0111-20 NY Times Crossword 11 Jan 20, Saturday

Constructed by: Andrew J. Ries
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 15m 10s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

21 ___ Daily, popular podcast for armchair athletes : ESPN

The initialism “ESPN” stands for Entertainment Sports Programming Network. ESPN is a cable network that broadcasts sports programming 24 hours a day, and was launched back in 1979. ESPN has a lot of ardent fans. Several parents have named children Espn (usually pronounced “Espen”) in honor of the network.

22 Packaged ration, for short : MRE

The Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) comes in a lightweight package that’s easy to tote around. The MRE replaced the more cumbersome Meal, Combat, Individual (MCI) in 1981, a meal-in-a-can. In turn, the MCI had replaced the C-ration in 1958, a less sophisticated meal-in-a-can with a more limited choice.

23 Number six in a group of five : ESP

The so-called “sixth sense” is extrasensory perception (ESP).

24 Lux. locale : EUR

Luxembourg is a relatively small country in the middle of Europe that is just 1,000 square miles in area with a population of over half a million. The country is a representative democracy (just like the United Kingdom) and it has a constitutional monarch, namely Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg. As such, Luxembourg is the only remaining sovereign Grand Duchy in the world.

28 Ice cream thickeners : AGARS

Agar (also “agar-agar”) is a jelly extracted from seaweed that has many uses. Agar is found in Japanese desserts, and can also be used as a food thickener or even as a laxative. In the world of science, it is the most common medium used for growing bacteria in Petri dishes.

30 Makeup of some waste lines : PVC PIPING

PVC is polyvinyl chloride, the third most widely produced plastic in the world (after polyethylene and polypropylene). PVC is resistant to corrosion from biological and chemical agents making it a favored choice these days for sewage lines, replacing the traditional metal materials. It is so chemically stable that it will be around a long, long time …

34 Dobermans and mastiffs, traditionally : GUARD DOGS

The Doberman Pinscher is a breed of dog that was developed around 1890 in Germany. The person responsible for introducing the breed was Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, explaining the “Doberman” (sometimes “Dobermann”) name. “Pinschers” are a group of Germanic breeds that probably owe their name to the English word “pinch”, a reference to the tradition of cropping (pinching) the ears.

There are a number of mastiff breeds of dog, all of which are noted for their large size. Even though modern mastiffs generally have an easy temperament, over the centuries the mastiff breeds have been used as guard dogs and war dogs, even back to ancient Roman times.

38 Couple’s enthusiastic R.S.V.P. : WE’RE THERE!

“RSVP” stands for “répondez s’il vous plaît”, which is French for “answer, please”.

44 Acrobat’s platform : ADOBE

Adobe Acrobat is the software used to create .pdf files. Most of us are more familiar with the associated application called Adobe Reader, because that’s what we use to read those .pdf files.

45 Literally, “peace” : MIR

“Mir” is the Russian word for “peace”.

46 Info next to alumni names, maybe: Abbr. : YRS

An alumnus (plural “alumni”) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural “alumnae”). The term comes into English from Latin, in which an alumnus is a foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or alumnus.

49 “This tastes delicious!,” maybe : FIB

To fib is to tell a lie. The verb likely comes from “fibble-fable” meaning “nonsense”, with “fibble-fable” coming from “fable”.

52 Nominee for the first two Nobel Prizes in Literature (1901-02), but never won : EMILE ZOLA

The most famous work by French writer Émile Zola is his 1898 open letter “J’Accuse!” written to French president Félix Faure. The letter was published on the front page of a leading Paris newspaper, and accused the government of anti-Semitism in its handling of the trial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus. Dreyfus was a Jewish military officer in the French army, falsely accused and convicted of spying for Germany. Even after the error was discovered, the government refused to back down and let Dreyfus rot away on Devil’s Island rather than admit to the mistake. It wasn’t until 1906, 12 years after the wrongful conviction, that Dreyfus was freed and reinstated, largely due to the advocacy of Emile Zola.

55 Treat commonly eaten with a wooden utensil : GELATO

Gelato (plural “gelati”) is the Italian version of American ice cream, differing in that it has a lower butterfat content than its US counterpart.

58 Foodies : EPICURES

An epicure is a gourmet, one who appreciates fine food and drink in particular. The term is derived from the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus.

