0117-20 NY Times Crossword 17 Jan 20, Friday

Constructed by: Ryan Patrick Smith
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 10m 55s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7 ___ rock (music genre) : PROG

Progressive rock (prog rock)

11 Rebuke to an oversharer : TMI

Too much information (TMI)

14 Almost any major character in “Sands of Iwo Jima” : MARINE

“Sands of Iwo Jima” is a WWII film released in 1949. The movie follows US Marines from boot camp through to the Battle of Iwo Jima, and stars John Agar and John Wayne. Interestingly, the film dialog contains the first recorded use of the phrase “lock and load”, meaning “get ready to fight” or “get ready to drink!”

15 Enterprise crewman named after an Asian sea : SULU

Mr. Hikaru Sulu was played by George Takei in the original “Star Trek” series. Takei has played lots of roles over the years, and is still very active in television. Did you know that he appeared in the 1963 film, “Pt-109”? He played the helmsman steering the Japanese destroyer that ran down John F. Kennedy’s motor torpedo boat. From destroyer helmsman to starship helmsman …

The Sulu Sea is found to the southwest of the Philippines, and the northeast of Borneo. Gene Roddenberry named the “Star Trek” character Hikaru Sulu after the Sulu Sea.

16 Ethnic group accounting for about 18% of the world’s population : HAN

The Han Chinese people are the largest ethnic group in the world, and comprise 18% of the planet’s population. The 1.3 billion Han also make up 92% of China’s population. The group takes its name from the Han dynasty that ruled much of modern day China from roughly 200 BCE to 220 CE.

17 Actress who directed 2019’s “Booksmart” : OLIVIA WILDE

Actress Olivia Wilde’s break came with the role of “Thirteen” on the medical drama “House”. Olivia’s birth name is Cockburn, and she chose her stage name in honor of Irish author Oscar Wilde.

“Booksmart” is a 2019 comedy film about two high school students breaking out of there relatively bookish ways just prior to graduation. The movie was actress Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut, and apparently, the critics loved this film.

19 Option for a 911 dispatcher : EMS

Emergency medical services (EMS)

The first use of a national emergency phone number was in 1937 in the UK, where the number 999 was introduced to call emergency services. If you need emergency services in the UK or Ireland to this day, you have to dial 999. It’s not really clear why 911 became the emergency number in the US. The most credible suggestion (to me) is that when it was introduced by the FCC in 1967, it was a number that “fit” with the numbers already used by AT&T for free services (211-long distance; 411-information; 611-repair service).

20 Classic novel narrated by the second Mrs. de Winter : REBECCA

Daphne du Maurier’s wonderful novel “Rebecca” was published in 1938. The title refers to the first wife of the main male character Maxim de Winter, a widower. The main female character in the novel is a woman whom Maxim meets in Monte Carlo, briefly courts, marries and brings back to his estate in Cornwall, England named Manderley.

21 Creator and star of “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” : ISSA RAE

Issa Rae is a Stanford University graduate who created a YouTube web series called “The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl”. Rae also plays the title role in the series, a young lady named “J”. “Awkward Black Girl” was adapted into an HBO comedy-drama called “Insecure”, in which Issa Rae stars.

23 Image in the poster for “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” : MOON

1982’s classic science fiction movie “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” was directed by Steven Spielberg. The idea behind the film came from Spielberg himself, and the character E.T. was based on an imaginary friend that he conjured up as a child after his parents divorced in 1960.

25 Princess of Greek myth who had a brief love affair with Theseus : ARIADNE

In Greek mythology, Ariadne was the daughter of Minos, the King of Crete and master of the Minotaur. Minos charged his daughter with control of the labyrinth that housed the Minotaur. However, Ariadne fell in love with Theseus, who had vowed to kill the Minotaur, and she helped him fulfill his mission. In other myths, Ariadne became the bride of the god Dionysus.

33 Bud’s place : EAR

Earbuds are headphones that plug directly into the user’s ear canals.

34 Springfield barkeep : MOE

Moe Szyslak is the surly bartender and owner of Moe’s Tavern in “The Simpsons” animated TV show. I don’t really care for “The Simpsons”, but Hank Azaria who supplies the voice for the Moe character … him I like …

35 Best Buy buy : SMART TV

Best Buy is a retailer specializing in the supply of consumer electronics. Best Buy services include the famous “Geek Squad”, a band of technical experts that will help solve your computer and other consumer electronic problems.

