0503-20 NY Times Crossword 3 May 20, Sunday

Constructed by: Ben Zimmer & Brendan Emmett Quigley
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Shifting Sounds

Themed answers are common phrases with a short a-SOUND SHIFTED to an ow-SOUND:

  • 23A Dog’s order at a malt shop? : HOUND SHAKE (from “handshake”)
  • 29A “Game of Thrones” patriarch has difficulties? : NED FLOUNDERS (from “Ned Flanders”)
  • 58A Advised a chess player to attack the king? : COUNSELED CHECK (from “canceled check”)
  • 76A Part of Disney’s advertising budget? : MOUSE MARKETING (from “mass marketing”)
  • 107A Decisively defeat a cabinet department? : TROUNCE STATE (from “trance state”)
  • 117A Feeling one gets under anesthesia at the dentist? : FUZZY MOUTH (from “fuzzy math”)
  • 3D Bad shot by Dracula? : COUNT MISS (from “can’t miss”)
  • 79D Comfy seating at a carnival? : FAIR COUCH (from “fair catch”)

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 18m 30s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • LLB (LLD)
  • HIMBO (himdo)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Smashing : SOCKO

“Socko” is a slang term meaning “impressive”.

10 Woofer output : BASS

In a sound system, a speaker that is designed to produce high frequencies is known as a “tweeter”. A speaker made for low frequencies is called a “woofer”. The aforementioned terms come from the fact that birds migh high-pitched “tweets”, and dogs make low-pitched “woofs”.

14 Casual vodka order : STOLI

Stolichnaya is a brand of “Russian” vodka made from wheat and rye grain. “Stoli” originated in Russia, but now it’s made in Latvia. Latvia is of course a completely different country, so you won’t see the word “Russian” on the label anymore.

21 Alma mater of Grant and Lee: Abbr. : USMA

West Point is a military reservation in New York State, located north of New York City. West Point was first occupied by the Continental Army way back in 1778, making it the longest, continually-occupied military post in the country. Cadet training has taken place at the garrison since 1794, although Congress funding for a US Military Academy (USMA) didn’t start until 1802. The first female cadets were admitted to West Point in 1976, and as of 2018, about 15% of all new cadets were women.

Ulysses S. Grant (USG) had risen to commander of all Union armies by the end of the Civil War. He was elected as the 18th president of the US in 1869. Grant served two terms as president, and also made a failed bid for a third term. Grant’s reputation was tarnished by his apparent tolerance of corruption in his administration. On the other hand, Grant worked hard to protect African Americans during Reconstruction after the Civil War, and pursued peaceful relations with Native Americans.

Robert E. Lee was perhaps the most famous southern officer in the Civil War. Lee was a somewhat reluctant participant in the war in that he opposed the secession of his home state of Virginia from the Union. At the beginning of the war, President Lincoln invited Lee to take command of the whole Union Army but he declined, choosing instead to stay loyal to his home state. During the Civil War, Lee’s men referred to him affectionately as “Marse Robert”, with “marse” being slang for “master”.

23 Dog’s order at a malt shop? : HOUND SHAKE (from “handshake”)

Walgreens claims to have introduced the malted milkshake, back in 1922.

25 The “day” in “seize the day” : DIEM

“Carpe diem” is a quotation from Horace, one of ancient Rome’s leading lyric poets. “Carpe diem” translates from Latin as “seize the day” or “enjoy the day”. The satirical motto of a procrastinator is “carpe mañana”, “translating” as “seize tomorrow”.

26 “Arrival” visitor : ALIEN

2016’s “Arrival” is a very entertaining sci-fi film that is based on a short story by Ted Chiang called “Story of Your Life”. Amy Adams plays a linguist who is called upon to communicate with aliens who have arrived on Earth.

28 Part of H.M.S. : HER

The ship prefix “HMS” is used by the warships of the Royal Navy, and stands for “Her/His Majesty’s Ship/Submarine”. The prefix “RMS” is used by ships of the merchant navy, and stands for “Royal Mail Ship/Steamer”.

29 “Game of Thrones” patriarch has difficulties? : NED FLOUNDERS (from “Ned Flanders”)

Ned Stark is the protagonist in George R. R. Martin’s fantasy novel “A Game of Thrones”, although his character doesn’t exactly come out on top by the end of the story. Stark is played by actor Sean Bean in the HBO television adaptation of the novel.

