0427-20 NY Times Crossword 27 Apr 20, Monday

Constructed by: Ed Sessa
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Aha Moment

Themed answers each comprise two words, the first starting with A-, and the second starting with HA-:

  • 64A Sudden insight … with a hint to 17-, 24-, 40- and 50-Across : AHA MOMENT
  • 17A Thin variety of pasta : ANGEL HAIR
  • 24A Competitor of Home Depot and Lowe’s : ACE HARDWARE
  • 40A “Don’t worry, it’s not your fault” : ACCIDENTS HAPPEN
  • 50A Talk show host who won a season of “Celebrity Apprentice” : ARSENIO HALL

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 4m 25s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Q-tip, e.g. : SWAB

Cotton swabs were originally marketed under the name “Baby Gays”. This was changed in 1926 to “Q-Tips”, with the Q standing for “quality”.

5 Largest continent : ASIA

Most of the world’s population lives in Asia (60%), and Asia is the largest continent in terms of landmass (30% of the world). Asia also has the highest population density (246 people per square mile), and the most populous city on the continent is Shanghai, China.

9 “___ your engines” (Indianapolis 500 directive) : START

The Indianapolis 500 race is held annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. The race is run around a 2.5 mile oval, hence requiring 200 laps for completion. The first Indy 500 race was held on Memorial Day in 1911. The winner that day was one Ray Harroun. Harroun had seen someone using a rear view mirror on a horse-drawn vehicle, and decided to fit one on his Marmon “Wasp” motor car. Supposedly, that was the first ever use of a rear-view mirror on a motor vehicle.

15 Church recess : APSE

The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

17 Thin variety of pasta : ANGEL HAIR

Capellini is a pasta that is like thin spaghetti. An even thinner version of the pasta is known as “capelli d’angelo”, which translates as “angel hair”.

19 Home to Brigham Young University : PROVO

Provo, Utah is a city located just over 40 miles south of South Lake City. Provo is home to Brigham Young University. The city was originally called Fort Utah, and the name was changed to Provo in 1850 in honor of Étienne Provost. Provost was a French-Canadian fur trader who was perhaps the first man of European descent to see the Great Salt Lake.

Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah has about 34.000 students on campus making it the largest religious university in the country. The school was founded in 1875 by Brigham Young, then President of the Mormon Church.

21 Brand with the redundant slogan “Kills bugs dead” : RAID

Raid insecticide has been killing bugs since 1956.

24 Competitor of Home Depot and Lowe’s : ACE HARDWARE

The Ace Hardware chain of stores was founded in 1924 in Chicago, Illinois. The name “Ace” was chosen after “ace” fighter pilots from World War I.

27 Outer layer of the eyeball : SCLERA

The sclera is the white part of the human eye. The sclera is white in most mammals, but in horses it is black. Really! Go check …

32 ___ d’état : COUP

A coup d’état (often just “coup”) is the sudden overthrow of a government, and comes from the French for “stroke of state”. The Swiss-German word “putsch” is sometimes used instead of “coup”, with “Putsch” translating literally as “sudden blow”. We also use the abbreviated “coup” to mean “sudden, brilliant and successful act”.

33 Trio traveling to Bethlehem : MAGI

“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, “magi” is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born. In Western Christianity, the three Biblical Magi are:

  • Melchior: a scholar from Persia
  • Caspar: a scholar from India
  • Balthazar: a scholar from Arabia

36 Religious doctrine : DOGMA

A dogma is a set of beliefs. The plural of “dogma” is “dogmata” (or “dogmas”, if you’re not a pedant like me!)

43 Rolls’s partner in autodom : ROYCE

Henry Royce founded the Rolls-Royce company in 1904 with his partner, Charles Rolls. Royce died at 70 years of age in 1933. His last words were, reportedly, “I wish I had spent more time in the office …”

44 Pigeon coop : COTE

The Old English word “cote” was used for a small house. Our modern word “cottage” comes from “cote”. We now use “cote” to mean a small shelter on a farm for sheep or birds.

