0416-20 NY Times Crossword 16 Apr 20, Thursday

Constructed by: Alan Arbesfeld
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Drop Me a Line

Themed answers include “ME” in the middle, and that “ME” has been DROPPED down A LINE in the grid:

  • 69A “Don’t be a stranger!” … or what you have to do three times in this puzzle : DROP ME A LINE!
  • 33A With 35-Across, Cole Porter musical : KISS … ME
    35A See 33-Across : … KATE
  • 42A With 44-Across, “You can wait to show your gratitude” : THANK … ME
    44A See 42-Across : … LATER
  • 54A With 56-Across, clothing item for the youngest in the family : HAND … ME
    56A See 54-Across : … DOWN

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 14m 38s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Ties to the Japanese? : OBIS

The sash worn as part of traditional Japanese dress is known as an obi. The obi can be tied at the back in what is called a butterfly knot. The term “obi” is also used for the thick cotton belts that are an essential part of the outfits worn by practitioners of many martial arts. The color of the martial arts obi signifies the wearer’s skill level.

10 Some shells : PASTA

Pasta shells are more correctly known as “conchiglie”, coming from the Italian word for “seashell”.

16 Go ___ (be green, in a way) : SOLAR

Solar panels are arrays of solar cells that make use of what’s known as the photovoltaic effect. We are more likely to have learned about the photoelectric effect in school, in which electrons were ejected from the surface of some materials when it was exposed to light or other forms of radiation. The photovoltaic effect is related but different. Instead of being electrons ejected from the surface, in the photovoltaic effect electrons move around in the material creating a difference in voltage.

21 Starting points : GENESES

“Genesis” is a Greek word meaning “origin, creation” that was absorbed into Latin, and then into English. We use the Latin plural “geneses”.

24 “Bel ___” (Guy de Maupassant novel) : AMI

“Bel Ami” is an 1885 novel by French author Guy de Maupassant. The title translates as “Nice Friend”, although a 1903 translation of the novel is titled “Bel Ami, or, The History of a Scoundrel”.

French writer Guy de Maupassant is particularly noted for his short stories. Maupassant wrote six novels, and over three hundred short stories.

31 Divine nourishment : MANNA

According to the Book of Exodus, manna was a food eaten by the Israelites as they traveled out of Egypt. The manna “fell” to Earth during the night, six days a week, and was gathered in the morning before it had time to melt.

33 With 35-Across, Cole Porter musical : KISS … ME …

35 See 33-Across : … KATE

“Kiss Me, Kate” is a musical written by Cole Porter first produced on Broadway in 1948. Cole Porter had a string of successes in the twenties and thirties including “Gay Divorce” and “Anything Goes”, but he found his career in decline in the forties. “Kiss Me, Kate” proved to be a dramatic comeback, and was the only one of his shows that ran for more than 1,000 performances on Broadway. Famously, “Kiss Me, Kate” is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”.

Cole Porter was a little unusual amongst his peers in that he was one of the few successful songwriters who wrote both lyrics and music for his compositions. Porter was seriously injured in a riding accident when in his forties and was left disabled and in pain. Despite this, he continued to work and produced his most successful work after the accident.

36 Undisturbed : IN SITU

“In situ” is a Latin phrase meaning “in the place”, and we use the term to mean “in the original position”.

38 ___ Na Na : SHA

Do you remember the band “Johnny Casino & The Gamblers” in the movie “Grease”? That was actually the real-world group named Sha Na Na. Johnny Casino & the Gamblers sang “Those Magic Changes” at the high school dance, in between “Rock’N Roll Is Here to Stay” and “Hound Dog”. Sha Na Na got together in the sixties, hosted the variety show “Sha Na Na” from 1977 to 1981, and are still performing today.

41 Increase in size : WAX

The verb “to wax”, in phrases like “wax lyrical” and “wax poetic”, means “to grow”. “To wax” is the opposite of “to wane”, which means “to decrease”. We are probably most familiar with the “waxing and waning” of the moon.

46 Like : A LA

The phrase “in the style of” can be translated as “alla” in Italian and “à la” in French.

48 Repeated word in the Ten Commandments : THY

According to the Book of Exodus, God inscribed the Ten Commandments on two stone tablets and gave them to Moses on Mount Sinai.

