0425-20 NY Times Crossword 25 Apr 20, Saturday

Constructed by: Andrew J. Ries
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 12m 27s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 From the beginning, on scores : DA CAPO

The musical term “da capo” is an instruction to repeat from the beginning. The term translates literally from Italian as “from the head”.

7 F-14 fighter jet : TOMCAT

The F-14 Tomcat was the US Navy’s primary fighter from 1974 to 2006, and was the airplane that featured in the movie “Top Gun”.

13 Stumper? : ORATOR

“To stump” can mean to go on a speaking tour during a political campaign. This peculiarly American term dates back to the 19th century. Back then a stump speech was an address given by someone standing on a large tree stump that provided a convenient perch to help the speaker get his or her message across to the crowd.

14 Relief pitcher of old : ROLAIDS

The Rolaids brand of antacid was invented in the late twenties. The “Rolaids” name came from the fact that the original packaging was a foil “roll”. The product has a tagline: Rolaids—that’s how you spell relief. That slogan dates back to a 1970s TV campaign:

How do you spell relief?
R-O-L-A-I-D-S

16 Shell pieces : SHRAPNEL

“Shrapnel” is a word used for shell fragments. The term comes from the Shrapnel shell that is named for British artillery officer Major-General Henry Shrapnel who developed the first such munition.

19 Coast Guard rank: Abbr. : CPO

A Chief Petty Officer (CPO) is a non-commissioned officer (NCO) in the Navy (USN) and Coast Guard (USCG). The “Petty” is derived from the French word “petit” meaning “small”.

21 Silver, for one : NATE

Nate Silver is a statistician who gained celebrity by developing a forecasting system that predicted the future performance of baseball players. He then made a name for himself in the world of politics by predicting the outcome of the 2008 US presidential race on his website FiveThirtyEight.com. Silver successfully predicted the outcome of the election in 49 of the 50 states, missing out on Indiana, which Barack Obama won by less than 1% of the vote. FiveThirtyEight was less successful in predicting the specifics of the 2012 presidential election, but came closer than almost all other pollsters. In 2016, FiveThirtyEight predicted a victory for Hillary Clinton, but with a much lower probability than other poll aggregators. And, they all got it wrong. Oh, and why the name FiveThirtyEight.com? Because there are 538 electors in the US electoral college.

22 Fly catcher : MITT

That would be baseball.

23 Tiniest amount : WHIT

Both “whit” and “fig” are used to describe a trivial amount, a mere trifle.

26 Cooler : PEN

“Pen” is a slang term for “penitentiary”. Back in the early 1400s, a penitentiary was a place to do “penance”, a place of punishment for offences against the church.

28 Sharp, as criticism : ACERB

“Acerb” is a variant of “acerbic”, with both terms meaning “sour, bitter-tasting, acidic”.

29 “Army” leader of old : ARNIE

Arnold Palmer was one of the greats of the world of golf. He was very popular with many fans of the game, and his followers were usually referred to as “Arnie’s Army”. Off the course, Palmer was an avid pilot until his latter years. He resided in Latrobe, Pennsylvania for much of the year and the local airport is named in his honor: Arnold Palmer Regional Airport.

32 “Mamma Mia!” and “Jersey Boys,” for two : JUKEBOX MUSICALS

The hit musical “Mamma Mia!” was written to showcase the songs of ABBA. I’m a big fan of ABBA’s music, so I’ve seen this show a couple of times and just love it. “Mamma Mia!” is such a big hit on the stage that on any given day there are at least seven performances going on somewhere in the world. There is a really interesting film version of the show that was released in 2008. I think the female lead Meryl Streep is wonderful in the movie, but the male leads … not so much! By the way, one can tell the difference between “Mamma Mia” the ABBA song and “Mamma Mia!” the musical, by noting the difference in the punctuation in the titles.

“Jersey Boys” is a very entertaining musical that chronicles the life of the sixties group the Four Seasons. Joe Pesci is one of the characters in the story, which isn’t really surprising. Pesci is one of the show’s producers.

35 Spotify’s most-streamed artist of the 2010s : DRAKE

Drake is the stage name of rapper Aubrey Graham from Toronto.

Spotify is a popular music-streaming service that was launched in Sweden in 2008.

37 Start of an exchange : TIT …

The phrase “tit for tat”, meaning some sort of retaliation, has been around for an awfully long time, since the mid-1500s. It might be derived from “tip for tap”, meaning “blow for blow”.

