0413-20 NY Times Crossword 13 Apr 20, Monday

Constructed by: Evan Kalish
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Drops Heading for the Ocean

Themed answers start with DROPS and end with OCEAN. In between, themed answer start with increasing flows of water as we progress down the grid:

  • 1A Minute bits of water : DROPS
  • 21A Kind of economics, disparagingly : TRICKLE-DOWN
  • 26A Make more aerodynamic : STREAMLINE
  • 44A Theatrical show featuring traditional Irish music : RIVERDANCE
  • 50A Ballpark illuminators : FLOODLIGHTS
  • 66A Massive body of water : OCEAN

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 4m 40s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 What to do on the Sabbath, per the Bible : REST

The Sabbath is a day of rest and religious observance in several religions. The Sabbath is Saturday in the Jewish faith and in some Christian traditions. It is Sunday for most Christians, and Friday in the Muslim faith.

14 Large Starbucks order : VENTI

Starbucks introduced us to coffee drinks in a whole range of volumes:

  • Demi … 3 fl oz
  • Short … 8 fl oz
  • Tall … 12 fl oz
  • Grande … 16 fl oz (Italian for “large”)
  • Venti … 20 fl oz (Italian for “twenty”)
  • Trenta … 30 fl oz (Italian for “thirty”)

16 Jay formerly of late-night : LENO

Jay Leno was born James Leno in New Rochelle, New York. Jay’s father was the son of Italian immigrants, and his mother was from Scotland. Leno grew up in Andover, Massachusetts and actually dropped out of school on the advice of a high school guidance counsellor. However, years later he went to Emerson College and earned a Bachelor’s degree in speech therapy. Leno also started a comedy club at Emerson in 1973. Today Jay Leno is a car nut and owns about 200 vehicles of various types. You can check them out on his website: www.jaylenosgarage.com.

18 ___ pickle : DILL

Often, a dill pickle is actually a pickled gherkin, as the gherkin and cucumber are different cultivars within the same species. Here in the US, dill is commonly added to the pickling vinegar or brine, but this wasn’t the case when I used to eat them back in Ireland (I can’t stand dill!). You might see jars labeled as “cornichons”, but they’re gherkins. “Cornichon” is the French word for “gherkin”.

21 Kind of economics, disparagingly : TRICKLE-DOWN

In the world of economics, “trickle-down theory’ refers to the reduction of taxes on businesses and the wealthy in order to stimulate the economy at large. The idea is that everyone benefits when businesses and the wealthy do well. Hmm …

33 Oktoberfest vessel : STEIN

Oktoberfest is a 16-day beer festival in Munich that actually starts in September. About six million people attend every year, making it the largest fair in the world. I’ve attended twice, and it really is a remarkable party …

35 “Thar ___ blows!” : SHE

“Thar she blows!” is a phrase that originated on whaling ships. A lookout spotting a whale surfacing to breathe might see the spray from the blowhole caused by the expulsion of carbon dioxide. Thar (there) she blows!

40 Mindless card game for two : WAR

War is a card game, one played mainly by children.

44 Theatrical show featuring traditional Irish music : RIVERDANCE

The hugely successful Irish music and dance show “Riverdance” originated in 1994. In its first manifestation, the show was a relatively short entertainment created for the interval in the annual Eurovision Song Contest. A few months later, it was expanded into a full show that premiered in Dublin in early 1995. Since then, the show has traveled all over the world and has been seen by over 25 million people.

47 Pre-Communist Russian ruler : CZAR

The term “czar” (also “tsar”) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time. We tend to use the “czar” spelling, as opposed to “tsar”, when we describe a person today with great power or authority, e.g. “Drug Czar”.

58 Vegetable in Creole cooking : OKRA

The plant known as okra is mainly grown for its edible green pods. The pods are said to resemble “ladies’ fingers”, which is an alternative name for the plant. Okra is known as “ngombo” in Bantu, a name that might give us the word “gumbo”, the name for the name of the southern Louisiana stew that includes okra as a key ingredient.

In the US, the term “Creole” is usually a reference to the people descended from the colonial French and colonial Spanish people who settled in the Louisiana region before it became part of the United States with the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.

59 Poppy product : OPIUM

The opium poppy is the source of the narcotic alkaloids known as opiates. To produce opiates, the latex sap of the opium poppy is collected and processed. The naturally-occurring drugs of morphine and codeine can both be extracted from the sap. Some synthesis is required to make derivative drugs like heroin and oxycodone.

64 Opposite of “heel” : STAY

Those would be commands to a dog.

