0422-20 NY Times Crossword 22 Apr 20, Wednesday

Constructed by: Jules Markey
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Prime Real Estate

Themed answers are locations, each starting with a PRIME number:

  • 54A Asset that’s all about “location, location, location” … with a hint to the starts of 21-, 26- and 49-Across : PRIME REAL ESTATE
  • 21A Location of a 1979 accident : THREE MILE ISLAND
  • 26A Location where Italy’s capital is said to have been founded : SEVEN HILLS OF ROME
  • 49A Location in the New World until 1776 : THIRTEEN COLONIES

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 8m 36s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 The “P” of P.B.R. : PABST

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) is the most recognizable brand of beer from the Pabst Brewing Company. There appears to be some dispute over whether or not Pabst beer ever won a “blue ribbon” prize, but the company claims that it did so at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. The beer was originally called Pabst Best Select, and then just Pabst Select. With the renaming to Blue Ribbon, the beer was sold with an actual blue ribbon tied around the neck of the bottle until it was dropped in 1916 and incorporated into the label.

10 Home to the Bay of Pigs : CUBA

The Bay of Pigs is on the southern coast of Cuba. The bay was the site of the abortive military invasion of Cuba in 1961 by a paramilitary group sponsored by the CIA. Cuban forces defending against the attack were personally led by Fidel Castro, and emerged victorious after three days of fighting.

18 Zoroastrianism, e.g. : FAITH

Zoroastrianism is one of the oldest religions in the world, and held sway in the pre-Islamic Iranian empires from around 600 to 650 BCE. Followers of the tradition worship a single creator god, and follow the teachings of the prophet Zoroaster (also known as “Zarathustra”).

19 Sign of autumn : LIBRA

The constellation of Libra is named for the scales held by the goddess of justice. Libra is the only sign of the zodiac that isn’t named for a living creature.

21 Location of a 1979 accident : THREE MILE ISLAND

The Three Mile Island accident was a meltdown of a reactor core that took place at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station just outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1979. The accident was caused by a mechanical failure, compounded by human error.

25 TV’s Dr. ___ : PHIL

Dr. Phil (McGraw) met Oprah Winfrey when he was hired to work with her as a legal consultant during the Amarillo Texas beef trial (when the industry sued Oprah for libel over “Mad Cow Disease” statements). Oprah was impressed with Dr. Phil, and invited him onto her show. We haven’t stopped seeing him since!

26 Location where Italy’s capital is said to have been founded : SEVEN HILLS OF ROME

Supposedly, there were seven separate settlements on the top of seven hills east of the River Tiber, prior to the founding of the city of Rome. Tradition dictates that Romulus founded Rome on one of these hills, namely Palatine Hill, and the city came to encompass all seven existing settlements. The most famous hill in modern-day Rome is probably Vatican Hill, but it lies outside of the walled ancient city.

35 Touch-and-go : DICEY

Something described as “dicey” is unpredictable or risky, as in rolling the “dice”. The term “dicey” originated in the 1940s as aviator jargon.

37 Tattaglia and Barzini, in “The Godfather” : DONS

“The Godfather” series of films is based on “The Godfather” novel by Mario Puzo, first published in 1969. Francis Ford Coppola worked with Puzo in partnership to adapt his novel into the screenplay for the first film, and to write the screenplays for the two sequels. Coppola holds that there are really only two films in “The Godfather” series, with “The Godfather Part III” actually being the epilogue.

39 Scullers’ gear : OARS

A scull is a boat used for competitive rowing. The main hull of the boat is often referred to as a shell. Crew members who row the boat can be referred to as “oars”. And, a scull is also an oar mounted on the stern of a small boat. It’s all very confusing …

41 32-year-old artist pictured on the cover of Time magazine in 1936 : DALI

The famous surrealist painter Salvador Dalí was born in Figueres, Spain. I had the privilege of visiting the Dalí Museum in Figueres some years ago, just north of Barcelona. If you ever get the chance, it’s a “must see” as it really is a quite magnificent building with a fascinating collection.

42 De facto : ACTUAL

Conceptually, “de jure” and “de facto” are related terms, one meaning “concerning, according to law”, and the other meaning “concerning, according to fact”. There is an example of the use of the two terms together from my homeland of Ireland. According to our constitution, Irish is the first language of the country, and yet almost everyone in the country uses English as his or her first language. One might say that Irish is the de jure first language, but English is the first language de facto.