44 David Lynchian, say : EERIE

David Lynch is a much-respected and lauded American film director. His most famous movies are probably “Eraserhead”, “The Elephant Man”, “Dune” and “Mulholland Drive”. Despite the positive reviews from most critics, I can’t think of one David Lynch film that I’ve really enjoyed …

45 Trips in the dark : RED-EYES

A red-eye flight is one departing late at night and arriving early the next morning. The term is a reference to tired passengers disembarking with red eyes.

46 German marks : UMLAUTS

An umlaut (also “diaeresis”) is a diacritical mark consisting of two horizontal dots placed over a letter, usually a vowel. Here in the West, we are perhaps most familiar with umlauts in German, as in “Schön”.

58 ___ The Magazine (highest-circulating magazine in the U.S.) : AARP

“AARP The Magazine” is mailed to every AARP member, making it the most widely circulated magazine in the country. It was founded back in 1958 as “Modern Maturity”, and was rebranded in 2002.

59 Like narwhals and walruses : TUSKED

The narwhal is a whale species in which the male has a large tusk. The “tusk” is actually canine tooth that projects from the jaw through the lip. Usually only one tusk develops, on the left side of the jaw. Occasionally, a second tusk develops as well, on the right side of the jaw. The tusk is unlike a tooth in that it contains many nerves, making it a sensory organ. It is rarely used in an act of aggression.

Walruses are large marine mammals with very prominent tusks that are found in and around the northern hemisphere’s Arctic Ocean.

60 What precedes the season? : ‘TIS

The music for the Christmas song “Deck the Halls” is a traditional Welsh tune that dates back to the 16th century. The same tune was used by Mozart for a violin and piano duet. The lyrics with which we are familiar (other than the “f-la-la”) are American in origin, and were recorded in the 19th century.

“’Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la la la la!”

61 ___ Minor : URSA

Ursa Minor (Latin for “Smaller Bear”) sits right beside the constellation Draco (Latin for “Dragon”). Ursa Minor used to be considered the wing of Draco, and so was once called “Dragon’s Wing”. The tail of the “Smaller Bear” might also be considered as the handle of a ladle, and so the constellation is often referred to as the Little Dipper.

62 Does a helmsman’s job : STEERS

In its broadest sense, the term “helm” describes the whole of a ship’s steering mechanism, including the rudder and tiller. In a more specific sense, the helm is the handle, tiller or wheel that is used to control the steering gear.

Down

1 Frequent topic for Pablo Neruda : AMOR

“Pablo Neruda” was the pen name, and eventually the legal name, used by Chilean writer Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. Basoalto chose the name as an homage to Czech poet Jan Neruda.

3 Bonus hand in a classic card game : CRIB

Cribbage is one of my favorite card games. Cribbage always had a certain mystique to me as I was growing up as I’d see folks playing it in local pubs, sitting with cards and the fascinating cribbage board with its pegs as score markers. Apparently, cribbage was invented in the early 1600s by an English poet called John Suckling, who based it on a long-gone game called Noddy. Cribbage is often referred to simply as “crib”, and the name “cribbage” probably comes from this term. The “crib” is a set of cards that features in the game.

4 Taco Bell slogan : LIVE MAS

Taco Bell was founded by a former US Marine, 25-year-old Glen Bell. His first restaurant was Bell’s Drive-In, located in Southern California. After opening that first establishment, Bell bought up some more restaurants including four named El Taco. He sold off the El Taco restaurants but used the name in part when he opened his first Taco Bell in 1962. Bell sold then sold franchises, with the 100th Taco Bell opening in 1967. The ex-Marine sold off the whole chain to PepsiCo in 1978, and I am guessing he made a pretty penny. Taco Bell has been using the “Live Más” slogan since 2012, with “más” being the Spanish word for “more”.

5 Computing industry standard : UNICODE

ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) lists codes for 32 “control” characters, as well as the 95 printable characters. These binary codes are the way that our computers can understand what we mean when we type say a letter, or a number. Unicode is a more contemporary standard, and is like “Ascii on steroids”, encompassing more characters.

7 Abbr. on a car tire : PSI

Pounds per square inch (PSI) is a measure of pressure.

10 Participant in hangman or charades : GUESSER

The word-guessing game called Hangman seems to have been played first in Victorian England. At one time it was known as “Birds, Beasts and Fishes” as the words to be guessed had to be types of animal.

In the parlor game known as charades, players take turns acting out words or phrases. “Charade” is a French word describing a literary puzzle that was popular in 18th-century France. In said game, the word or phrase was broken into its constituent syllables, with each syllable being described somewhat enigmatically. This puzzle evolved into “acted charades”, which we now refer to simply as “charades”.