65 Part of Miss America’s attire : SASH

The oldest beauty pageant still operating in the US is the Miss America contest. The Miss America beauty pageant started out as a marketing ploy in the early twenties to attract tourists to the Atlantic City boardwalk after Labor Day. Today, contestants must be between 17 and 24 years of age. Before those limits were introduced, Marian Bergeron won the 1933 title at only 15 years of age.

Down

1 Devices issued with some TV subscription packages : DVRS

Digital Video Recorder (DVR)

4 School grp. : PTA

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

6 Element discovered by Marie and Pierre Curie : RADIUM

The element radium was discovered by Marie and Pierre Curie, in 1898.

7 Guitarist Clapton : ERIC

Can you believe that the great Eric Clapton only had one chart-topper in the US? In 1974, Clapton released a cover version of the Bob Marley classic “I Shot the Sheriff” and ended up selling more copies of that song than Bob Marley did himself. Clapton is the only person to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times: once as a member of the Yardbirds, once as a member of the supergroup Cream, and once as a solo artist.

8 Material for ties or fine sheets : SILK

The Nasdaq has some descriptive symbols to represent companies. Here are some examples:

  • HOG – Harley Davidson
  • HEINY – Heineken
  • ROCK – Gibraltar Industries
  • GRR – The Asian Tigers Fund
  • BEN – Franklin Resources
  • TWNK – Hostess Brands

10 Command to a base runner racing a throw : SLIDE!

That would be baseball.

11 Committed to the pursuit of pleasure : HEDONISTIC

A hedonist is someone who seeks to maximise the amount of pleasure in his or her life. “Hedone” is the Greek word for “pleasure”.

22 Single-stranded genetic material : RNA

The two most common nucleic acids are deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA), both of which play crucial roles in genetics. The DNA contains the genetic instructions used to keep living organisms functioning, and RNA is used to transcribe that information from the DNA to protein “generators” called ribosomes.

24 Some diagnostic scans, for short : MRIS

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine uses powerful magnetic fields to generate images that can be used by medical professionals to diagnose injury and disease.

27 Warm-colored pottery material : TERRA COTTA

The tem “terra cotta” comes to us from Latin via Italian and means “baked earth”. Terra cotta is a ceramic made from clay which is left unglazed. Maybe the most famous work in terra cotta is the Terracotta Army, the enormous collection of life-size figures that was buried with Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of China around 210 BC. I had the privilege of seeing some of this collection when it toured the US a few years ago, and even the few pieces on display were very impressive.

37 Reason for Rogaine : HAIR LOSS

Rogaine is a brand name for the drug minoxidil. It was developed as an oral medication to treat high blood pressure, but was found to have an exploitable side-effect. It caused an increase in the rate of hair growth. A topical solution was marketed to promote growth of hair especially in balding men. The drug seems to work well, but when the patient stops using it, things go back to normal in about 60 days. Wouldn’t dream of touching the stuff myself …

38 Rugged off-road ride, for short : ATV

All-terrain vehicle (ATV)

39 Lead-in to “of Liberty” or “of Anarchy” : SONS

The Sons of Liberty was a secret organization in Colonial America that opposed the imposition of local taxes by the British. The group embraced the watchword at the time. “No Taxation with Representation”. The most famous act of rebellion by the Sons of Liberty was 1773’s Boston Tea Party. The list of notable members of the organization includes John Adams, Benedict Arnold, Samuel Adams, John Hancock and Paul Revere.

“Sons of Anarchy” is a popular FX crime series about an outlaw motorcycle club in California’s Central Valley. Apparently, it is the most successful FX show ever.

41 Oscar-winning Pitt : BRAD

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.

42 Chewbacca’s companion in “Star Wars” : HAN SOLO

Han Solo is the space smuggler in “Star Wars” played by Harrison Ford. Ford was originally hired by George Lucas just to read lines for actors during auditions for “Star Wars”, but over time Lucas became convinced that Ford was right for the pivotal role of Han Solo.

Wookiees are a biped race featured in “Star Wars”. The most notable Wookiee is Chewbacca (aka “Chewie”), the loyal friend and associate of Han Solo who serves as co-pilot on the Millennium Falcon spaceship.

48 Deschanel of “New Girl” : ZOOEY

Zooey Deschanel is an actress and singer-songwriter from Los Angeles. Zooey is the younger sister of Emily Deschanel who plays the title role on the TV show “Bones”. Now Zooey is playing Jess Day, the lead character on the sitcom “New Girl”. In the world of music, Zooey teams up with “M” Ward in the duo that goes by the name “She & Him”.

51 Future atty.’s exam : LSAT

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

52 International retailer founded in Sweden : IKEA

The IKEA furniture stores use the colors blue and yellow for brand recognition. Blue and yellow are the national colors of Sweden, where IKEA was founded and is headquartered.

