0406-20 NY Times Crossword 6 Apr 20, Monday

Constructed by: Andrea Carla Michaels & Brian Thomas
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): (Speak of) the Devil

Themed answers are other names for THE DEVIL:

  • 38A “We were just talking about you!” : SPEAK OF THE DEVIL!
  • 17A Another name for [see shaded squares] : MR SCRATCH
  • 26A Another name for [see shaded squares] : LUCIFER
  • 49A Another name for [see shaded squares] : OLD NICK
  • 63A Another name for [see shaded squares] : BEELZEBUB

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 6m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Rights org. : ACLU

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has its roots in the First World War. It grew out of the National Civil Liberties Bureau (CLB) that was founded to provide legal advice and support to conscientious objectors. The ACLU’s motto is “Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself”. The ACLU also hosts a blog on the ACLU.org website called “Speak Freely”.

5 “It was 20 years ___ today …” (Beatles lyric) : AGO

“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was the alter-ego of the Beatles, and the title of a famous studio album released in 1967, as well as the name of the album’s title track.

13 Minnesota’s “crazy” state bird : LOON

The bird known as a loon here in North America is called a diver in Britain and Ireland. The name “diver” comes from the bird’s habit of swimming calmly and then suddenly diving below the surface to catch a fish. The name “loon” comes from an Old English word meaning “clumsy” and reflects the awkward gait of the bird when walking on land.

14 Roosters’ mates : HENS

The term “rooster” dates back to the late 1700s, and is used to describe an adult male chicken, primarily here in the US. “Rooster” originated as an alternative to “cock”, as puritans objected to the association with the slang usage of the latter term.

16 New ___, India’s capital : DELHI

New Delhi is the capital city of India. New Delhi resides within the National Capital Territory of Delhi (otherwise known as the metropolis of Delhi). New Delhi and Delhi, therefore, are two different things.

17 Another name for [see shaded squares] : MR SCRATCH

“Old Scratch” and “Mr. Scratch” are names used in folklore for the Devil. The terms appear in the writings of Mark Twain, Washington Irving and even Charles Dickens.

20 “19,” “21” and “25” singer : ADELE

“Adele” is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older. Her third studio album “25”, released in 2015, broke the first-week sales records in both the UK and the US.

23 The “M” of MSG : MONO-

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of a naturally-occurring,non-essential amino acid called glutamic acid. It is used widely as a flavor enhancer, particularly in many Asian cuisines. Whether or not it is harmful seems to be still under debate. I say that something produced in a test tube shouldn’t be in our food …

26 Another name for [see shaded squares] : LUCIFER

According to some Christian traditions, Lucifer was an angel who rebelled against God and so was condemned to the Lake of Fire. Lucifer is also known as Satan or the Devil.

32 Rug rat : TOT

“Rug rat” and “ankle-biter” are familiar terms meaning “child”, and especially a child who is not yet walking.

33 Fawn’s mother : DOE

A fawn is a young deer, usually one less than a year old.

34 “u r 2 funny!” : LOL!

Laugh out loud (LOL)

35 Macho guy : HE-MAN

A macho man is one showing pride in his masculinity. “Macho” is a Spanish word for “male animal”.

43 What a radar gun measures : SPEED

Radar speed guns were first used to monitor traffic by Connecticut State Police in the town of Glastonbury, way back in 1947!

45 Blackjack card worth one or 11 points : ACE

In the card game blackjack, an ace has the point value of one or eleven. When one of the two cards dealt to a player is an ace, the hand is called “soft”. This means that the player cannot go bust by taking another card, as the ace can be revalued at “one” if necessary in order to stay under 21.

47 Org. with the Suns and the Heat : NBA

The Phoenix Suns NBA team are in the Pacific Division, and are the only team in that division not based in California.

The Miami Heat basketball team debuted in the NBA in the 1988-89 season. The franchise name was chosen in a competitive survey, with “Miami Heat” beating out “Miami Vice”.

49 Another name for [see shaded squares] : OLD NICK

Niccolo Machiavelli’s political treatise entitled “The Prince”, and the philosophical opinions expressed therein, gave rise to the term “Machiavellian” meaning “cunning and devious”, especially at the level of state politics. Indeed, it is said that the reception of Machiavelli’s work was such that he lent his name “Niccolo” to the language as the derivation of the term “Old Nick”, meaning “the Devil”,

53 Nature photographer Adams : 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.

56 City about 280 miles NW of München : KOLN

Cologne is the fourth largest city in Germany, and is known as “Köln” in German.

Munich is the capital of the German state of Bavaria, and is the third largest city in the country (after Berlin and Hamburg). The city is called “München” in German, a term that derives from the Old German word for “by the monks’ place”, which is a reference to the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city in 1158.