49 Location in the New World until 1776 : THIRTEEN COLONIES

The Thirteen Colonies were those founded by the British on the Atlantic coast of North America between 1607 and 1733. The thirteen colonies eventually declared independence as a group in 1776, and formed the United States of America. The thirteen colonies were:

  1. Virginia (founded 1607)
  2. Massachusetts (founded as Plymouth Colony in 1620)
  3. New Hampshire (1623)
  4. Maryland (1634)
  5. Connecticut (c. 1635)
  6. Rhode Island (1636)
  7. Delaware (1638)
  8. North Carolina (1653)
  9. South Carolina (1663)
  10. New Jersey (1664)
  11. New York (1664)
  12. Pennsylvania (1682)
  13. Georgia (1732)

52 The “G” of Geico: Abbr. : GOVT

GEICO was founded in 1936 with a very specific mission, to provide auto insurance for employees of the federal government and their families, hence the name Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO). GEICO is a private company, despite the word “government” in its name. The founders’ idea was to focus on government employees as they believed such a group represented a lower risk profile than the rest of the population. Nowadays any qualifying person can take out a policy with GEICO.

53 Ballet move : PLIE

The French word for “bent” is “plié”. In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent. A “demi-plié” is a similar move, but with less bending of the knees.

54 Asset that’s all about “location, location, location” … with a hint to the starts of 21-, 26- and 49-Across : PRIME REAL ESTATE

The terms “realty” and “real estate” actually date back to the late 1600s. Back then, the terms meant “real possessions, things owned that are tangible and real”.

61 Gator’s cousin : CROC

Crocodiles and alligators do indeed bear a resemblance to each other, although they belong to distinct biological families. One of the main ways used to distinguish them is by their teeth and jaws. Both the upper and lower sets of teeth of a crocodile are visible when its mouth is closed, whereas only the upper teeth of an alligator are visible with the mouth shut.

63 It’s a knockout : ETHER

Ethers are a whole class of organic compounds, but in the vernacular “ether” is specifically diethyl ether. Diethyl ether was once very popular as a general anesthetic.

64 City on the Arno : PISA

The city of Pisa sits right on the Italian coast, at the mouth of the River Arno. The city is perhaps most famous for its Leaning Tower. The tower is actually the campanile (bell tower) of the city’s cathedral, and it has been leaning since it was completed in 1173. Just shows you how important good foundations are …

65 Utopias : EDENS

The word “Utopia” was coined by Sir Thomas More in his book “Utopia” published in 1516 to describe an idyllic fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean. More’s use of the name Utopia comes from the Greek “ou” meaning “not” and “topos” meaning “place”. By calling his perfect island “Not Place”, More was apparently making the point that he didn’t think that the ideal could actually exist.

66 Justice Kagan : ELENA

Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States who replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the first female US Solicitor General and the fourth female US Supreme Court justice. I hear she is a fan of Jane Austen, and used to reread “Pride and Prejudice” once a year. Not a bad thing to do, I’d say …

67 Skating feat : AXEL

An axel is a forward take-off jump in figure skating. The maneuver was first performed by Norwegian Axel Paulsen at the 1882 World Figure Skating championships.

69 Revivalists, for short? : EMTS

Emergency medical technician (EMT)

Down

1 Bats : DAFT

The expression “bats in the belfry” meaning “mad, crazy” conjures up images of bats flying around Gothic bell towers, but actually it’s a relatively recent addition to our vernacular. The term is American in origin, and dates back only to the early 1900s. The concept is that someone who is “crazy”, with wild ideas flying around his or her head, can be described as having bats (wild ideas) flying around the belfry (head). The terms “bats” and “batty” originated at the same time, and are clearly derivative.

3 Head of government between Eshkol and Rabin : MEIR

Golda Meir was known as the “Iron Lady” when she was Prime Minister of Israel, long before that sobriquet came to be associated with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Golda Meir was born Golda Mabovitch in Kiev (in modern-day Ukraine), and when she was a young girl she moved with her family to the United States and settled in Milwaukee. As a teenager she relocated to Denver where she met and married Morris Meyerson, at the age of 19. She and her husband joined a kibbutz in Palestine in 1921, when she was in her twenties. Meir had been active in politics in the US, and continued her political work in Palestine. She was very influential during WWII, and played a leading role in negotiations after the war leading to the setting up of the state of Israel. By the time she was called on to lead the country, Meir had already retired, citing exhaustion and ill health. But serve she did, and led Israel during turbulent times (e.g. the massacre at the Munich Olympics, and the Yom Kippur War). She eventually resigned in 1974, saying that was what the people wanted.

