0130-20 NY Times Crossword 30 Jan 20, Thursday

Constructed by: Emily Carroll
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Play Hide-and-Seek

We’re playing HIDE-AND-SEEK in today’s grid. You’re IT, and you have to find ME. Rebus squares indicate that you’re COLD, COOL, WARM, HOT as you get closer to ME:

  • 40A Participate in a common children’s game, as illustrated in this puzzle : PLAY HIDE-AND-SEEK
  • 1A High-profile pair : IT COUPLE
  • 1D “Whatever pays the bills” : IT‘S A JOB
  • 18A It may bring one back to reality : COLD SHOWER
  • 8D Disappear, as a trail : GO COLD
  • 35A “Don’t freak out” : BE COOL
  • 36D “Gangsta’s Paradise” rapper : COOLIO
  • 61A Practice before a game : WARM UP
  • 61D Grows fond of : WARMS TO
  • 62A Crazy popular, as a product : RED-HOT
  • 63D Traditional remedy for a sore throat : HOT TEA
  • 74A Classic Bill Withers song : LEAN ON ME
  • 55D Shout before entering a gunfight : COVER ME!

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 18m 48s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 High-profile pair : IT COUPLE

An it couple is generally a celebrity couple, and a glamorous one at that.

16 Classic Bob Marley song : ONE LOVE

“One Love” is a classic reggae song from 1977 recorded by Bob Marley and the Wailers. A ska version of “One Love” had been released by the Wailers as early as 1965, but it is the 1977 release that we all remember, I am sure.

Bob Marley is the most widely-known reggae performer, with big hits such as “I Shot the Sheriff”, “No Woman, No Cry” and “One Love”. A little sadly perhaps, Marley’s best selling album was released three years after he died. That album would be the “legendary” album called “Legend”.

17 Site of Saguaro National Park : ARIZONA

The saguaro is a beautiful cactus, one that is native to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. Arizona is proud of its saguaros, featuring them prominently on its licence plates. If you ever get a chance to visit the Saguaro National Park in southern Arizona, I thoroughly recommend it.

20 Insult, slangily : DISS

“Dis” (also “diss”) is a slang term meaning “insult” that originated in the eighties. It is a shortened form of “disrespect” or “dismiss”.

25 Stinging plant : NETTLE

Most nettle species have stinging hairs that secrete formic acid. This formic acid is the same chemical that is found in the venom injected with a bee or ant sting. The Latin word for ant is “formica”, which gives its name to the acid.

27 It’s often the fish in fish and chips : COD

In Britain and Ireland, the most common fish that is used in traditional “fish and chips” is Atlantic cod. Cod has been overfished all over the world, and is now considered to be an endangered species by many international bodies. Confrontations over fishing rights in the North Atlantic led to conflicts called “the Cod Wars” between Iceland and the UK in the 1950s and the 1970s, with fishing fleets being protected by naval vessels and even shots being fired.

30 Country bordering Togo : BENIN

The Republic of Benin is a country in West Africa. Benin used to be a French colony, and was known as Dahomey. Dahomey gained independence in 1975, and took the name Benin after the Bight of Benin, the body of water on which the country lies.

32 “Seize the ___!” : DAY

“Carpe diem” is a quotation from Horace, one of ancient Rome’s leading lyric poets. “Carpe diem” translates from Latin as “seize the day” or “enjoy the day”. The satirical motto of a procrastinator is “carpe mañana”, “translating” as “seize tomorrow”.

37 Uno tripled : TRE

“One, two, three” in Italian is “uno, due, tre”.

39 Dollar alternative : AVIS

Rental car company Avis used the tagline “We Try Harder” for five decades, starting in the early 1960s. The slogan had its roots in a 1962 ad campaign in which the company made brilliant use of its position behind market leader Hertz. The first rendition of the new tagline was “When you’re only No. 2, you try harder. Or else”. Within a year, Avis turned its first profit in over a decade, and within three years, increased the company’s market share from 29% to 36%. Avis eventually moved on to the slogan “It’s Your Space” in 2012.