Ned Flanders lives next door to Homer Simpson on TV’s “The Simpsons”. Ned is voiced by actor Harry Shearer, and has been around since the very first episode aired in 1989.

32 Zora Neale Hurston’s “___ Eyes Were Watching God” : THEIR

Zora Neale Hurston was an American author who was most famous for her 1937 novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God”.

35 Drum heard in raga music : TABLA

A tabla is a percussion instrument used in the Indian subcontinent. The tabla consists of a pair of hand drums and is similar to bongos.

36 Creator of Christopher Robin : AA MILNE

Alan Alexander (A.A.) Milne was an English author who is best known for his delightful “Winnie-the-Pooh” series of books. He had only one son, Christopher Robin Milne, born in 1920. The young Milne was the inspiration for the Christopher Robin character in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. Winnie-the-Pooh was named after Christopher Robin’s real teddy bear, one he called Winnie, who in turn was named after a Canadian black bear called Winnie that the Milnes would visit in London Zoo. The original Winnie teddy bear is on display at the main branch of the New York Public Library in New York.

40 Big name in ratings : NIELSEN

Arthur Nielsen founded his Nielsen Media Research company to track brand advertising. He quickly moved into market analysis of radio audiences in the thirties, and today the company is famous for tracking television audiences. I remember watching the last episode of the TV series “Becker”, in which Ted Danson played a doctor. Given that the show had been ordered off the air due to declining viewership, there’s a great line in the last episode when Becker asks for the chart of a patient called “Nielsen”. He looks at the lab results and announces “I don’t know what everyone is talking about … these numbers aren’t so bad!” Great stuff …

48 Android alternative : IOS

iOS is what Apple now calls its mobile operating system. Previously, it was known as iPhone OS.

49 ___ Mahal : TAJ

The most famous mausoleum in the world has to be the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The Taj Mahal was built after the death of the fourth wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal (hence the name of the mausoleum). The poor woman died in childbirth delivering the couple’s 14th child. When Shah Jahan himself passed away 35 years later, he was buried beside his wife Mumtaz, in the Taj Mahal.

53 Chest muscle, informally : PEC

“Pecs” is the familiar name for the chest muscle, which is more correctly known as the pectoralis major muscle. “Pectus” is the Latin word for “breast, chest”.

58 Advised a chess player to attack the king? : COUNSELED CHECK (from “canceled check”)

In the game of chess, when the king is under immediate threat of capture it is said to be “in check”. If the king cannot escape from check, then the game ends in “checkmate” and the player in check loses. In the original Sanskrit game of chess, the king could actually be captured. Then a rule was introduced requiring that a warning be given if capture was imminent (today we announce “check!”) so that an accidental and early ending to the game doesn’t occur.

65 Spanish unit of time with a tilde : ANO

In Spanish, an “año” (year) is a “periodo de tiempo” (time frame, period of time).

The tilde diacritical mark (~) is very much associated with the Spanish language. We use the name “tilde” in English, taking that name from Spanish. Confusingly, the word “tilde” in Spanish is used more generally to mean “accent mark, diacritic”, of which a “~” is just one. What we call a “tilde” in English is usually referred to as a “virgulilla” or “tilde de la eñe” in Spanish.

66 Yoda, to Luke : MENTOR

A mentor is a trusted teacher or counselor. The term comes from Homer’s “Odyssey” in which there is a character called Mentor. Mentor is a friend of Odysseus, although he is a relatively ineffective old man. However, the goddess Athena takes on Mentor’s appearance in order to guide Odysseus’s young son Telemachus through difficult times.

In the “Star Wars” series of films, the character named Yoda has a unique speech pattern. He often uses the word order object-subject-verb. For example:

  • Patience you must have …
  • Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is.
  • To answer power with power, the Jedi way this is not.

72 Coming from two speakers : STEREO

Monophonic sound (“mono”) is sound reproduced using just one audio channel, which is usually played out of just one speaker. Stereophonic sound is reproduced using two audio channels, with the sound from each channel played out of two different speakers. The pair of stereo speakers are usually positioned apart from each other so that sound appears to come from between the two. Quadraphonic sound (4.0 surround sound) uses four audio channels with the sound played back through four speakers that are often positioned at the corners of the room in which one is listening.