39 Setting for many a season of “Survivor” : ISLE

The reality show “Survivor” is based on a Swedish television series created in 1997 called “Expedition Robinson”.

45 Org. that awards the Energy Star label : EPA

The Energy Star standard was created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) during the Clinton Administration. In general, an item marked with an Energy Star uses 20-30% less energy than that mandated by federal standards. Not too long ago, we put an Energy Star roof on our house, and noticed a remarkable difference in our energy bills.

52 Last month : ULTIMO

“Ultimo” is the Italian for “last” and is used in English to mean “in the last month”.

54 Erasmus of Formia, by another name : ST ELMO

Saint Elmo is the patron saint of sailors. More formally referred to as Erasmus of Formia, St. Elmo is perhaps venerated by sailors as tradition tells us that he continued preaching despite the ground beside him being struck by a thunderbolt. Sailors started to pray to him when in danger of storms and lightning. He lends his name to the electrostatic weather phenomenon (often seen at sea) known as St. Elmo’s fire. The “fire” is actually a plasma discharge caused by air ionizing at the end of a pointed object (like the mast of a ship), something often observed during electrical storms.

56 Kind of bear : KODIAK

Brown bears are found over much of northern Europe, Asia, and North America. The biggest subspecies of brown bear is the Kodiak bear, which is the largest land-based predator in the world. Named for the Kodiak Archipelago in Alaska, the Kodiak bear grows to about the same size as the enormous polar bear.

Down

2 Met demand, maybe : ARIA

The Metropolitan Opera (often simply “the Met”) of New York City is the largest classical music organization in the country, presenting about 220 performances each and every year. Founded in 1880, the Met is renowned for using technology to expand its audiences. Performances have been broadcast live on radio since 1931, and on television since 1977. And since 2006 you can go see a live performance from New York in high definition on the big screen, at a movie theater near you …

3 Big-pocketed character on an old show : CAPTAIN KANGAROO

“Captain Kangaroo” is a TV series for children that CBS aired for a long, long time. The show was first broadcast in 1955, and the last episode aired nearly 30 years later in 1984. The title character was played by Bob Keeshan. Apparently Keeshan had to wear heavy makeup in the early years to make him old enough for his role. The show ran so long that Keeshan had to use makeup to look younger in the latter years.

6 City whose name means “eagle” in Russian : OREL

Orel (also “Oryol”) is a city lying on the Oka River, just over 200 miles SSW of Moscow. Orel was one of the cities occupied by Germany during WWII. It was liberated in 1943, but had been almost completely destroyed.

7 Attorney’s favorite dessert? : TORTE

A torte is a type of cake made primarily with eggs, sugar and ground nuts (but no flour).

“Tort” is a French word meaning “mischief, injury or wrong”. In common law, a tort is a civil wrong that results in the injured party suffering loss or harm, and the injuring party having a legal liability. Tort law differs from criminal law in that torts may result from negligence and not just intentional actions. Also, tort lawsuits may be decided on a preponderance of evidence, without the need of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

8 Common name among Norwegian royals : OLAV

Of the many kings of Norway named Olaf/Olav (and there have been five), Olaf II is perhaps the most celebrated, as he was canonized and made the patron saint of the country. Olaf II was king from 1015 to 1028 and was known as “Olaf the Big” (or “Olaf the Fat”) during his reign. Today he is more commonly referred to as “Olaf the Holy”. After Olaf died he was given the title of “Rex Perpetuus Norvegiae”, which is Latin for “Norway’s Eternal King”.

10 Regional specialty of southern Ohio : CINCINNATI CHILI

Cincinnati, Ohio was the first major city to be founded after the American Revolution, and indeed was the first major inland city to be founded in the whole country. Cincinnati was a boomtown in the 1800s, but it’s growth slowed as the railroads displaced the steamboats as the major form of transportation. The city was founded in 1788, and was named “Cincinnati” two years later. It was named for the Society of Cincinnati, an organization with a mission to preserve the ideals and fellowship of the officers of the Revolutionary War. The society was in turn named for Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus. Cincinnatus was a farmer in ancient Rome who left his land to serve as Consul and then lawful dictator of Rome during a war emergency, before happily handing back power to the Senate after the war was won.

