0119-20 NY Times Crossword 19 Jan 20, Sunday

Constructed by: Victor Barocas
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Biotechnology

Circled letters in the grid give us four GENEs. Across- and down-answers leading into those GENEs flow through the GENE and then continue in the across- and down-directions:

  • 71A Biological manipulation suggested four times by this puzzle : GENE SPLICING
  • 24A Wildflower with spiky, purplish blooms : HEDGENETTLE
  • 26A Ruling family of Edward I : PLANTAGENETS
  • 98A Remarkable ability of a starfish : REGENERATION
  • 101A Lack of variation : HOMOGENEITY
  • 4D As a rule : IN GENERAL
  • 14D Romanian-born writer once in the French Academy : EUGENE IONESCO
  • 57D Big story : FRONT PAGE NEWS
  • 84D 1990s-2000s compact car : DODGE NEON

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 22m 32s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Things blockers block : ADS

That would be an ad-blocker in a Web browser.

8 1979 film inspired by Janis Joplin’s life : THE ROSE

I am a huge, huge fan of Bette Midler. I love her bawdy humor, her expansive personality, and her amazing voice. Midler will forever be associated with the 1979 film “The Rose”, which is loosely based on the life of the self-destructive singer Janis Joplin, with Bette playing the lead. Midler shows that she can act in this movie, and boy does she show that she can sing. The title song was written by Amanda McBroom and became a huge hit for Midler in 1979.

Famously, the singer Janis Joplin died from an overdose of heroin when she was just 27 years old. That puts her in the “27 Club”, a group of famous rock and blues musicians who died at the same age. In the club along with Joplin, are Brian Jones (of the Rolling Stones), Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse and a few others.

19 Receptionist on “The Office” : ERIN

Actress Ellie Kemper’s big break came with the role of Erin Hannon, a receptionist on the sitcom “The Office”. More recently, Kemper has been playing the title role in the Netflix comedy series “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”.

22 Island nation west of Fiji : VANUATU

The Republic of Vanuatu is an island nation in the South Pacific. The country became independent in 1980 after having suffered through Spanish, French and British rule.

23 Possible consequence of default, in brief : REPO

Repossession (repo)

26 Ruling family of Edward I : PLANTAGENETS

Edward I of England was on the throne from 1272 to 1307 and was also known as Edward Longshanks. The “Longshanks” name came from Edward’s exceptional height.

28 Adam’s ___ (water) : ALE

I suppose water was all that Adam had available to him to drink in the Garden of Eden, and so that’s how the expression “Adam’s ale” arose (I am guessing … can’t find anything definitive anywhere). The phrase “Adam’s ale” makes a nice juxtaposition with “the demon drink” (alcohol)!

31 Humpty Dumpty, e.g. : EGG

Humpty Dumpty is a character in a nursery rhyme, actually an egg although that isn’t specifically called out in the original rhyme:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

32 “Dallas” family name : EWING

The TV soap “Dallas” revolved around the Ewing family. The series that ran for 13 years was originally intended as a five-part mini-series, with the main characters being newlyweds Bobby and Pam Ewing. But, the devious character in the piece, Bobby’s brother J. R., became so popular with audiences that the series as extended with J. R. at the center of the story. Who can remember who shot J.R.? (It was Kristin Shepard: J.R.’s mistress, who was also his sister-in-law).

33 The Anne of “Anne of the Thousand Days” : BOLEYN

Anne Boleyn was the second wife of Henry VIII of England. Anne was found guilty of high treason after about a thousand days of marriage to Henry, accused of adultery and incest (probably trumped-up charges). She was executed, but perhaps her legacy lived on in her only child, as her daughter reigned for 45 very prosperous years as Queen Elizabeth I.

40 James who won an Emmy two years in a row for the same role on different shows : SPADER

Actor James Spader’s breakthrough role was the male lead in the 1989 film “Sex, Lies and Videotape”. After building a successful career on the big screen, Spader played some high-profile characters on the small screen in shows like “The Practice”, “Boston Legal” and “The Blacklist”. Spader worked as a yoga instructor while launching his career, and indeed met his ex-wife while working at a yoga studio in the eighties.

