0411-20 NY Times Crossword 11 Apr 20, Saturday

Constructed by: Erik Agard & Wyna Liu
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 45m 41s!

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Pedal-operated instrument : HI-HAT

In a drum kit, a hi-hat is a pairing of cymbals that sits on a stand and is played by using a foot pedal. The top cymbal is raised and lowered by the foot, hence creating a crashing sound.

17 Rectangle on a staff : WHOLE REST

That would be a musical staff.

22 Syrup in a mai tai : ORGEAT

Orgeat is an almond-flavored syrup, and an essential ingredient in a classic Mai Tai cocktail. Although today’s orgeat is made from almonds, the original recipe called for a blend of almonds and barley. The name “orgeat” comes from Latin via the French “orge” meaning “barley”.

The mai tai cocktail is strongly associated with the Polynesian islands, but the drink was supposedly invented in 1944 in Trader Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California. One recipe is 6 parts white rum, 3 parts orange curaçao, 3 parts Orgeat syrup, 1 part rock candy syrup, 2 parts fresh lime juice, all mixed with ice and then a float added of 6 parts dark rum. “Maita’i” is the Tahitian word for “good”.

27 Plant cultivated for its juice : ALOE

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in relatively dry climates. The plant’s leaves are full of biologically-active compounds that have been studied extensively. Aloe vera has been used for centuries in herbal medicine, mainly for topical treatment of wounds.

32 Two before 48-Down : ETA
(48D I, for Plato : IOTA)

Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a forerunner of our Latin character “H”. Originally denoting a consonant, eta was used as a long vowel in Ancient Greek.

33 Simple craft : DORY

A dory is a small boat that’s around 20 feet long with a shallow draft, a flat bottom and a sharp bow. Dories are commonly used for fishing.

35 Coin whose obverse shows King Maha Vajiralongkorn : BAHT

The baht is the currency of Thailand, and is subdivided into 100 satang.

40 Nautical adverb : ALEE

Alee is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing aweather.

41 Catchers of flies : MITTS

That would be baseball.

42 Best in Show winner at the 2020 Westminster Dog Show : POODLE

The standard poodle breed of dog is considered to be the second-most intelligent breed, after the border collie. The name “poodle” comes from a Low German word meaning “to splash about”, reflecting the original use of the breed as a water retriever.

44 Like some contraceptives : ORAL

“The Pill” is more correctly called “the combined oral contraceptive pill”. The formulation is a combination of an estrogen called estradiol and a progestogen called progestin.

46 Forest, e.g. : BIOME

I tend to think of “biome” as another word for “ecosystem”.

47 Ointment with an orange label : TIGER BALM

Heat rubs are products designed to produce a feeling of warmth in sore or tired muscles. The active ingredients are usually menthol (mint oil) and methyl salicylate (oil of wintergreen, an analgesic). A common brand name in this country is IcyHot, and we have Deep Heat in Ireland, and there’s Tiger Balm in Asia and Canada.

Down

1 Georgia athlete, familiarly : DAWG

The sports teams of the University of Georgia are called the Bulldogs. The team mascot is known as Hairy Dawg. “Forbes” magazine lists Hairy Dawg as the third-best sports mascot. Impressive …

2 Nymph cursed by Hera : ECHO

In Greek mythology, Echo is one of the Oreads, the mountain nymphs. Echo fell in love with the vain Narcissus, and followed him into the forest one day. Narcissus heard her following him and called out, “Who’s there?”. Echo answered, “Who’s there?” Again he called out, and again Echo echoed his words back to him. Get the gist?

3 Watt, e.g. : SCOT

James Watt was a Scottish inventor. He figured prominently in the Industrial Revolution in Britain, largely due to the improvements he made to the fledgling steam engine. The SI unit of power is called the watt, and was named in his honor.

4 One involved in horseplay? : POLO PONY

The sport of polo originated in Iran, possibly before the 5th century BC. Polo was used back then primarily as a training exercise for cavalry units.

5 Fish in the herring family : ALEWIFE

The alewife is a North American herring. Just like salmon and striped bass, the alewife migrates from the sea up into freshwater to spawn.

6 Ring figure : CARAT

The carat is a unit of mass equal to 200 mg. It is used in sizing gemstones.

7 That is : ID EST

“Id est” is Latin for “that is”, and is often abbreviated to “i.e.” when used in English.