61 French place of education : ECOLE

In French, one might learn “une leçon” (a lesson) in an “école” (school).

63 Another name for [see shaded squares] : BEELZEBUB

Beelzebub is an alternative name for the devil. Beelzebub is often described as a demonic fly, and given the moniker “Lord of the Flies”. It was this phrase that William Golding used as the title for his most famous novel.

66 Distinguishing features of Mr. Spock : EARS

Leonard Nimoy played the logical Mr. Spock in the original “Star Trek” television series. Spock has to be the most popular character on the show, and he kept popping up in “Star Trek” spin offs. Nimoy first worked alongside William Shatner (Captain Kirk) in an episode of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (I loved that show as a kid!), with Nimoy playing a bad guy and Shatner playing an U.N.C.L.E. recruit.

67 Place of banishment for Napoleon : ELBA

I had a lovely two-week vacation in Tuscany once, including what was supposed to be a two-night stay on the island of Elba. I had envisioned Elba as a place full of history, and maybe it is, but it is also overrun with tourists who use it as a beach getaway. We left after one day and we won’t be going back again …

68 “___, what is the meaning of life?” (modern query) : ALEXA

Alexa is a personal assistant application that is most associated with the Amazon Echo smart speaker. Apparently, one reason the name “Alexa” was chosen is because it might remind one of the Library of Alexandria, the “keeper of all knowledge”.

70 Derrière : REAR

“Derrière” is a French term meaning “back part, rear”.

Down

1 ___ mater : ALMA

The literal translation for the Latin term “alma mater” is “nourishing mother”. The phrase was used in ancient Rome to refer to mother goddesses, and in Medieval Christianity the term was used to refer to the Virgin Mary. Nowadays, one’s alma mater is the school one attended, either high school or college, usually one’s last place of education.

7 First word in a fairy tale : ONCE

The stock phrase “Once upon a time …” has been used in various forms as the start of a narrative at least since 1380. The stock phrase at the end of stories such as folktales is often “and they all lived happily ever after”. The earlier version of this ending was “happily until their deaths”.

8 Word often ending in -ly: Abbr. : ADV

Because I was rapped on the knuckles with a ruler at school for using bad grammar as a kid many moons ago, I cringe when I hear phrases like “real easy”. The “real” is modifying the implied verb “to be” as in “it is really easy”, so we should be using the adverb “really” instead of the adjective “real”. But I hear adjectives used as adverbs all the time, and I’ve even seen “real” listed as an “informal adverb” in at least one dictionary. So, I’ll just whine here and accept the colloquialism. Our crosswords should move with the times, even if I don’t …

10 Emotionally detached : ALOOF

I suppose one might guess from the “feel” of the word “aloof” that it has nautical roots. Originally “aloof” meant “to windward” and was the opposite of “alee”. A helmsman might be instructed to stay aloof, to steer the boat into the weather to keep a distance from a lee-shore. It is from this sense of maintaining a distance that aloof came to mean “distant” in terms of personality. Interesting, huh …?

11 French wine valley : RHONE

Côtes du Rhône is a wine region centered on the Rhône river in France. The name of the region translates as “Slopes (or Hills) of Rhône”. The most prevalent grapes used in Côtes du Rhône wine are Grenache (in reds and rosés) and Grenache blanc (in whites).

12 East ___ (U.N. member since 2002) : TIMOR

Timor is an island in Maritime Southeast Asia. The island is politically divided into West Timor, belonging to Indonesia, and the independent state of East Timor. The name “Timor” comes from a Malay word for “east”, and is used as Timor lies at the eastern end of the Lesser Sunda Islands.

15 Silverstein who wrote and illustrated “The Giving Tree” : SHEL

Author Shel Silverstein had a varied career and did a lot more than write books. Silverstein was a poet, composer, cartoonist and screenwriter among other things. One of his successful children’s books is “The Giving Tree”, which was first published in 1964. “The Giving Tree” tells of a young boy who has a special relationship with a tree in a forest. The message of the book seems to be that the tree provides the little boy with everything he needs.

22 Certain Protestant : LUTHERAN

Lutheranism is the third largest branch of Protestant Christianity, after the Pentecostal and Anglican traditions. The Lutheran Church’s split with the Catholic Church started with Martin Luther’s posting of the Ninety-Five Theses in 1517.

25 Virtual reality chamber in the “Star Trek” universe : HOLODECK

The holodeck is a large virtual reality room located in Starfleet facilities in the “Star Trek” universe (pun!). To me, the holodeck is the coolest concept featured in “Star Trek” …

27 Like many intramural sports : COED

Intramural sports are conducted within a certain geographic area, as opposed to varsity sports which are played with teams outside that area. The term “intramural” comes from the Latin for “within walls” and first applied to events held between teams based within the walls of a city.

