0109-20 NY Times Crossword 9 Jan 20, Thursday

Constructed by: Alex Eaton-Salners
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Black Tea … Sounds Like

There are four large letters T outlined by black squares in the grid. Those letters T start/finish answers that touch them.
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 17m 50s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 I.T. support desk service : PC HELP

Information technology (IT)

7 “Down goes Frazier!” caller : COSELL

Howard Cosell was one of the most popular of all sports journalists. With his high profile came a lot of controversy as Cosell wasn’t afraid to express his personal opinions. For example, he came out against professional boxing in 1982 after witnessing a one-sided fight between Larry Holmes and Tex Cobb. Two weeks earlier South Korean boxer Duk Koo Kim had died after a match against Ray Mancini.

Smokin’ Joe Frazier was world heavyweight boxing champion from 1970 to 1973, eventually losing the title to George Foreman. Two of Frazier’s most memorable fights were against Muhammad Ali. In 1971’s “Fight of the Century”, Frazier emerged victorious, delivering Ali his first ever defeat. In 1975’s “Thrilla in Manila”, Ali came out on top. Frazier and Ali were actually great friends, despite the acrimony on display in front of the cameras. While Ali was barred from boxing for refusing the draft, Frazier lent Ali money. He also appeared in front of Congress on Ali’s behalf and petitioned President Nixon to have Ali’s right to box reinstated.

14 Like Looney Tunes, theatrically : ONE-REEL

“Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies” are two series of animated short films produced by Warner Bros. from 1930 until 1969. The list of famous “Looney Tunes” characters includes Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Tweety Bird, and my favorites Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner.

16 Jane Eyre or Wonder Woman : HEROINE

“Jane Eyre” is the celebrated novel written by Charlotte Brontë, under the pen name Currer Bell. The love story is perhaps represented by the oft-quoted opening lines of the last chapter, “Reader, I married him”. There is a wonderful 4-hour television adaptation made by the BBC that I highly recommend to fans of the novel …

Superhero Wonder Woman first appeared in print in 1941, in a publication from DC Comics. As she was created during WWII, Wonder Woman’s first foes were the axis powers. In the less realistic world her biggest foe was and still is Ares, a “baddie” named after the Greek mythological figure. Wonder Woman had several signature expressions, including “Merciful Minerva!”, “Suffering Sappho!” and “Great Hera!”. She also has several devices that she uses in her quest for justice, e.g. the Lasso of Truth, a pair of indestructible bracelets and a tiara that can be used as a deadly projectile. Wonder Woman uses the name “Diana Prince” when “out of uniform”.

17 Spicy : PICANTE

“Picante” is a Spanish word meaning “spicy hot”.

21 Cook and Curry : TIMS

Tim Curry is a marvelous actor from England who is perhaps best known on this side of the Atlantic for playing Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the 1975 movie “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. Curry also played the title role in the original Broadway play “Amadeus”.

27 Clarifying phrase : ID EST

“Id est” is Latin for “that is”, and is often abbreviated to “i.e.” when used in English.

29 Letter in the last third of the NATO alphabet : TANGO

The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. It goes Alfa, Bravo, Charlie … X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.

30 Couches : SETTEES

“Settee” is another word for “couch”. The term comes from the Old English “setl”, which was a long bench with a high back and arms.

32 Capital of the U.S. for 54 days in 1784 : TRENTON

First settled in 1679 by Quakers, the city of Trenton is the state capital of New Jersey.. The original settlement was named Trent-towne in 1719 in honor of William Trent, who was one of the biggest landowners in the area. The name “Trent-towne” was later shortened to Trenton. The city was the site of George Washington’s first military victory in the Revolutionary War, in 1776. Because of the Battle of Trenton, New Jersey’s capital is sometimes referred to as the “Turning Point of the Revolution”.

35 Meditation mantras : OMS

“Om” is a sacred mystic word from the Hindu tradition. “Om” is sometimes used as a mantra, a focus for the mind in meditation.

40 Indonesian money : RUPIAHS

The “rupiah” is the currency used in Indonesia. The locals often use the name “perak” for the same unit of currency, which is a word meaning “silver”.

