0121-20 NY Times Crossword 21 Jan 20, Tuesday

Constructed by: Carl Larson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Six-Pack of Beer

There are four PACKS of SIX letters circled in the grid. Each PACK spells out the name of a BEER:

  • STELLA
  • AMSTEL
  • MILLER
  • CORONA

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 10m 40s!

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

9 “I give up!” : UNCLE!

To say uncle is to submit or yield. This peculiarly American use of “uncle” dates back to the early 1900s, but nobody seems to know how “uncle!” came to mean “stop!”

15 ___ bowl (health food offering) : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

16 1988 Summer Olympics city : SEOUL

The 1988 Summer Olympic Games were held in Seoul, South Korea. They were the first Summer Olympics held in South Korea, and the second held in Asia (after Tokyo in 1964).

17 Subject of interest to a 23andMe user : GENE

23andMe was the first company to offer direct-to-consumer genetic testing, doing so in 2007. Initially, 23andMe offered a test that determined a subject’s predisposition to a list of specific genetic traits, including baldness and blindness. The company now offers a cost-effective ancestry DNA test as well. The name “23andMe” is a reference to the 23 pairs of chromosomes in the cells of a human.

20 Cellphone button : ASTERISK

The name of the typographical symbol “asterisk” comes from the Greek word “asteriskos” meaning “little star”. The original use of the asterisk was by printers of family trees in feudal times. Back then it was a symbol indicating the date of birth.

22 Tiny sound? : INLET

Ships might travel through a sound, a wide channel connecting two bodies of water.

23 Xylophonist’s need : MALLET

The glockenspiel and xylophone are similar instruments, the main difference being the material from which the keys are made. Xylophone keys are made from wood, and glockenspiel keys are made from metal.

24 URL ending : ORG

An Internet address (like NYXCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a Uniform Resource Locator (URL).

25 Hit from the ’60s? : LSD

LSD (known colloquially as “acid”) is lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist named Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man …

28 Groups plotting coups : CABALS

A cabal is a small group of plotters acting in secret, perhaps scheming against a government or an individual.

31 “Casablanca” setting : CAFE

The fictional Rick’s Café Américain is the main setting used in the movie “Casablanca”, with the café owner played by Humphrey Bogart. Should you ever visit Morocco, you might try visiting Rick’s Café Casablanca, an establishment opened in 2004 that largely recreates the look and feel of the memorable movie set.

32 IV solution : SALINE

Intravenous drip (IV)

33 English school that’s a rival of Harrow : ETON

Harrow School in north-west London is a boarding school, one of only four boys-only, boarding-only independent schools in England. The other three schools in the category are the famous Eton College, Radley College and Winchester College. The list of Harrow alumni includes British Prime Ministers Robert Peel, Alec Baldwin and Winston Churchill, and Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

39 Bronze and brass : ALLOYS

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. Compare this with bronze, an alloy of copper and tin. Brass and bronze are often mistaken for each other.

42 A.T.F. agent, e.g. : FED

A fed is an officer of a US federal agency, although the term “fed” usually applies to an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) today is part of the Department of Justice (DOJ). The ATF has its roots in the Department of Treasury dating back to 1886 when it was known as the Bureau of Prohibition. “Explosives” was added to the ATF’s name when the bureau was moved under the Department of Justice (DOJ) as part of the reorganization called for in the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

46 Keyboard key pressed by a pinkie : TAB

Like most features on our computer keyboards, the tab key is a hangover from the days of typewriters. When using a typewriter, making entries into a table was very tedious, involving lots of tapping on the spacebar and backspace key. So, a lever was added to typewriters that allowed the operator to “jump” across the page to positions that could be set by hand. Later this was simplified to a tab key which could be depressed, causing the carriage to jump to the next tab stop in much the same way that the modern tab key works on a computer.

The use of “pinkie” or “pinky” for the little finger or toe comes into English from “pinkje”, the Dutch word for the same digit. Who knew …?

47 “Nothing in life is fun for the whole ___”: Jerry Seinfeld : FAMILY

Jerry Seinfeld is a standup comedian and comic actor from Brooklyn, New York. Jerry is most famous for playing the lead in the “Seinfeld” sitcom from 1989 to 1998. “Seinfeld” was good for Jerry, earning him $267 million in 1998 alone, and making him the highest-paid celebrity that year.

53 River rental : CANOE

The boat known as a canoe takes its name from the Carib word “kenu” meaning “dugout”. It was Christopher Columbus who brought “kenu” into Spanish as “canoa”, which evolved into our English “canoe”.

54 “Aaron ___, Sir” (song from “Hamilton”) : BURR

Aaron Burr was the third vice-president of the US, and served under Thomas Jefferson from 1801 to 1805. In the final year of his term in office, Burr fought an illegal duel and killed his political rival Alexander Hamilton. Burr was charged with several crimes as a result, but those charges were eventually dropped. The Democratic-Republican Party had already decided not to nominate Burr as candidate for vice president to run alongside Jefferson in the 1804 election, largely because the relationship between Vice President Burr and President Jefferson was so poor. The subsequent fallout resulting from the killing of Alexander Hamilton effectively ended Burr’s political career.