28 Successors to LPs : CDS

The compact disc (CD) was developed jointly by Philips and Sony as a medium for storing and playing sound recordings. When the first commercial CD was introduced back in 1982, a CD’s storage capacity was far greater than the amount of data that could be stored on the hard drive of personal computers available at that time.

29 Klutz’s cry : OOPS!

A klutz is an awkward individual, with the term “klutz” coming from Yiddish. The Yiddish word for a clumsy person is “klots”.

31 John who sang “Candle in the Wind” : ELTON

“Candle in the Wind” is a 1973 song written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin in honor of Marilyn Monroe, hence the lyric “Goodbye, Norma Jean”. Elton John rewrote some of the words in honor of Diana, Princess of Wales and performed it at the princess’s memorial service. The line most descriptive of Diana in the 1997 version is “Goodbye, English rose”.

36 Single and ready to mingle : AVAILABLE

Mingle? Not a good idea right now …

39 2005 sci-fi movie starring Charlize Theron : AEON FLUX

“Aeon Flux” is a sci-fi film from 2005 starring Charlize Theron in the title role. The movie was inspired by the animated TV series of the same name that aired on MTV in the nineties.

Charlize Theron is an actress from South Africa who has played leading roles in Hollywood films such as “The Devil’s Advocate”, “The Cider House Rules” and my personal favorite “The Italian Job”.

40 Actress Russell of “Felicity” and “The Americans” : KERI

Actress Keri Russell’s big break in television came with the title role in the drama show “Felicity” that ran from 1998 from 2002. The lead character in the show is Felicity Porter, a young lady introduced to the audience with a head of long curly blonde hair. Famously, Russell cut her hair extremely short at the start of the second season, an action that was associated with a significant drop in the show’s viewership. Russell had to grow out her hair over the season. I haven’t seen “Felicity”, but I really do enjoy Russell playing one of the leads in the entertaining Cold War drama called “The Americans” that is aired by FX.

41 Hot pepper : HABANERO

The habanero chili has a very intense flavor. Interestingly, the correct spelling of the chili’s name is “habanero”. We often try to be clever in English and add a tilde making it “habañero”, which isn’t right at all …

49 “Madama Butterfly,” for one : OPERA

Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” is the most-performed opera in the US. The opera that we see today is actually the second version that Puccini produced. The original version was first staged in 1904 at La Scala in Milan where it received a very poor reception. Puccini reworked the piece, breaking the second act into two new acts and making some other significant changes. The opera was relaunched a few months later and it was a resounding success.

51 Lorna ___ (Nabisco cookie) : DOONE

Lorna Doone shortbread cookies were introduced by Nabisco in 1912. Presumably, they were named after the famous novel by R. D. Blackmore.

52 Southern Japanese port city : KOBE

Kobe is a city on the island of Honshu in Japan. Here in North America, the city of Kobe is perhaps most famous for its beef. And yes, basketball star Kobe Bryant was named after that very same beef.

59 Havana’s home : CUBA

Havana is the capital of Cuba. The city was founded by the Spanish in the early 1500s after which it became a strategic location for Spain’s exploration and conquest of the Americas. In particular, Havana was used as a stopping-off point for treasure-laden ships on the return journey to Spain.

60 Skier’s way up a mountain : T-BAR

A T-bar is a ski lift on which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair standing (not sitting!) either side of a T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling along the skiers as they remain standing on their skis (hopefully!). There’s also a J-bar, which is a similar device but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.

62 Org. that cleans up oil spills : EPA

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

64 Drug to trip on : 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 …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Rights org. : ACLU
5 “It was 20 years ___ today …” (Beatles lyric) : AGO
8 Separately : APART
13 Minnesota’s “crazy” state bird : LOON
14 Roosters’ mates : HENS
16 New ___, India’s capital : DELHI
17 Another name for [see shaded squares] : MR SCRATCH
19 Souped-up engine sound : VROOM!
20 “19,” “21” and “25” singer : ADELE
21 Rod and ___ (fishing equipment) : REEL
23 The “M” of MSG : MONO-
24 Give a quick greeting : SAY HI
26 Another name for [see shaded squares] : LUCIFER
28 Refrigerated : COLD
30 Praiseful poem : ODE
32 Rug rat : TOT
33 Fawn’s mother : DOE
34 “u r 2 funny!” : LOL!
35 Macho guy : HE-MAN
38 “We were just talking about you!” : SPEAK OF THE DEVIL!
43 What a radar gun measures : SPEED
44 Rowing tool : OAR
45 Blackjack card worth one or 11 points : ACE
46 Homophone of 44-Across : ORE
47 Org. with the Suns and the Heat : NBA
48 Competed : VIED
49 Another name for [see shaded squares] : OLD NICK
53 Nature photographer Adams : ANSEL
55 “And … it’s gone!” : POOF!
56 City about 280 miles NW of München : KOLN
58 Pass, as a law : ENACT
61 French place of education : ECOLE
63 Another name for [see shaded squares] : BEELZEBUB
65 Incurred, as expenses : RAN UP
66 Distinguishing features of Mr. Spock : EARS
67 Place of banishment for Napoleon : ELBA
68 “___, what is the meaning of life?” (modern query) : ALEXA
69 Holder of peas : POD
70 Derrière : REAR