46 ___ browns (breakfast side dish) : HASH

Hash, beef and vegetables mashed together, is a very American dish and one that really surprised me when I first came across it. “Hash” just seems like such an unappetizing item, but I soon found out how delicious it was. The name “hash” in this context comes from the French “hacher” meaning “to chop”. Back in the early 1900s the dish called “hashed browned potatoes” was developed, which quickly morphed into “hash browns”. From there the likes of corned beef hash was introduced.

50 Talk show host who won a season of “Celebrity Apprentice” : ARSENIO HALL

Arsenio Hall got his big break with his role in the movie “Coming to America” with Eddie Murphy in 1988. The following year he started hosting “The Arsenio Hall Show”, which ran until 1994. He had a loyal group of fans in the audience that had the habit of almost “barking” while pumping their fists in the air. The raucous move became so popular it extended far beyond the influences of Arsenio, and to this day it is still used as a mark of appreciation in some arenas. Not by me, mind you; I’m way too shy …

55 Bert of “The Wizard of Oz” : LAHR

Bert Lahr’s most famous role was the cowardly lion in “The Wizard of Oz”. Lahr had a long career in burlesque, vaudeville and on Broadway. Lahr also starred in the first US production of Samuel Beckett’s play “Waiting for Godot”, alongside Tom Ewell.

56 Stage item : PROP

We use the term “props” for objects that are used by actors on stage during a play. The term is a shortening of the older term “properties”, which was used with the same meaning up through the 19th century.

57 King with a golden touch : MIDAS

King Midas of Greek mythology might be termed an alchemist as he had the power to turn everything he touched into gold i.e. the Midas touch. That power became a curse, as everything he touched turned to gold, including his food and drink, and even his children.

62 “Horse around” or “rain cats and dogs” : IDIOM

It has been “raining cats and dogs” at least since the 1700s, but no one seems to know the origin of the expression.

67 Spiritual leader often pictured sitting cross-legged : GURU

“Guru” is a Hindi word meaning “teacher” or “priest”.

68 Big seller of unassembled furniture : IKEA

The IKEA furniture chain was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943, when he was just 17-years-old. IKEA is an acronym standing for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd (don’t forget now!). Elmtaryd was the name of the farm where Ingvar Kamprad grew up, and Agunnaryd is his home parish in Sweden.

70 CPR specialists : EMTS

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

71 Small salamander : NEWT

Salamanders are lizard-like amphibians found all across the northern hemisphere. They are the only vertebrate animals that can regenerate lost limbs.

Down

1 Former ugly duckling, in story : SWAN

Hans Christian Andersen’s tale “The Ugly Duckling” has to be one of the most endearing ever written. Unlike so many fairy tales, “The Ugly Duckling” isn’t based on any folklore and is simply a product of Andersen’s imagination. It is speculated that Andersen was the illegitimate son of the Crown Prince of Denmark, and that he wrote the story of the ugly duckling that turned into a beautiful swan as a metaphor for the secret royal lineage that was within Andersen himself.

3 Mythical ship sailed by Jason : ARGO

In Greek mythology, Jason and the Argonauts sailed on the Argo in search of the Golden Fleece. The vessel was called “Argo” in honor of the ship’s builder, a man named Argus.

4 Contents of an apiary : BEES

An apiary is an area where bees are kept, apiculture is beekeeping, and an apiphobe has a fear of bees. The Latin word for “bee” is “apis”.

6 Next-best bowling frame to a strike : SPARE

In bowling, a spare is recorded on a score sheet with a forward slash mark. A strike is recorded with a large letter X.

7 Basketball great ___ Thomas : ISIAH

Isiah Thomas played his whole professional career with the Detroit Pistons, and he is now the head coach with the Florida International University Golden Panthers. When you’re out shopping for popcorn, keep an eye out for the Dale & Thomas brand, as it’s co-owned by Isiah Thomas.

8 Trapeze performer : AERIALIST

The circus act known as the “trapeze” is so called because the shape defined by the crossbar, ropes and ceiling of the tent is a “trapezium”.

