Cup is a biennial tournament played between teams from the US and Europe.

22 One often accused of blindness : REF

Back in the early 17th century, a referee was someone who examined patent applications. We started using the same term for a person presiding over a sporting event in the 1820s. “Referee” is a derivative of the verb “to refer”, and literally describes someone who has the authority to make a decision by “referring to” a book, archive etc.

24 Computer issue, in brief : E-MAG

Online magazines are variously referred to as webzines, e-zines, cyberzines, hyperzines or maybe e-magazines.

25 Winston’s greatest fear in “1984” : RATS

The protagonist in George Orwell’s novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” is Winston Smith, just an ordinary individual. Winston is tormented by O’Brien, a member of the Inner Party who poses as someone open to counter-revolutionary resistance.

31 1814’s Treaty of ___ : GHENT

Ghent is a city in the Flemish region of Belgium. The War of 1812 (between Britain and the US) was formally concluded with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent In 1814. The American negotiating team in Ghent included Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams.

39 It’s totally tubular : ZITI

Cylindrical pasta is known in general as “penne”, and there are many variants. For example, ziti is a particularly large and long tube with square-cut ends. “Penne” is the plural of “penna”, the Italian for “feather, quill”.

45 Home of the L.D.S. Church HQ : SLC

Salt Lake City (SLC) was founded by Brigham Young, in 1847. The city takes its name from the Great Salt Lake on which it sits, and indeed was known as “Great Salt Lake City” up until 1868.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) is known colloquially as the Mormon Church.

46 Country singer Yearwood : TRISHA

Trisha Yearwood is an American country music singer. She was discovered by the man who is now her third husband, country music legend Garth Brooks.

51 “Ski-ba-bop-ba-dop-bop,” e.g. : SCAT

Scat singing is a vocal improvisation found in the world of jazz. There aren’t any words as such in scat singing, just random nonsense syllables made up on the spot.

54 Stock character in fictional labs : IGOR

In the world of movies, Igor has been the assistant to Dracula, Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein among others. Igor is almost invariably portrayed as a hunchback.

55 Animal shelter : COTE

The Old English word “cote” was used for a small house. Our modern word “cottage” comes from “cote”. We now use “cote” to mean a small shelter on a farm for sheep or birds.

56 ___-high : KNEE

The Nehi cola brand has a name that sounds like “knee-high”, a measure of a small stature. Back in the mid-1900’s the Chero-Cola company, which owned the brand, went for a slightly different twist on “knee-high” in advertising. The logo for Nehi was an image of a seated woman’s stockinged legs, with her skirt pulled up to her knees to hint at “knee-high”.

59 Whole number, in coding lingo : INT

An integer is a number that does not include a fraction. The word “integer” is Latin for “whole”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 You may see stars because of one : SWEAR WORD
10 Concerns for team docs : ACLS
14 Antagonist of Ronald McDonald : HAMBURGLAR
16 Minor anomaly : BLIP
17 Movie based on the memoir “Rocket Boys” (and an anagram of “Rocket Boys”) : OCTOBER SKY
18 Like C.G.I. : FAKE
19 Trash : TOSS
20 Part of a goal : NET
21 Hung (over) : DRAPED
23 “Indubitably!” : YES SIREE, BOB!
26 Real jerk : SPASM
29 Gulp (down) : SNARF
30 A&W rival : MUG
32 Charge : TILT AT
34 “And all that jazz” : ETC
35 First letter in the Torah : BETH
36 Professes : ALLEGES
38 Served in a sauce made with orange juice, sugar and Grand Marnier : SUZETTE
40 “Pow!” : BLAM!
41 How to mend a broken heart? : CPR
43 Mark : PIGEON
44 Real jerk, for short : SOB
45 Sleep on it : SHEET
47 Excited, in modern slang : TURNT
48 Potential cause of the apocalypse : WORLD WAR III
51 Waterway : SLUICE
52 Bubbleheaded : DIM
53 Jazz riff : LICK
57 2019 musical film with a substantial C.G.I. component : CATS
58 1991 Broadway musical nominated for 11 Tonys : MISS SAIGON
61 Crown : ACME
62 “Speaking of which …” : ON THAT NOTE …
63 Typical reader of John Green novels : TEEN
64 More or less : TO A DEGREE

Down

1 Espresso unit : SHOT
2 U.S. radio station whose call letters spell the name of its city : WACO
3 Experts in 41-Across : EMTS
4 It describes your type : ABO SYSTEM
5 Spice mixture : RUB
6 Images on the backs of South Carolina quarters : WRENS
7 Princess Fiona, e.g. : OGRESS
8 Author of “One Day at HorrorLand” : RL STINE
9 ___ Terr., 1861-89 : DAK
10 Classic BBC sitcom, to fans : ABFAB
11 Audience response gauge : CLAP-O-METER
12 Support mechanism? : LIKE BUTTON
13 Dashed : SPED
15 Competition hosted by the U.S. every four years : RYDER CUP
22 One often accused of blindness : REF
24 Computer issue, in brief : E-MAG
25 Winston’s greatest fear in “1984” : RATS
26 Attempts : STABS
27 Textile made using bobbins : PILLOW LACE
28 Bio header : ALL ABOUT ME
31 1814’s Treaty of ___ : GHENT
33 Apple showcase, say : TECH DEMO
35 Seductive : BEGUILING
37 Expel forcefully : SPEW
39 It’s totally tubular : ZITI
42 Entertains during storytime : READS TO
45 Home of the L.D.S. Church HQ : SLC
46 Country singer Yearwood : TRISHA
49 Up : RISEN
50 Blue words : I’M SAD
51 “Ski-ba-bop-ba-dop-bop,” e.g. : SCAT
54 Stock character in fictional labs : IGOR
55 Animal shelter : COTE
56 ___-high : KNEE
59 Whole number, in coding lingo : INT
60 Had a fast break? : ATE

9 thoughts on “0104-20 NY Times Crossword 4 Jan 20, Saturday”

  1. 31:57. I really had to stare at several of these clues to figure them out. I didn’t understand SWEAR WORD for 1A until I saw they were referring to the asterisks (stars) that “mask” a SWEAR WORD – e.g. what the h*ll were they thinking?? The NYT blurb on this puzzle said the setter is a college freshman at the U of Illinois (Grrrr). All but one of the 8-letter+ entries was a debut in the NYT. No wonder I was missing all the crosswordese.

    Tough one

    Best –

  2. 21:38, no errors.

    And thanks for all the info, Jeff. I got 1A from crosses, didn’t understand it, and didn’t spend the time to figure it out, so I’m grateful for the explanation. (Very clever of you!)

  3. No errors. Got a quick start as I was familiar with Rocket Boys/October Sky. Friday seemed to be more of a challenge this week. “Sleep on it” didn’t seem to be enough of a clue for SHEET although it was an easy fill.
    Also didn’t care for BLAM. My day to complain, I guess.

  4. 26:10, no errors. The cross of R. L. STINE / SNARF was the last box to fill. Wanted to enter SCARF but STICE seemed less likely than STINE.

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