“Hamilton” is a 2015 musical based on the life of US Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, as described in the 2004 biography by Ron Chernow. The show opened off-Broadway in February 2015, and transferred to Broadway in August of the same year. Advance ticket sales for the Broadway production were unprecedented, and reportedly amounted to $30 million. The representations of the main characters is decidedly ground-breaking. The show is rooted in hip-hop and the main roles such as Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington are all played by African-American and Hispanic actors.

55 Panache : BRIO

“Brio” is borrowed from Italian, in which language the term means “vigor and vivacity”. “Con brio” is a musical direction often found on a score, instructing the musicians to play “with energy, vigor”.

Someone exhibiting panache is showing dash and verve, and perhaps has a swagger. “Panache” is a French word used for a plume of feathers, especially one in a hat.

56 Fluorescent bulb filler : ARGON

The chemical element argon has the symbol Ar. Argon is a noble gas, and so by definition is relatively nonreactive. The name “argon” comes from the Greek word for “lazy, inactive”. There’s a lot of argon around, as it is the third-most abundant gas in our atmosphere.

The fluorescent lamp that we use as a direct replacement for an incandescent light bulb is known as a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL). CFLs largely displaced incandescents as the bulb of choice in our homes, and LED bulbs are now replacing CFLs.

57 Major Baltic port : RIGA

Riga is the capital city of Latvia. The historical center of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, declared as such because of the city’s magnificent examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

The Baltic is a sea in northern Europe that is much less saline than the oceans. The lower amount of salt in the Baltic partially explains why almost half of the sea freezes over during the winter. In fact, the Baltic has been known to completely freeze over several times over the past few centuries.

Down

3 Layer below the earth’s crust : MANTLE

The mantle of a terrestrial planet is the layer between the planetary core and the planet’s crust. The Earth’s mantle has a thickness of just under 1,800 miles, and is a silicate rocky shell.

5 Symbol on a Braves baseball cap : CAPITAL A

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.

7 Old German money : MARK

One of the currencies replaced by the euro was Germany’s Deutsche Mark (known as “deutschmark” in English).

10 Beat writer ___ Cassady : NEAL

Neal Cassady was a member of the Beat Generation, the group of post-WWII writers who became prominent in the 1950s. Cassady was the inspiration for the character Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac’s novel “On the Road”.

13 “Mr. Blue Sky” band, for short : ELO

“Mr. Blue Sky” is a 1977 song by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) from Britain. It’s a song that has been described as “Beatlesque”, and I must say that I agree with that statement …

22 E-file recipient, in brief : IRS

E-file: that’s certainly what I do with my tax return …

29 Upset stomach soother, informally : BICARB

“Bicarb” is a familiar term for sodium bicarbonate. Another name for the same compound is “baking soda”. When sodium carbonate is added to a batter, it reacts with acids and releases carbon dioxide which gives baked goods texture, all those “holes”.

30 Twistable joint : ANKLE

The ankle joint proper is the hinge joint connecting the ends of the tibia and fibula in the leg with the top of the talus in the foot.

31 They’ll earn you a 2.0 : CEES

Grade point average (GPA)

32 Annual Austin festival, for short : SXSW

South by Southwest, also known as “SXSW”, is an annual festival that has been taking place in Austin, Texas since 1987. SXSW is a melded event, combining a music festival, a film festival and an interactive festival.

35 Barkeep’s grabber : ICE TONGS

A pair of tongs is a tool with a scissor-like hinge used to pick up things, like meat cooking on a barbecue grill or ice from an ice bucket. The verb “to tong” means “to handle with tongs”.

36 Hullabaloo : FOOFARAW

Foofaraw is excessive or flashy ornamentation, or a fuss over something that is unimportant.

Our word “hullabaloo”, meaning “commotion”, is a derivative of an older term “hollo-ballo”. “Hollo-ballo” was a word used for an uproar in the north of England and Scotland.

38 Airport across the bay from OAK : SFO

The San Francisco Bay Area is served by three major airports: San Francisco (SFO), Oakland (OAK) and San Jose (SJC).

41 Pokémon Go, in the late 2010s, e.g. : FAD

“Pokémon GO” is a reality-based video game in which players must locate, capture, battle and train virtual creatures known as Pokémon. The Pokémon are hidden in the real world, in the sense that they have to be located on an electronic device (like a smartphone) in “the real world”, for which a GPS location is needed. Players see the Pokémon overlaid on a view of the real world on their smart device.

43 Mama Cass : ELLIOT

Cass Elliot (born “Ellen Cohen”) was one of the four singers in the Mamas and the Papas, a sensational group from the sixties. “Mama Cass” was performing sold-out concerts in London in 1974 when she was found dead one morning, having had a heart attack. She was only 32 years old. Eerily, Elliot died in the same flat (on loan from Harry Nilsson) in which the Who’s drummer Keith Moon would die just four years later.