75 Deg. for an aspiring attorney abroad : LLB

Bachelor of Laws (LLB) is an undergraduate degree in law. The abbreviation “LLB” stands for Legum (“LL”, for the plural “laws”) Baccalaureus (B, for Bachelor).

76 Part of Disney’s advertising budget? : MOUSE MARKETING (from “mass marketing”)

Walt Disney’s iconic cartoon character Mickey Mouse, was introduced to the public in 1928 in the cartoon “Steamboat Willie”. Mickey was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1978, making him the first cartoon character to be so honored. Walt Disney had some nice words to say in Disneyland in 1954:

I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.

82 Constellation with a palindromic name : ARA

The constellation of Ara takes its name from the Latin word for “altar”.

83 Scat syllable for Sinatra : DOO

Frank Sinatra was married four times in all. His first wife, and mother of his three children, was Nancy Barbato. Barbato and Sinatra met in Jersey City while in their teens, and married in their early twenties in 1939. They divorced in 1951 following a string of affairs that Sinatra had after he moved his family to Hollywood. One of those very public affairs was with actress Ava Gardner, who became Sinatra’s second wife a few months after divorcing Barbato. That marriage lasted until 1957. Sinatra then married actress Mia Farrow, when she was 21 years old and he was 29 years her senior. That marriage only lasted a couple of years. Sinatra’s last marriage took place in 1976, and was Barbara Blakely Marx, the ex-wife of Zeppo Marx of the Marx Brothers.

84 Hula loop : LEI

“Lei” is a Hawaiian word meaning “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a lei is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

The hula is a native dance of Hawaii that uses arm movements to relate a story. The hula can be performed while sitting (a noho dance) or while standing (a luna dance).

86 Academy Award winner for “Moonlight” and “Green Book” : ALI

Mahershala Ali is an actor and sometime rapper. Among the more memorable roles Ali has had are lobbyist Remy Danton in TV’s “House of Cards”, and Colonel Boggs in “The Hunger Games” series of movies. He also won Best Supporting Actor Oscars for playing Juan in the 2016 drama “Moonlight”, and Dr. Don Shirley in 2018’s “Green Book”.

“Moonlight” is a 2016 semi-autobiographical film based on an unpublished play by Tarell Alvin McCraney titled “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue”. “Moonlight” won the season’s Best Picture Oscar, thus becoming the first film to do so with an all-black cast, and the first with an LGBT storyline.

“Green Book” is a 2018 comedy film that is based on the true story of a 1962 tour of the Deep South by Florida-born classical and jazz pianist Don Shirley. Shirley, an African American, hires Italian-American bouncer Frank “Tony Lip” Vallelonga as his driver and bodyguard. I haven’t seen this one, but I hear that audiences and critics loved it …

87 Dr. Seuss character who becomes “King of the Mud” : YERTLE

“Yertle the Turtle” is a story by Dr. Seuss. The book is noted for the inclusion of the word “burp”. Back in 1958 when it was published, “burp” was considered to be vulgar. But, no one seemed to mind!

91 Sushi condiment : WASABI

Sometimes called Japanese horseradish, wasabi is a root used as a condiment in Japanese cooking. The taste of wasabi is more like mustard than a hot pepper in that the vapors that create the “hotness” stimulate the nasal passages rather than the tongue. Personally, I love the stuff …

95 Birds that can recognize themselves in mirrors : MAGPIES

The bird known as a “jay” is sometimes called a “magpie”, although the terms are not completely interchangeable.

103 Indubitably : QUITE

Something described as indubitable cannot be doubted.

105 Bellybutton fluff : LINT

“Lint”, meaning “fluff”, is one of those terms that I had to learn when I moved to the US. We call the same thing “fuzz” on the other side of the Atlantic.

106 Bordeaux wine region : MEDOC

Médoc is an appellation for wine in the Bordeaux region of France. The area produces red wine almost exclusively, and no white wine can be labelled as “Médoc”.

107 Decisively defeat a cabinet department? : TROUNCE STATE (from “trance state”)

The US Department of State is the equivalent of the Foreign Ministry in many other countries, and is responsible for international relations. Ceremonially, the Secretary of State is the highest ranking of all Cabinet officials, and is the highest ranking in the presidential line of succession (fourth, after the Vice President, the Speaker of the House and the President pro tem of the Senate). The department was created in 1789 by President Washington, and was the first of all executive departments created. The first Secretary of State was future-president Thomas Jefferson.