9 Popular gas additive : STP

STP is a brand name of automotive lubricants and additives. The name “STP” is an initialism standing for “Scientifically Treated Petroleum”.

12 Land ___ (British luxury vehicle) : ROVER

Land Rover is a British car manufacturer, the second oldest manufacturer of four-wheel-drive cars in the world (after the American Jeep). The first Land Rover was produced just after WWII, in 1948.

13 Hearty steak : T-BONE

The T-bone and porterhouse are related cuts of meat, with the latter being a larger version of the former, and both being cut from the short loin.

18 Big name in jets : LEAR

Learjet is a company making business jets that was founded in 1960 by William Powell Lear. The original Learjet was a modified Swiss ground-attack fighter aircraft.

22 Rapper/record executive Dr. ___ : DRE

“Dr. Dre” is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such as Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

28 Fashion designer Chanel : COCO

Coco Chanel was a French fashion designer. I’m no fashionista, but if I had to pick a designer whose clothes I really liked, it would be Chanel. She had a way of creating simpler designs that look so elegant on a woman.

29 Ethel’s neighbor/pal, on 1950s TV : LUCY

In the hit television show “I Love Lucy”, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz play Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. The Ricardos’ best friends are also their landlords, Fred and Ethel Mertz. The Mertzes are played by William Frawley and Vivian Vance.

30 Odysseus and King Arthur, for two : EPIC HEROES

“Odyssey” is one of two epic poems from ancient Greece that is attributed to Homer. “Odyssey” is largely a sequel to Homer’s other epic “Iliad”. “Odyssey” centers on the heroic figure Odysseus, and his adventures on his journey home to Greece following the fall of Troy. We now use the term “odyssey” to describe any long series of adventures.

King Arthur (and his Round Table) probably never really existed, but his legend is very persistent. Arthur was supposedly a leader of the Romano-British as they tried to resist the invasion of the Anglo-Saxons in the late 5th and early 6th centuries.

34 Alaska’s largest city : ANCHORAGE

Anchorage, Alaska is the northernmost city in the US with over 100,000 residents (in fact, it has a population close to 300,000). Anchorage is also the state’s most populous city, and is home to more than 40% of Alaska’s residents.

35 Classic muscle car : GTO

The Pontiac GTO was produced by GM from 1964 to 1974, and again by a GM subsidiary in Australia from 2004 to 2006. The original GTO’s design is credited to Pontiac chief engineer at the time John DeLorean, who later founded the DeLorean Motor Company.

37 Transcript figs. : GPAS

Grade point average (GPA)

38 Measly : MERE

Back in the 17th century, someone measly was affected with measles. The use of “measly” to describe something insultingly small was initially recorded as slang in the mid-1800s.

42 Satan’s domain : HELL

Satan is the bringer of evil and temptation in the Abrahamic religions. The name “Satan” is Hebrew for “adversary”.

49 Muppet with a falsetto : ELMO

The “Sesame Street” character named Elmo has a birthday every February 3rd, and on that birthday he always turns 3½ years old. The man behind/under Elmo on “Sesame Street” for many years was Kevin Clash. If you want to learn more about Elmo and Clash, you can watch the 2011 documentary “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey”.

51 Something used to catch speeders : RADAR

Radar speed guns were first used to monitor traffic by Connecticut State Police in the town of Glastonbury, way back in 1947!

59 Hockey feint : DEKE

A deke, also known as a dangle, is a technique used to get past an opponent in ice hockey. “Deke” is a colloquial shortening of the word “decoy”.

61 “Now!,” in the E.R. : STAT!

The exact etymology of “stat”, a term meaning “immediately” in the medical profession, seems to have been lost in the mists of time. It probably comes from the Latin “statim” meaning “to a standstill, immediately”. A blog reader has helpfully suggested that the term may also come from the world of laboratory analysis, where the acronym STAT stands for “short turn-around time”.

63 “___ Doubtfire” : MRS

The 1993 comedy “Mrs. Doubtfire” is based on a 1987 novel called “Madame Doubtfire” by Anne Fine. The movie is set and was filmed in San Francisco. The title role is played by Robin Williams, who spent most of the movie dressed as the female Mrs. Doubtfire. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the movie won the Oscar for Best Makeup.