8 Beta follower : … TEST

In the world of software development, the first tested issue of a new program is usually called the alpha version. Expected to have a lot of bugs that need to be fixed, the alpha release is usually distributed to a small number of testers. After reported bugs have been eliminated, the refined version is called a beta and is released to a wider audience, but with the program clearly labeled as “beta”. The users generally check functionality and report further bugs that are encountered. The beta version feeds into a release candidate, the version that is tested just prior to the software being sold into the market, hopefully bug-free.

10 I, for one : HALOGEN

The halogens are a group of elements in the periodic table consisting of fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine and astatine. The term “halogen” was the name that was originally proposed for chlorine when it was first discovered.

The chemical element iodine is a halogen (as are fluorine, chlorine and bromine) and has the symbol “I”. At room temperature, iodine is a purple-black solid. With heat, it melts into violet liquid, and at high temperatures a violet gas. The name “iodine” comes from the Greek “ioeides” meaning “violet-colored”.

13 Words of agreement : AMEN TO THAT

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.

14 Pairs of fins : TENS

The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Abraham Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.

23 Animals that 28-Across, informally : ROOS

The word “kangaroo” comes from the Australian Aborigine term for the animal. There’s an oft-quoted story that the explorer James Cook (later Captain Cook) asked a local native what was the name of this remarkable-looking animal, and the native responded with “Kangaroo”. The story is that the native was actually saying “I don’t understand you”, but as cute as that tale is, it’s just an urban myth.

34 Move like a bear : SELL

The terms “bull market” and “bear market” come from the way in which each animal attacks. A bull thrusts his horns upwards (an “up” market), whereas a bear swipes with his paws downward (a “down” market).

38 Classic candy with a biconcave shape : SMARTIE

Here in the US, Smarties are tablet-like candy. Smarties are known as Rockets in Canada. The latter brand name is used to differentiate the product from Nestlé’s Smarties, which are sugar-coated chocolate candies that resemble M&Ms.

43 Rial spender : OMANI

The rial is the currency of Oman (as well as Yemen, Iran, Cambodia and Tunisia). Generally, there are 1,000 baisa in a rial.

46 With 21-Across, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” co-star : BRAD … (21A See 46-Down : … PITT)

Brad Pitt’s first major role was the cowboy hitchhiker in the 1991’s “Thelma and Louise”. Pitt’s life offscreen garners as much attention as his work onscreen, it seems. The tabloids revel in the series of high-profile relationships in which he has been involved. He was engaged to Gwyneth Paltrow for a while, married to Jennifer Aniston and then to Angelina Jolie.

48 I, for Plato : IOTA

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, and one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

Plato was a Greek philosopher and mathematician. He was a student of the equally famous and respected Socrates, and Plato in turn was the teacher and mentor of the celebrated Aristotle.

49 It waters the Boboli Gardens : ARNO

The Arno is the principal river in the Tuscany region of Italy, and passes through the cities of Florence and Pisa. Famously the Arno flooded in 1966, the worst flood in the region for centuries. There were numerous deaths and extensive destruction of priceless art treasures, particularly in Florence.

50 Word usually found between “in” and “of” : LIEU

As one might imagine perhaps, “in lieu” came into English from the Old French word “lieu” meaning “place”, which in turn is derived from the Latin “locum” that also means “place”. So, “in lieu” translates as “in place of”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 2017 #1 song whose music video has over 6.5 billion views on YouTube : DESPACITO
10 Pedal-operated instrument : HI-HAT
15 Props : ACCOLADES
16 Good thing for an athlete to bring : A GAME
17 Rectangle on a staff : WHOLE REST
18 Brighten : LIVEN
19 Rot : GO TO WASTE
20 Where things are likely to get heated : OVENS
21 See 46-Down : … PITT
22 Syrup in a mai tai : ORGEAT
24 Over, as an ailment : RID OF
27 Plant cultivated for its juice : ALOE
28 React to a stubbed toe : HOP
30 Laughable : INANE
31 [Oh my God, he’s so hot!] : [SWOON]
32 Two before 48-Down : ETA
33 Simple craft : DORY
34 A couple of bucks : STAGS
35 Coin whose obverse shows King Maha Vajiralongkorn : BAHT
36 Vacation destination : INN
37 Ice cream topper : BERRY
38 What Sally is often informal for : SARAH
39 Realize : NET
40 Nautical adverb : ALEE
41 Catchers of flies : MITTS
42 Best in Show winner at the 2020 Westminster Dog Show : POODLE
44 Like some contraceptives : ORAL
46 Forest, e.g. : BIOME
47 Ointment with an orange label : TIGER BALM
52 Put on sale, say : RETAG
53 Freezes : MORATORIA
54 Hitting a point of no return? : ACING
55 Tucked in at night? : ATE DINNER
56 “High Life” director Claire : DENIS
57 Unconscious : PASSED OUT

