0124-20 NY Times Crossword 24 Jan 20, Friday

Constructed by: Scott Earl
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 15m 43s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 Hit 2018 film involving a gay teenage romance : LOVE, SIMON

“Love, Simon” is a 2018 teen comedy-drama that is based on a 2015 novel called “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli. The film is noted as the first mainstream Hollywood film to focus on gay teenage romance.

16 World capital NE of Vientiane : HANOI

Hanoi (“Hà Nội” in Vietnamese) was the capital of North Vietnam, and Saigon the capital of South Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, Hanoi was made capital of the reunified state. Saigon, the larger metropolis, was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoi is located in the delta of the Red River, and is just over 50 miles from the Gulf of Tonkin in the South China Sea.

Vientiane is the capital city of Laos, and is situated on the famous Mekong River. The city was originally called the “city of sandalwood” by Buddhist monks, naming after the valued trees that grew in the area. The French took the Pali words for “city of sandalwood” and rewrote it as the French-sounding “Vientiane”.

19 Worker in “The 12 Days of Christmas” : MAID

The fabulous Christmas carol called “The Twelve Days of Christmas” dates back at least to 1780 when it was first published in England, though it may be French in origin. The concept of twelve days of Christmas comes from the tradition that the three kings came to visit the Christ Child twelve days after he was born. This same tradition is the origin of the title to Shakespeare’s play “Twelfth Night”.

22 Host of the 2007 and 2014 Academy Awards, familiarly : ELLEN

Ellen DeGeneres is a very, very successful TV personality, having parlayed her career in stand-up comedy into lucrative gigs as an actress and talk show host. Back in 1997 DeGeneres chose the “Oprah Winfrey Show” to announce that she was a lesbian. Her character on “The Ellen Show” also came out as a lesbian in a scene with her therapist, who was played by Oprah Winfrey. Nice twist!

25 Ingredient in an old-fashioned : RYE

The cocktail called an old fashioned is usually made from whiskey or brandy that is muddled with sugar and bitters, and then a twist of citrus rind added.

32 Royal name of Norway : OLAV

Of the many kings of Norway named Olaf/Olav (and there have been five), Olaf II is perhaps the most celebrated, as he was canonized and made the patron saint of the country. Olaf II was king from 1015 to 1028 and was known as “Olaf the Big” (or “Olaf the Fat”) during his reign. Today he is more commonly referred to as “Olaf the Holy”. After Olaf died he was given the title of “Rex Perpetuus Norvegiae”, which is Latin for “Norway’s Eternal King”.

35 Where to see a display of balance? : ATM

Automatic Teller Machine (ATM)

40 Volleyball quartet? : ELS

There is a quartet of letters L (els) in the word “volleyball”.

43 “Toodles!” : CIAO!

“Ciao” is Italian for “‘bye”. “Arrivederci” is more formal, and translates as “goodbye”.

46 State capital with fewer than 20,000 residents : AUGUSTA

The easternmost US state capital is Augusta, Maine. The second-easternmost capital is Boston, Massachusetts. The westernmost US state capital is Honolulu, Hawaii, with the second-westernmost being Juneau, Alaska.

51 Interview conducted online, for short : AMA

Ask me anything (AMA)

52 Term of address for a drag queen : SIS

The etymology of the term “drag”, as used in the transvestite world, seems to be unclear. It perhaps relates to the tendency of a transvestite’s skirts to drag along the ground in days of old (although why they just didn’t hitch up their skirts is beyond me!).

61 Get a Lyft, say : RIDE-SHARE

Lyft is a ridesharing service that is based in San Francisco, as is Uber, Lyft’s biggest competitor.

Down

1 “My word!,” in Britain : BLIMEY

When I was a kid in London, a pretty common expression of surprise was “gor blimey”, a euphemism for “God blind me”.

5 Population abbr. : EST

Estimate (est.)

6 Short-term engagements : GIGS

Musicians use “gig” to describe a job, a performance. The term originated in the early 1900s in the world of jazz. The derivative phrase “gig economy” applies to a relatively recent phenomenon where workers find themselves jumping from temporary job to temporary job, from gig to gig.

7 Mine, to a mademoiselle : A MOI

“À moi” (literally “to me”) is French for “mine”.

“Señorita” (Srta.) is Spanish, and “Mademoiselle” (Mlle.) is French, for “Miss”.

9 Supreme Court justices, e.g. : ENNEAD

The Ennead is a group of nine gods in Egyptian mythology. The Ennead were all in the same family, all descendents of the god Atum. The word “ennead” is also used more generically for any group of nine things. The term comes from “ennea”, the Greek word for “nine”.