Actor James Spader won Emmy’s playing the same character, lawyer Alan Shore, on “The Practice” and “Boston Legal”.

53 Ancient monuments : STELES

Stelae (singular “stele” or “stela”) were used all over the world, sometimes as territorial markers and sometimes to commemorate military victories. In later times stelae were commonly erected as commemorative markers in graveyards or other religious sites.

54 Gaston ___, “The Phantom of the Opera” novelist : LEROUX

Gaston Leroux was a French author and journalist best known for writing “The Phantom of the Opera”, first published in 1910. As a journalist, Leroux was involved in an investigation into the Paris Opera. The basement of the opera house contained a cell that was used to hold prisoners in 1871, something that Leroux featured in his most famous novel.

55 Latte choice, informally : CAF

Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant that is found in several plants. The chemical serves as a natural pesticide by paralyzing and killing certain insects that would otherwise feed on the plant. Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive drug that is consumed by humans across the world.

58 The “she” in the lyric “She would merengue and do the cha-cha” : LOLA

The Copacabana of the 1978 Barry Manilow song is the Copacabana nightclub in New York City (which is also the subject of the Frank Sinatra song “Meet Me at the Copa”). The Copa opened in 1940 and is still going today, although it is struggling. The club had to move due to impending construction and is now “sharing” a location with the Columbus 72 nightclub.

Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl
With yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there
She would merengue and do the cha-cha
And while she tried to be a star
Tony always tended bar
Across the crowded floor, they worked from 8 ’til 4
They were young and they had each other
Who could ask for more?

59 W.W. I French biplane : SPAD

The Société Pour L’Aviation et ses Dérivés (SPAD) was a French aircraft manufacturer in the early part of the 20th century. They built the SPAD S.XIII biplane, a very popular aircraft in WWII.

60 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.

63 1980 Olympic hockey champs : USA

Beautiful Lake Placid in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State borders the village of Lake Placid, which famously was host of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. Here in the US, the most memorable event of the 1980 Winter Games was the “Miracle on Ice”, in which an amateur US hockey team beat what was in effect a professional USSR team, and then went on to win gold. A lesser known fact from the 1980 Games is that the Lake Placid Middle/High School served as a private bar for the Olympics. It is the only high school in the US to have been issued a license to serve alcohol.

68 Shark fighters : JETS

Leonard Bernstein’s musical “West Side Story” is based on William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. The musical is set in New York City and features two rival gangs: the Sharks from Puerto Rico and the Jets with working-class, Caucasian roots. Tony from the Jets (played by Richard Beymer) falls in love with Maria (played by Natalie Wood) from the Sharks. All this parallels Romeo from the House of Montague falling for Juliet from the House of Capulet in the Italian city of Verona. The stage musical was adapted into a very successful 1961 movie with the same title.

70 “Believe ___ not!” : IT OR

“Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” is a huge franchise on television that is affiliated to a worldwide chain of museums. The franchise started out as cartoon feature appearing in newspapers in 1918.

71 Biological manipulation suggested four times by this puzzle : GENE SPLICING

Recombinant DNA is DNA made under laboratory conditions. The recombination technique (sometimes referred to as “gene splicing”) brings together genetic material from multiple sources. The sources of that genetic material might be from a different part of the same gene, or even from the gene of a different organism. The end result is a new, man-made, genetic combination.

74 First African-American Davis Cup player : ASHE

Arthur Ashe was a professional tennis player from Richmond, Virginia. In his youth, Ashe found himself having to travel great distances to play against Caucasian opponents due to the segregation that still existed in his home state. He was rewarded for his dedication by being selected for the 1963 US Davis Cup team, the first African-American player to be so honored. Ashe continued to run into trouble because of his ethnicity though, and in 1968 was denied entry into South Africa to play in the South African Open. In 1979, Ashe suffered a heart attack and had bypass surgery, with follow-up surgery four years later during which he contracted HIV from blood transfusions. Ashe passed away in 1993 due to complications from AIDS. Shortly afterwards, Ashe was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.