44 Vacuum cleaners featuring “cyclone” technology : DYSONS

Dyson vacuum cleaners do not use a bag to collect dust. James Dyson invented the first vacuum cleaner to use cyclonic separation in 1979, frustrated at the poor performance of his regular vacuum cleaner. As Dyson cleaners do not use bags, they don’t have to deal with collection bags that are blocked with fine dust particles, even after emptying. Cyclonic separation uses high speed spinning of the dust-containing air so that the dust particles are thrown out of the airflow into a collection bin. We have a Dyson now, and should have bought it years ago …

53 Cougar or cheetah : CAT

The mountain lion is found in much of the Americas from the Yukon in Canada right down to the southern Andes in South America. Because the mountain lion is found over such a vast area, it has many different names applied by local peoples, such as “cougar” and “puma”. In fact, the mountain lion holds the Guinness record for the animal with the most number of different names, with over 40 in English alone.

The cheetah can run faster than any other land animal, achieving speeds of 70-75 mph. The name “cheetah” comes into English from Sanskrit via Hindi, from the word for “variegated”. Something that is variegated has different colored zones, like the mottled hide of the cheetah.

54 Abbr. in a real estate ad : BRS

An apartment (apt) might have one bedroom (br).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Ideologies : ISMS
5 Something to pitch or break : CAMP
9 “I give up!” : UNCLE!
14 Ham or lamb : MEAT
15 ___ bowl (health food offering) : ACAI
16 1988 Summer Olympics city : SEOUL
17 Subject of interest to a 23andMe user : GENE
18 Vivacious : PERT
19 “You are not!” retort : I AM SO!
20 Cellphone button : ASTERISK
22 Tiny sound? : INLET
23 Xylophonist’s need : MALLET
24 URL ending : ORG
25 Hit from the ’60s? : LSD
27 “Baa baa” mama : EWE
28 Groups plotting coups : CABALS
31 “Casablanca” setting : CAFE
32 IV solution : SALINE
33 English school that’s a rival of Harrow : ETON
34 Party purchase … or a hint to each circled letter set : SIX-PACK OF BEER
38 Brief moments : SECS
39 Bronze and brass : ALLOYS
40 Aviated : FLEW
41 Unburdened by : FREE OF
42 A.T.F. agent, e.g. : FED
45 ___-told : OFT
46 Keyboard key pressed by a pinkie : TAB
47 “Nothing in life is fun for the whole ___”: Jerry Seinfeld : FAMILY
49 Prepped, as apples for baking : CORED
51 Tiffs : QUARRELS
53 River rental : CANOE
54 “Aaron ___, Sir” (song from “Hamilton”) : BURR
55 Panache : BRIO
56 Fluorescent bulb filler : ARGON
57 Major Baltic port : RIGA
58 Desktop image : ICON
59 Quick to anger : TESTY
60 Pour forth : SPEW
61 Grasps : GETS

Down

1 “Sign me up!” : I’M GAME!
2 Go back and forth : SEESAW
3 Layer below the earth’s crust : MANTLE
4 Shade of blue : STEEL
5 Symbol on a Braves baseball cap : CAPITAL A
6 “Bullets,” in poker : ACES
7 Old German money : MARK
8 Orchestra locale : PIT
9 On drugs : USING
10 Beat writer ___ Cassady : NEAL
11 Not be punctual : COME LATE
12 Greatly desires : LUSTS FOR
13 “Mr. Blue Sky” band, for short : ELO
21 Sportscast summary : RECAP
22 E-file recipient, in brief : IRS
24 Soccer stadium chant : OLE OLE!
26 Study : DEN
29 Upset stomach soother, informally : BICARB
30 Twistable joint : ANKLE
31 They’ll earn you a 2.0 : CEES
32 Annual Austin festival, for short : SXSW
34 Healthy diet and regular exercise, say : SELF-CARE
35 Barkeep’s grabber : ICE TONGS
36 Hullabaloo : FOOFARAW
37 Hands down : BY FAR
38 Airport across the bay from OAK : SFO
41 Pokémon Go, in the late 2010s, e.g. : FAD
42 Savage : FIERCE
43 Mama Cass : ELLIOT
44 Vacuum cleaners featuring “cyclone” technology : DYSONS
46 Minuscule : TEENY
48 “Live and Let Die” villain : MR BIG
50 Rummage (through) : ROOT
51 Witticism : QUIP
52 Advocate for : URGE
53 Cougar or cheetah : CAT
54 Abbr. in a real estate ad : BRS

7 thoughts on “0121-20 NY Times Crossword 21 Jan 20, Tuesday”

  1. 9:06. Fun theme. I tried to think of other beer brands with 6 letters, but after a few minutes I gave up. I thought of a couple of Texas beers – Shiner and Pearls – but I doubt they’d put those in a theme like this.

    Best –

  2. …Tecate and Modelo would have worked as well. Mexican beers, but so is Corona. Perhaps those two aren’t as well known in the U.S., however…

  3. 11:08, no errors. Seemed a bit more challenging than a typical Tuesday. Beautifully constructed, not only are the theme entries symmetrically placed in the grid, but the beer brands are all folded in exactly the same way. Nice job.

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