59 Key of Beethoven’s Seventh : A MAJOR

If I had to name which of Beethoven’s symphonies I listen to most often, at the top of the list comes the 7th followed closely by the 9th, and then the 5th a little further down. But that four-note opening of the 5th; that is superb …

61 Bee activity : SEWING

Back in 18th-century America, when neighbors would gather to work for the benefit of one of their group, such a meeting was called a bee. The name “bee” was an allusion to the social nature of the insect. In modern parlance, a further element of entertainment and pleasure has been introduced, for example in a quilting bee, or even a spelling bee.

63 Conference foes of the Buffaloes : UTES

The Utah Utes are the athletic teams of the University of Utah.

Down

4 Rationale for a dumb stunt, in modern slang : YOLO

You only live once (YOLO)

5 The emperor’s old clothes? : TOGAS

In ancient Rome, the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae” or “togas”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

7 Double birdie? : NENE

The nene is a bird that is native to Hawaii, and is also known as the Hawaiian goose. The name “nene” is imitative of its call. When Captain Cook landed on the islands in 1778, there were 25,000 nene living there. By 1950, the number was reduced by hunting to just 30 birds. Conservation efforts in recent years have been somewhat successful. The nene was named State Bird of Hawaii in 1957.

8 In time?: Abbr. : ARR

Arrival (arr.)

9 Sow : pig :: ___ : koala : DOE

The koala bear really does look like a little bear, but it’s not even closely related. The koala is an arboreal marsupial and a herbivore, native to the east and south coasts of Australia. Koalas aren’t primates, and are one of the few mammals other than primates who have fingerprints. In fact, it can be very difficult to tell human fingerprints from koala fingerprints, even under an electron microscope. Male koalas are called “bucks”, females are “does”, and young koalas are “joeys”. I’m a little jealous of the koala, as it sleeps up to 20 hours a day …

12 Atlantic game fish : TARPONS

There are two species of the fish known as the tarpon: the Atlantic tarpon and Indo-Pacific tarpon. Many fish have swim bladders, organs that are related evolutionarily to the lungs, and are used to control buoyancy. What is unique about the tarpon is that it uses its swim bladder not only for buoyancy, but also as an accessory respiratory organ. In fact, unless the tarpon gets access to air at the water’s surface, it will die.

13 Pro with a pad : STENOG

Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

15 So and so? : NOTES

The sol-fa syllables are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti.

41 Eisenhower’s boyhood home : ABILENE

Abilene is a city in Texas located about 150 miles west of Fort Worth. The city originated at stop on the Texas and Pacific Railway in 1881, a place where cattlemen could load up stock for transportation. It was named for Abilene, Kansas, which was the endpoint for the Chisholm Trail at that time.

Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE) was the 34th US president, but he wanted to be remembered as a soldier. He was a five-star general during WWII in charge of the Allied Forces in the European Theater of Operations (ETO). President Eisenhower died in 1969 at Walter Reed Army Hospital. He was buried in an $80 standard soldier’s casket in his army uniform in a chapel on the grounds of the beautiful Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kansas.

43 Series finales : OMEGAS

The Greek alphabet starts with the letter “alpha”, and ends with the letter “omega”.

44 Smart ___ : ALECK

Apparently, the original “smart Alec” (sometimes “Aleck”) was one Alec Hoag, a pimp, thief and confidence trickster who plied his trade in New York City in the 1840s.

48 “Still ___” (2014 drama that earned a Best Actress Oscar) : ALICE

Actress Julianne Moore won her Best Actress Oscar for playing the title role in the 2014 film “Still Alice”, which deals with the subject of Alzheimer’s disease. As well as being a talented actor, Moore is a successful children’s author. Her 2007 book “Freckleface Strawberry” became a New York Times Best Seller, and was inspired by the teasing she received as a child for having freckles.

51 Mecca trekker : HAJI

“Haji” (also “Hajji” and “Hadji”) is the term used for someone who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca, and it is sometimes also used as a form of address for such a person. The journey itself goes by the name “haj”, “hajj” or “hadj”.

54 Origin of some lyrics sung in “The Lion King” : ZULU

The Zulu are the largest ethnic group in South Africa, with an estimated population of 10-11 million people today. The Zulu were famous for resisting the colonization by the British in 19th century, resulting in the Anglo-Zulu War. The Zulus had initial success, but the British eventually prevailed (see the excellent film “Zulu”, starring Michael Caine and others, from 1964).