62 Low-lying wetland : SWALE

A swale is a narrow tract of low-lying land that is usually wet or marshy. It can be naturally-occurring or man-made. One might create a swale to help manage drainage of adjacent land.

74 Country/rock singer Steve : EARLE

Steve Earle is an American songwriter and performer, and someone with a reputation of having lived a hard life. Earle’s brushes with the law and drug addiction problems have earned him the nickname “the hardcore troubadour”.

75 Connected to a hipbone : ILIAC

The sacrum and the two ilia are three bones in the human pelvis.

76 To be where people sing of amour? : ETRE

The verb “to be” is “ser” in Spanish and “être” in French.

77 It’s snowy in Florida : EGRET

The snowy egret is a small white heron that is native to the Americas. At one time the egret species was in danger of extinction due to hunting driven by the demand for plumes for women’s hats.

78 O’Hara’s portrayer : LEIGH

As casting proceeded for the movie version of “Gone With the Wind”, Clark Gable was a shoo-in from day one. The role of Scarlett O’Hara was considered very desirable in the acting community, with Bette Davis on the short list, and Katherine Hepburn demanding an appointment with producer David O. Selznick to discuss the role. Vivien Leigh was an unlikely contender, an English actress for the definitive Southern belle role. Selznick was adamant though, and stuck by his preference for Leigh despite a lot of protests.

79 P.D.A. component: Abbr. : ASST

Personal digital assistant (PDA)

Down

1 Paperwork? : ORIGAMI

Origami is the traditional Japanese art form of paper folding. The best-known example of the craft is the paper crane. The word “origami” is derived from “ori“ (folding) and “kami” (paper).

4 Kind of terrier : SKYE

The Skye terrier is a breed of dog that is actually under threat of extinction. A few years ago, there were only 30 Skye terriers born in the breed’s native land of the UK. The breed was named for the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

5 Ridge formed by glacial streams : ESKER

An esker is a long and winding ridge formed by glaciation, and made of sand and gravel. The term “esker” comes from the Irish word “eiscir” that describes the same feature.

8 “Get it?” : CAPEESH?

“Capeesh?” is a slang term meaning “do you understand?” It comes from the Italian “capisce” meaning “understand”.

10 Oscar nominee for “Lion,” 2016 : PATEL

Dev Patel is an actor from Harrow in England. Patel is best known for playing the lead in the hit movie “Slumdog Millionaire”. He also stars in a lovely 2012 film called “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” alongside an incredible cast that included Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith and Tom Wilkinson. Patel also had a regular role in the marvelous HBO drama series called “The Newsroom”.

“Lion” is a 2016 film based on the autobiographical book “A Long Way Home” by Saroo Brierley. Brierley is an Indian-born Australian who was accidentally separated from his mother when he was 5 years old, ending up stranded on a train that took the young boy nearly 1,500 km from his home. The excellent film adaptation stars Dev Patel as the older Brierley, who searches for his birth-family. Excellent movie …

11 Bit of Inuit gear : ANORAK

Anoraks really aren’t very popular over here in America. Everyone has one in Ireland! An anorak is a heavy jacket with a hood, often lined with fur (or fake fur), and is an invention of the Inuit people.

The Inuit word for “house” is “iglu”, which we usually write as “igloo”. The Greenlandic (yes, that’s a language) word for “house” is very similar, namely “igdlo”. The walls of igloos are tremendous insulators, due to the air pockets in the blocks of snow.

12 Good name for a mess hall cook : STU

“Mess” first came into English about 1300, when it described the list of food needed for a meal. The term comes from the Old French word “mes” meaning a portion of food or a course at a meal. This usage in English evolved into “mess” meaning a jumbled mass of anything, from the concept of “mixed food”. The original usage, in the sense of a food for a meal, surfaced again in the military in the 1500s when a “mess” was a communal eating place.

20 MS followers? : -NBC

MSNBC was founded in 1996 as a partnership between Microsoft (“MS”) and GE’s “NBC” broadcasting operation. Microsoft only owns a minority share in MSNBC today, but is still an equal partner in the separate company that runs msnbc.com.

29 Seventh of 24 : ETA

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.

32 Org. behind the Human Genome Project : NIH

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) organization is made up of 27 different institutes that coordinate their research and services. Examples of member institutes are the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Aging.