65 Juilliard field: Abbr. : MUS

The Juilliard School, now located in the Lincoln Center in New York City, was founded in 1905 as the Institute of Musical Art. The school was named in honor of Augustus D. Juilliard, a successful textile merchant who left a substantial amount of money for the purpose of advancing music in the US. The immense popularity of the school is perhaps illustrated by its acceptance rate. In 2007 the school had 2,138 applications, and only 162 students were admitted. That’s an acceptance rate of well under 10%.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Q-tip, e.g. : SWAB
5 Largest continent : ASIA
9 “___ your engines” (Indianapolis 500 directive) : START
14 Barbed-___ fence : WIRE
15 Church recess : APSE
16 What bad headaches do : THROB
17 Thin variety of pasta : ANGEL HAIR
19 Home to Brigham Young University : PROVO
20 End of a hangman’s rope : NOOSE
21 Brand with the redundant slogan “Kills bugs dead” : RAID
23 Sign of things to come : OMEN
24 Competitor of Home Depot and Lowe’s : ACE HARDWARE
27 Outer layer of the eyeball : SCLERA
31 Pastures : LEAS
32 ___ d’état : COUP
33 Trio traveling to Bethlehem : MAGI
36 Religious doctrine : DOGMA
40 “Don’t worry, it’s not your fault” : ACCIDENTS HAPPEN
43 Rolls’s partner in autodom : ROYCE
44 Pigeon coop : COTE
45 Make, as a salary : EARN
46 ___ browns (breakfast side dish) : HASH
48 Things in eyeglass frames : LENSES
50 Talk show host who won a season of “Celebrity Apprentice” : ARSENIO HALL
55 Bert of “The Wizard of Oz” : LAHR
56 Stage item : PROP
57 King with a golden touch : MIDAS
62 “Horse around” or “rain cats and dogs” : IDIOM
64 Sudden insight … with a hint to 17-, 24-, 40- and 50-Across : AHA MOMENT
66 More together mentally : SANER
67 Spiritual leader often pictured sitting cross-legged : GURU
68 Big seller of unassembled furniture : IKEA
69 Lock of hair : TRESS
70 CPR specialists : EMTS
71 Small salamander : NEWT

Down

1 Former ugly duckling, in story : SWAN
2 One who tipples too much : WINO
3 Mythical ship sailed by Jason : ARGO
4 Contents of an apiary : BEES
5 “That sure hits the spot!” : AAH!
6 Next-best bowling frame to a strike : SPARE
7 Basketball great ___ Thomas : ISIAH
8 Trapeze performer : AERIALIST
9 Popular gas additive : STP
10 Quickly raises, as windows : THROWS OPEN
11 Doughnut shop attraction : AROMA
12 Land ___ (British luxury vehicle) : ROVER
13 Hearty steak : T-BONE
18 Big name in jets : LEAR
22 Rapper/record executive Dr. ___ : DRE
25 Arrived : CAME
26 Bit of baby talk : DADA
27 Surgery reminder : SCAR
28 Fashion designer Chanel : COCO
29 Ethel’s neighbor/pal, on 1950s TV : LUCY
30 Odysseus and King Arthur, for two : EPIC HEROES
34 Alaska’s largest city : ANCHORAGE
35 Classic muscle car : GTO
37 Transcript figs. : GPAS
38 Measly : MERE
39 St. ___ (common church name) : ANN’S
41 College V.I.P. : DEAN
42 Satan’s domain : HELL
47 Drink slowly : SIP
49 Muppet with a falsetto : ELMO
50 Most important invitees : A-LIST
51 Something used to catch speeders : RADAR
52 What stars and bootblacks both do : SHINE
53 So dull : HO-HUM
54 Separately : APART
58 Poker player’s declaration : I’M IN
59 Hockey feint : DEKE
60 Over again : ANEW
61 “Now!,” in the E.R. : STAT!
63 “___ Doubtfire” : MRS
65 Juilliard field: Abbr. : MUS

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