44 How tied N.F.L. games are resolved, for short : IN OT

In overtime (in OT)

47 Pants, slangily : TROU

Trousers are pants, the garment covering the lower body and each leg separately. Ultimately, the word “trousers” evolved from the Erse word “triubhas” that described close-fitting shorts. Back in the 1600s there was a colorful saying:

A jellous wife was like an Irish trouze, alwayes close to a mans tayle

48 Bit of foppish attire : ASCOT

An Ascot is a horrible-looking (I think!), wide tie that narrows at the neck, which these days is only really worn at weddings. The tie takes its name from the Royal Ascot horse race at which punters still turn up in formal wear at Ascot Racecourse in England.

56 Shakespeare contemporary : MARLOWE

Christopher Marlowe was an English dramatist and poet around in the Elizabethan era. Marlowe was born in the same year as William Shakespeare, and it seems that Shakespeare was heavily influenced by Marlowe’s work. Marlowe achieved success and prominence at a relatively young age. It was only after Marlowe’s early death (at 29 years of age) that Shakespeare became extremely successful. There is one theory, now considered somewhat outlandish, that Marlowe faked his death and continued to work under the name “William Shakespeare”.

58 Comedian Jimmy : DURANTE

Jimmy Durante was a very talented entertainer, with that wonderful, gravelly voice, as well as that large nose that he used in so much of his humor (and earned him the nickname “Schnozzola”). Durante appeared in the Broadway stage musical “Jumbo” in 1935. In one scene, he leads a live elephant across the stage, and gets stopped by a police officer who asks, “What are you doing with that elephant?” Durante replies “What elephant?” and brings the house down every night.

60 Longtime “Today” forecaster : AL ROKER

Al Roker is best known as the weatherman on the “Today” show on NBC. He has successfully branched out from that platform though, and even co-wrote a novel called “The Morning Show Murders”, about a celebrity chef and TV host who get entangled in mystery. Topical stuff …

Down

5 Annual winter/spring observance : LENT

In Latin, the Christian season that is now called “Lent” was termed “quadragesima” (meaning “fortieth”), a reference to the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert before beginning his public ministry. When the church began its move in the Middle Ages towards using the vernacular, the term “Lent” was introduced. “Lent” comes from “lenz”, the German word for “spring”.

10 Part of the conjugation of the Latin “esse” : ERAT

“Esse” is the Latin for “to be”. “Sum” means “I am”, and “erat” means “he, she was”.

20 P.D. alert : APB

An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

31 Principle : TENET

A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “he holds”.

36 Oppressive atmosphere : MIASMA

The word “miasma” was first used for the poisonous atmosphere thought to arise from swamps and rotting matter, and which could cause disease. Nowadays, a miasma is just a thick cloud of gas or smoke.

40 “Midnight’s Children” novelist, 1981 : RUSHDIE

Salman Rushdie is a famous British novelist, born in India. His most celebrated novel is “The Satanic Verses”, published in 1988, a Booker Prize finalist. However, the book attracted unfavorable attention from many in the Muslim faith who labelled it as blasphemy. Such was the outrage that a fatwā was issued in 1989 by Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini calling for the faithful to kill Rushdie. He remains under police protection provided by the UK government and has not been harmed, although others associated with the book have been injured and even killed.

41 First country to establish Christianity as its state religion : ARMENIA

Armenia is a landlocked country found east of Turkey, and is a former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR). Back in the year 301 CE, the ancient Kingdom of Armenia became the first nation in the world to adopt Christianity as its national religion.

49 French port on the Mediterranean : TOULON

As well as being a town on the southern coast of France, Toulon is a military port and home to the French Mediterranean Fleet. In particular, it is the home port of the French Navy’s sole aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle.

52 Capital of Albania : TIRANE

The city of Tirane is the capital of Albania and has been so since 1920. It was seized by the Nazis in WWII but was liberated in 1944, at which point the Communists seized power. The Communists were ousted in the elections of 1992 leaving a void that led to much bloodshed and an eventual EU military mission to stabilize the capital and the rest of the country. Things are very different today, and Albania is now a member of NATO.