The Davis Cup is referred to as the “World Cup of Tennis” as teams from competing countries play in a knock-out format. Although there are now over 120 nations competing, it all started in 1900 with an event featuring teams for just the US and Great Britain. That first competition came about when four members of the Harvard University tennis team wanted to challenge the British. One of the Harvard players was Dwight D. Davis. Davis designed the format for the tournament, and bought a sterling silver trophy using his own money. The event was called the International Lawn Tennis Challenge at first, but this evolved into the Davis Cup, taking the name of the trophy awarded to the winning nation.

75 Beethoven’s birthplace : BONN

After WWII, Bonn was chosen as the capital of West Germany. That choice was promoted by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer who was from the area. After German reunification, the nation’s capital was moved to Berlin.

Ludwig van Beethoven is my favorite composer from the Classical period. There are two excellent films that showcase his music and give fictionalized yet entertaining accounts of different aspects of his life: “Immortal Beloved” (1994) that speculates on the identity of one of Beethoven’s lovers, and “Copying Beethoven” (2006) that explores the events leading up to the triumphant premiere of his 9th Symphony.

77 Tender spot? : ATM

Automatic Teller Machine (ATM)

78 Like the sun god Inti : INCAN

Inti was the sun god worshiped by the Incas. Images depicting Inti are featured on the national flags of several nations, including Argentina and Uruguay.

79 Some liturgical vestments : STOLES

A stole is a narrow shawl. It can be made of quite light decorative material, but also can be heavier if made of fur.

81___ de Triomphe : L’ARC

L’Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile in Paris was built to honor those who fought for France, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. It is the second largest triumphal arch in the world, after the Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang, North Korea. If you are visiting Paris, don’t just take a picture of the arch, be sure to go inside and see the marvelous chambers and carvings, and wander around on top of the arch so that you can enjoy the magnificent view.

86 First National Leaguer to hit 500 home runs : OTT

At 5′ 9″, baseball legend Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don’t think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old. And, according to Wikipedia, “Ott’s name frequently appears in crossword puzzles, on account of its letter combination and brevity.” True that …

87 Fall color providers : MAPLES

Leaves are green because of the presence of the pigment chlorophyll. There is so much chlorophyll in a leaf during the growing season that it masks out the colors of any other pigments. The amount of chlorophyll falls off in the autumn so that other pigments, present all year, become evident. These pigments are carotenoids which are orange-yellow in color, and anthocyanins which are red-purple.

88 Some instant coffees : SANKAS

The first successful process for removing caffeine from coffee involved steaming the beans in salt water, and then extracting the caffeine using benzene (a potent carcinogen) as a solvent. Coffee processed this way was sold as Sanka here in the US. There are other processes used these days, and let’s hope they are safer …

90 Cheyenne Mountain org. : NORAD

The North American Defense Command (NORAD) isn’t just a US operation but is a cooperative arrangement between Canada and the United States. The two countries entered into an agreement to establish NORAD in 1958, mainly due to the concern that there would be little or no warning of a missile attack from the Soviet Union that came over the North Pole. NORAD also tracks Santa Claus coming from the North Pole every Christmas, and these days publishes Santa’s location on Christmas Eve on its website. The tracking of Santa started into 1955 when a local Sears store placed an advertisement in a Colorado Springs newspaper with a phone number that could be used to call Santa Claus. The newspaper accidentally printed the number for the Continental Air Defense Command (a precursor to NORAD). The officer on duty instructed his staff to give all children who called a “current location” for Santa. Today, NORAD gets about 120,000 phone queries about Santa’s location every year, and the website gets about 20 million visitors.

98 Remarkable ability of a starfish : REGENERATION

Starfish (sometimes known as “sea stars”) come in many shapes and sizes, but commonly have “pentaradial symmetry”, meaning they have symmetrical body-shapes with five points. Most starfish are predators, mainly living on a diet of mollusks such as clams and oysters.

99 Use a rototiller on, say : AERATE

The rototiller (or rotary tiller) was invented by Arthur Clifford Howard in 1912, in Australia.

103 “ER” actress Laura : INNES

Laura Innes is an actress who is best known for playing Dr. Kerry Weaver on the long-running TV show “ER”. She also played the lead role of Sophia in the short-running TV drama “The Event” in 2010-2011.