53 Mardi ___ : GRAS

“Mardi Gras” translates from French as “Fat Tuesday”, and gets its name from the practice of eating rich foods on the eve of the fasting season known as Lent. Lent starts on the next day, called Ash Wednesday.

55 Luau performance : HULA

The hula is a native dance of Hawaii that uses arm movements to relate a story. The hula can be performed while sitting (a noho dance) or while standing (a luna dance).

56 “You said it!” : 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.

60 Source of campaign funds, for short : PAC

A political action committee (PAC) is a private group that works to influence the outcome of a particular election or group of elections. Any group becomes a PAC by law when it receives or spends more than $1,000 for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election. In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that PACS that did not make direct contributions to candidates or parties could accept unlimited contributions. These “independent, expenditure-only committees” are commonly referred to as “super PACs”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Minute bits of water : DROPS
6 What to do on the Sabbath, per the Bible : REST
10 Fake : SHAM
14 Large Starbucks order : VENTI
15 Opera solo : ARIA
16 Jay formerly of late-night : LENO
17 “Don’t worry, everything will be fine!” : RELAX!
18 ___ pickle : DILL
19 Brainstorm : IDEA
20 Heavens : SKY
21 Kind of economics, disparagingly : TRICKLE-DOWN
24 Restaurant handout : MENU
25 Team pulling a plow : OXEN
26 Make more aerodynamic : STREAMLINE
30 “Ugh!” : ICK!
33 Oktoberfest vessel : STEIN
34 Nice poker holdings : ACES
35 “Thar ___ blows!” : SHE
36 Goofs up : ERRS
37 Despises : HATES
39 “Enough already!” : STOP!
40 Mindless card game for two : WAR
41 Room with a sink and medicine cabinet : BATH
42 Raise with ropes and pulleys : HOIST
43 “Me day” destination : SPA
44 Theatrical show featuring traditional Irish music : RIVERDANCE
47 Pre-Communist Russian ruler : CZAR
49 Very long stretches of time : EONS
50 Ballpark illuminators : FLOODLIGHTS
54 “Now I’ve got it!” : AHA!
57 Regarding : AS TO
58 Vegetable in Creole cooking : OKRA
59 Poppy product : OPIUM
61 See romantically : DATE
62 Sizable bodies of water : SEAS
63 Soup scoop : LADLE
64 Opposite of “heel” : STAY
65 Part of Miss America’s attire : SASH
66 Massive body of water : OCEAN

Down

1 Devices issued with some TV subscription packages : DVRS
2 Really smell : REEK
3 Apt rhyme for “lonely” : ONLY
4 School grp. : PTA
5 Four by four? : SIXTEEN
6 Element discovered by Marie and Pierre Curie : RADIUM
7 Guitarist Clapton : ERIC
8 Material for ties or fine sheets : SILK
9 Big servings at a beer hall : TALL ONES
10 Command to a base runner racing a throw : SLIDE!
11 Committed to the pursuit of pleasure : HEDONISTIC
12 All over again : ANEW
13 Haunted house sound : MOAN
22 Single-stranded genetic material : RNA
23 Old flames : EXES
24 Some diagnostic scans, for short : MRIS
26 “___ in!” (“Get ready for a wild ride!”) : STRAP
27 Warm-colored pottery material : TERRA COTTA
28 Spinning woodworking device : LATHE
29 Winter sports surface : ICE
31 Selected : CHOSE
32 Didn’t spoil, as food : KEPT
33 Stitches : SEWS
37 Reason for Rogaine : HAIR LOSS
38 Rugged off-road ride, for short : ATV
39 Lead-in to “of Liberty” or “of Anarchy” : SONS
41 Oscar-winning Pitt : BRAD
42 Chewbacca’s companion in “Star Wars” : HAN SOLO
45 Go over again and again : REHASH
46 Preceder of com, org or edu : DOT
48 Deschanel of “New Girl” : ZOOEY
50 Cultural flashes in the pan : FADS
51 Future atty.’s exam : LSAT
52 International retailer founded in Sweden : IKEA
53 Mardi ___ : GRAS
54 Helper : AIDE
55 Luau performance : HULA
56 “You said it!” : AMEN!
60 Source of campaign funds, for short : PAC

9 thoughts on “0413-20 NY Times Crossword 13 Apr 20, Monday”

  1. An easy solve today.

    I have a great appreciation for water. I have delved a little into the work-related study of hydraulics. Physics is not one of my better subjects but I have gained a much better understanding of the action of fluids in motion. The very same principles are at work within our bodies and, indeed, throughout the universe.

    Interesting, the thoughts that a simple crossword puzzle can evoke.

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