0423-20 NY Times Crossword 23 Apr 20, Thursday

Constructed by: Yacob Yonas and Erik Agard
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Prime Real Estate

Themed answers are well-known phrases in which the letter sequence RE has been RELOCATED:

  • 53A Changes made to the answers to 16-, 24-, 33- and 47-Across, whether interpreted as one word or two? : RELOCATIONS or “RE” LOCATIONS
  • 16A Acclaimed TV show concerning a science teacher-turned-drug dealer : BAKING BREAD (from “BREAKING BAD”)
  • 24A Financially behind : IN THREE-D (from “IN THE RED”)
  • 33A Brought into existence : CATERED (from “CREATED”)
  • 47A Amigo : COMPARED (from “COMPADRE”)

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 12m 06s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Jazz’s James : ETTA

Etta James was best known for her beautiful rendition of the song “At Last”. Sadly, as she disclosed in her autobiography, James lived a life that was ravaged by drug addiction leading to numerous legal and health problems. Ms. James passed away in January 2012 having suffered from leukemia.

12 Navy ___ : BEAN

The navy bean is a white bean, and is the bean commonly found in the dish known as “baked beans”. It can also be called a haricot bean. The term “navy bean” is used because haricot beans were a staple for sailors in the 19th-century US Navy.

16 Acclaimed TV show concerning a science teacher-turned-drug dealer : BAKING BREAD (from “BREAKING BAD”)

The AMC drama “Breaking Bad” is a well-written show about a high school teacher stricken by lung cancer who turns to a life of crime to make money. It turns out that the teacher has a talent for making high-quality crystal meth. The show was created by Vince Gilligan who had spent many years as a producer and writer of “The X-Files”. There is a “Breaking Bad” spin-off show running on AMC called “Better Call Saul” that focuses on the life of lawyer Saul Goodman. To be honest, I enjoyed “Better Call Saul” even more than the original show …

19 “!!!!” : OMG!

“OMG” is text-speak for “Oh My Gosh!” “Oh My Goodness!” or any other G-words you might care to use …

21 Mexican tequila brand, familiarly : CUERVO

Jose Cuervo is the world’s best-selling brand of tequila. Produced in Mexico, key to Jose Cuervo’s success was the smuggling of tequila into the US during Prohibition.

23 Word before Street or oil : SESAME …

Back in 1966, the Carnegie Institute allocated money to study the use of television to help young children prepare for school. The institute gave an $8million grant to set up the Children’s Television Workshop with the task of creating an educational TV program for young people. The program began to come together, especially after Jim Henson (of Muppet fame) got involved. The name “Sesame Street” was chosen simply because it was the “least disliked” of all names proposed just before the program went on the air.

24 Financially behind : IN THREE-D (from “IN THE RED”)

To be in the red is to be in debt, to owe money. The expression “in the red” is a reference to the accounting practice of recording debts and losses in red ink in ledgers. The related phrase “in the black” means “solvent, making a profit”.

28 Collection by Horace : ODES

One of ancient Rome’s leading lyric poets was Quintus Horatius Flaccus, or “Horace” as we tend to know him. Horace’s most famous work is probably his collection of Latin lyric poems titled “Carmina” (the Latin for “Odes).

36 Staple of Disney live-action remakes, briefly : CGI

Computer-generated imagery (CGI)

42 Java setting : ASIA

Java is a large island in Indonesia that is home to the country’s capital, Jakarta. With a population of over 130 million, Java is the most populous island in the world, with even more people than Honshu, the main island of Japan.

45 Fútbol stadium cry : OLE!

“Fútbol” is the Spanish word for “football, soccer”.

47 Amigo : COMPARED (from “COMPADRE”)

“Compadre” is Spanish for “godfather”.

50 Mild Swiss cheese : TILSIT

Tilsit cheese was created in the mid-1800s by Prussian-Swiss settlers around the town of Tilsit in former East Prussia. Tilsit is now the city of Sovetsk in Russia.

51 Spell check? : AMULET

Amulets are items worn to ward off disease or to protect against harmful magic spells.

58 Neighbor of Uttar Pradesh : DELHI

New Delhi is the capital city of India. New Delhi resides within the National Capital Territory of Delhi (otherwise known as the metropolis of Delhi). New Delhi and Delhi, therefore, are two different things.

The nation of India comprises 29 states and 7 union territories. The largest state by area is Rajasthan, in the northwest of the country. The most populous state is the neighboring Uttar Pradesh.

59 Emmy- and Tony-nominated actress Mireille : ENOS

Mireille Enos is an actress from Kansas City. Enos is perhaps best known for her TV work, playing Sarah Linden on “The Killing” and for playing twins Kathy and JoDean Marquart on “Big Love”. Enos is married to actor Alan Ruck, who I mainly remember playing Cameron Frye in the great movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”.