11 Head of the only government in U.K. history to be found in contempt of Parliament : THERESA MAY

Theresa May won a leadership election to become UK prime minister in 2016, following the resignation of David Cameron immediately after the nation decided to withdraw from the EU (“Brexit”). As such, May became only the second female prime minister in the UK, after Margaret Thatcher.

12 “Aujourd’hui, ___ est morte” (opening line of Camus’s “L’Étranger”) : MAMAN

The first sentence of Albert Camus’ novel “L’Étranger” is the jarring “Aujourd’hui, Maman est morte” (“Today, Mom is dead”).

“The Stranger” was Albert Camus’ first novel, and it is probably his most famous. The original title in French is “L’Étranger”, which can indeed be translated as “The Stranger”. However, the book is usually called “The Outsider” when translated into English, as this alternative meaning of “L’Étranger” better reflects the novel’s theme.

13 Aleutian Islands, on many a map of Alaska : INSET

The Aleuts live on the Aleutian Islands of the North Pacific, and on the Commander Islands at the western end of the same island chain. The Aleutian Islands are part of the United States, and the Commander Islands are in Russia.

25 Caesar’s army, in a popular film franchise : APES

The “Planet of the Apes” franchise was based on a French novel by Pierre Boulle called “La Planète des singes”. The book was published in English as “Monkey Planet”, but was re-released as “Planet of the Apes” when Hollywood had made its choice for a movie title.

27 Exodus emigrants : ISRAELITES

The Book of Exodus is the second book in the Bible, and deals with Moses leading the Hebrews out of Egypt. The name “Exodus” comes from the Greek “exodos” meaning “departure”.

37 World leader who once worked as a bouncer and a snowboarding instructor : TRUDEAU

Justin Trudeau ascended to the leadership of Canada’s Liberal Party in 2013, He led the Liberals to a decisive victory in the federal election of 2015, after which he assumed the office of Prime Minister of Canada. Justin is the eldest son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, who led Canada for 15 years starting in 1968.

38 Like the characters Romeo and Juliet, but not Mercutio or Tybalt : TITULAR

William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” doesn’t end well for the title characters. Juliet takes a potion as a ruse to fool her parents, to trick them into thinking she is dead. The potion puts her in a death-like coma for 24 hours, after which Juliet plans to awaken and run off with Romeo. Juliet’s sends a message to Romeo apprising him of the plan, but the message fails to arrive. Romeo hears of Juliet’s “death”, and grief-stricken he takes his own life by drinking poison. Juliet awakens from the coma, only to find her lover dead beside her. She picks up a dagger and commits suicide. And nobody lives happily ever after …

In William Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet”, Mercutio is a close friend of Romeo. Mercutio is stabbed in an altercation with Tybalt. As Mercutio dies, he cries out “A plague o’ both your houses!”, hence cursing both the Montagues (Romeo’s family) and Capulets (Juliet’s family).

In William Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet”, the main antagonist of the piece is Tybalt, who is a very combative cousin of Juliet and a sworn enemy of Romeo.

39 Service at sundown : VESPERS

Vespers is an evening prayer service in some Christian traditions. “Vesper” is the Latin for “evening”. Vespers is also known as “Evensong”.

40 Actor Chris : PRATT

Chris Pratt is an actor who really got his big break playing the rather dopey Andy Dwyer on the sitcom “Parks and Recreation”. Pratt then played a pretty macho role as a SEAL team operator in “Zero Dark Thirty”, before taking leading heroic roles in “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Jurassic World”. Pratt was married from 2009 until 2018 to Anna Faris, the comedic actress who plays Christy Plunkett on the sitcom “Mom”.

46 Something forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles after W.W. I : U-BOAT

The term “U-boat” comes from the German word “Unterseeboot” (undersea boat). U-boats were primarily used in WWII to enforce a blockade against enemy commercial shipping, with a main objective being to cut off the supplies being transported to Britain from the British colonies and the US. The epic fight for control of the supply routes became known as the Battle of the Atlantic.

The 1919 Treaty of Versailles ended the war between Germany and the Allied Powers, and was the most significant treaty signed at the close of WWI. The war itself ended in November of 1918, but it took six months of negotiations at a peace conference in Paris to hammer out a peace treaty. The treaty called for reparations to be paid by Germany to the Allies, an amount so heavy that it could have taken Germany until the 1980s to settle the debt in full. As it turned out, the agreement was not honored consistently by Germany, and when Adolf Hitler came to power, reparation payments were halted altogether.

47 Civvies : MUFTI

Mufti is civilian dress that is worn by someone who routinely wears a uniform. The term is probably related somehow to the Arabic “mufti”, the word for a Muslim scholar who interprets Islamic law.