57 Drag : TOKE

“Toke” is a slang term for a puff on a marijuana cigarette, or on a pipe containing the drug.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 I.T. support desk service : PC HELP
7 “Down goes Frazier!” caller : COSELL
13 Heated house for chicks : BROODER
14 Like Looney Tunes, theatrically : ONE-REEL
16 Jane Eyre or Wonder Woman : HEROINE
17 Spicy : PICANTE
18 More than some : A LOT
19 Characteristic : TRAIT
21 Cook and Curry : TIMS
22 Spanish boy’s name related to the sixth month of the year : JUNOT
24 Baby in a rare birth : TRIPLET
26 They leave in the spring : TREES
27 Clarifying phrase : ID EST
28 Harbor sight : TUGBOAT
29 Letter in the last third of the NATO alphabet : TANGO
30 Couches : SETTEES
32 Capital of the U.S. for 54 days in 1784 : TRENTON
34 Plus : AND
35 Meditation mantras : OMS
36 Not interpret correctly : MISREAD
40 Indonesian money : RUPIAHS
44 How tied N.F.L. games are resolved, for short : IN OT
45 Common sport fish : TROUT
47 Pants, slangily : TROU
48 Bit of foppish attire : ASCOT
50 Drum kit, by another name : TRAP SET
52 Not so brave and determined : TIMID
53 Brave and determined : STOUT
54 “You’ll never beat my score!” : TOP THAT!
55 Lock : TRESS
56 Shakespeare contemporary : MARLOWE
58 Comedian Jimmy : DURANTE
60 Longtime “Today” forecaster : AL ROKER
61 Amusing incongruities : IRONIES
62 Friendless : LONELY
63 Make like : ENDEAR

Down

1 When an opera’s musical themes may be established : PRELUDE
2 Bit of headwear that often has jewels : CORONET
3 Cry at night : HOOT
4 Mince words? : EDIT
5 Annual winter/spring observance : LENT
6 Sets up ahead of time, in jargon : PRERIGS
7 What some say God is to them : COPILOT
8 “Leave this to me” : ON IT
9 Religious group : SECT
10 Part of the conjugation of the Latin “esse” : ERAT
11 Permissive : LENIENT
12 Captive’s plea : LET ME GO!
13 Spicy Indian fritters : BHAJIS
15 Textbook unit : LESSON
20 P.D. alert : APB
23 “For one thing …” : TO START …
24 “Indeed!,” colloquially : TRUE DAT!
25 Remove forcefully : TEAR OUT
26 Go from one place to another : TRANSIT
31 Principle : TENET
33 Lure : TEMPT
36 Oppressive atmosphere : MIASMA
37 Get with the program? : INSTALL
38 Texas city on the Mexican border : SOCORRO
39 Window dressing : DRAPERY
40 “Midnight’s Children” novelist, 1981 : RUSHDIE
41 First country to establish Christianity as its state religion : ARMENIA
42 Sailor vis-à-vis a sail : HOISTER
43 Lathers up : SUDSES
46 Go (for) : OPT
49 French port on the Mediterranean : TOULON
50 Tool with a pointed blade : TROWEL
51 Large beverage dispenser : TEA URN
52 Capital of Albania : TIRANE
57 Drag : TOKE
59 Stepped : TROD

6 thoughts on “0109-20 NY Times Crossword 9 Jan 20, Thursday”

  1. The Texas town is actually in New Mexico! The capital of Albania is spelled with final “a” in Wikipedia, whereas with final “e” here! The “extra T” is always present in the horizontal solutions but may sometimes be missing in vertical solutions like 26 down, 49 down…

    1. Wow! You’re wrong on all counts! The Socorro in Texas is on the border with Mexico (as the clue says), whereas the one in New Mexico is not. In professional atlases (e.g., National Geographic, New York Times), Tirane is spelled with a final “e”, with the other spelling as an alternate (and I think this had been discussed here before). And the “extra T” is used exactly as it should be in all cases.

      And, since I’m here … 15:34, no errors … cool puzzle … 👍🏽.

    2. To be fair, you were right that Wikipedia uses the spelling “Tirana” – as do some of the cheaper atlases (even ones used in grade schools and high schools).

      And I’m sorry if my initial reaction was a bit snappish, but I think it’s always wise to check one’s memory before posting something here. (I’m sure that’s what Bill does,)

  2. 52:01 Took me a long time(obviously!) to catch on to the blacked out squares being part of the words in between. Once I figured that out it went pretty quick…this was fun in spite of my being slower than slow…

  3. 39:46. A lot I didn’t know in this one and it took me a while to discern the difference between what I didn’t know and the theme answers. In other words, I had a very blank puzzle for a long time…

    Best –

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