61 Source of the Tigris and Euphrates, per Genesis : EDEN

According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers, including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

Down

2 “Madam Secretary” star : TEA LEONI

Téa Leoni is an American actress. One of Leoni’s early parts was in the great film “A League of Their Own” (a minor role: Racine at first base). She also played the fiancée of Sam Malone from “Cheers” on the spin-off sitcom “Frasier”. A leading role on the big screen was opposite Adam Sandler in “Spanglish”. My favorite of her more prominent movie roles was as Jane in “Fun with Dick and Jane”. Leoni started playing the title role in the drama series “Madam Secretary” in 2014, and that’s a show I quite enjoy …

“Madam Secretary” is A TV show that first aired in 2014. It is about an ex-CIA analyst who is appointed as US Secretary of State. Téa Leoni plays the title role, ably supported by a favorite actress of mine, Bebe Neuwirth. I like this show …

5 “Parsifal” composer : WAGNER

Richard Wagner was born in the Jewish quarter of Leipzig in 1813. Decades later, Wagner became known not only for writing magnificent music, but also for his anti-semitic views and writings.

6 Dear one? : ABBY

The advice column “Dear Abby” first appeared in 1956. Pauline Phillips was Abby back then, but now the column is written by Jeanne Phillips, her daughter. The full name of the “Abby” pen name is Abigail Van Buren, which Pauline Phillips came up with by combining “Abigail” from the biblical Book of Samuel, and “Van Buren” after the former US president. “Dear Abby” was also a radio show in the sixties and seventies.

7 Winter Olympics powerhouse: Abbr. : NOR

Norway has been ranked as the country in the world with the highest standard of living almost every year since 2001. Norway is rich in natural resources and has a relatively low population. The people benefit from a comprehensive social security system, subsidized higher education for all citizens and universal health care. And Norway is famous for her success at the Winter Olympic Games, having won more gold medals than any other nation in the world.

8 Props, say : DUE

“Props” is North American slang for “proper respect”.

10 Military transport : HUMVEE

“Humvee” and “Hummer” are nicknames for the military vehicle developed by AM General. The full name is High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle i.e. HMMWV, or simply “Humvee”.

17 What the ruthless show : NO MERCY

“Ruth” is a term meaning compassion or sorrow, pity for another. To be lacking in compassion is to be “ruthless”. To be full of sorrow, pity is to be “ruthful”.

22 Mythical matchmaker : EROS

The name of Eros, the Greek god of love, gives rise to our word “erotic” meaning “arousing sexual desire”. Eros was referred to in Latin as both “Amor” (meaning “love”) and “Cupid” (meaning “desire”).

23 Chunk of concrete : SLAB

The terms “cement”, “mortar” and ”concrete” are related, and tend to get confused at times. Cement is a binder that hardens over time and binds other materials together. Cement mixed with a fine aggregate forms mortar, a workable paste used to bind building blocks together. Cement mixed with sand and gravel forms concrete, a pourable slurry that hardens into an extremely robust building material.

25 Hardly a rosy picture : NOIR

The expression “film noir” has French origins, but only in that it was coined by a French critic in describing a style of Hollywood film. The term, meaning “black film” in French, was first used by Nino Frank in 1946. Film noir often applies to a movie with a melodramatic plot and a private eye or detective at its center. Good examples would be “The Big Sleep” and “D.O.A”.

39 Google ___ : MAPS

Google Maps was developed as a web mapping service for desktops. The (wonderful!) Google Maps mobile app was released in 2008, and is now the most popular smartphone app in the world.

43 Swanky affair : SOIREE

“Soir” is the French word for “evening” and a soirée is an evening party. The French word “soirée” has an acute accent over the first “e”, but we tend to drop this when using the word in English.

46 Address part : DOMAIN

A domain name is basically the address of a website on the Internet. For example, the addresses of my crossword blogs, the domain names, are LAXCrossword.com and nyxcrossword.com.

48 ___ guitar : AIR

The concept of playing an imaginary electric guitar (“air guitar”) is so popular that there are several championship competitions held, including a world championship since 1996. Crazy …

54 Daniels who directed “The Butler” : LEE

“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” is a 2013 movie that is loosely based on the life of Eugene Allen, who worked at the White House for 34 years before retiring as head butler in 1986. Forest Whitaker plays the title role. My wife saw this one, and really enjoyed it. It has been on my list for quite a while now …