The US Constitution doesn’t specify the size of the Supreme Court, but authorizes the Congress to determine the number of justices. The court started with six justices in 1789, and the size of the bench grew with the size of the country and the number of judicial circuits. There were as many as ten justices, from 1863 to 1866. There have been nine justices since 1869.

10 Singer featured in the 2018 film sequel to 37-Down : CHER
(37D Musical set on a Greek island : MAMMA MIA! )

“Cher” is the stage name used by singer and actress Cherilyn Sarkisian. Formerly one half of husband-wife duo Sonny & Cher, she is often referred to as the Goddess of Pop. In her acting career, Cher was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar of 1984 for her performance in “Silkwood”. She went further in 1988 and won the season’s Best Actress Oscar for playing Loretta Castorini in “Moonstruck”.

The hit musical “Mamma Mia!” was written to showcase the songs of ABBA. I’m a big fan of ABBA’s music, so I’ve seen this show a couple of times and just love it. “Mamma Mia!” is such a big hit on the stage that on any given day there are at least seven performances going on somewhere in the world. There is a really interesting film version of the show that was released in 2008. I think the female lead Meryl Streep is wonderful in the movie, but the male leads … not so much! By the way, one can tell the difference between “Mamma Mia” the ABBA song and “Mamma Mia!” the musical, by noting the difference in the punctuation in the titles.

11 Gouda alternative : HAVARTI

Havarti cheese was invented in the mid-1800s by farmer Hanne Nielson. He chose “Havarti” from the name of his farm, Havarthigaard, located in the neighborhood of Øverød, north of Copenhagen.

Gouda is a cheese that originated in the Dutch city of the same name, although today Gouda is produced all over the world and very little of it comes from the Netherlands. Gouda is often smoke-cured, which gives it a yellowish-brown outer skin and that characteristic smoky taste.

21 “Civil Disobedience” essayist, 1849 : THOREAU

Henry David Thoreau is a personal hero of mine. Thoreau is best known for his book called “Walden” published in 1854. The book outlines his philosophy of life and details his experiences living in a cabin near Walden Pond just outside Concord, Massachusetts.

23 Virtual animal on a once-popular website : NEOPET

Neopets.com is a website where one can own a virtual pet. I wouldn’t bother …

28 John who explored northern Canada : RAE

John Rae was a Scottish explorer who took on the task of searching for the ill-fated Franklin Expedition of 1845. The Franklin Expedition was itself searching for the elusive Northwest Passage through the Arctic Ocean connecting the Atlantic to the Pacific. John Rae stirred up much controversy back in England when he reported evidence of cannibalism among the ill-fated Franklin explorers.

33 Sucker, for short : VAC

Vacuum (vac.)

35 Navy V.I.P. : ADM

Admiral (adm.)

37 Musical set on a Greek island : MAMMA MIA!

The hit musical “Mamma Mia!” was written to showcase the songs of ABBA. I’m a big fan of ABBA’s music, so I’ve seen this show a couple of times and just love it. “Mamma Mia!” is such a big hit on the stage that on any given day there are at least seven performances going on somewhere in the world. There is a really interesting film version of the show that was released in 2008. I think the female lead Meryl Streep is wonderful in the movie, but the male leads … not so much! By the way, one can tell the difference between “Mamma Mia” the ABBA song and “Mamma Mia!” the musical, by noting the difference in the punctuation in the titles.

39 One-named singer whose name sounds like a goodbye : SIA

“Sia” is the stage name of Australian singer Sia Furler from Adelaide. Sia is a cousin of Australian Christian Rock musician Peter Furler.

45 Lemonlike fruit : CITRON

Most of our citrus fruits are hybrids of four original fruits: the pomelo, mandarin, papeda and citron.

47 Brigham Young, notably : UTAHAN

Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah has about 34.000 students on campus making it the largest religious university in the country. The school was founded in 1875 by Brigham Young, then President of the Mormon Church.

49 Does some backup dancing? : TWERKS

Twerking is a dancing move in which someone (usually a woman) shakes her hips up and down causing a lot of “wobbling”. It’s possible that “twerk” is a portmanteau of “twist” and “jerk”. The term may have been coined back in the early 2000s with the song “Whistle While You Twurk” released by the Ying Yang Twins. Twerking became a real phenomenon in 2013 when Miley Cyrus posted a video of herself twerking in a unicorn suit to the 2011 song “Wop” by J. Dash. That video went viral on YouTube, amassing over 4 million views in no time at all.