56 Many an auditor, for short : CPA

Certified public accountant (CPA)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Online pop culture/media hub, with “the” : AV CLUB
7 ___ rock (music genre) : PROG
11 Rebuke to an oversharer : TMI
14 Almost any major character in “Sands of Iwo Jima” : MARINE
15 Enterprise crewman named after an Asian sea : SULU
16 Ethnic group accounting for about 18% of the world’s population : HAN
17 Actress who directed 2019’s “Booksmart” : OLIVIA WILDE
19 Option for a 911 dispatcher : EMS
20 Classic novel narrated by the second Mrs. de Winter : REBECCA
21 Creator and star of “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” : ISSA RAE
23 Image in the poster for “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” : MOON
24 Young : NASCENT
25 Princess of Greek myth who had a brief love affair with Theseus : ARIADNE
28 Sites for 30-Across : GLENS
29 Hold : POSSESS
30 Watering sites : STREAMS
33 Bud’s place : EAR
34 Springfield barkeep : MOE
35 Best Buy buy : SMART TV
40 Come before : PREDATE
44 David Lynchian, say : EERIE
45 Trips in the dark : RED-EYES
46 German marks : UMLAUTS
48 “Not in a million years” : AS IF
49 Accumulation : BUILDUP
50 Carryall : TOTE BAG
54 Poet’s adverb : OFT
55 Genre that includes techno and house music : ELECTRONICA
57 Made a fast stop? : ATE
58 ___ The Magazine (highest-circulating magazine in the U.S.) : AARP
59 Like narwhals and walruses : TUSKED
60 What precedes the season? : ‘TIS
61 ___ Minor : URSA
62 Does a helmsman’s job : STEERS

Down

1 Frequent topic for Pablo Neruda : AMOR
2 Area between mountains : VALE
3 Bonus hand in a classic card game : CRIB
4 Taco Bell slogan : LIVE MAS
5 Computing industry standard : UNICODE
6 Guiding lights : BEACONS
7 Abbr. on a car tire : PSI
8 Bench pronouncements : RULINGS
9 Seasoned sailor : OLD SALT
10 Participant in hangman or charades : GUESSER
11 Head of the only government in U.K. history to be found in contempt of Parliament : THERESA MAY
12 “Aujourd’hui, ___ est morte” (opening line of Camus’s “L’Étranger”) : MAMAN
13 Aleutian Islands, on many a map of Alaska : INSET
18 Declines : WANES
22 Source of teenage self-consciousness : ACNE
25 Caesar’s army, in a popular film franchise : APES
26 Range : ROAM
27 Exodus emigrants : ISRAELITES
31 Speck : MOTE
32 Upscale candy brand : SEE’S
36 Very, informally : REAL
37 World leader who once worked as a bouncer and a snowboarding instructor : TRUDEAU
38 Like the characters Romeo and Juliet, but not Mercutio or Tybalt : TITULAR
39 Service at sundown : VESPERS
40 Actor Chris : PRATT
41 Some vacation destinations : RESORTS
42 Leave on the cutting room floor : EDIT OUT
43 Chant at a basketball game : DEFENSE!
46 Something forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles after W.W. I : U-BOAT
47 Civvies : MUFTI
51 Cycle : BIKE
52 Good server : ACER
53 Flits (about) : GADS
56 Many an auditor, for short : CPA

7 thoughts on “0117-20 NY Times Crossword 17 Jan 20, Friday”

  1. 58:40 with multiple errors….did anyone really know the answer to 12D ? If the answer is yes then I guess I am just the uneducated village idiot who has no business trying to compete where I dont really belong .
    END OF RANT FOR TODAY

  2. Solid Friday offering. I was unfortunately left to struggle with the northeast and entered EMT/INTET. Too stubborn and blind to let go of EMT even though INTET made no sense to me. Duh.

  3. 25:17, 4 errors: H(U)N/M(U)MAN; AP(B)S/(B)AR. Friday and Saturday puzzles are designed to be baffling. I just look at today’s puzzle this way: ‘I succeeded more often than I failed’. For me the HAN/MAMAN cross was a 50/50 guess between A or U. The APES/EAR error stemmed from my certainty that “Bud’s place” is a bar (Budweiser). The Planet of the Apes reference did not dawn on me.

  4. I feel very fortunate to have completed this puzzle error free. Could have gone off the rails in a few places. The A in 12D/16A was an educated guess, and AVCLUB was mostly arrived at through crosses. Definitely a Friday!

  5. A friendly Friday except for the NW corner. Didn’t get out of there without cheats on AVCLUB and AMOR to access what remained after getting MARINE.

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