106 Service with more than 1.5 billion users : GMAIL

Gmail is a free webmail service provided by Google, and my favorite of the free email services. Gmail made a big splash when it was introduced because it offered a whopping 1GB of storage whereas other services offered a measly 2-4MB on average.

107 Home of the Latino Walk of Fame, informally : EAST LA

The Latino Walk of Fame is located on Whittier Boulevard in East Los Angeles. Modeled on Hollywood’s famous Walk of Fame, it was inaugurated in 1997 with the mission of honoring Latino celebrities. Each name is engraved in a “Sun Plaque”.

108 Composer of the “London” symphonies : HAYDN

Josef Haydn was an Austrian composer, often called the “Father of the Symphony” due to his prolific output of symphonies that helped define the form. This is one of the reasons that he was known, even in his own lifetime, as “Papa Haydn”. Haydn was also the father figure among “the big three” composers of the Classical Period: Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Haydn was a good friend to Mozart, and a teacher of Beethoven.

111 Big e-cigarette brand : BLU

An electronic cigarette (also called an “e-cigarette”) is a battery-powered device that resembles a real cigarette. The e-cigarette vaporizes a solution that contains nicotine, forming a vapor that resembles smoke. The vapor is inhaled in a process called “vaping”, delivering nicotine into the body. The assumption is that an e-cigarette is healthier than a regular cigarette as the inhaled vapor is less harmful than inhaled smoke. But, that may not be so …

113 Anti-athlete’s foot brand : LOTRIMIN

The skin condition known as tinea is more usually referred to as ringworm. Tinea pedis is commonly known as athlete’s foot.

121 Polynesian carving : TIKI

A tiki is a large carving of wood or stone resembling a human form that is found in Polynesian cultures. The carvings often mark out boundaries surrounding sites that are sacred to the locals.

125 Starting point : EDEN

According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers, including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

126 Broadway’s “___ Todd” : SWEENEY

“Sweeney Todd” was originally a 1936 film, and later in 1973 a play, then a 1979 musical and a movie adaptation of the musical in 2007. After Sweeney Todd has killed his victims, his partner in crime Mrs. Lovett helped him dispose of the bodies by taking the flesh and baking it into meat pies that she sold in her pie shop. Ugh!

128 Loch ___, site of Urquhart Castle : NESS

Urquhart Castle is a ruin that sits right on the edge of Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland. What’s left of the old castle today dates from the 13th to 16th centuries.

Down

3 Beethoven’s only opera : FIDELIO

“Fidelio” is Ludwig van Beethoven’s one and only opera, and a work that he really struggled with. “Fidelio” tells of a woman named Leonore who disguises herself as a prison guard in order to get her condemned husband out of prison.

5 City that ancient Greeks called Philadelphia : AMMAN

Amman is the capital city of Jordan, and is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world. Amman has been occupied by a number of different civilizations over the centuries, including the Greeks who called it “Philadelphia”, a name retained by the Romans when they occupied the city just after 100 AD.

6 Christian with a big house : DIOR

Christian Dior was a French fashion designer. As WWII approached, Dior was called up by the French military, drawing a temporary halt to his career in fashion. He left the army in 1942 and for the duration of the war designed clothes for wives of Nazi officers and French collaborators. After the war his designs became so popular that he helped to re-establish Paris as the fashion center of the world.

7 Winter vehicle : SNO-CAT

The brand name “Sno-Cat” is owned by the Tucker company. All snowcats are tracked vehicles built to work in snow, and are famously used in expeditions to the polar regions. The modern Sno-Cat from Tucker differs from its competitors in that it has four independently-mounted tracks.

8 Mike and Carol Brady, e.g. : TV PARENTS

In the TV show “The Brady Bunch”, the mom is Carol Brady, formerly Carol Martin, played by Florence Henderson. The dad is Mike Brady, played by Robert Reed.

9 Berry receiving much attention in the 2000s : HALLE

Actress Halle Berry was the first African-American woman to win a Best Actress Oscar, which she received for her performance in the 2001 movie “Monster’s Ball”. Berry also won a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress in 2005 for playing the title role in “Catwoman”, and she very graciously accepted that award in person. Good for her!

