0501-20 NY Times Crossword 1 May 20, Friday

Constructed by: Trenton Charlson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 10m 23s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Cocktail often garnished with a lemon twist : GIN SLING

A sling is a cocktail made of brandy, whiskey or gin that is sweetened and flavored with lemon. The most famous version of the sling is the Singapore sling, which was invented by a bartender at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. I am proud to report that I once had a Singapore sling in Raffles Hotel, many moons ago …

9 Israeli port mentioned in the Bible : JAFFA

The port city of Jaffa is the oldest section of the city now known as Tel Aviv-Jaffa (or “Tel Aviv-Yafo”).

14 Paul McCartney wrote one about Liverpool : ORATORIO

Liverpool is a large port city in the northwest of England located on the estuary of the River Mersey. With a sense of humor that is typical of the area, people from Liverpool are often called “Liverpudlians”. The term comes from the jocular “Liver-puddle”, a diminutive of “Liver-pool”.

15 1898 chemistry discovery : RADIUM

The element radium was discovered by Marie and Pierre Curie, in 1898.

22 Strategy game with disks : REVERSI

The game of Reversi is also sold as Othello. The name “Othello” was chosen as a nod to the play by William Shakespeare.

25 Basic cleaner : LYE

What we call “lye” is usually sodium hydroxide, although historically the term “lye” was used for potassium hydroxide. Lye has many uses, including to cure several foodstuffs. Lye can make olives less bitter, for example. The chemical is also found in canned mandarin oranges, pretzels and Japanese ramen noodles. More concentrated grades of lye are used to clear drains and clean ovens. Scary …

33 Half brother of Tom Sawyer : SID

Mark Twain’s famous character Tom Sawyer had a few family members. He had an Aunt Polly, an Aunt Sally Phelps, a cousin Mary and half-brother Sid.

34 City north of Baghdad : MOSUL

Mosul is located in northern Iraq and is the third largest city in the country, after Baghdad and Basra. It is located on the west bank of the Tigris river, opposite the ruins of the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh in the east bank. Mosul was captured by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in 2014. Those residents of Mosul who did not escape suffered under the rule of ISIL until the city’s liberation following the Battle of Mosul in 2016/2017.

36 Palm that produces berries : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

41 1968 swimming gold medalist Debbie : MEYER

Debbie Meyer was just 16-years-old when she won three swimming gold medals at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.

43 ___ Henry Hoover, former first lady : LOU

Lou Henry met future president Herbert Hoover while the two were studying at Stanford University. After graduating with an engineering degree, Herbert Hoover headed off to Australia to pursue his career. As a result, Hoover made his proposal of marriage to Lou Henry via cable. Henry accepted by return wire. After they were married, the couple moved to China where Hoover continued his career as an engineer. There, Lou Henry Hoover became proficient in the Chinese. After her husband became US President, Ms. Hoover became the only First Lady to speak an Asian language.

44 “The Last Don” author : PUZO

Novelist and screenwriter Mario Puzo was best known for his book “The Godfather”, which he also co-adapted for the big screen. Puzo also wrote two sequels, “The Last Don” and “Omertà”, the latter being published after his death. His name is less associated with some very famous screenplays that he wrote, including “Earthquake”, “Superman” and “Superman II”. Puzo won two Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay: for “The Godfather” (1972) and for “The Godfather Part II” (1974).

46 It always goes to hell : RIVER STYX

The River Styx of Greek mythology was the river that formed the boundary between the Earth and the Underworld (or “Hades”). The souls of the newly dead had to cross the River Styx in a ferry boat piloted by Charon. Traditionally, a coin would be placed in the mouths of the dead “to pay the ferryman”.

48 Co. behind the podcast “The Daily” : NYT

“The New York Times” (NYT) has been published since 1851, and is sometimes referred to as “the Gray Lady”. These days a viable alternative to buying the paper is to read the news online. NYTimes.com is the most popular online newspaper website in the country.

52 First name at Woodstock : RAVI

Ravi Shankar was perhaps the most famous virtuoso (to us Westerners) from the world of Indian classical music, and was noted for his sitar playing. Shankar was the father of the pop singer Norah Jones.

1969’s Woodstock Music & Art Fair was held on a dairy farm located 43 miles southwest of the town of Woodstock, New York. 400,000 young people attended, and saw 32 bands and singers perform over three days.