The genome is all the hereditary information needed to reproduce an organism, in other words, all of its chromosomes. When scientists unravel the human genome it takes up an awful lot of computer storage space, and yet all of this information is in almost every cell in our bodies. Each and every cell “knows” how to make a whole human being.

34 Pizzeria owner in “Do the Right Thing” : SAL

“Do the Right Thing” is a Spike Lee movie that was released in 1989. Much of the action in the film is centered on a local pizzeria called “Sal’s” owned by Italian-American Salvatore Frangione (played by Danny Aiello).

37 Durham sch. : UNH

The University of New Hampshire (UNH) is the largest university in the state. UNH was founded as the New Hampshire College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts in 1866 in Hanover. The college was moved to Durham in the early 1890s, which is where UNH’s main campus is located to this day. The school’s athletic teams are known as the Wildcats.

40 Practice pieces : ETUDES

An étude is a short instrumental composition that is usually quite hard to play and is intended to help the performer master a particular technique. “Étude” is the French word for “study”. Études are commonly performed on the piano.

43 Elizabethan dramatist Thomas : KYD

Thomas Kyd’s most famous work is “The Spanish Tragedy”, a play written in the mid to late 1580s. Even though Kyd was a recognized dramatist within his own lifetime, he fell foul of the standards of the Privy Council of the day and was imprisoned and tortured for allegedly being an atheist. He died soon after, impoverished.

46 “Kung Fu” actor Philip : AHN

Actor Philip Ahn is perhaps best known for playing Master Kahn, one of Caine’s teachers on the television show “Kung Fu”. Ahn was the first Asian-American actor to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

47 Thai neighbor : LAO

The present-day nation of Laos can trace its roots back to the historic Lao kingdom of Lan Xang that existed from 1354 to 1707. The full name of the kingdom was “Lan Xang Hom Khao”, which translates as “The Land of a Million Elephants and the White Parasol”.

60 “Oleanna” playwright : MAMET

I’ve never seen it, but “Oleanna” sounds like a powerful play to me. Written by David Mamet, it was first performed in 1992. It’s a two-person piece, the tale of a university professor and a female student who accuses him of sexual exploitation. Mimet got many of the themes of the play from the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings in which Anita Hill accused the future Supreme Court justice of sexual harassment.

68 Mother of Helios : THEA

In Greek mythology, Theia (also “Thea”) is a goddess of the moon. Theia’s brother and consort is Hyperion, the god of the sun. Theia and Hyperion are the parents of Helios (the Sun), Selene (the Moon) and Eos (the Dawn).

71 Hockey great Bobby : ORR

Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. By the time he retired in 1978 he had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age, he concluded that he just couldn’t skate anymore. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking. While still 31 years old, in 1979, Orr became the youngest person inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Prior to that, in 1967, Orr became the youngest person named the NHL’s Rookie of the Year.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Ties to the Japanese? : OBIS
5 Order : EDICT
10 Some shells : PASTA
15 Malodorous : RANK
16 Go ___ (be green, in a way) : SOLAR
17 Opposition bloc : ANTIS
18 “Well, well, well!” : I SAY!
19 “Don’t be a stranger!” : KEEP IN TOUCH!
21 Starting points : GENESES
23 Fading light : EMBER
24 “Bel ___” (Guy de Maupassant novel) : AMI
25 Put down in words : WROTE
27 Shade of red : CLARET
31 Divine nourishment : MANNA
33 With 35-Across, Cole Porter musical : KISS … ME …
35 See 33-Across : … KATE
36 Undisturbed : IN SITU
38 ___ Na Na : SHA
41 Increase in size : WAX
42 With 44-Across, “You can wait to show your gratitude” : THANK … ME …
44 See 42-Across : … LATER
46 Like : A LA
48 Repeated word in the Ten Commandments : THY
51 Least polluted : PUREST
54 With 56-Across, clothing item for the youngest in the family : HAND … ME …
56 See 54-Across : … DOWN
58 It may fool you : DECOY
59 Denial of responsibility : NOT I
62 Low-lying wetland : SWALE
64 Best ___ Album (Grammy category) : RAP
65 “I’ll think about it” : MAYBE
67 Thumbs-up, e.g. : GESTURE
69 “Don’t be a stranger!” … or what you have to do three times in this puzzle : DROP ME A LINE!
73 Gets a move on : HIES
74 Country/rock singer Steve : EARLE
75 Connected to a hipbone : ILIAC
76 To be where people sing of amour? : ETRE
77 It’s snowy in Florida : EGRET
78 O’Hara’s portrayer : LEIGH
79 P.D.A. component: Abbr. : ASST