14 Speaker of the #1 quote on A.F.I.’s list of the 100 greatest movie quotes : RHETT BUTLER

The famous line “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” from 1939’s “Gone With the Wind” was ranked no. 1 in a list of top movie quotes compiled by “The Hollywood Reporter”. The top of the list makes interesting reading, with the following comprising the top five:

  1. “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” from “Gone With the Wind” (1939)
  2. “Here’s looking at you, kid.” from “Casablanca” (1942)
  3. “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” from “Jaws” (1975)
  4. “May the Force be with you.” from “Star Wars” (1977)
  5. “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” from “The Wizard of Oz” (1939)

16 Flight simulator? : STAIRMASTER

The StairMaster is perhaps the most famous stair-climbing fitness machine. The StairMaster company was founded in 1983.

22 Chi-Town exchange : MERC

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (the “Merc”) started its life as the Chicago Butter and Egg Board in 1898. The Merc is the site for exchange of commodities, among other things.

23 Christian bracelet letters : WWJD

What would Jesus do? (WWJD)

28 Help to hold up, say : ABET

The word “abet” comes into English from the Old French “abeter” meaning “to bait” or “to harass with dogs” (it literally means “to make bite”). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of “abet” meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.

30 Nastase of tennis : ILIE

I think that Ilie Nastase was the most entertaining tennis player of the 1970s, the days of Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. No matter how much pressure there was in a match, Nastase always had time to share a joke with the crowd. After retiring from the sport, he had a few novels published (in French) during the eighties. Then Nastase went into politics, making an unsuccessful run for the mayorship of Bucharest in 1996. He made a successful run for the Romanian Senate though, and was elected senator in 2014.

31 Begun: Abbr. : ESTD

Established (“est.” or “estd.”)

40 Like dates that lack a heart : PITTED

Date palms can be either male or female. Only the female tree bears fruit (dates).

43 Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Conrad : AIKEN

Conrad Aiken was a novelist and poet. Aiken won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1930 for his “Selected Poems”, and was named Poet Laureate of the United States in 1950.

44 Very, musically : MOLTO

“Molto” is Italian for “very”.

47 Strong-smelling secretion : MUSK

Musk has such an elegant connotation these days because of its use in the world of perfumery. However, its origin is not quite so glamorous. The original substance called musk, also used in perfumes, was extracted from a gland in the rectal area of the male musk deer. The name “musk” is a Sanskrit word for “testicle”.

48 Anarchist/political activist Goldman : EMMA

Emma Goldman was an anarchist from present day Lithuania who emigrated to New York City. When President William McKinley was assassinated in 1901, the assassin Leon Czolgosz said that he was inspired to carry out the terrible deed after listening to a speech by Emma Goldman. This was enough for the authorities to arrest Goldman and charge her with planning the killing, although she was released after two weeks.

49 Swindle : ROOK

To rook is to cheat. The earlier use of “rook” as a noun was as a disparaging term for a swindler or cheat. Somehow, it was insulting to refer to a person as a rook, as in the type of bird.

51 Unit in chemistry: Abbr. : MOL

A molecule (mol.) is a basic chemical (chem.) unit.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 From the beginning, on scores : DA CAPO
7 F-14 fighter jet : TOMCAT
13 Stumper? : ORATOR
14 Relief pitcher of old : ROLAIDS
15 Creep : TIPTOE
16 Shell pieces : SHRAPNEL
17 Service that’s out of this world? : SATELLITE TV
19 Coast Guard rank: Abbr. : CPO
20 One may be packed for a trip to the mountains : ASS
21 Silver, for one : NATE
22 Fly catcher : MITT
23 Tiniest amount : WHIT
25 Text massage : EDIT
26 Cooler : PEN
27 Gained : WON
28 Sharp, as criticism : ACERB
29 “Army” leader of old : ARNIE
32 “Mamma Mia!” and “Jersey Boys,” for two : JUKEBOX MUSICALS
35 Spotify’s most-streamed artist of the 2010s : DRAKE
36 In the cards : FATED
37 Start of an exchange : TIT …
38 ___ loss : NET
39 Setting for many a season of “Survivor” : ISLE
40 Mottled : PIED
41 Really sinks in : SAGS
43 Dealer’s request : ANTE
44 Bit of A/V equipment : MIC
45 Org. that awards the Energy Star label : EPA
46 Parenting term popularized by Amy Chua in a 2011 nonfiction best seller : TIGER MOTHER
50 Model company : CARMAKER
52 Last month : ULTIMO
53 One sometimes working on a shoulder : TROOPER
54 Erasmus of Formia, by another name : ST ELMO
55 Hot : STOLEN
56 Kind of bear : KODIAK

