0421-20 NY Times Crossword 21 Apr 20, Tuesday

Constructed by: Andrew Kingsley
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Fruit Topping

Themed answers are each in the down-direction, and each is TOPPED (starts) with a FRUIT:

  • 26D Dessert add-on … or what the answer to each starred clue has? : FRUIT TOPPING
  • 3D *Teeth, slangily : PEARLY WHITES (“pear” topping)
  • 7D *Peacock’s pride : PLUMAGE (“plum” topping)
  • 9D *Rite of passage celebrating a 15th birthday : QUINCEANERA (“quince” topping)
  • 30D *Air Force aircraft : FIGHTER JETS (“fig” topping)
  • 46D *Big French daily : LE MONDE (“lemon” topping)

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 7m 13s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Very softly, in music : PPP

The musical term “pianissimo” is abbreviated to “pp”, and is an instruction to the performer to sing or play very softly. The concept can be extended to “ppp”, short for “pianississimo”, an instruction of play even more softly. The opposite instructions are fortissimo (ff) and fortississimo (fff), instructions to perform very loudly, and even more loudly.

14 Nuclear trial, informally : A-TEST

Atomic test (A-test)

15 Bottle that might be labeled “XXX” : ALE

The letter “X” is often used to indicate the strength of a beer. For example, a beer marked “XXX” is usually designated as “extra-strong”.

17 Full moon, e.g. : PHASE

The phases of the moon have been given the following names, in order:

  • New moon
  • Waxing crescent moon
  • First quarter moon
  • Waxing gibbous moon
  • Full moon
  • Waning gibbous moon
  • Third quarter moon
  • Waning crescent moon
  • Dark moon

20 Heavenly beings : SERAPHIM

A seraph is a celestial being found in Hebrew and Christian writings. The word “seraph” (plural “seraphim”) literally translates as “burning one”. Seraphs are the highest-ranking angels in the Christian tradition, and the fifth-ranking of ten in the Jewish tradition.

22 Yoko who wrote and sang “I Love You, Earth” : ONO

Yoko Ono was born in 1933 in Tokyo into a prosperous Japanese family, and is actually a descendant of one of the emperors of Japan. Yoko’s father moved around the world for work, and she lived the first few years of her life in San Francisco. The family returned to Japan, before moving on to New York, Hanoi and back to Japan just before WWII, in time to live through the great firebombing of Tokyo in 1945. Immediately after the war the family was far from prosperous. While Yoko’s father was being held in a prison camp in Vietnam, her mother had to resort to begging and bartering to feed her children. When her father was repatriated, life started to return to normal and Yoko was able to attend university. She was the first woman to be accepted into the philosophy program of Gakushuin University.

23 The “O” of CD-ROM : ONLY

“CD-ROM” stands for “compact disc read only memory”. The name indicates that you can read information from the disc (like a standard music CD for example), but you cannot write to it. You can also buy a CD-RW, which stands for “compact disc – rewritable”, with which you can read data and also write over it multiple times using a suitable CD drive.

31 Jetson son : ELROY

“The Jetsons” is an animated show from Hanna-Barbera that had its first run in 1962-1963, and then was recreated in 1985-1987. When it debuted in 1963 on ABC, “The Jetsons” was the network’s first ever color broadcast. “The Jetsons” is like a space-age version of “The Flintstones”. The four Jetson family members are George and Jane, the parents, and children Judy and Elroy. Residing with the family in Orbit City are their household robot Rosie and pet dog Astro.

34 Jazz legend Fitzgerald : ELLA

Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

38 Republicans, collectively : THE GOP

The Republican Party has had the nickname Grand Old Party (GOP) since 1875. That said, the phrase was coined in the “Congressional Record” as “this gallant old party”. The moniker was changed to “grand old party” in 1876 in an article in the “Cincinnati Commercial”. The Republican Party’s elephant mascot dates back to an 1874 cartoon drawn by Thomas Nast for “Harper’s Weekly”. The Democrat’s donkey was already an established symbol. Nast drew a donkey clothed in a lion’s skin scaring away the other animals. One of the scared animals was an elephant, which Nast labeled “The Republican Vote”.

40 Ottawa chief who shares his name with an automobile : PONTIAC

Chief Pontiac was a leader of the Ottawa people in the 1700s. He is most famously associated with the fight against the British (called Pontiac’s Rebellion) after they emerged victorious from the French and Indian War. The most noted action during the rebellion was the attack led by Pontiac on Fort Detroit, and the subsequent siege. Although the siege was unsuccessful, it served to unite the local Native American peoples in the fight.