45 Home of the oldest university in the Americas (founded 1551) : LIMA

Lima is the capital city of Peru. Lima was founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, who named it “la Ciudad de los Reyes” (the City of Kings). He chose this name because the decision to found the city was made on January 6th, the feast of the Epiphany that commemorates the visit of the three kings to Jesus in Bethlehem. Lima is home to the oldest university in all of the Americas, as San Marco University was founded in 1551 during the days of Spanish colonial rule.

46 Buffoon : OAF

A buffoon is a clown or jester, although the word “buffoon” tends to be used more figuratively to describe someone foolish and ridiculous. The term comes from the Italian “buffa” meaning “joke”.

47 One of a Disney septet : DOC

In the original Brothers Grimm fairy tale called “Snow White”, the seven dwarfs were not given any names. The names were added for the 1937 classic Disney film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. The seven dwarfs are:

  • Doc (the leader of the group)
  • Grumpy (that would be me, according to my wife …)
  • Happy
  • Sleepy
  • Bashful
  • Sneezy
  • Dopey

48 Eclipses, to some : OMENS

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes into the shadow cast by the Earth from the light of the Sun, in other words when the Earth is positioned directly between the Sun and the Moon. The more spectacular solar eclipse takes place when the Moon passes in front of the Sun, so that the Earth falls into the shadow cast by the Moon.

52 Like much stand-up comedy : NON-PC

Non-politically correct (non-PC)

56 Lira : Turkey :: ___ : Korea : WON

The Korean won, Chinese yuan, and Japanese yen (all of which are Asian currencies) take their names from the Chinese written character that represents “round shape”.

60 Starchy tuber : TARO

The corm of some taro plants is used to make poi, a traditional Hawaiian dish (that I think tastes horrible). When a taro plant is grown as an ornamental, it is often called Elephant Ears due to the shape of its large leaves.

64 Ending to a White House address : GOV

The .gov domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:

  • .com (commercial enterprise)
  • .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
  • .mil (US military)
  • .org (not-for-profit organization)
  • .gov (US federal government entity)
  • .edu (college-level educational institution)

69 Test the strength of, chemically : TITRATE

Titration is a laboratory technique used to determine the concentration of a particular solution. We probably all did titrations in school, using a burette.

72 Noted Roosevelt : ELEANOR

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was the daughter of Elliot, brother to President Theodore Roosevelt. “Eleanor” met Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was her father’s fifth cousin, in 1902. The two started “walking out together” the following year after they both attended a White House dinner with President Theodore Roosevelt.

73 Gift that comes in pieces : LEGO SET

Lego is manufactured by the Lego Group, a privately held company headquartered in Billund, Denmark. The company was founded by a carpenter called Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1934 and the now-famous plastic interlocking blocks were introduced in 1949. The blocks were originally sold under the name “Automatic Binding Bricks” but I think “Lego” is easier to remember! The name “Lego” comes from the Danish term “leg godt” meaning “play well”.

74 Classic Bill Withers song : LEAN ON ME

Bill Withers was working as an assembly operator while he was trying to make a name for himself in the music industry. Even as he found success with his glorious 1971 single “Ain’t No Sunshine”, he held onto his day job, worried that the music industry was unpredictable.

Down

2 Arrow poison : CURARE

Curare is the name given to the toxin(s) used historically by South American peoples to paralyze their prey. The tips of arrows and blowgun darts are dipped in curare so that when a hunted animal is pierced with a poisoned projectile it asphyxiates as the curare paralyzes the respiratory muscles.

3 “Star Wars” Jedi, familiarly : OBI-WAN

Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the more beloved of the “Star Wars” characters. Kenobi was portrayed by two fabulous actors in the series of films. As a young man he is played by Scottish actor Ewan McGregor, and as an older man he is played by Alec Guinness.

4 Competitor of Ruffles : UTZ

Utz is the largest privately-held producer of snack foods in the US. The company was founded in 1921 and is based in Hanover, Pennsylvania.

