0116-20 NY Times Crossword 16 Jan 20, Thursday

Constructed by: Erik Agard & Jeff Chen
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Take a Knee

Themed answers are answers to the clue, but with a “KNEE”-sound inserted/added:

  • 37A What five answers in this puzzle do phonetically, in defiance of their clues? : TAKE A KNEE
  • 21A Word following sing or play : NIA LONG (“along” + knee-sound)
  • 23A Furrowed feature : BROWNIE (“brow” + knee-sound)
  • 27A Language that’s the source of “gesundheit” : JOURNEYMAN (“German” + knee-sound)
  • 51A The mister, affectionately : HONEYBEE (“hubby” + knee-sound)
  • 34A Study of rocks : GENEALOGY (“geology” + knee-sound)

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 19m 12s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 White pizza topping : FETA

Feta is a Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk. The cheese is salted and cured in a brine solution for several months before it is eaten.

11 Masala ___ (hot beverage) : CHAI

Masala chai is an Indian drink made with black tea (the “chai) and mixed spices (the “masala”).

15 Bestower of the Movies for Grownups Awards : AARP

“AARP” is now the official name for the interest group that used to be called the American Association of Retired Persons. The name change reflects the current focus of the group on all Americans aged 50 or over, as opposed to just people who have retired.

17 Parts of a nuclear reactor : RODS

A common nuclear fuel is uranium dioxide (UO2). The UO2 comes in powder form and is compacted into pellets that are fired at high temperature producing ceramic pellets. The pellets are ground into a near-perfect cylindrical shape and are then stacked inside tubes made of zirconium alloy. These tubes are what we usually refer to as nuclear fuel rods.

18 Where Miners have majors : UTEP

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) was founded in 1914 as the Texas State School of Mines and Metallurgy. To this day, there is a mine shaft on the campus. The mascot of the school’s sports teams is Paydirt Pete, a prospector from the mining industry. The teams are also known as the UTEP Miners and Lady Miners.

19 Type of fluffy wool : ANGORA

Angora wool comes from the Angora rabbit. On the other hand, the Angora goat produces the wool known as mohair. Both rabbit and goat are named for Turkey’s capital Ankara, which was known as “Angora” in many European languages.

21 Word following sing or play : NIA LONG (“along” + knee-sound)

Nia Long is an American actress who is probably best known for playing Will Smith’s sometime girlfriend and fiancee Lisa Wilkes on the TV show “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”.

23 Furrowed feature : BROWNIE (“brow” + knee-sound)

Apparently, the first brownies were created for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. The recipe was developed by a pastry chef at the city’s Palmer House Hotel. The idea was to produce a cake-like dessert that was small enough and dainty enough to be eaten by ladies as part of a boxed lunch.

27 Language that’s the source of “gesundheit” : JOURNEYMAN (“German” + knee-sound)

“Gesundheit” is the German word for “health”, and is used in response to a sneeze in Germany, as indeed it is here in the US quite often.

32 Uber alternative? : MEGA

“Uber” is the German word for “over”. We have absorbed “uber” into English to mean “very”.

36 ___ Day and the Knights (“Animal House” group) : OTIS

The very funny 1978 movie “Animal House” has the prefix “National Lampoon’s …” because the storyline came out of tales that had already appeared in “National Lampoon” magazine. “Animal House” was to become the first in a long line of successful “National Lampoon” films. The main pledges in the movie are Tom Hulce (Pinto), who later played a magnificent “Amadeus”, and Stephen Furst (Flounder), who later played a regular role on television’s “Babylon 5”.

44 Ancient name for Ceylon : LANKA

The island nation of Sri Lanka lies off the southeast coast of India. The name “Sri Lanka” translates from Sanskrit into English as “venerable island”. Before 1970, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon, a name given to the country during British rule.