42 Hindu god of love and compassion : KRISHNA

In the Hindu tradition, Krishna is recognized as the eighth avatar (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu. Krishna is usually depicted as a boy or young man playing a flute.

43 Like a sauna user : SWEATY

As my Finnish-American wife will tell you, “sauna” is a Finnish word, and is pronounced more correctly as “sow-nah” (with “sow” as in the female pig).

48 Not just corpulent : OBESE

Our word “corpulent”, meaning “having a large body”, comes from Latin. “Corpus” means “body”, and “-ulentus” means “full of”. Very descriptive …

50 Kazan who directed “East of Eden” : 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.

52 Workplaces for R.N.s : ORS

Registered nurses (RNs) might be found in an operating room (OR) or emergency room (ER).

59 Things retirees wear? : PJS

Our word “pajamas” (sometimes “PJs” or “jammies”) comes to us from the Indian subcontinent, where “pai jamahs” were loose fitting pants tied at the waist and worn at night by locals and ultimately by the Europeans living there. And “pajamas” is another of those words that I had to learn to spell differently when I came to America. On the other side of the Atlantic, the spelling is “pyjamas”.

69 Someone hell-bent on writing? : DANTE

Dante Alighieri’s “Divine Comedy” is an epic poem dating back to the 14th century. The first part of that epic is “Inferno”, which is the Italian word for “Hell”. In the poem, Dante is led on a journey by the poet Virgil, starting at the gates of Hell on which are written the famous words “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”.

70 Grumpy Cat and Keyboard Cat, for two : MEMES

A meme (from “mineme”) is a cultural practice or idea that is passed on verbally or by repetition from one person to another. The term lends itself very well to the online world where links, emails, files etc. are so easily propagated.

71 Pilates unit : REP

Pilates is a physical exercise system developed by, and named for, Joseph Pilates. Pilates introduced his system of exercises in 1883 in Germany.

72 “He that is slow to ___ is better than the mighty”: Proverbs : ANGER

The Book of Proverbs is in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament. The original Hebrew title for the book translates as “Proverbs of Solomon”.

Down

2 Parthenon dedicatee : ATHENA

The Greek goddess Athena (sometimes “Athene”) is often associated with wisdom, among other attributes. In many representations. Athena is depicted with an owl sitting on her head. It is this linkage of the owl with the goddess of wisdom that led to today’s perception of the owl as being “wise”. Athena’s Roman counterpart was Minerva.

The Parthenon is the ruined temple that sits on the Athenian Acropolis. Although the Parthenon was dedicated to the goddess Athena as a sacred building in the days of the Athenian Empire, it was actually used primarily as a treasury. In later centuries, the Parthenon was repurposed as a Christian Church dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and was also used as a mosque after Ottoman conquest.

5 Fitbit unit : STEP

Fitbits are wearable activity trackers that are mainly used to track the number of steps walked, although more and more features have been added over time. A Fitbit was even used as evidence in at least one murder case. A Connecticut man claimed that a home intruder had shot and killed his wife. Police used data from the wife’s Fitbit to disprove the husband’s story, and ended up charging him with the murder.

6 Al of “Dog Day Afternoon” : PACINO

Al Pacino seems to be best known for playing characters on both sides of the law. Pacino’s big break in the movies came when he played Michael Corleone in “The Godfather”, a role that grew for him as the series of films progressed. But his Oscar-winning role was that of a blind ex-military officer in “Scent of a Woman”.

“Dog Day Afternoon” is a crime film released in 1975. The movie was inspired by a real life incident, a robbery at a bank in Brooklyn, New York by John Wojtowicz and Salvatore Naturile. Al Pacino and John Cazale played the robbers in the film, with the names changed to Sonny Wortzik and Sal Naturile.

7 *Peacock’s pride : PLUMAGE (“plum” topping)

The male peafowl is known as a peacock, and the female a peahen. The peafowl’s young are sometimes called peachicks.

8 ___ se : PER

“Per se” is a Latin phrase that translates as “by itself”. We use “per se” pretty literally, meaning “in itself, intrinsically”.

9 *Rite of passage celebrating a 15th birthday : QUINCEANERA (“quince” topping)

“Quinceañera” is a celebration of a girl’s fifteenth birthday, and is an event common in many parts of Latin America.