The highly successful stage musical “The Lion King” started out life as a 1994 animated feature film of the same name from the Disney studio. The film is the highest earning traditionally-animated feature of all time. The animated film “Finding Nemo” has made more money, but it was created using computer animation.

57 Ending of many a web address : ORG

The .org domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:

  • .com (commercial enterprise)
  • .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
  • .mil (US military)
  • .org (not-for-profit organization)
  • .gov (US federal government entity)
  • .edu (college-level educational institution)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Shade of red : RUBY
5 Food drive donation : TIN
8 Highly skilled sorts : ADEPTS
14 Like most job interviews : ONE-ON-ONE
16 Heartily enjoy, as a joke : ROAR AT
17 End of a plug, often : AD SLOGAN
18 Greatly respect : REVERE
19 Record executive’s stack : DEMO TAPES
21 ___ Daily, popular podcast for armchair athletes : ESPN
22 Packaged ration, for short : MRE
23 Number six in a group of five : ESP
24 Lux. locale : EUR
27 “___ true” : TOO
28 Ice cream thickeners : AGARS
30 Makeup of some waste lines : PVC PIPING
33 Place for a bead : PORE
34 Dobermans and mastiffs, traditionally : GUARD DOGS
35 Recreational sports association for adults : BEER LEAGUE
37 Tool used on a padlock : BOLT CUTTER
38 Couple’s enthusiastic R.S.V.P. : WE’RE THERE!
39 “Jiminy Christmas!” : EGAD!
43 Beverage option at early McDonald’s restaurants : ORANGEADE
44 Acrobat’s platform : ADOBE
45 Literally, “peace” : MIR
46 Info next to alumni names, maybe: Abbr. : YRS
47 ___-Mex (cuisine) : CAL
49 “This tastes delicious!,” maybe : FIB
50 Cut deeply : ETCH
52 Nominee for the first two Nobel Prizes in Literature (1901-02), but never won : EMILE ZOLA
55 Treat commonly eaten with a wooden utensil : GELATO
58 Foodies : EPICURES
59 Key of Beethoven’s Seventh : A MAJOR
60 V formation? : NECKLINE
61 Bee activity : SEWING
62 ___ tax : USE
63 Conference foes of the Buffaloes : UTES

Down

1 It shows the way : ROADMAP
2 Experience : UNDERGO
3 Dirty, in a way : BESMEAR
4 Rationale for a dumb stunt, in modern slang : YOLO
5 The emperor’s old clothes? : TOGAS
6 Smartphone payment that unlocks premium content : IN-APP PURCHASE
7 Double birdie? : NENE
8 In time?: Abbr. : ARR
9 Sow : pig :: ___ : koala : DOE
10 Projecting edge : EAVE
11 Grand standing : PRESTIGE
12 Atlantic game fish : TARPONS
13 Pro with a pad : STENOG
15 So and so? : NOTES
20 Things that might be kept covered in a kitchen : SECRET RECIPES
25 Reason for a restart : UPDATE
26 Top of a chain, maybe : RIDGE
29 Like an evangelical Christian : REBORN
31 Dear : VALUED
32 Came down hard (on) : POURED
34 Attention ___ : GETTER
36 John Milton’s “Lycidas” is one : ELEGY
37 Finger food at a pastry shop? : BEAR CLAW
38 Pen pal’s request : WRITE ME
40 “Be my guest” : GO FOR IT
41 Eisenhower’s boyhood home : ABILENE
42 Adulterates : DEBASES
43 Series finales : OMEGAS
44 Smart ___ : ALECK
48 “Still ___” (2014 drama that earned a Best Actress Oscar) : ALICE
51 Mecca trekker : HAJI
53 List of choices : MENU
54 Origin of some lyrics sung in “The Lion King” : ZULU
56 Host : TON
57 Ending of many a web address : ORG

One thought on “0111-20 NY Times Crossword 11 Jan 20, Saturday”

  1. Not likely anybody will read this since it’s 3 days later but, 51:44, this one was really tough for me. A couple places that I had the correct word, but second guessed myself and backed them out. Just shoot me…

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