10 Bambi’s aunt : ENA

Ena is Bambi’s aunt in the 1942 Disney film “Bambi”. The movie is based on the novel “Bambi, A Life in the Woods” written by Austrian author Felix Salten and first published in 1923. There is a documented phenomenon known as the Bambi Effect, whereby people become more interested in animal rights after having watched the scene where Bambi’s mother is shot by hunters.

11 Bit of ancient script : RUNE

A rune is a character in an alphabet that is believed to have mysterious powers. In Norse mythology, the runic alphabet was said to have a divine origin.

14 Romanian-born writer once in the French Academy : EUGENE IONESCO

Eugène Ionesco was a Romanian and French playwright who was very active in the Avant-garde and Theater of the Absurd movements.

16 Tribe of Moses and Aaron : LEVI

According to the Hebrew and Christian Bibles, Levi was the third son of Jacob and Leah, and the great-grandfather of Aaron and Moses.

18 Wimbledon champ, 1976-80 : BORG

Björn Borg is a retired tennis player from Sweden, and a former World No. 1. Borg won 41% of the 27 Grand Slam singles tournaments that he entered, which is a record that stands to the day. He was known for reacting very calmly under pressure on the tennis court and hence earned the nicknames “Ice Man” and “Ice Borg”, the latter being my personal favorite.

29 Gag item floating in Halloween punch : EYEBALL

Deviled eggs are hard-boiled eggs that have been shelled and sliced in two. The egg’s yolk is mixed with primarily mayonnaise and mustard, and then spooned into the hard-boiled egg white. The eggs are then sprinkled with paprika and served cold. Some people make deviled eggs on Halloween, dropping an olive slice in the middle so that the whole thing resembles an eyeball! The term “deviled” has been used for zesty or spicy foods since the 1700s.

30 Brother on “Frasier” : NILES

In the sitcom called “Frasier”, Niles Crane is the brother of the title character Frasier Crane. Frasier is played by Kelsey Grammer and Niles is played by David Hyde Pierce. Frasier was originally intended to be an only child in the show’s storyline, but the producers decided to add a brother when they noted the remarkable similarity in appearance between David Hyde Pierce and Kelsey Grammer.

34 Ancient Dead Sea land : EDOM

Edom is an ancient Iron Age kingdom located in the south of modern-day Jordan. The area is known for its red-colored sandstone, which gave the kingdom its name. According to the Bible, the Edomites were the descendants of Esau. “Edom” translates from Hebrew as “red”, and was the name given to Esau when he ate the “red pottage”.

40 Rooms with views : SOLARIA

A solarium (plural “solaria”) is a sunroom or sun lounge, a structure usually built onto the side of a house that contains a lot of glass to let in the sun.

44 Subject for Kinsey : SEX

Alfred Kinsey sure did create a stir with his work and publications. He founded the Institute for Sex Research in 1947, and published the famous “Kinsey Reports” in 1948 and 1953. I enjoyed the 2004 biopic “Kinsey”, starring Irish actor Liam Neeson in the title role.

46 Olden Tokyo : EDO

“Edo” is the former name of the Japanese city of Tokyo. Edo was the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate, a feudal regime that ruled from 1603 until 1868. The shogun lived in the magnificent Edo Castle. Some parts of the original castle remain and today’s Tokyo Imperial Palace, the residence of the Emperor of Japan, was built on its grounds.

48 Flower part : SEPAL

In a flower, the sepals are the green, leaf-like structures that are “interleaved” with the petals, providing support. Prior to acting as support for the petals, the sepals protect the flower in bud.

50 Roman emperor before Hadrian : TRAJAN

Trajan was Emperor of Rome between the years 98 and 117. The Roman Empire reached further geographically under Trajan than any other emperor.

62 Composer Schoenberg : ARNOLD

Arnold Schoenberg was a champion of the use of atonality in music. I admit to having a somewhat closed mind when it comes to atonality, so I have very little of his music in my collection …

65 Skeptically : ASKANCE

To look askance is to look with suspicion, or to look with a side glance.