The quince is a fruit related to the apple and pear. Some people suggest that the fruit eaten from the Tree of Knowledge by Adam and Eve was in fact a quince.

11 College URL ending : EDU

The .edu domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:

  • .com (commercial enterprise)
  • .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
  • .mil (US military)
  • .org (not-for-profit organization)
  • .gov (US federal government entity)
  • .edu (college-level educational institution)

19 ___ Gatos, Calif. : LOS

The town of Los Gatos is in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. The town’s name translates from Spanish to “the Cats” and comes from the old name for the area “Cat’s Corner”. That name is a reference to the cougars that roamed the foothills in which the town is located.

21 Subject of interest to an endocrinologist : HORMONE

An endocrine gland is one that secretes hormones directly into the bloodstream. Examples of endocrine glands are the hypothalamus, the thyroid and the adrenal glands. An exocrine gland is one that secretes its essential product by way of a duct. Examples of exocrine glands are sweat glands, salivary glands and mammary glands.

33 “___ Just Not That Into You” (2009 rom-com) : HE’S

“He’s Just Not That Into You” is a line of dialog from the HBO television series “Sex and the City”. The line was lifted and used as the title of a self-help book published in 2004. The book was adapted into a 2009 romantic comedy film with an ensemble cast that includes Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore and Scarlett Johansson. Haven’t seen it …

35 Platters from the Platters, for short : LPS

The Platters were a vocal doo-wop group from Los Angeles who were active in original form from 1954 until 1970. They had four #1 records: “The Great Pretender” (1955), “My Prayer” (1956), “Twilight Time” (1958) and “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” (1958).

41 Lao-tzu’s “way” : TAO

Lao Tse (also “Lao-Tzu”) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism. Tradition holds that Lao-Tzu wrote the “Tao Te Ching”, a classical Chinese text that is fundamental to the philosophy of Taoism.

42 Etch A Sketch part : KNOB

Etch A Sketch was introduced in 1960. The toy was developed in France by inventor André Cassagnes.

46 *Big French daily : LE MONDE (“lemon” topping)

“Le Monde” is a newspaper published each evening in France. “Le Monde” is one of the two most famous French papers, along with “Le Figaro”.

54 One living the high life? : STONER

“Stoner” is a slang term for someone who is habitually intoxicated by alcohol or drugs.

56 Winter hrs. in Winter Haven, Fla. : EST

Eastern Standard Time (EST)

58 Suffragist ___ B. Anthony : SUSAN

The Susan B. Anthony dollar was produced by the US mint from 1979 to 1981 and again in 1999. The obverse of the coin features the profile of civil rights activist Susan B. Anthony who played such a pivotal role in the introduction of women’s suffrage in the US. The use of Susan B. Anthony’s image marked the first time that a non-fictitious female had appeared on circulating US coinage.

63 Writing from Pablo Neruda : ODE

“Odes to Common Things” is a collection of poems by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Included in the list of 25 odes is “Ode to the Table”, “Ode to the Dog”, Ode to the Artichoke” and “Ode to French Fries”.

64 Closemouthed : MUM

The phrase “mum’s the word” has been around since the early 1700s. “Mum” has been used to mean “silent” for centuries, the idea being that “mum” is the sound made when the lips are tightly sealed.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Some preserved conversations : TAPES
6 Very softly, in music : PPP
9 Ask : QUERY
14 Nuclear trial, informally : A-TEST
15 Bottle that might be labeled “XXX” : ALE
16 Not warranted : UNDUE
17 Full moon, e.g. : PHASE
18 Scribes’ flourishes : CURLICUES
20 Heavenly beings : SERAPHIM
22 Yoko who wrote and sang “I Love You, Earth” : ONO
23 The “O” of CD-ROM : ONLY
24 With 32-Across, suddenly and without thinking : ON A …
25 Speaks scornfully : SCOFFS
29 “Uh-uh,” formally : NAY
30 Minor throat problem : FROG
31 Jetson son : ELROY
32 See 24-Across : … WHIM
34 Jazz legend Fitzgerald : ELLA
37 Mantelpiece piece : URN
38 Republicans, collectively : THE GOP
40 Ottawa chief who shares his name with an automobile : PONTIAC
42 Hindu god of love and compassion : KRISHNA
43 Like a sauna user : SWEATY
44 Minor quibble : NIT
45 Come clean to : TELL
47 Equestrian’s pace : TROT
48 Not just corpulent : OBESE
50 Kazan who directed “East of Eden” : ELIA
52 Workplaces for R.N.s : ORS
55 Have no doubts : BE SURE
57 Word before dog or dash : MAD …
58 Catch sight of : SPOT
59 Things retirees wear? : PJS
60 Begin to confide in : OPEN UP TO
62 Capable : COMPETENT
66 Japanese or Javanese : ASIAN
67 Like films labeled “XXX” : ADULT
68 Big deal : ADO
69 Someone hell-bent on writing? : DANTE
70 Grumpy Cat and Keyboard Cat, for two : MEMES
71 Pilates unit : REP
72 “He that is slow to ___ is better than the mighty”: Proverbs : ANGER