5 Inside-the-Beltway type : POLITICO

The phrase “inside the Beltway” is used to refer to the infrastructure and politics of Washington, D.C. The Beltway in this case is Interstate 495, also known as the Capital Beltway.

6 Seed covering : ARIL

The casing surrounding many seeds is called the aril, and it may be quite fleshy. This fruit-like characteristic makes it desirable as a food and hence aids in the dispersion of the seeds.

13 & : AND

Back in the day, when reciting the alphabet, it was common to emphasize that some letters could be used as a word in itself. One would say “A per se A, B, C, D … I per se I, J, K, L … denoting that the letters A and I are also their own words. It was common to add the & symbol at the end of the recitation, as if it were a 27th letter. So the alphabet ended with “X, Y, Z, & (and) per se and”. This “and per se and” statement was slurred to “ampersand”, giving the name that we use today for the & symbol.

15 Song by the Doors that, paradoxically, is heard at the start of “Apocalypse Now” : THE END

The Doors formed in 1965 in Los Angeles. The band chose their name from a book by Aldous Huxley called “The Doors of Perception”.

The epic war drama “Apocalypse Now” was released in 1979 and starred Martin Sheen as Captain Willard and Marlon Brando as Colonel Kurtz. The premise of the film is that both Willard and Kurtz are special ops officers, with Willard sent into the jungle to assassinate Kurtz who has “gone rogue”. The film is notorious for the trouble that director Francis Ford Coppola had completing the shoot. Brando turned up on set grossly overweight (as a special ops guy!), and poor Martin Sheen had a heart attack during filming.

22 When doubled, a Hawaiian fish : MAHI

“Mahi-mahi” is the Hawaiian name for the dolphinfish, which is also called the dorado. The mahi-mahi is an ugly looking creature if ever I saw one …

26 Begin’s negotiating partner for peace : SADAT

Anwar Sadat was the third President of Egypt right up to the time of his assassination in 1981. Sadat won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978 along with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin for the role played in crafting the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1978 at Camp David. It was this agreement that largely led to Sadat’s assassination three years later.

27 Long time : EPOCH

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

30 A mondegreen is a misheard one : LYRIC

A mondegreen is a series of words that have been misheard, often with comical effect. For example “I led the pigeons to the flag” is a mondegreen for “I pledge allegiance to the flag”. The term “mondegreen” was created by American author Sylvia Wright citing the mishearing of words from the Scottish ballad “The Bonny Earl of Murray”. The line “laid him on the green” might be heard as “Lady Mondegreen”.

31 Cousin of a giraffe : OKAPI

The okapi is closely related to the giraffe, although it does have markings on its legs and haunches that resemble those of a zebra. The okapi’s tongue is long enough to reach back and wash its eyeballs, and can go back even further to clean its ears inside and out.

32 Free-for-all : MELEE

Our term “melee” comes from the French “mêlée”, and in both languages the word means “confused fight”.

40 Kind of order on Wall Street : STOP-LOSS

A stop (also “stop-loss”) order is an order to buy or sell a stock once it reaches a specific price. When that “stop price” is reached, the stop order becomes a market order and the sale or purchase is made.

44 Young hare : LEVERET

Hares belong to the genus Lepus. Young hares under one-year-old are called leverets.

50 Big online brokerage : E*TRADE

E*Trade is mainly an online discount brokerage. It was founded in 1982 in Palo Alto, California, and I used to drive by its headquarters almost every day. The company is now run out of New York City. E*Trade used to produce those famous Super Bowl ads with the talking babies staring into a webcam.

54 Grand ___ : PRIX

Even though the term is used in many competitions, I think that we most associate “Grand Prix” with the series of Formula One motor races. These Formula One Grand Prix races trace their roots back to organized automobile road races from one French town to the next that date back to 1894. “Grand Prix” translates from French as “grand, big prize.”

55 Type of wine with an accent : ROSE

Rosé wines get their color from the skins of the grapes, although the intensity of the color is not sufficient to make them red wines. Of the varying type of rosé wines available, we are most familiar with sweet White Zinfandels. Personally I am fond of the really dry Provençal rosé wines.

56 Vacation times on la Côte d’Azur : ETES

In French, “été” (summer) is a common time to go “en vacances” (on vacation).

The Côte d’Azur is on the Mediterranean coast of France and stretches from Saint-Tropez in the west and to the Italian border in the east. In English, we often refer to the area as “the French Riviera”. It’s a little crowded for me (okay, “expensive”), especially in the summer.