53 Deity in a Hindu trinity : SHIVA

The Hindu Trinity comprises Brahma the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver, and Shiva (also “Siva”) the destroyer or transformer.

55 Sound from a subwoofer : BASS

In a sound system, the subwoofer produces the very low end of the sound spectrum.

58 Chap : GENT

“Chap” is an informal term meaning “lad, fellow” that is used especially in England. The term derives from “chapman”, an obsolete word meaning “purchaser” or “trader”.

62 Title in Colombo : SRI

Colombo is the largest city in Sri Lanka. It is also the commercial capital of the island nation, whereas the administrative capital is Kotte (or more formally “Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte). Kotte is in fact a suburb of Colombo.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Finger-pointing activity, colloquially : BLAME GAME
10 Throw away : CHUCK
15 Hit 2018 film involving a gay teenage romance : LOVE, SIMON
16 World capital NE of Vientiane : HANOI
17 Melodramatic shout of resignation : I CAN’T GO ON!
18 Boot : EVICT
19 Worker in “The 12 Days of Christmas” : MAID
20 Diverts : SIDETRACKS
22 Host of the 2007 and 2014 Academy Awards, familiarly : ELLEN
24 “You betcha!” : YAH!
25 Ingredient in an old-fashioned : RYE
26 Marriage agreement? : YES, DEAR
29 “There, there” : DON’T CRY
32 Royal name of Norway : OLAV
34 Stirred up : ROILED
35 Where to see a display of balance? : ATM
38 Content : PLEASED
40 Volleyball quartet? : ELS
41 Part of a chest : DRAWER
43 “Toodles!” : CIAO!
44 Marked by apery : MIMETIC
46 State capital with fewer than 20,000 residents : AUGUSTA
51 Interview conducted online, for short : AMA
52 Term of address for a drag queen : SIS
54 Puts in a hold : STOWS
55 Bad bedmate : BLANKET HOG
59 Beverages from 56-Down : ALES
60 Actor Hammer of “The Social Network” : ARMIE
61 Get a Lyft, say : RIDE-SHARE
63 Going after, in a way : SUING
64 Things that get hot-wired? : OVEN RACKS
65 Unexpected difficulties : SNAGS
66 Armed conflict, euphemistically : NASTINESS

Down

1 “My word!,” in Britain : BLIMEY
2 That’s the spot! : LOCALE
3 Makes use (of) : AVAILS
4 Gave a darn? : MENDED
5 Population abbr. : EST
6 Short-term engagements : GIGS
7 Mine, to a mademoiselle : A MOI
8 Like a stereotypical teenager : MOODY
9 Supreme Court justices, e.g. : ENNEAD
10 Singer featured in the 2018 film sequel to 37-Down : CHER
11 Gouda alternative : HAVARTI
12 Travel along a tightrope, maybe : UNICYCLE
13 Young rooster : COCKEREL
14 Purchases for do-it-yourselfers : KITS
21 “Civil Disobedience” essayist, 1849 : THOREAU
23 Virtual animal on a once-popular website : NEOPET
27 Courtroom command : ALL RISE!
28 John who explored northern Canada : RAE
30 Restriction that some service animals are exempt from : NO DOGS
31 Divisions in the N.F.L.: Abbr. : YDS
33 Sucker, for short : VAC
35 Navy V.I.P. : ADM
36 This is a test : TRIAL RUN
37 Musical set on a Greek island : MAMMA MIA!
39 One-named singer whose name sounds like a goodbye : SIA
42 Gradually withdrawing (from) : WEANING
45 Lemonlike fruit : CITRON
47 Brigham Young, notably : UTAHAN
48 Offer comfort to : SOLACE
49 Does some backup dancing? : TWERKS
50 Size up : ASSESS
53 Deity in a Hindu trinity : SHIVA
55 Sound from a subwoofer : BASS
56 Holders of 59-Across : KEGS
57 Things showing dedication? : ODES
58 Chap : GENT
62 Title in Colombo : SRI

2 thoughts on “0124-20 NY Times Crossword 24 Jan 20, Friday”

  1. 39:02. One of those after 1 pass through I thought I’d never finish. Finally got some traction in the center and moved outward.

    I learned the term BLIMEY by watching Monty Python on Sunday nights on PBS. Sadly, one member, Terry Jones, just died a few days ago.

    Perhaps the 9 member Supreme Court is ENNEAD of a 10th member?

    Best –

  2. 32:22 Still recovering from Sunday’s debacle 🙂 Gotta like any puzzle that includes “yes dear” and “blanket hog”.

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