Down

1 ___ mater : ALMA
2 Thick string : CORD
3 Toss and turn, say : LOSE SLEEP
4 Naked : UNCLAD
5 “Gotcha!” : AHA!
6 Throw in the trash : GET RID OF
7 First word in a fairy tale : ONCE
8 Word often ending in -ly: Abbr. : ADV
9 “If I may …” : PERMIT ME …
10 Emotionally detached : ALOOF
11 French wine valley : RHONE
12 East ___ (U.N. member since 2002) : TIMOR
15 Silverstein who wrote and illustrated “The Giving Tree” : SHEL
18 King: Sp. : REY
22 Certain Protestant : LUTHERAN
25 Virtual reality chamber in the “Star Trek” universe : HOLODECK
27 Like many intramural sports : COED
28 Successors to LPs : CDS
29 Klutz’s cry : OOPS!
31 John who sang “Candle in the Wind” : ELTON
36 Single and ready to mingle : AVAILABLE
37 “Good going!” : NICE!
39 2005 sci-fi movie starring Charlize Theron : AEON FLUX
40 Actress Russell of “Felicity” and “The Americans” : KERI
41 Hot pepper : HABANERO
42 Played the first card : LED
48 Thin wood finish : VENEER
49 “Madama Butterfly,” for one : OPERA
50 Train that makes every stop : LOCAL
51 Lorna ___ (Nabisco cookie) : DOONE
52 Southern Japanese port city : KOBE
54 “Oh yeah? ___ who!” : SEZ
57 Long jump : LEAP
59 Havana’s home : CUBA
60 Skier’s way up a mountain : T-BAR
62 Org. that cleans up oil spills : EPA
64 Drug to trip on : LSD

13 thoughts on “0406-20 NY Times Crossword 6 Apr 20, Monday”

  1. 10:46, no errors. Did anyone else have a “devil” of a time getting started? I’m usually happy if my time is under twice what Bill’s is…so there’s that today. Off shortly to bike across a frozen lake to the face of Spencer Glacier. Wish me luck.

  2. 6:11. I got the theme early, and I was thinking to myself that I’d fill in BEELZEBUB the second I found a “Z” in the puzzle. Sure enough “SEZ who?” gave me the green light. Didn’t know MR SCRATCH nor OLD NICK, however.

    HABANERO peppers are named for Havana (Habana in Spanish), CUBA. That’s one way to remember how to pronounce them correctly. Adding the tilde to the “n” is what’s called a hyperforeignism. You are free to yell that word at someone the next time they mispronounce HABANERO…

    Best-

  3. 14:40 no errors…if there was supposed to be circled or shaded squares they didn’t show up in my papers version of this puzzle.
    Stay safe

  4. 6:59, no errors. Although I saw the theme early, it didn’t help; in fact it seemed to add difficulty to a Monday puzzle. I already had LUCIFER and BEELZEBUB, but had not heard MR. SCRATCH nor OLD NICK.

    Had to wait and see what the cross was for 11D RHONE, since Rhine is also a ‘French wine valley’; and, perhaps, better known.

    Thank you Bill for the trivia on Shatner and Nimoy in the Man from U.N.C.L.E. series. Either have not seen the episode, or didn’t recognize them. I’ll have to search YouTube.

    P.S.: there is no link for today’s syndicated puzzle 5/11/20.

      1. “Alsace: That French Wine Region with a German Influence. The Alsace region is tucked into the northeast corner of France right along the border with Germany. It is bound by the Vosges mountains to the west and the Rhine River to the east, and runs in a roughly north-south direction.” As I understand it, the Rhine defines the border of France and Germany, between Basel, Switzerland and Lauterbourg, France.

  5. @Jack—-Yes, my newspaper also mentioned something about “shaded squares” but none were to be found. It did not matter since the puzzle solved easily without them.

    @Bill—-Sorry to hear about your punishment in school for innocent mistakes in grammar. I think verbal correction by the teacher would have been enough. No need to resort to such cruelty.

    BTW, Bill, your comments on the blog are getting better and better. You are freeing yourself up more. I, for one, like that.

    1. No errors,.. But I didn’t know the Devil was referred to as OLD NICK..

      Reference to “Machiavellian” explains it better. Thanks Bill.

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