49 Gobbledygook, metaphorically : GREEK

The phrase “it’s all Greek to me” is used to describe something that is difficult to understand. It’s possible that idiom’s use in English comes from an old Latin phrase “Graecum est; non legitur” (It is Greek; it cannot be read). The first use recorded in English dates back to 1599 when it appears in William Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar” in lines spoken by Casca:

Nay, an I tell you that, I’ll ne’er look you i’ the face again: but those that understood him smiled at one another and shook their heads; but, for mine own part, it was Greek to me.

50 Flight schedule abbr. : ETA

Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

51 The mister, affectionately : HONEYBEE (“hubby” + knee-sound)

Honeybees create a structure within their nests called a honeycomb that is used to contain their larvae and also to store honey and pollen. The honeycomb comprises hexagonal cells made from wax.

56 N.L. East city, on scoreboards : ATL

The Atlanta Braves are the only team to have won baseball’s World Series in three different home cities. They won as the Boston Braves in 1914, the Milwaukee Braves in 1957 and the Atlanta Braves in 1995.

58 Lithuanian, e.g. : BALT

The natives of modern day Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are sometimes referred to as Balts, a reference to the Baltic Sea on which the three countries lie. The term “Balt” is also used for someone who speaks one of the Baltic languages, a group of languages spoken by people mainly residing within the borders of Latvia and Lithuania, as well as in some immigrant communities around the world.

61 Neighbor of an Arkansawyer : OKIE

“Okies” is a derogatory term used during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s for farming families who migrated from Oklahoma (hence the name), Arkansas, Kansas and Texas in search of agricultural jobs in California. The road used by many of these migrant families was Route 66, which is also called “Mother Road”.

63 1950s-’70s football star nicknamed “The Golden Arm” : UNITAS

Footballer Johnny Unitas was nicknamed “the Golden Arm” as well as “Johnny U”. Unitas played in the fifties through the seventies, mainly for the Baltimore Colts. He held the record for throwing touchdown passes in consecutive games (47 games) for 52 years, until it was surpassed in 2012 by Drew Brees.

65 Bra brand : OLGA

Olga is a brand of lingerie that is produced by American clothing retailer Bare Necessities.

68 E, F and G, but not H : KEYS

Those might be piano keys.

Down

1 Animals, collectively : FAUNA

The fauna is the animal life of a particular region, and the flora is that region’s plant life. The term “fauna” comes from the Roman goddess of earth and fertility who was called Fauna. Flora was the Roman goddess of plants, flowers and fertility.

6 Beer ___ : PONG

The game of beer pong is also known as “Beirut”. Beer pong apparently originated as a drinking game in the fraternities of Dartmouth College in the fifties, when it was played with paddles and a ping pong net on a table. The origin of the “Beirut” name is less clear, but it probably was coined in while the Lebanese Civil War was raging in late seventies and eighties.

8 Skater Midori : ITO

Midori Ito is a Japanese figure skater. Ito was the first woman to land a triple/triple jump and a triple axel in competition. In fact, she landed her first triple jump in training when she was only 8 years old. Ito won Olympic silver in 1992, and was chosen as the person to light the Olympic cauldron at the commencement of the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.

12 Lena of “Cabin in the Sky” : HORNE

Lena Horne was an American jazz singer, actress, dancer and civil rights activist. Horne started her career as a nightclub singer and then began to get some meaty acting roles in Hollywood. However, she ended up on the blacklist during the McCarthy Era for expressing left wing political views. One of Horne’s starring roles was in the 1943 movie “Stormy Weather” for which she also performed the title song.

13 Firefighter Red : ADAIR

Red Adair was a famous fighter of fires in oil fields, and was a native of Houston, Texas. Adair’s exploits were the inspiration for a 1968 movie called “Hellfighters” starring John Wayne.

22 Hawaiian fish with a palindromic name : ONO

The wahoo is a cousin of the mackerel, and is known as the “ono” in Hawaii.