61 I.R.S. worker, for short : CPA

Certified public accountant (CPA)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Word after play or before luck : DUMB
5 The “P” of P.B.R. : PABST
10 Home to the Bay of Pigs : CUBA
14 Fell on one’s face big-time : ATE IT
16 Give out one’s address? : ORATE
17 Candid : OPEN
18 Zoroastrianism, e.g. : FAITH
19 Sign of autumn : LIBRA
20 Artery : ROAD
21 Location of a 1979 accident : THREE MILE ISLAND
24 Potpie ingredient : MEAT
25 TV’s Dr. ___ : PHIL
26 Location where Italy’s capital is said to have been founded : SEVEN HILLS OF ROME
34 Big lug : APE
35 Touch-and-go : DICEY
36 Looked too soon, say : PEEKED
37 Tattaglia and Barzini, in “The Godfather” : DONS
39 Scullers’ gear : OARS
41 32-year-old artist pictured on the cover of Time magazine in 1936 : DALI
42 De facto : ACTUAL
45 Ceremonies : RITES
48 Dearie : PET
49 Location in the New World until 1776 : THIRTEEN COLONIES
52 The “G” of Geico: Abbr. : GOVT
53 Ballet move : PLIE
54 Asset that’s all about “location, location, location” … with a hint to the starts of 21-, 26- and 49-Across : PRIME REAL ESTATE
61 Gator’s cousin : CROC
62 12/31, for one : RATIO
63 It’s a knockout : ETHER
64 City on the Arno : PISA
65 Utopias : EDENS
66 Justice Kagan : ELENA
67 Skating feat : AXEL
68 Takes to the limit, perhaps : TESTS
69 Revivalists, for short? : EMTS

Down

1 Bats : DAFT
2 “The Greatest Snow on Earth” sloganeer : UTAH
3 Head of government between Eshkol and Rabin : MEIR
4 “Buzz off!” : BITE ME!
5 Inside-the-Beltway type : POLITICO
6 Seed covering : ARIL
7 Dearie : BABE
8 Cartoonists’ output : STRIPS
9 Establishment with steep prices? : TEA SHOP
10 Orangish shade : CORAL RED
11 Well versed in : UP ON
12 Droplet : BEAD
13 & : AND
15 Song by the Doors that, paradoxically, is heard at the start of “Apocalypse Now” : THE END
22 When doubled, a Hawaiian fish : MAHI
23 Vivacity : LIFE
26 Begin’s negotiating partner for peace : SADAT
27 Long time : EPOCH
28 20, in Italian : VENTI
29 Master : LEARN
30 A mondegreen is a misheard one : LYRIC
31 Cousin of a giraffe : OKAPI
32 Free-for-all : MELEE
33 Text tweaks : EDITS
38 Like some caps and gowns : SURGICAL
40 Kind of order on Wall Street : STOP-LOSS
43 Little wonder? : ATOM
44 Young hare : LEVERET
46 She: Fr. : ELLE
47 “Yes, that’s clear to me” : SO I SEE
50 Big online brokerage : E*TRADE
51 Sharply annoy : NETTLE
54 Grand ___ : PRIX
55 Type of wine with an accent : ROSE
56 Vacation times on la Côte d’Azur : ETES
57 “You ___ kiddin’!” : AIN’T
58 Throat clearer : AHEM!
59 Mobile home? : TENT
60 Long times : ERAS
61 I.R.S. worker, for short : CPA

10 thoughts on “0422-20 NY Times Crossword 22 Apr 20, Wednesday”

  1. 17:42. I definitely played DUMB while solving this one. Too many embarrassing missteps to list here (thankfully).

    I thought since it was still an early week puzzle I could do it while watching a tv show. It didn’t work out too well. I kept thinking I could somehow fit “price of REAL ESTATE into the reveal so PRIME and prime numbers never occurred to me. Time to move on to Thursday.

    Is ELENA Kagan the only ELENA to ever live?

    Best –

  2. 2 errors.. Do I feel DUMB… I really didn’t know Geico was a government based insurance company.. Just as bad , I didn’t know a young hare was a LEVERET. I guessed and put a D in for a V…. DOH!!!
    It was still fun.

  3. 28:33 no errors…I spent a long time in the NW corner…they keep using “long times” as a clue for eras but eras are not always a long time where ages and eons are IMO.
    Stay safe.

  4. No errors, no time (forgot to resume timer after interruption @14 mins). Lost significant time entering BEAT IT before BITE ME.

  5. No errors on what turned out to an excellent puzzle. Just the right amount of difficulty.

    There are many interesting words to explore in this puzzle. The most eye opening for me was the explanation for “ampersand”. Thanks, Mr. Bill, for your excellent comments. They are much appreciated!

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