Ruffles are a brand of crinkle-cut potato chips. The chips take their name from their “ruffled” shape. The ruffles are designed to make the chip more sturdy, and better for dipping.

6 St. Petersburg was once named after him : LENIN

“Lenin” wasn’t the birth name of the Russian leader. He was born Vladimir Ulyanov, and originally used “Lenin” as a pen name.

St. Petersburg in Russia is an absolutely beautiful city to visit. The city was renamed to Petrograd in 1914, Leningrad in 1924 and back to St. Petersburg in 1991.

9 Adams with a camera : ANSEL

As an avid amateur photographer, I have been a big fan of the work of Ansel Adams for many years and must have read all of his books. Adams was famous for clarity and depth in his black and white images. Central to his technique was the use of the zone system, his own invention. The zone system is a way of controlling exposure in an image, particularly when there is a high contrast in the subject. Although the technique was developed primarily for black & white film, it can even apply to digital color images. In the digital world, the main technique is to expose an image for the highlights, and one or more images for the shadows. These images can then be combined digitally giving a final photograph with a full and satisfying range of exposures.

11 Entrepreneur Musk : ELON

Elon Musk is a successful businessman who has founded or led some very high-profile companies, namely PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX. Musk received a lot of publicity in early 2018 during a test launch by SpaceX of the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle. A Tesla Roadster belonging to Musk was carried into space as a dummy payload.

13 Michigan, in Chicago: Abbr. : AVE

Chicago’s Michigan Avenue is home to many of the city’s landmarks, including the Chicago Water Tower, the Art Institute of Chicago, Millenium Park and the Magnificent Mile shopping district.

14 “Get ___ Ya-Ya’s Out!” : YER

“Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!” is a live album that the Rolling Stones released in 1970. The title “Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!” is a slang phrase exhorting one to live life to the full.

21 Place to find corn dogs and funnel cakes : STATE FAIR

The hot dog on a stick (corn dog) dates back at least to 1947, and probably earlier. The name corn dog comes from the corn batter around the hot dog, and its resemblance on the stick to an ear of corn.

Funnel cake is a traditional serving at American carnivals and seaside resorts. The cake is made by pouring cake batter from a funnel into hot cooking oil in a circular pattern, and then deep frying until it is golden-brown.

24 Tripoli native : LIBYAN

Tripoli is the capital city of Libya and sits on the Mediterranean Coast. The city was founded by the Phoenicians in the 7th century BC and was originally called Oea.

26 Banks of “America’s Next Top Model” : TYRA

Tyra Banks is a tremendously successful model and businesswoman. Banks created and hosted the hit show “America’s Next Top Model “, and also had her own talk show. She was also the first African-American woman to make the cover of the “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit issue.

28 “The Grapes of Wrath” figure : 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”.

John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” is set during the Great Depression. The novel tells the story of the Joad family from Oklahoma, farmers who had to leave their home and head for California due to economic hardship.

31 Book after Ezra: Abbr. : NEH

In the Bible, the Book of Nehemiah is preceded by the Book of Ezra, and followed by the Book of Esther.

34 Mr. Met, for one : MASCOT

Mr. Met is the mascot of the New York Mets. He is a guy with a large baseball as a head. There’s also a Mrs. Met, a mascot who was previously known as Lady Met.

36 “Gangsta’s Paradise” rapper : COOLIO

Rap star Coolio has a web-based cooking show called “Cookin’ with Coolio”. And, he has a cookbook of the same name. Coolio likes to refer to himself as the “ghetto Martha Stewart” and the “black Rachael Ray”.

41 A long way to go? : LIMO

The word “limousine” derives from the name of the French city of Limoges. The area around Limoges is called the Limousin, and it gave its name to a cloak hood worn by local shepherds. In early motor cars, a driver would sit outside in the weather while the passengers would sit in the covered compartment. The driver would often wear a limousin-style protective hood, giving rise to that type of transportation being called a “limousine”. Well, that’s how the story goes …

42 Part of a church chorus : AMEN!

The word “amen” translates as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is also likely to be influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

49 Spa amenities : SAUNAS

As my Finnish-American wife will tell you, “sauna” is a Finnish word, and is pronounced more correctly as “sow-nah” (with “sow” as in the female pig).