53 George who composed “Give My Regards to Broadway” : COHAN

I suppose much of what many of us know about American entertainer George M. Cohan comes from the 1942 film about his life called “Yankee Doodle Dandy”, which stars Jimmy Cagney as Cohan. There is an 8-foot bronze statue of Cohan on Broadway in New York City that was erected in 1959 at the behest of the lyricist Oscar Hammerstein.

58 Celebrate with sprightly dancing : DO A JIG

The jig is a dance most associated with Ireland and Scotland. In traditional Irish dancing, the jig is second in popularity only to the reel. The most famous Irish jig is probably “The Irish Washerwoman”. I may not dance a jig, but I sure do know the tune of “The Irish Washerwoman” …

60 Study for the bar? : OENOLOGY

In Greek mythology, Oeno was the goddess of wine, giving us “oeno-” as a prefix meaning “wine”. For example, oenology is the study of wine and an oenophile is a wine-lover.

64 Members of the lute family : UKULELES

The ukulele (uke) originated in the 1800s and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

65 Eponym in a candy store : REESE

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were invented by Harry Burnett “H.B.” Reese. Peanut Butter Cups were originally called penny cups, reflecting the price at which they were sold. Then inflation took over, and maybe that’s why they were broken into smaller “Pieces” …

An eponym is a name for something derived from the name of a person, as in the food item we call a “sandwich”, named after the Earl of Sandwich.

Down

1 Home to Bactrian camels : GOBI

The large desert in Asia called the Gobi lies in northern China and southern Mongolia. The Gobi desert is growing at an alarming rate, particularly towards the south. This “desertification” is caused by increased human activity. The Chinese government is trying to halt the desert’s progress by planting great swaths of new forest, the so-called “Green Wall of China”. The name “Gobi” is Mongolian for “waterless place, semidesert”.

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of a camel is the large deposit of fatty tissue on its back. The dromedary is the most common camel, and has two humps of fatty tissue on its back. The Bactrian camel has two humps, and makes up just 6% of the world’s camel population. Those fatty humps are useful if no food or water is available, as fat can be broken down into water and energy.

2 ___ horse : IRON

The term “iron horse” started appearing in Victorian times, describing those new-fangled steam-driven trains and trams that left horse-drawn vehicles in their dust. The term was especially popular in North America where it described steam locomotives.

8 Apple variety : GOLDEN DELICIOUS

The first Golden Delicious tree was found in a pasture field on a farm in West Virginia in the late 1800s. There were no other apple trees growing nearby, so the farmer left it to grow. The fruit proved to be popular and the farmer sold the tree to a local nursery. The nursery named the apple Golden Delicious to go along with the existing line of Red Delicious apples, even though the two varieties trees aren’t very closely related. The Golden Delicious is now the official fruit of West Virginia.

9 Faith that preaches nonviolence to all living creatures : JAINISM

Jainism is a religion based in India in which the faithful practice an ascetic way of life and honor nonviolence.

10 ___ Lovelace, computing pioneer who was the daughter of Lord Byron : ADA

Ada Lovelace’s real name and title was Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace. She was the only legitimate child of Lord Byron, the poet. Lovelace was fascinated by mathematics and wrote about the work done by Charles Babbage in building his groundbreaking mechanical computer. In some of her notes, she proposed an algorithm for Babbage’s machine to compute Bernoulli numbers. This algorithm is recognized by many as the world’s first computer program and so Lovelace is sometimes called the first “computer programmer”. There is a computer language called “Ada” that was named in her honor. The Ada language was developed from 1977 to 1983 for the US Department of Defense.

12 Hairless creature in a nursery rhyme : FUZZY WUZZY

“Fuzzy Wuzzy” is a novelty song for children that dates back to 1944.

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear
Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair
Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t fuzzy, was he?