115 Like a zealous fan base : RABID

“Rabies” is actually the Latin word for “madness”. The name is a good choice for the viral disease, as once the virus spreads to the brain the infected person or animal exhibits very tortured and bizarre behavior including hydrophobia, a fear of water. The virus is passed on to humans most often through a bite from an infected dog. It is curable if it is caught in time, basically before symptoms develop. Once the virus passes up the peripheral nervous system to the spine and the brain, there isn’t much that can be done. We can also use the derivative term “rabid” figuratively, to mean extremely violent, to have extreme views.

116 School attended by 20 prime ministers : ETON

The world-famous Eton College is just a brisk walk from Windsor Castle, which itself is just outside London. Eton is noted for producing many British leaders including David Cameron who was British prime minister from 2010 to 2016. The list of Old Etonians also includes Princes William and Harry, the Duke of Wellington and George Orwell. Author Ian Fleming was also and Eton alumnus, as was Fleming’s iconic character James Bond, although 007 was expelled by the school.

117 Feeling one gets under anesthesia at the dentist? : FUZZY MOUTH (from “fuzzy math”)

The derogatory phrase “fuzzy math” was first used in the debates leading up the 2000 presidential election. Future president George W. Bush used the term to describe figures presented by his opponent Al Gore.

120 Rat in “Ratatouille” : EMILE

“Ratatouille” is a 2007 animated film produced by Pixar. The hero of the piece is Remy, a rat whose ambition is to become a chef. Remy was voiced by stand-up comedian Patton Oswalt. The veteran actor Peter O’Toole voiced the character Anton Ego, a restaurant critic.

122 Memo heading : IN RE

The term “in re” is Latin, and is derived from “in” (in) and “res” (thing, matter). “In re” literally means “in the matter”, and is used to mean “in regard to” or “in the matter of”.

123 Prize for a doc, maybe : OSCAR

Documentary (doc)

125 Weapon with a bell guard : EPEE

The hilt of a sword consists of a grip and a guard (sometimes “bell guard”). One grasps the sword with the grip, and the guard is a metal shell that is designed to protect the fingers.

127 Indira Gandhi’s father : NEHRU

Indira Gandhi’s father was Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India. Indira herself became prime minister in 1966. She was assassinated in 1984 by two of her own bodyguards as she was walking to meet Peter Ustinov, who was about to interview her for Irish television.

Down

1 Comedian Mort : SAHL

Mort Sahl is a Canadian-born actor and comedian who moved to the US with his family when he was a child. Sahl became friends with John F. Kennedy. When Kennedy became president, Sahl wrote a lot of jokes for the President’s speeches, although he also told a lot of Kennedy jokes in his acts. After the President was assassinated in 1963, Sahl was intensely interested in finding out who was behind the crime and even got himself deputized as a member of one of the investigating teams. He was very outspoken against the results of the Warren Commission report on the assassination, and soon found himself out of favor with the public. It took a few years for him to make his comeback, but come back he did.

2 Instrument from the French for “high wood” : OBOE

The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name “oboe” comes from the French “hautbois” which means “high wood”.

3 Bad shot by Dracula? : COUNT MISS (from “can’t miss”)

“Dracula” is a novel written by the Irish author Bram Stoker and first published in 1897. Dracula wasn’t the first vampire of literature, but he certainly was the one who spawned the popularity of vampires in theater, film and television, and indeed more novels. Personally, I can’t stand vampire fiction …

9 ___ launcher : GRENADE

Our word “grenade”, used for a small explosive missile, came via French from the word for the pomegranate fruit. The name reflects the similarity between the seed-filled fruit and the powder-filled, fragmentation bomb.

12 Process, as ore : SMELT

Metals are found in ore in the form of oxides. In order to get pure metal from the ore, the ore is heated and the metal oxides within are reduced (i.e. the oxygen is removed) in the chemical process known as smelting. The oxygen is extracted by adding a source of carbon or carbon monoxide which uses up the excess oxygen atoms to make carbon dioxide, a waste product of smelting (and, a greenhouse gas).

13 Language with only 14 native letters : SAMOAN

The official name for the South Pacific nation formerly known as Western Samoa is the Independent State of Samoa. Samoa is the western part of the island group, with American Samoa lying to the southeast. The whole group of islands used to be known as Navigators Island, a name given by European explorers in recognition of the seafaring skills of the native Samoans.