51 Sister in a Brothers Grimm tale : GRETEL

“Hansel and Gretel” is a Germanic fairy tale found in the collection of the Brothers Grimm. It tells of two siblings, Hansel and Gretel, the children of a woodcutter. The youngsters are abandoned in a forest at the behest of an evil stepmother. Clever Hansel hears of the plan and leaves a trail of pebbles so that he and his sister can find their way home, which they do. But the children are abandoned again and this time leave a trail of breadcrumbs. Unfortunately, the crumbs are eaten by birds and so the children do indeed become lost. But eventually they do all live happily ever after …

53 1998 Olympics host city : NAGANO

Nagano is a city on Japan’s largest island, Honshu. Nagano hosted the 1998 Winter Olympic Games.

54 Positive particle : PROTON

A proton is a subatomic particle, with at least one found in the nucleus of every atom. A proton is not a “fundamental particle”, as it itself is made up of three quarks; two up quarks and one down quark.

59 Official of ancient Rome : EDILE

In the days of the Roman Republic, aediles (also “ediles”) were magistrates who had responsibility for the management and upkeep of public facilities such as public buildings, streets and markets.

65 Chum : PAL

A chum is a friend. The term “chum” originated in the late 1600s as an alternative spelling for “cham”. In turn, “cham” was a shortened form of “chambermate”, a roommate at university.

66 One may be bronze or golden : AGE

Ancient societies can be classified by the “three-age system”, which depends on the prevalence of materials used to make tools. The three ages are:

  • The Stone Age
  • The Bronze Age
  • The Iron Age

The actual dates defined by each age depend on the society, as the timing of the transition from the use of one material to another varied around the globe.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 High-profile pair : IT COUPLE
8 Means of access : GATEWAY
15 Not so obvious : SUBTLER
16 Classic Bob Marley song : ONE LOVE
17 Site of Saguaro National Park : ARIZONA
18 It may bring one back to reality : COLD SHOWER
19 Shoot the breeze : JAW
20 Insult, slangily : DISS
22 Dark period for poets : E’EN
23 Not written : ORAL
25 Stinging plant : NETTLE
27 It’s often the fish in fish and chips : COD
30 Country bordering Togo : BENIN
32 “Seize the ___!” : DAY
33 Chimney output : SMOKE
35 “Don’t freak out” : BE COOL
37 Uno tripled : TRE
39 Dollar alternative : AVIS
40 Participate in a common children’s game, as illustrated in this puzzle : PLAY HIDE-AND-SEEK
45 Home of the oldest university in the Americas (founded 1551) : LIMA
46 Buffoon : OAF
47 One of a Disney septet : DOC
48 Eclipses, to some : OMENS
50 GQ or T : MAG
52 Like much stand-up comedy : NON-PC
56 Lira : Turkey :: ___ : Korea : WON
57 Have high hopes : ASPIRE
60 Starchy tuber : TARO
61 Practice before a game : WARM UP
62 Crazy popular, as a product : RED-HOT
64 Ending to a White House address : GOV
65 Root that’s roasted and eaten : PARSNIP
69 Test the strength of, chemically : TITRATE
71 Rabble-rouse : AGITATE
72 Noted Roosevelt : ELEANOR
73 Gift that comes in pieces : LEGO SET
74 Classic Bill Withers song : LEAN ON ME