15 Engine stats : RPMS

Revolutions per minute (rpm)

20 “The proper task of life,” per Nietzsche : ART

Friedrich Nietzsche was a German philosopher. He’s not my cup of tea …

23 Brand on the Alaska Highway : ESSO

The Esso brand has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

The Alaska Highway is also known as the Alaska-Canadian Highway or ALCAN Highway. A highway connecting the contiguous United States to Alaska was proposed in the twenties, but the Canadian authorities didn’t believe the project had much merit as the road would be used by very few of its citizens. The perceived importance of the route increased during WWII and President Roosevelt deemed the road a strategic necessity so he made a deal with Canada. The cost of construction would be borne by the US, but the road and related facilities were to be handed over to Canada at the end of the war. The project was accelerated when the Japanese invaded and occupied Kiska and Attu Islands in the Aleutians. The road of course has been improved and is still in use today. The ALCAN Highway forms part of what is popularly known as the Pan-American Highway, which runs from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to the south of Argentina or Chile depending on how the route is defined.

26 Red-cased import : EDAM

Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

35 16th-century pope who owned a pet elephant : LEO X

Pope Leo X is remembered as the last pope who was not a priest before taking office. Leo X was also known for granting indulgences to those willing to donate funds for the reconstruction of St. Peter’s Basilica, a practice that contributed to the revolt against the church by Martin Luther. As a result of the revolt, Leo X excommunicated Luther.

38 Massive explosion : NOVA

A nova (plural “novae”) is basically a star that suddenly gets much brighter, gradually returning to its original state weeks or even years later. The increased brightness of a nova is due to increased nuclear activity causing the star to pick up extra hydrogen from a neighboring celestial body. A supernova is very different from a nova. A supernova is a very bright burst of light and energy created when most of the material in a star explodes. The bright burst of a supernova is very short-lived compared to the sustained brightness of a nova.

47 “Great taste since 1905” sloganeer : RC COLA

Claude A. Hatcher ran a grocery store in Columbus, Georgia. He decided to develop his own soft drink formula when he balked at the price his store was being charged for Coca-Cola syrup. Hatcher launched the Union Bottling Works in his own grocery store, and introduced Royal Crown Ginger Ale in 1905. The Union Bottling Works was renamed to Chero-Cola in 1910, the Nehi Corporation in 1925, and Royal Crown Company in the mid-fifties. The first RC Cola hit the market in 1934.

48 Depths of despair : NADIR

The nadir is the direction pointing immediately below a particular location (through to the other side of the Earth for example). The opposite direction, that pointing immediately above, is called the zenith. We use the terms “nadir” and “zenith” figuratively to mean the low and high points in a person’s fortunes.

55 Hindu festival of colors : HOLI

Holi is a Hindu festival celebrated in spring that is also known as the Festival of Colours.

57 Where Harley-Davidson is HOG : NYSE

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) can give some quite descriptive ticker symbols to companies, for example:

  • Anheuser-Busch (BUD, for “Budweiser”)
  • Molson Coors Brewing Company (TAP, as in “beer tap”)
  • Steinway Musical Instruments (LVB, for “Ludwig van Beethoven”)
  • Sotheby’s (BID, for the auction house)

The Harley-Davidson motorcycle company was founded in the very early 1900s by two childhood friends, William Harley and Arthur Davidson, . Their first design was in effect an engine hooked up to a pedal bicycle, but the 116 cc cylinder capacity simply couldn’t generate enough power to get up the hills of their native city of Milwaukee. The pair came up with a redesigned model that had a cylinder capacity of 405 cc, which the partners built in a shed at the back of Davidson’s house. In 1906, the partners built their first factory, located where the company’s headquarters is to this day, on Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Famously, Harley motorcycles are nicknamed “hogs”.

59 French menu word : JUS

The French term “au jus” is usually translated as “with its own juice”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Cocktail often garnished with a lemon twist : GIN SLING
9 Israeli port mentioned in the Bible : JAFFA
14 Paul McCartney wrote one about Liverpool : ORATORIO
15 1898 chemistry discovery : RADIUM
16 Show promise : BODE WELL
17 Square : PIAZZA
18 More than impressed : IN AWE
19 Execrate : DAMN
21 Only three-letter word in Scrabble that requires both blank tiles : ZZZ
22 Strategy game with disks : REVERSI
25 Basic cleaner : LYE
26 Chess maneuver with a French name : EN PASSANT
30 Host : SLEW
32 Herb often used with potatoes : DILL
33 Half brother of Tom Sawyer : SID
34 City north of Baghdad : MOSUL
36 Palm that produces berries : ACAI
37 Turned up : ON END
40 Give a powerful impression of : OOZE
41 1968 swimming gold medalist Debbie : MEYER
43 ___ Henry Hoover, former first lady : LOU
44 “The Last Don” author : PUZO
45 “I forgot what I’m supposed to say here!” : LINE!
46 It always goes to hell : RIVER STYX
48 Co. behind the podcast “The Daily” : NYT
49 Math subj. : PRECALC
51 Parts of a Facebook feed : ADS
52 First name at Woodstock : RAVI
53 George who composed “Give My Regards to Broadway” : COHAN
58 Celebrate with sprightly dancing : DO A JIG
60 Study for the bar? : OENOLOGY
63 Soak : INFUSE
64 Members of the lute family : UKULELES
65 Eponym in a candy store : REESE
66 Reserve : SET ASIDE

