0417-20 NY Times Crossword 17 Apr 20, Friday

Constructed by: Robyn Weintraub
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 8m 53s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

11 Castilian knight in medieval Spain, with “the” : CID

Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar was known as El Cid Campeador, which translates as “The Champion” or perhaps “The Lord, Master of Military Arts”. El Cid was a soldier who fought under the rule of King Alfonso VI of Spain (among others). However, he was sent into exile by the King in 1080, after acting beyond his authorization in battle. El Cid then offered his services to his former foes, the Moorish kings, After a number of years building a reputation with the Moors, he was recalled from exile by Alfonso. By this time El Cid was very much his own man. Nominally under the orders of Alfonso, he led a combined army of Spanish and Moorish troops and took the city of Valencia on the Mediterranean coast in 1094, making it his headquarters and home. He died in Valencia, quite peacefully, in 1099.

15 Having limited focus : AD HOC

The Latin phrase “ad hoc” means “for this purpose”. An ad hoc committee, for example, is formed for a specific purpose and disbanded after making its final report.

17 Binary code bit : DIGIT

We use a base-ten numbering system, with ten digits (0 – 9). The binary system, or base-two, uses just two digits (0 & 1). The binary system is used at a fundamental level in computing, because the number 0 and 1 can be represented by microcircuits being switched “on” or “off”.

22 New parents’ woe : COLIC

Baby colic is a condition in which a baby cries for no apparent reason and for extended periods. At least one study has shown that breastfed babies are about half as likely to suffer from colic.

23 Tune with syncopated rhythm : RAG

Ragtime music was at the height of its popularity in the early 1900s. It takes its name from its characteristic “ragged” rhythms. The most famous ragtime composer was Scott Joplin, who had a big hit with his “Maple Leaf Rag” when it was published in 1899. He followed that up with a string of hits, including the “Pine Apple Rag” (sic). Ragtime fell out of favor about 1917 when the public turned to jazz. It had a resurgence in the forties when jazz musicians started to include ragtime tunes in their repertoires. But it was the 1973 movie “The Sting” that brought the true revival, as the hit soundtrack included numerous ragtime tunes by Scott Joplin, including the celebrated “The Entertainer” originally published in 1902.

In the world of music, syncopation is the expected emphasis away from the normally accented beat, producing an unexpected rhythm, an “offbeat” rhythm. Syncopation is a characteristic of many genres of music, notably ragtime and jazz.

24 Triglycerides, e.g. : LIPIDS

Lipids are a group of naturally occurring molecules including fats, waxes and fat-soluble vitamins (like A, D and E). Sometimes we use the words “fat” and “lipid” interchangeably but fats are a subgroup of lipids, specifically a group best called triglycerides.

25 Raise one’s glass : PROPOSE A TOAST

The tradition of toasting someone probably dates back to the reign of Charles II, when the practice was to drink a glass of wine to the health of a beautiful or favored woman. In those days, spiced toast was added to beverages to add flavor, so the use of the word “toast” was an indicator that the lady’s beauty would enhance the wine. Very charming, I must say …

35 Some nose-to-tail cuisine : OFFAL

The internal organs and entrails of a butchered animal are referred to collectively as “offal”. Examples of dishes that make use of offal would be sausages, foie gras, sweetbreads and haggis. The term is a melding of the words “off” and “fall”, and dates back to the 14th century. The idea is that offal is what “falls off” a butcher’s block.

36 Sun Devil Stadium sch. : ASU

Arizona State University (ASU) has a long history, and was founded as the Tempe Normal School for the Arizona Territory in 1885. The athletic teams of ASU used to be known as the Normals, then the Bulldogs, and since 1946 they’ve been called the Sun Devils.

43 Fermented feed : SILAGE

“Silage” is fodder, such as hay, that has fermented in a “silo” due to the activity of anaerobic bacteria. The process of ensilaging (sometimes “silaging”) is said to make the fodder more tasty to the animals being fed, and at least provides some variety in the diet.

45 ___ Bo : TAE

Tae Bo isn’t an ancient martial art, even though it perhaps sounds like one. The discipline was developed as a form of aerobic exercise in the 1990s by taekwondo expert Billy Blanks who gave it the name Tae Bo, a melding of “taekwondo” and “boxing”.