67 Apostle called “the Zealot” : SIMON

Simon the Zealot was one of the lesser known of the Apostles, not to be confused with Simon Peter, leader of the early Christian Church. There are suggestions that Simon the Zealot may be the same person as Simon, the brother of Jesus.

72 Midlength records, for short : EPS

An extended-play (EP) record, CD or download contains more music than a single, but less than an LP.

78 From Shiraz or Tabriz : IRANIAN

The Iranian city of Shiraz has long been associated with wine, but there is no proven link between the city and the wine/grape we know today as “Shiraz” (also called “Syrah”). Having said that, some clay jars were found just outside of the city of Shiraz that contained wine; wine that was 7,000 years old!

Tabriz is a large city in the northwest of Iran that once served as the country’s capital. The city is famous for its hand-woven rugs and jewelry.

80 Country star Womack : LEE ANN

Lee Ann Womack is a country music singer and songwriter from Jacksonville, Texas.

84 1990s-2000s compact car : DODGE NEON

The Neon was made by Chrysler from 1994 to 2005. It was introduced to the rest of the world as the Chrysler Neon, but was sold under the Dodge and Plymouth brands in the US.

85 Smelter’s supply : ORE

Metals are found in ore in the form of oxides. In order to get pure metal from the ore, the ore is heated and the metal oxides within are reduced (i.e. the oxygen is removed) in the chemical process known as smelting. The oxygen is extracted by adding a source of carbon or carbon monoxide which uses up the excess oxygen atoms to make carbon dioxide, a waste product of smelting (and, a greenhouse gas).

89 Sometimes-white animal : STOAT

The stoat has dark brown fur in the summer, and white fur in the winter. Sometimes the term “ermine” is used for the animal during the winter when the fur is white. Ermine skins have long been prized by royalty and are often used for white trim on ceremonial robes.

102 QB protection squads : O-LINES

Offensive line (O-line)

104 Companions of Dionysus : SATYRS

Dionysus was the party animal of Greek mythology. Dionysus was the god of wine, ritual madness and ecstasy! His Roman equivalent was Bacchus.

105 John Wilkes Booth’s actor brother : EDWIN

By the time he assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth was a very well-known and respected stage actor. Booth was so successful that he was earning over $500,000 a year in today’s money.

106 Wikipedia’s logo : GLOBE

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, and is the most-used reference site on the Internet. The site was launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger in 2001. I, for one, am very grateful …

107 Refrain from nursery singing : EIEIO

There was an old American version of the English children’s song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” (E-I-E-I-O) that was around in the days of WWI. The first line of the older US version goes “Old MacDougal had a farm, in Ohio-i-o”.

108 “In time we ___ that which we often fear”: Shak. : HATE

“In time we hate that which we often fear” is a line from William Shakespeare’s play “Antony and Cleopatra”.

“Antony and Cleopatra” is one of William Shakespeare’s tragedies. It tells the story of the relationship between Mark Antony and Cleopatra after the death of Julius Caesar.

110 Make into a couple : YOKE

A yoke is a wooden beam used between a pair of animals so that they are forced to work together.

112 Magazine with the motto “Cure ignorance” : UTNE

The “Utne Reader” is known for aggregation and republishing of articles on politics, culture and the environment from other sources in the media. It was founded in 1984 by Eric Utne, with management taken over by Eric’s wife Nina Rothschild Utne in 1990.