Down

1 Selects with a finger, as an app : TAPS ON
2 Parthenon dedicatee : ATHENA
3 *Teeth, slangily : PEARLY WHITES (“pear” topping)
4 Piece for an editorial page : ESSAY
5 Fitbit unit : STEP
6 Al of “Dog Day Afternoon” : PACINO
7 *Peacock’s pride : PLUMAGE (“plum” topping)
8 ___ se : PER
9 *Rite of passage celebrating a 15th birthday : QUINCEANERA (“quince” topping)
10 Not hip : UNCOOL
11 College URL ending : EDU
12 Lament : RUE
13 “Uh-huh!” : YES!
19 ___ Gatos, Calif. : LOS
21 Subject of interest to an endocrinologist : HORMONE
26 Dessert add-on … or what the answer to each starred clue has? : FRUIT TOPPING
27 Sudden attack : FORAY
28 Connect, as a smartphone to a computer : SYNC
30 *Air Force aircraft : FIGHTER JETS (“fig” topping)
33 “___ Just Not That Into You” (2009 rom-com) : HE’S
35 Platters from the Platters, for short : LPS
36 Prime time for beachcombing : LOW TIDE
38 Extended family : TRIBE
39 Buddy : PAL
41 Lao-tzu’s “way” : TAO
42 Etch A Sketch part : KNOB
46 *Big French daily : LE MONDE (“lemon” topping)
49 Capable of being folded without creasing or breaking : SUPPLE
51 MacBook, for one : LAPTOP
53 Take turns : ROTATE
54 One living the high life? : STONER
56 Winter hrs. in Winter Haven, Fla. : EST
58 Suffragist ___ B. Anthony : SUSAN
61 Nothin’ : NADA
62 Engine part : CAM
63 Writing from Pablo Neruda : ODE
64 Closemouthed : MUM
65 Makeshift pencil holder : EAR

15 thoughts on “0421-20 NY Times Crossword 21 Apr 20, Tuesday”

  1. 30 Down = Air Force aircraft (singular); yet, the answer is fighter jets (plural). I consider this an error. Am I missing something?

  2. 13:53, no errors. Lost a little time searching for one letter after getting the “almost there” notification. Still less than twice Bill’s time do hooray for me.

  3. 12:41. Indeed hard for a Tuesday, but I like that. Last to fall was FRUIT TOPPING so I didn’t get the theme until the very end. Might have helped to go after the reveal earlier. I’ll never learn.

    Nonny is right – “We have two inbound aircraft on our radar.”

    Best –

  4. And bringing up the rear with 16:22, me! After completing the puzzle I attempted to discern the theme. I’m embarrassed to admit how long it took me to see the words “pear” and “fig”…

  5. No errors. Agree with NonnyMuss, little difficult for a Tuesday. 11 letter Latin American word? PJs for retirees? THE GOP vs GOP?… I don’t know what a MEME is so I just let it fall into place.. It all felt a little forced in places..

  6. In my paper (Long Beach Press-Telegram) the clues that involved the themed answers were marked with an asterisk. Yours too?
    I couldn’t miss a themed item.

  7. 22:13 no errors…a bit much for a Tuesday…I got 9D via crosses…I didn’t check the themed answers until the puzzle was finished.
    Stay safe.

  8. 9:11, no errors. Just seemed in 28D with the setter. Heard of 9D but, as to its spelling, after QUIN I’m completely lost. Oblivious to the theme, however.

  9. No errors. I had minor slow-ups with all of the same things that everyone else has already noted. I got the revealer early but then forgot to ever come back to it for any help that it might have offered.

    Solid puzzle. Enjoyed it.

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