55 45’s better half : SIDE-A

The first vinyl records designed to play at 33⅓ rpm were introduced by RCA Victor in 1931, but were discontinued due to quality problems. The first long play (LP) 33⅓ rpm disc was introduced by Columbia Records many years later in 1948, with RCA Victor following up with a 45 rpm “single” the following year, in 1949.

56 Abbreviation near a tilde : ESC

The escape key (Esc) was originally used to control computer peripherals. It was a key that allowed the computer operator to stop what the peripheral was doing (cancel a print job, for example). Nowadays the escape key is used for all sorts of things, especially in gaming programs.

57 Printed fabric : TOILE

Toile fabric can be used as upholstery, as wallpaper, or even as a fabric for clothing. The name “toile” comes from the French word for “canvas, linen cloth”.

58 1936 Summer Olympics icon : OWENS

Jesse Owens is famous for winning four gold medals at the Berlin Olympic Games in 1936, much to the chagrin of Adolf Hitler. Jesse’s real name was James Cleveland Owens, and he went by “JC” as a child. However, his Alabama accent was misconstrued at school when his family moved to Cleveland, so teachers and classmates called him “Jesse” instead of “JC”, and the name stuck.

61 Finish on a diamond? : NINTH

That would be baseball.

Down

1 Movie knight : JEDI

The Jedi are the good guys in the “Star Wars” series of movies. The most famous Jedi knights from the films are Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness, and later Ewan McGregor) and Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz). Well, they’re my favorites anyway …

3 Freaks (out) : WIGS

The idea behind the expression “to wig out”, meaning “to go crazy”, is that there is so much going on in your brain that it might “lift your hair/wig”.

4 Kazan of film : ELIA

Elia Kazan won Oscars for best director in 1948 for “Gentleman’s Agreement” and in 1955 for “On The Waterfront”. In 1999 Kazan was given an Academy Lifetime Achievement Award. He also directed “East of Eden”, which introduced James Dean to movie audiences, and “Splendor in the Grass” that included Warren Beatty in his debut role.

9 Fox in “The Fox and the Hound” : TOD

Disney’s 1981 animated feature “The Fox and the Hound” is based on a novel of the same name by Daniel P. Mannix. Both the novel and movie tell the tale of a young fox and a young hound who are good friends. The fox and hound struggle to maintain their friendship as they grow older, even as their animal instincts kick in and social pressures demand that they become adversaries. Heavy stuff!

10 Food for a giraffe : ACACIA

Acacia is a genus of trees and shrubs, that is also known as thorntree, whistling thorn and wattle. The acacia is the primary food source for the giraffe in the wild, with the animal eating the leaves high in the tree, leaves that are inaccessible to competing species. The natural gum from two species of acacia tree is known as gum arabic, which is used in the food industry as a stabilizer.

13 Brake components : DISCS

The drum brake was invented in 1902 by Louis Renault (founder of Renault, the automobile company). In a drum brake, there is a set of brake shoes that usually presses on the inner surface of the drum to slow down rotation. Nowadays, the disc brake system is more popular, a design which uses brake pads instead of brake shoes.

19 Arcade achievement : TOP SCORE

Our word “arcade” comes from the Latin “arcus” meaning “arc”. The first arcades were passages made from a series of arches. This could be an avenue of trees, and eventually any covered avenue. I remember arcades lined with shops and stores when I was growing up on the other side of the Atlantic. Arcades came to be lined with lots of amusements, resulting in amusement arcades and video game arcades.

21 Criminal charge? : TASE

To tase is to use a taser, a stun gun.

24 Horror star Chaney : LON

Lon Chaney, Sr. played a lot of crazed-looking characters in the days of silent movies. He did much of his own make-up work, developing the grotesque appearances that became his trademark, and earning himself the nickname “the man of a thousand faces”. Most famous were his portrayals of the title characters in the films “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1923) and “The Phantom of the Opera” (1925).

34 [Never mind] : STET

“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

42 Wetland predators : EGRETS

Egrets are a group of several species of white herons. Many egret species were faced with extinction in the 1800s and early 1900s due to plume hunting, a practice driven by the demand for egret plumes that could be incorporated into hats.

49 Fuzzy berry : KIWI

What we call kiwifruit today (and sometimes just “kiwi”) used to be called a Chinese gooseberry. Marketing folks in the fifties decided to call it a “melonette”, and then New Zealand producers adopted the name “kiwifruit”.

50 Bad place to go apple-picking? : EDEN

In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This went against the bidding of God, and was at the urging of the serpent. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them from becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.