118 First name in spy literature : IAN

Ian Fleming is most famous for writing the “James Bond” series of spy novels. You might also know that he wrote the children’s story “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, which was made into a cute movie released in 1968 and even a stage musical that opened in 2002.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Homeowner’s action, for short : REFI
5 Things blockers block : ADS
8 1979 film inspired by Janis Joplin’s life : THE ROSE
15 Indistinct shape : BLOB
19 Receptionist on “The Office” : ERIN
20 Be bothered by : MIND
22 Island nation west of Fiji : VANUATU
23 Possible consequence of default, in brief : REPO
24 Wildflower with spiky, purplish blooms : HEDGENETTLE
25 Secure : MOOR
26 Ruling family of Edward I : PLANTAGENETS
27 Finished : OVER
28 Adam’s ___ (water) : ALE
29 Hole in one’s head : EAR CANAL
31 Humpty Dumpty, e.g. : EGG
32 “Dallas” family name : EWING
33 The Anne of “Anne of the Thousand Days” : BOLEYN
35 Feverish : AFIRE
36 Put back on : RERAN
38 Insinuating : SNIDE
40 James who won an Emmy two years in a row for the same role on different shows : SPADER
45 Ignorant person, in slang : GOOBER
47 Security system array : SENSORS
49 Total : ENTIRE
51 Angered by : MAD AT
53 Ancient monuments : STELES
54 Gaston ___, “The Phantom of the Opera” novelist : LEROUX
55 Latte choice, informally : CAF
58 The “she” in the lyric “She would merengue and do the cha-cha” : LOLA
59 W.W. I French biplane : SPAD
60 Capital of Albania : TIRANE
61 Like much of Iowa : RURAL
63 1980 Olympic hockey champs : USA
66 Up : ARISEN
68 Shark fighters : JETS
70 “Believe ___ not!” : IT OR
71 Biological manipulation suggested four times by this puzzle : GENE SPLICING
74 First African-American Davis Cup player : ASHE
75 Beethoven’s birthplace : BONN
76 Comprehension : UPTAKE
77 Tender spot? : ATM
78 Like the sun god Inti : INCAN
79 Some liturgical vestments : STOLES
81___ de Triomphe : L’ARC
83 It’s down in the dumps : ODOR
86 First National Leaguer to hit 500 home runs : OTT
87 Fall color providers : MAPLES
88 Some instant coffees : SANKAS
90 Cheyenne Mountain org. : NORAD
92 Stays out of : EVADES
93 Closes in a thin membrane : ENCYSTS
95 Disappointing response to an application : DENIED
98 Remarkable ability of a starfish : REGENERATION
99 Use a rototiller on, say : AERATE
101 Lack of variation : HOMOGENEITY
103 “ER” actress Laura : INNES
105 Turn out : END UP
106 Service with more than 1.5 billion users : GMAIL
107 Home of the Latino Walk of Fame, informally : EAST LA
108 Composer of the “London” symphonies : HAYDN
111 Big e-cigarette brand : BLU
113 Anti-athlete’s foot brand : LOTRIMIN
115 Good for leaving handprints in : WET
116 State without reservations : AVOW
119 Provider of child support? : KNEE
121 Polynesian carving : TIKI
122 Dreamer : WANNABE
123 Half in advance? : SEMI-
124 Unique individual : ONER
125 Starting point : EDEN
126 Broadway’s “___ Todd” : SWEENEY
127 “Hamilton” Tony nominee Phillipa ___ : SOO
128 Loch ___, site of Urquhart Castle : NESS