56 Target for an ID thief : SSN

Social Security number (SSN)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Jazz’s James : ETTA
5 Means of applying lip gloss : WAND
9 Unlikely to make the first move : SHY
12 Navy ___ : BEAN
13 In the neighborhood of : ABOUT
15 Tapered piece of sports equipment : CUE
16 Acclaimed TV show concerning a science teacher-turned-drug dealer : BAKING BREAD (from “BREAKING BAD”)
19 “!!!!” : OMG!
20 Having a tart, citrusy flavor : LEMONY
21 Mexican tequila brand, familiarly : CUERVO
23 Word before Street or oil : SESAME …
24 Financially behind : IN THREE-D (from “IN THE RED”)
26 Hang around : LOITER
27 Mimi’s “me” : MOI
28 Collection by Horace : ODES
29 Tick off : ANGER
30 Laundry loads : PILES
32 ___ There Dump That (garbage service franchise) : BIN
33 Brought into existence : CATERED (from “CREATED”)
36 Staple of Disney live-action remakes, briefly : CGI
39 “I goofed” : MY BAD
40 St. ___ (district in London) : GILES
42 Java setting : ASIA
45 Fútbol stadium cry : OLE!
46 Knock down a peg or two : DEMOTE
47 Amigo : COMPARED (from “COMPADRE”)
49 Cute mistake : OOPSIE
50 Mild Swiss cheese : TILSIT
51 Spell check? : AMULET
52 Org. in the 2019 Tony-winning play “The Ferryman” : IRA
53 Changes made to the answers to 16-, 24-, 33- and 47-Across, whether interpreted as one word or two? : RELOCATIONS or “RE” LOCATIONS
57 Final figure : NET
58 Neighbor of Uttar Pradesh : DELHI
59 Emmy- and Tony-nominated actress Mireille : ENOS
60 “___ whiz!” : GEE
61 Source of the Tigris and Euphrates, per Genesis : EDEN
62 In stitches : SEWN

Down

1 Abatement : EBB
2 “Madam Secretary” star : TEA LEONI
3 Gesture from a coach not to swing at the next pitch : TAKE SIGN
4 Give life to : ANIMATE
5 “Parsifal” composer : WAGNER
6 Dear one? : ABBY
7 Winter Olympics powerhouse: Abbr. : NOR
8 Props, say : DUE
9 Was able to acquire, informally : SCORED
10 Military transport : HUMVEE
11 “Holy cannoli!” : YE GODS!
14 Touchy? : TACTILE
17 What the ruthless show : NO MERCY
18 “Well, obviously!” : DUH!
22 Mythical matchmaker : EROS
23 Chunk of concrete : SLAB
24 Got in the way of : IMPEDED
25 Hardly a rosy picture : NOIR
31 Barely best : EDGE OUT
34 Scrubbed : ABORTED
35 Account : TALE
36 “Crisis averted!” : CLOSE ONE!
37 Question after an explanation : GET IT NOW?
38 Positive response to 37-Down : I SEE
39 Google ___ : MAPS
41 Hints at : IMPLIES
42 Playing field? : ACTING
43 Swanky affair : SOIREE
44 Scrambling words : I’M LATE
46 Address part : DOMAIN
48 ___ guitar : AIR
51 Joint problem : ACHE
54 Daniels who directed “The Butler” : LEE
55 What it takes years and years to grow : OLD
56 Target for an ID thief : SSN

12 thoughts on “0423-20 NY Times Crossword 23 Apr 20, Thursday”

  1. 18:26, no errors. It took me longer than it should have to figure out exactly how the theme gimmick worked; at first, I thought they were just anagrams. (Memo to self: check early for revealers! 😜)

  2. 44:04 Had “recreation” instead of “relocation” thinking of re-creating new words/phrases. Had a heckuva time coming up with “compadre/compared” No surprise that I was slower than cold molasses 🙂

  3. 19:23. One mindless error at GoT IT NOW/ GILoS. I thought the theme/gimmick was relatively tame by Thursday standards. RelocatingRE. RErelocation? reRElocation? Could be any of these. Explaining the theme is harder than the theme itself.

    YEGODS??

    Best –

  4. 31:39, no errors. I almost gave up at the beginning. Couldn’t get a foothold. Very happy to finish as quickly as I did. Good Thursday puzzle.

  5. Took a long time.. Maybe 2 errors. Had CUERVO but then I had YEGODS. I qustioned it and put YEGADS and thought maybe CUERVA was right.. NOPE. I got stuck for the longest time on 53A. I was sure it was REPOSITIONS.. That have me PEE Daniels but I also ASHY for 51D.. That could be a joint problem.. Erik and Yacob could have been smoking something when they put this together?? Ha!! Once I used RELOCATIONS, everything fit..
    Tough for Thursday.

  6. 14:49, no errors. As usual for me, I didn’t pay much attention to the theme. Just assumed that the theme words in the grid had some misplaced letters. Similar to others, I started with YE GADS in 11D, but I have a few bottles of CUERVO in the pantry……..

  7. Didn’t like the gimmicks at all!
    inthrred for in the red
    bakingbread for breakingbad
    compared for compadre
    UGH!

  8. I worked this late (it was in the middle of a pile). I had a lot of trouble with this. Took probably a couple hours over 3 sittings. Mainly for 2 reasons:

    1) I got “BREAKING BAD” early, but not in the “BAKING BREAD” relocated way. I should have known better because it was such a gimme for a Thursday puzzle. But I left it in for too long and it messed up my crosses for a while (I avoided the just as much of a gimme “TEA LEONE’ for 2D for so long because of it)

    2) I got “IN THREED” for 24A, but read it as “IN THREED” instead of “IN THREE-D”, so while I knew it had something to do with the puzzle’s gimmick, I never quite clued in until I got the others pretty much by getting all the crosses.

    I still didn’t see “IN THREE-D” until I came here. I was expecting an explanation of some archaic word “THREED”

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