Down

1 “Whatever pays the bills” : IT’S A JOB
2 Arrow poison : CURARE
3 “Star Wars” Jedi, familiarly : OBI-WAN
4 Competitor of Ruffles : UTZ
5 Tread slowly : PLOD
6 St. Petersburg was once named after him : LENIN
7 Wiped : ERASED
8 Disappear, as a trail : GO COLD
9 Adams with a camera : ANSEL
10 Snickers : TE-HEES
11 Entrepreneur Musk : ELON
12 Bowl over : WOW
13 Michigan, in Chicago: Abbr. : AVE
14 “Get ___ Ya-Ya’s Out!” : YER
21 Place to find corn dogs and funnel cakes : STATE FAIR
24 Tripoli native : LIBYAN
26 Banks of “America’s Next Top Model” : TYRA
27 Quiet fishing spot : COVE
28 “The Grapes of Wrath” figure : OKIE
29 Work station : DESK
31 Book after Ezra: Abbr. : NEH
34 Mr. Met, for one : MASCOT
36 “Gangsta’s Paradise” rapper : COOLIO
38 Call off : END
40 Post-blizzard need : PLOW
41 A long way to go? : LIMO
42 Part of a church chorus : AMEN!
43 Like some cellars : DAMP
44 Mob man : DON
49 Spa amenities : SAUNAS
51 Sister in a Brothers Grimm tale : GRETEL
53 1998 Olympics host city : NAGANO
54 Positive particle : PROTON
55 Shout before entering a gunfight : COVER ME!
58 Ill will : SPITE
59 Official of ancient Rome : EDILE
61 Grows fond of : WARMS TO
63 Traditional remedy for a sore throat : HOT TEA
65 Chum : PAL
66 One may be bronze or golden : AGE
67 Oil worker’s locale : RIG
68 Term of endearment : PET
70 Campaigned : RAN

15 thoughts on “0130-20 NY Times Crossword 30 Jan 20, Thursday”

  1. 19:18. I might have beaten Bill’s time if I hadn’t initially been looking for a rebus to somehow fit HIDE AND go SEEK. I also just happened to get ME in the lower right corner early, then HOT TEA, and then the rest of the puzzle fell pretty quickly.

    Nice change from yesterday’s debacle. Clever original clue for WON.

    Best –

  2. 26:23…enjoyed this, figured out the rebus squares after convincing myself that “ Lean On Me” was going to fit somehow….

  3. 27:43 no errors…I got the rebus words ok but didn’t put it together until I read Bills explanation.
    You are sitting in a line of traffic at a red light and there are several cars ahead of you….the light changes to green and then and only then does someone ahead of you put their left turn signal on. WHY DO PEOPLE DO THAT?

    1. This simply cheating: to demand that a whole word be put in a single letter square without a clue that that is what’s happening. It reminds me of another Will Shortz puzzle. Clue: Early Tom Selleck role. Answer: Magnum P. I., But it won’t fit. Intended answer: Magnum pi. The number sign pi is not the letters P and I. My conclusion: that Will Shortz is detestable. Resolution: I will never again do a crossword.

  4. 15:11, 2 errors: LIM(A)/W(A)N. I made a mental note to go back and recheck this cross, knew that there shouldn’t be two LIMAs. But apparently I lost the note. 😛

    1. Excellent puzzle from Emily Carroll. No errors for me. The last square to fall was the BE COOL/COOLIO cross. Grasping that the theme was getting hotter as it neared ME made it a slam dunk. To the editors at the New York Times: Let’s have more like this one!

  5. I usually DETEST rebus puzzles, but I have to admit this one was much better than average. The “trick” was well formed and not at all “stretched”. The only fault I could find is the oft-reinforced misspelling of TEE-HEE. Both syllables have two Es. It’s not a T’hee or a “teh-hee”. It’s just NOT.

        1. I am about half-way with you on this, Allen. This “word” is only meant to be a mimicking of the actual sound of gentle laughing. Whenever written out (comic strips, for example), I have only ever seen it as “tee-hee”. The approximated sound that the word is meant to mimic is certainly an “ee” sound as most of us would agree upon.

          The authorities derive the word from Middle English and I would hazard a guess that the “te-hee” spelling goes back to that very same Middle English as well. To the English folks way back then that spelling may have seemed like the right way.

          Personally, I wish the constructors and editors would just do as you suggested and always spell it as TEE-HEE. That would be a lot better. But I’m not holding my breath.

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