51 “La Vie Bohème” musical : RENT

The musical “Rent” by Jonathan Larson is based on the Puccini opera “La bohème”. “Rent” tells the story of struggling artists and musicians living in the Lower East Side of New York, and is set against the backdrop of the AIDS epidemic. We saw “Rent” on Broadway quite a few years ago and were very disappointed …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Beaut : JEWEL
6 “___ go!” : GOTTA
11 Castilian knight in medieval Spain, with “the” : CID
14 One who needs to go : EXILE
15 Having limited focus : AD HOC
16 Do-do connector : …. AS I …
17 Binary code bit : DIGIT
18 It’s bound to show you the way : ROAD ATLAS
20 “Some progress is better than none” : IT’S A START
22 New parents’ woe : COLIC
23 Tune with syncopated rhythm : RAG
24 Triglycerides, e.g. : LIPIDS
25 Raise one’s glass : PROPOSE A TOAST
31 Product of a teachable moment : LIFE LESSON
32 Ceilings : CAPS
35 Some nose-to-tail cuisine : OFFAL
36 Sun Devil Stadium sch. : ASU
37 Say yes to without saying “yes” : NOD AT
38 Lucy ___ Hayes, 1800s first lady : WEBB
39 Seasonal pickers : ELECTORATE
41 Impatient kid’s whine : ARE WE THERE YET?
43 Fermented feed : SILAGE
45 ___ Bo : TAE
46 Radio station alert : ON AIR
47 “So … who’s in?” : ANY TAKERS?
53 People who place : RUNNERS UP
55 45’s better half : SIDE-A
56 Abbreviation near a tilde : ESC
57 Printed fabric : TOILE
58 1936 Summer Olympics icon : OWENS
59 Meet at a poker game : SEE
60 Closes up for good : SEALS
61 Finish on a diamond? : NINTH

Down

1 Movie knight : JEDI
2 “___, pursued by a bear” (Shakespearean stage direction) : EXIT
3 Freaks (out) : WIGS
4 Kazan of film : ELIA
5 “Time to blow this popsicle stand” : LET’S ROLL
6 Weekend shopping venue : GARAGE SALE
7 Noted characteristic of a corpse flower : ODOR
8 All ___ (really cool) : THAT
9 Fox in “The Fox and the Hound” : TOD
10 Food for a giraffe : ACACIA
11 Retire : CALL IT A DAY
12 Words following “Huh?” : I SAID …
13 Brake components : DISCS
19 Arcade achievement : TOP SCORE
21 Criminal charge? : TASE
24 Horror star Chaney : LON
25 Get off the street, in a way : PLOW
26 Replete : RIFE
27 Unable to stick the landing, say : OFF BALANCE
28 Dope : PEABRAIN
29 Holding : ASSET
30 Enters without looking, say : TOUCH-TYPES
33 Crown : PATE
34 [Never mind] : STET
37 “Just ‘cuz” : NO REASON
39 Palindromic animal : EWE
40 A kid drinks from one : TEAT
42 Wetland predators : EGRETS
43 Raw spots : SORES
44 Unavailable, say : IN USE
47 Home to zero winners of the FIFA World Cup, surprisingly : ASIA
48 Empty : NULL
49 Fuzzy berry : KIWI
50 Bad place to go apple-picking? : EDEN
51 “La Vie Bohème” musical : RENT
52 Winner’s accessory : SASH
54 School of the future? : ROE

17 thoughts on “0417-20 NY Times Crossword 17 Apr 20, Friday”

  1. 19:56. Indeed, this was like having Friday off. I think the long answers being very intuitive helped a lot. We’ll see how kind the Saturday puzzle is.

    Best –

  2. 29:23 no errors. What the heck. Got the long answers, tripped up on some error guesses on the short ones. Grrr.

  3. 2 errors. 56A I had ETC. but I should have checked 44D because that gave me INUTE instead of INUSE… pretty quick for Friday..
    Be safe.

  4. They got me.. Probably should call it a DNF cuz I had 3 lookups. Still had 3 errors after that. Personal rule, if I’m stuck for more than 60 minutes, I go to Google.. I enjoyed it.

    HOV, WYCLIFFE, RADIUMS and CONCERTINAS got me good. Just couldn’t get over that hump.. Its like on the tip of my tongue and then … Nothing. Aaaargh.

  5. I don’t understand 27 down. “Stick the landing”doesn’t make any sense to me. Can someone enlighten me?

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