Down

1 Paperwork? : ORIGAMI
2 Word with second or third, but not fourth or fifth : … BASEMAN
3 Faster than you can say Jack Robinson : IN AN INSTANT
4 Kind of terrier : SKYE
5 Ridge formed by glacial streams : ESKER
6 Manages : DOES OK
7 Suffix with percent : -ILE
8 “Get it?” : CAPEESH?
9 Barbershop request : TRIM
10 Oscar nominee for “Lion,” 2016 : PATEL
11 Bit of Inuit gear : ANORAK
12 Good name for a mess hall cook : STU
13 Little bit of personality : TIC
14 Shade of gray : ASH
20 MS followers? : -NBC
22 Go after, as a fly : SWAT AT
26 Poetic contraction usually at the start of a line : ‘TIS
28 Newbies in the work force : RAW RECRUITS
29 Seventh of 24 : ETA
30 Western moniker : TEX
32 Org. behind the Human Genome Project : NIH
34 Pizzeria owner in “Do the Right Thing” : SAL
37 Durham sch. : UNH
39 Park ranger’s handout : MAP
40 Practice pieces : ETUDES
43 Elizabethan dramatist Thomas : KYD
45 Prior to, in verse : ERE
46 “Kung Fu” actor Philip : AHN
47 Thai neighbor : LAO
49 French white wine : MOSELLE
50 “Gross!” : EWW!
52 Eagles and hawks, typically : SOARERS
53 Prepare for printing : TYPESET
55 Feature of a baby face : DIMPLE
57 “Stop! I don’t need to be constantly reminded!” : NAG NAG!
60 “Oleanna” playwright : MAMET
61 Check out : EYE
63 Hanger-on : LEECH
66 Try to stay afloat, perhaps : BAIL
68 Mother of Helios : THEA
69 Fourth of 26 : DEE
70 It may collect dust : RAG
71 Hockey great Bobby : ORR
72 Sequel to a sequel : III

14 thoughts on “0416-20 NY Times Crossword 16 Apr 20, Thursday”

  1. 24:46. I got the omitted ME part of the theme quickly. It took me a little longer to see the ME dropped a line when I didn’t know the famous group SHAME NA NA, nor did I know the Ten Commandments was such a fan of THYME….I figured it out pretty fast at that point.

    I did not know ESKER at all. Does ESKER go at a snail’s pace?

    Lastly, I got hung up at 31A “Divine nourishment”. I was confounded that “tequila” didn’t fit??

    Best –

    1. Yes indeed, Chuck. Another case of more haste, less speed … or more Guinness, less accuracy. I’m not sure which! Thanks for the help.

  2. 43:45 I gotta work on my self confidence… I knew “Sha-na-na” but talked myself out of it(obviously!)due to taking a while to discover the dropped “me” answers. In site of my typically abysmal time, I enjoy puzzles like this that require some real thought.

    And…pun of the day goes to Jeff’s “esker go”

    1. 2 errors for sure and sort of another…. Like Jeff, I got the omitted ME. Didn’t see the included ME until later… SHAME NA NA, THY ME, NO TIME?? ?? Oh, it’s obvious ME!! I got it but I didn’t see it!! My 2 errors were on POLAR for SOLAR and EPKIR for EKSIR…

      Fun puzzle.. Even pretty quick..

    1. Five minutes! Wow!

      Wait … did you remember to turn over the egg timer when all the sand ran through? … and to keep track of how many times you did that? … and do you know how to multiply? … and how to estimate the amount of sand in it at the end?

      Hmmm … maybe you should just use the NYT crossword app, like I do … 😜.

  3. 22:14, no errors. Started quickly, bogged down in the middle until the theme became apparent. Tried to put REEK before RANK; SAIL before BAIL; RHEA before THEA; TYPE OUT/TYPES UP before TYPESET.
    Clever theme.

  4. Looks like you are all having fun. I am a paid subscriber and I get the puzzle in my email but it has all the answers in it. How or where do I get a blank puzzle so I can put the answers in myself?

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