Down

1 Home to Bactrian camels : GOBI
2 ___ horse : IRON
3 Zilch : NADA
4 Fretful thing to be in : STEW
5 Turns down : LOWERS
6 Cause of an explosion : IRE
7 Zilch : NIL
8 Apple variety : GOLDEN DELICIOUS
9 Faith that preaches nonviolence to all living creatures : JAINISM
10 ___ Lovelace, computing pioneer who was the daughter of Lord Byron : ADA
11 Ends weakly : FIZZLES OUT
12 Hairless creature in a nursery rhyme : FUZZY WUZZY
13 Floor : AMAZE
15 Engine stats : RPMS
20 “The proper task of life,” per Nietzsche : ART
23 Brand on the Alaska Highway : ESSO
24 Fruitless : VAIN
26 Red-cased import : EDAM
27 “Good going!” : NICELY DONE
28 Avoid taking unnecessary risks : PLAY IT SAFE
29 Down-to-earth type? : ALIEN
31 Air show highlights : LOOPS
35 16th-century pope who owned a pet elephant : LEO X
38 Massive explosion : NOVA
39 Face-off : DUEL
42 Closing number of a musical, often : REPRISE
46 Accelerate : REV
47 “Great taste since 1905” sloganeer : RC COLA
48 Depths of despair : NADIR
50 Boil over : RAGE
54 Accented cheers : OLES
55 Hindu festival of colors : HOLI
56 Venerable : AGED
57 Where Harley-Davidson is HOG : NYSE
59 French menu word : JUS
61 Squeak (by) : EKE
62 Bit of hardware : NUT

5 thoughts on “0501-20 NY Times Crossword 1 May 20, Friday”

  1. 31:41. Obviously this one challenged me. I never had any momentum so this felt laborious throughout. I knew EN PASSANT from playing chess so many years. NW gave me the toughest time until I could figure out GIN SLING.

    EN PASSANT is just the capturing of a pawn in a specific instance. On a pawns first move, it can move ahead two squares. An EN PASSANT essentially makes it so you can capture that pawn as though it had only been moved one square. It’s an often misunderstood rule that came about, I assume, to reward aggressive play as overly defensive players were using the 2 square rule to play in a shell and “skip” out of trouble when their untouched pawns were being attacked. It’s interesting because the 2 square rule itself came about to reward aggressive play, but it was also rewarding defensive play in a different fashion. EN PASSANT was introduced to counter a counter…

    It’s late. I’m babbling. Very good puzzle.

    Best –

  2. 9:58 after fixing a one-square slip-of-the-finger error.

    I remembered EN PASSANT from my high-school years of trying (and failing) to become a decent chess player. I did manage to figure out a lot of “chess problems” (in which you are presented with a situation and told to figure out how the player who is up can, for example, “mate in two”), but I was never able to translate that into any kind of expertise at actually playing the game. C’est la vie … 😳.

  3. 45:43 And that time can be credited to a lot of lucky guesses. I’m a “shot of vodka” drinker, so “gin sling” had to be figured out using down clues. Never got into chess enough for “en passant” I salute Jeff and Nonny for knowing that. Just a typical Friday for me, but happy to say I finished it👍

  4. 34:59, no errors. A tough one for me today. Lots of blank space for a long time. Still, I persevered. I, like @Jeff couldn’t get any momentum.

  5. Please keep up the good work!
    I noticed a typo in your comments on GOBI (1 Down). The dromedary camel has a single hump.

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