Down

1 Goes through physical therapy : REHABS
2 Anon : ERE LONG
3 Beethoven’s only opera : FIDELIO
4 As a rule : IN GENERAL
5 City that ancient Greeks called Philadelphia : AMMAN
6 Christian with a big house : DIOR
7 Winter vehicle : SNO-CAT
8 Mike and Carol Brady, e.g. : TV PARENTS
9 Berry receiving much attention in the 2000s : HALLE
10 Bambi’s aunt : ENA
11 Bit of ancient script : RUNE
12 Ingredient in some health food supplements : OATGRASS
13 Not occurring naturally : STAGED
14 Romanian-born writer once in the French Academy : EUGENE IONESCO
15 Cook on the outside : BROWN
16 Tribe of Moses and Aaron : LEVI
17 Available to the public : OPEN
18 Wimbledon champ, 1976-80 : BORG
21 First takes : DRAFTS
29 Gag item floating in Halloween punch : EYEBALL
30 Brother on “Frasier” : NILES
32 Breadwinner : EARNER
34 Ancient Dead Sea land : EDOM
37 Woozy : REELING
40 Rooms with views : SOLARIA
41 Forecast : PREDICT
43 Phrase of agreement : TRUE THAT
44 Subject for Kinsey : SEX
46 Olden Tokyo : EDO
48 Flower part : SEPAL
50 Roman emperor before Hadrian : TRAJAN
52 “Nyah, nyah!,” e.g. : TAUNT
55 Nursery sight : CRIB
56 Insurance for the crash-prone : AUTOSAVE
57 Big story : FRONT PAGE NEWS
60 Start of a countdown : TEN …
62 Composer Schoenberg : ARNOLD
64 Repair material : SEALANT
65 Skeptically : ASKANCE
67 Apostle called “the Zealot” : SIMON
69 Launched : SENT
71 Didn’t know but said something anyway : GUESSED
72 Midlength records, for short : EPS
73 Full of spirit : PERKY
78 From Shiraz or Tabriz : IRANIAN
80 Country star Womack : LEE ANN
82 Greenbacks : CASH MONEY
84 1990s-2000s compact car : DODGE NEON
85 Smelter’s supply : ORE
87 Locale for un capitaine : MER
88 It doesn’t need land to land : SEAPLANE
89 Sometimes-white animal : STOAT
91 Rackets : DINS
94 Smiles smugly : SMIRKS
96 Twist together : ENTWINE
97 X’s : DELETES
100 Chafe : RUB RAW
102 QB protection squads : O-LINES
104 Companions of Dionysus : SATYRS
105 John Wilkes Booth’s actor brother : EDWIN
106 Wikipedia’s logo : GLOBE
107 Refrain from nursery singing : EIEIO
108 “In time we ___ that which we often fear”: Shak. : HATE
109 Devoted : AVID
110 Make into a couple : YOKE
112 Magazine with the motto “Cure ignorance” : UTNE
114 Staff note : MEMO
118 First name in spy literature : IAN

16 thoughts on “0119-20 NY Times Crossword 19 Jan 20, Sunday”

  1. Seven seconds shy of an hour (59:53) and that was with some help from my friend Google. Really tough one for me. I got the theme, but PLANTAGENETS and EUGENE IONESCO were unknown to me. I’ll throw VANUATU into that category as well.

    Interesting that the setter is a professor of biomedical engineering at the U of Minnesota. The theme sounds right up his alley.

    Best –

  2. Nice to you back, Jeff! Not likely anybody will see this but….2:07:32. Yep, 2 hours, plus. Gotta give me points for persistence….

  3. My timer ran out at 2 hours but I kept at it for another 20 minutes or so to somehow come up with no errors….Now that I know the setters background I don’t feel so bad but wouldn’t be at all mad if I never see his name on another puzzle ever again.

    1. 1:04:30. I got the gimmick fairly quickly, but this was just a hard one all around. I’m proud that I got it without any lookups.

  4. 51:57, no errors. Extremely challenging, but beautifully constructed puzzle. Color me impressed. On the other hand, 81A is, to me, one of the more egregious uses of foreign language in an English language puzzle. Not only is L’ARC (the arch) French, but is it is a contraction for le arc (or la arc, I can never remember the gender of inanimate objects). Maybe that’s why the French typical use the contraction, they can’t remember either.

  5. The Super Bowl got in the way so I had to finish this on Monday morning. Had TIRENE/TREJAN for a one-square error. Sure would have liked to nail this one as it was diabolical. Found the connection between the clues and answers to be tenuous at times, but as it should be for a Sunday.

    1. I don’t know if you will see this late explanation, but as you observed, ‘wet’ as opposed to ‘dry’. Wet surfaces, such as paint or concrete are good for leaving hand prints; as opposed to dry paint or concrete.

      1. Thanks Bruce, my point is that if someone asked you “What’s good for leaving handprints in?” your answer would not be “wet”. Wet by itself is not an answer IMHO. Wet is an adjective not a noun. Not yelling at you, just whining in general. 😉

        1. Consider freshly applied paint: It’s “good for leaving hand prints in” because it’s “wet”. The phrase in the clue and the answer in the grid are equivalent: one can be substituted for the other.

  6. In the introduction by Will Shortz, he says Victor included colorful fill like 8 and 29 across and 8, 43, 56 Etc down. What does he mean by Colorful fill?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.