Down

1 Simple pencil-and-paper game : DOTS
2 Met demand, maybe : ARIA
3 Big-pocketed character on an old show : CAPTAIN KANGAROO
4 Swear : ATTEST
5 Combines : POOLS
6 City whose name means “eagle” in Russian : OREL
7 Attorney’s favorite dessert? : TORTE
8 Common name among Norwegian royals : OLAV
9 Concierge handout : MAP
10 Regional specialty of southern Ohio : CINCINNATI CHILI
11 Highly skilled : ADEPT
12 Letter-shaped opening : T-SLOT
14 Speaker of the #1 quote on A.F.I.’s list of the 100 greatest movie quotes : RHETT BUTLER
16 Flight simulator? : STAIRMASTER
18 What one might be represented by : INDEX FINGER
22 Chi-Town exchange : MERC
23 Christian bracelet letters : WWJD
24 Time of day : HOUR
25 Prefix with friendly : ECO-
26 Red stamp word : PAID
28 Help to hold up, say : ABET
30 Nastase of tennis : ILIE
31 Begun: Abbr. : ESTD
33 Stretches (out) : EKES
34 Spot : SEE
40 Like dates that lack a heart : PITTED
41 Spinoff groups : SECTS
42 Split up : APART
43 Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Conrad : AIKEN
44 Very, musically : MOLTO
46 Evidence that’s hard to refute : TAPE
47 Strong-smelling secretion : MUSK
48 Anarchist/political activist Goldman : EMMA
49 Swindle : ROOK
51 Unit in chemistry: Abbr. : MOL

11 thoughts on “0425-20 NY Times Crossword 25 Apr 20, Saturday”

  1. 26:36. 2 errors. The top went a lot faster than the bottom – particularly the SE. Just started guessing with ULTIMO, STELMO (ST ELMO – duh!), EMMA, and MOLTO. Didn’t guess right every time. As usual, it was easy except when it wasn’t.

    Best –

  2. Sigh. 39:37 and two helps from Mr. Google. Just couldn’t get started today. At least i got all the long entries. St Elmo got me.

  3. 17:41! Did this in record time and I cheated just like A Nonny Muss.

  4. A lot better today than yesterday. Everything smooth until the SE corner. Had KODIAK and MUSK so I thought I was set to finish it off in good time… NOPE. Took another 20 minutes. Couldn’t remember MOLTO or ULTIMO until I worked through some combinations… Finally got it.

    I like the answer for FLIGHT SIMULATOR.. I laughed out loud on that one..

  5. Typical Saturday difficulty, but managed to complete via some crosses and logical guesses at a letter or two. Remembered an LP by the LA band Love to cement DACAPO. Good stuff, no errors.

  6. Was on a roll till I hit the upper Westside. Wasn’t crazy about eke being the answer for stretch. 59 min. Tom c

  7. 47:10. First entry was ATA (vs. NET) Loss and that’s how I was for much of the puzzle. But still happy to finish a Sat. at all. Lots of over-writes on the W side. And like others some guesses in the SE that turned out OK.

    To Nonny – I know that others have trolled you and accused you of cheating. All I’m accusing you (and Bill) of is being damn good at this endeavor. For a while I did not understand your tag line, thinking it must be some archaic English moniker. Then I said it out loud and DING DING the light went on. As I hope it does when I am solving.

    1. Thanks, Ron. Actually, the “others” are all one guy using an assortment of fictitious names – a troll who initially (I think) spent a lot of time accusing Bill of cheating and then (mostly) shifted his attentions to me. He is obviously not very good at doing crosswords, but simply can’t imagine anyone else being that much better than he is. Little does he know that there are far more accomplished solvers than myself (or than Bill, for that matter).

      Often, Bill just deletes his posts, but some remain.

      A couple of times I have tried to engage the troll in a dialogue, with no success. This is partly because (as recently became clear) he really doesn’t know how the blog works, so he can’t navigate from day to day. Basically, he is a lost and confused soul with a stubborn mean streak.

      At one point, I decided that posting anonymously might throw the troll off, but I wanted to maintain some kind of separate identity, so “A Nonny Muss” was born. But … the troll feels that he’s performing some kind of public service by publicizing my “real” name, so … the current situation is no better than it was.

      About all I can do at this point is ignore the troll and hope he gives up his insane preoccupation, but I’m only human and I occasionally give in to an impulse to post a response … 😜

      1. Nonny, yes, I’ve seen your intermittent back and forth with this person. For you, Bill, and a few others it seems that the light of the lizard crossword brain is always on, while for many of the rest of us it’s a candle in the wind that flickers quite a bit and some days it just never comes on.

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