24 Ending with pay : -OLA

Payola is the illegal practice of paying radio stations or disk jockeys to repeatedly play a particular piece of music. The impetus behind the crime is that the more often a song is played, the more likely it is to sell. The term “payola” comes from the words “pay” and “Victrola”, an RCA brand name for an early phonograph.

30 Sci-fi forest dweller : EWOK

The Ewoks are creatures that live on the moon of Endor in the “Star Wars” universe. First appearing in “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi”, they’re the cute and cuddly little guys that look like teddy bears.

32 Funnyman Brooks : MEL

Mel Brooks’ real name is Melvin Kaminsky. Brooks is one of very few entertainers (there are only ten) who have won the “Showbiz Award Grand Slam” i.e. an Oscar, Tony, Grammy and Emmy. He is in good company, as the list also includes the likes of Richard Rogers, Sir John Gielgud, Marvin Hamlisch and Audrey Hepburn.

33 Piece of furniture often covered with crinkly paper : EXAM TABLE

That would be an exam table in a doctor’s office.

39 Conciliatory gesture : SOP

Cerberus is a dog with three heads that appears in both Greek and Roman mythology. Cerberus had the job of guarding the gates of Hades and preventing those who had crossed the River Styx from ever escaping. A sop is a piece of food that has been dipped in some liquid, as one might sop a piece of bread in soup. There is an idiomatic expression, “to give a sop to Cerberus”, which means to give someone a bribe, or pay someone off. The idea is that if one could bribe Cerberus, give him a sop to eat, then he would let you pass and escape from Hades.

41 Window frame : SASH

A movable (up-and-down) window frame is called a sash, from the French word for a frame “châssis”. The term is also applied to that part of a door or window into which windows are set.

49 Yellowstone attraction : GEYSER

Old Faithful is a geyser in Yellowstone National Park. It erupts almost every 63 minutes on the nose, making it one of the most predictable geographic features on the planet. It was this predictability that led to the name “Old Faithful”. In the early days of Yellowstone’s existence as a park, the geyser was used as a laundry. Dirty linen clothing was placed in the geyser’s crater during the quiet period. The clothing was ejected during the eruption, thoroughly washed.

52 Bay Area athlete, for short : NINER

The San Francisco 49ers of the NFL have been playing their home games in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara since 2014. The team moved from the famous Candlestick Park, which they had been using since 1971. Levi’s Stadium, the team’s new home, got a big boost in January 2016 when it was used as the venue for the Super Bowl.

53 Kane of “All My Children” : ERICA

“All My Children” was the first daytime soap opera to debut in the seventies. Star of the show was Susan Lucci who played Erica Kane. The show was cancelled in 2011 after being on the air for 41 years.

54 Sightings in the Himalayas : YETIS

The yeti, also known as the abominable snowman, is a beast of legend. “Yeti” is a Tibetan term, and the beast is fabled to live in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet. Our equivalent legend in North America is that of Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch. The study of animals whose existence have not yet been substantiated is called cryptozoology, and a cryptid is a creature or plant that isn’t recognized by the scientific community, but the existence of which has been suggested.

57 English city where the Who once recorded a top 5 live album : LEEDS

I went to school for a while not far from Leeds in West Yorkshire in the north of England. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, Leeds was a major center for the production and trading of wool, and then with the onset of mechanization it became a natural hub for manufacture of textiles. These days Leeds is noted as a shopping destination and so has been dubbed “the Knightsbridge of the North”.