Down

1 Georgia athlete, familiarly : DAWG
2 Nymph cursed by Hera : ECHO
3 Watt, e.g. : SCOT
4 One involved in horseplay? : POLO PONY
5 Fish in the herring family : ALEWIFE
6 Ring figure : CARAT
7 That is : ID EST
8 Beta follower : … TEST
9 Ribs course? : OSTEOLOGY
10 I, for one : HALOGEN
11 Cry for mercy : I GIVE!
12 Cry for mercy : HAVE A HEART!
13 Words of agreement : AMEN TO THAT
14 Pairs of fins : TENS
23 Animals that 28-Across, informally : ROOS
24 2006 #1 Chamillionaire hit that begins “They see me rollin'” : RIDIN’
25 Good way to get back from an ordeal : IN ONE PIECE
26 Words of agreement : DARN TOOTIN’
27 Mono no ___, Japanese term for a gentle sadness at life’s impermanence : AWARE
29 They’ll take you places : PATHS
31 Holder of miniature blocks : STREET MAP
34 Move like a bear : SELL
35 Possible instance of predatory lending : BAIL BOND
37 Real stinkers, literally and figuratively : BAD EGGS
38 Classic candy with a biconcave shape : SMARTIE
43 Rial spender : OMANI
44 Fantastic beasts : OGRES
45 Interpretations : READS
46 With 21-Across, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” co-star : BRAD …
48 I, for Plato : IOTA
49 It waters the Boboli Gardens : ARNO
50 Word usually found between “in” and “of” : LIEU
51 Place of commerce : MART

11 thoughts on “0411-20 NY Times Crossword 11 Apr 20, Saturday”

  1. I didn’t know this:

    Props is a slang term for “accolades”, “proper respect”, or “just dues”. Popularized in the 1980s by rappers who shortened the term “propers” which was in turn being used as an abbreviated version of “proper respect” at least by the 1960s. The increase in this term’s usage during the late 1980s and early 1990s coincided with an increasing fascination with the mafia within rap circles. Both communities have traditionally placed great emphasis on the importance of earning and giving respect.

  2. 23:09, no errors. Dug “ORGEAT” out of what Jeff would call my “crossword lizard brain”, so I must have heard it somewhere, sometime. Never heard of “DESPACITO”, but got it from crosses. Difficult puzzle, with Agard’s signature much in evidence …

  3. 38:33 with 2 cheats (lookups). Very hard puzzle. Didn’t know ALEWIFE or DESPACITO or WHOLEREST in the NW so that’s where most of my issues were. I do know DESPACITO in Spanish is just a dim. form of “despacio” which means “slow”, but knowing that didn’t help me at all.

    Also “classic” candy was SMARTIE? Never even heard of it.

    Ultimately RIDIN and ALEWIFE were the “only” two I just had to look up to keep moving in those areas.

    ORGEAT syrup is one I actually did know right off the bat thanks to my brief bartending career in college.

    Overall a great challenge. Loved it and hated it simultaneously.

    Best –

  4. 56:00 once again the NW hates me, as it has done all week. “Smarties” have always been a personal favorite, but J had a brain freeze had to go look on a roll of them to recall their name…after which time I consumed them, one by one. Now on to Sunday’s puzzle!!!

    1. Extremely difficult but no errors. I won’t mention my time, except to say that I measure in hours, not minutes 😏.

  5. 47 min. Very challenging but fun. I have never heard of Orgeat And osteology was a tough one. Good Saturday puzzle.

  6. Got most of the southern two thirds. Other than that, no shot.
    Saw Agard and Liu and anticipated trouble. Trouble followed.

  7. Too far out of my strike zone, quit after about 15 mins with only 4 entries to show for it. On to tomorrow. Kudos to those who completed this one.

  8. I quit after an hour and 30 min with the NW corner mostly blank…Eric Agard by himself is bad enough but when he feels the need to team up as he often does then I am pretty sure I’m wasting my time but nowadays that’s about all we have (time).
    This one was for all the PHDs and MBAs and any other letters you may have earned but not little old GED me.
    Stay safe

  9. Where I live smarties are biconvex.
    Aware: Nice English word: Let’s have Japanese clue????
    A pair of fins is two 5’s not a ten.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.