The English rock band the Who was formed in 1964, bringing together famed musicians Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon. According to “Rolling Stone” magazine, the Who were the third arm of the holy trinity of British rock, alongside the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 White pizza topping : FETA
5 Green bits of ornamentation : SPRIGS
11 Masala ___ (hot beverage) : CHAI
15 Bestower of the Movies for Grownups Awards : AARP
16 Keep the beat, in a way : TOE-TAP
17 Parts of a nuclear reactor : RODS
18 Where Miners have majors : UTEP
19 Type of fluffy wool : ANGORA
20 ___ surgeon : ORAL
21 Word following sing or play : NIA LONG (“along” + knee-sound)
23 Furrowed feature : BROWNIE (“brow” + knee-sound)
25 Wait on : ATTEND
26 Tribal leaders : ELDERS
27 Language that’s the source of “gesundheit” : JOURNEYMAN (“German” + knee-sound)
32 Uber alternative? : MEGA
35 Pint-size : PEEWEE
36 ___ Day and the Knights (“Animal House” group) : OTIS
40 Suits : EXECS
42 “___ it!” (“Hush!”) : STOW
43 Place for a bench : PIANO
44 Ancient name for Ceylon : LANKA
45 Terse rebukes : TSKS
46 Invite to the roof, say : ASK UP
47 Like a desk that’s a sign of genius, it’s said : MESSY
49 Gobbledygook, metaphorically : GREEK
50 Flight schedule abbr. : ETA
51 The mister, affectionately : HONEYBEE (“hubby” + knee-sound)
56 N.L. East city, on scoreboards : ATL
58 Lithuanian, e.g. : BALT
60 In the worst way : DIRELY
61 Neighbor of an Arkansawyer : OKIE
62 It has cork and a bell : OBOE
63 1950s-’70s football star nicknamed “The Golden Arm” : UNITAS
64 Part of a pot : ANTE
65 Bra brand : OLGA
66 Stop waffling : DECIDE
67 Fight protractedly : FEUD
68 E, F and G, but not H : KEYS
69 Opposite of the point? : ERASER
70 Collectors’ goals : SETS

Down

1 Animals, collectively : FAUNA
2 Face-plant, say : EAT IT
3 Ice cream cone, e.g. : TREAT
4 Breakfast cereal in a green box : APPLE JACKS
5 Routine activity? : STAND-UP
6 Beer ___ : PONG
7 On the ___ (frequently, in slang) : REG
8 Skater Midori : ITO
9 Attire : GARB
10 “I don’t want to hear it” : SPARE ME
11 Sounds made by fans : CROWD NOISE
12 Lena of “Cabin in the Sky” : HORNE
13 Firefighter Red : ADAIR
14 Lands in the sea : ISLES
22 Hawaiian fish with a palindromic name : ONO
24 Ending with pay : -OLA
28 Squiggle on a musical score : REST
29 Ends up with : NETS
30 Sci-fi forest dweller : EWOK
31 Trees with red berrylike fruit : YEWS
32 Funnyman Brooks : MEL
33 Piece of furniture often covered with crinkly paper : EXAM TABLE
34 Study of rocks : GENEALOGY (“geology” + knee-sound)
37 What five answers in this puzzle do phonetically, in defiance of their clues? : TAKE A KNEE
38 Language of the Canadian Arctic : INUKTITUT
39 Conciliatory gesture : SOP
41 Window frame : SASH
43 Trim : PARE
48 “Sup, bro!” : YO, DUDE!
49 Yellowstone attraction : GEYSER
50 Work on a tablet : E-BOOK
52 Bay Area athlete, for short : NINER
53 Kane of “All My Children” : ERICA
54 Sightings in the Himalayas : YETIS
55 Oar : BLADE
57 English city where the Who once recorded a top 5 live album : LEEDS
59 11-Across and others : TEAS
61 Bumbling bunch : OAFS

5 thoughts on “0116-20 NY Times Crossword 16 Jan 20, Thursday”

  1. 37:46 I sort of got the theme after finding “take a knee”, but “Inuktitut” was foreign to me….although apparently my tablet knew it, now that it prompted me as I entered my comment….

  2. I think Erik and Jeff and Bill KNEE’D their heads examined for this contrived piece of nonsense! I can’t even understand what I kneed to know. I hope I never get to the point in my life creating such smug an obtuse puzzles to certify my cleverness. Wow!

  3. The creators of this piece of nonsense are both anal retentive and must had a joint “grunt” session dropping hot one.

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