14 He made his final cameo in “Avengers: Endgame” : STAN LEE

Stan Lee did just about everything at Marvel Comics over the years, from writing to being president and chairman of the board. If you like superhero movies based on the characters from Marvel Comics, then you could spend a few hours trying to spot Stan Lee in those films as he had a penchant for making cameo appearances. Lee can be spotted in “X-Men” (2000), “Spider-Man” (2002), “Hulk” (2003), “Fantastic Four” (2005), “Iron Man” (2008) and many other films.

16 ’30s migrant : OKIE

“Okies” is a derogatory term used during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s for farming families who migrated from Oklahoma (hence the name), Arkansas, Kansas and Texas in search of agricultural jobs in California. The road used by many of these migrant families was Route 66, which is also called “Mother Road”.

18 Places to exchange dollars for quarters : INNS

We use the term “quarters” for a place of abode, especially housing for military personnel. Back in the late 16th century, quarters were a portion (quarter) of a town reserved for a military force.

30 Little bits of energy : ERGS

An erg is a unit of mechanical work or energy. It is a small unit, with one joule comprising 10 million ergs. It has been suggested that an erg is about the amount of energy required for a mosquito to take off. The term comes from “ergon”, the Greek word for work.

31 Competitor of eBay : UBID

uBid.com is an online auction site that was launched in 1997. uBid is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

33 Tree that lines the Central Park Mall : ELM

The man most associated with the decision to develop Central Park in New York City was William Cullen Bryant, the editor of what today is the “New York Post”. He argued that the growing city needed a large, public open space, along the lines of Hyde Park in London and the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. Most of the park’s construction took place between 1860 and 1873. Much of the clearing work was accomplished using gunpowder, and it is often noted that more gunpowder was used in Central Park than in the Battle of Gettysburg.

34 Debut single for both Jimi Hendrix and Patti Smith : HEY JOE

“Hey Joe” is a rock song written in the sixties, most famously recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1966. Jimi Hendrix was the last musician to appear at Woodstock in 1969, and “Hey Joe” was the last number he performed, so the song closed the whole festival.

46 One on the road in “On the Road” : SAL

Jack Kerouac’s 1957 novel “On the Road” is largely autobiographical, telling the story of Sal Paradise (Jack K.) and the road trips that he and his friends took across the country in the fifties.

50 Maker of Instant Feathers and Hi-Speed Tonic : ACME

The Acme Corporation is a fictional company used mainly by Looney Tunes, and within the Looney Tunes empire it appears mostly in “Road Runner” cartoons. Wile E. Coyote is always receiving a new piece of gear from Acme designed to finally capture the Road Runner, but the equipment always leads to his downfall.

52 Laura of “Marriage Story” : DERN

Actress Laura Dern is the daughter of the actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd. Among her many notable roles, Laura played the Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in the 2008 movie “Recount”, and Dr. Ellie Sattler in the 1993 blockbuster “Jurassic Park”.

“Marriage Story” is a 2019 movie starring Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver as a couple going through a messy divorce. The critics loved this one. Me, not so much …

55 Does some bronco-busting, e.g. : TAMES

A bronco (also “bronc”) is a horse that is untamed. In Mexican Spanish “bronco” is a word for “horse”, and in the original Spanish “bronco” means “rough, rude”.

57 Broadband device : MODEM

A modem is a device that is used to facilitate the transmission of a digital signal over an analog line. At one end of the line, a modem is used to “modulate” an analog carrier signal to encode digital information. At the other end of the line, a modem is used to “demodulate” the analog carrier signal and so reproduce the original digital information. This modulation-demodulation gives the device its name: a MOdulator-DEModulator, or “modem”.

60 Banned display of firepower, informally : N-TEST

Nuclear test (N-test)

61 Conductor Georg with 31 Grammys : SOLTI

Sir Georg Solti was a great Hungarian-British conductor, who spent 22 years as music director of the Chicago Symphony, one of many prestigious positions he held in the world of classical music and opera. Solti was awarded 31 Grammy Awards, the most won by any individual in any genre of music. I think it’s kind of cool that Solti’s name comprises two notes in the solfa scale: sol-ti …

64 Attractive but vacuous guy, in slang : HIMBO

“Vacuous” and “inane” both mean “silly, empty-headed”. “Vacuous” comes from the Latin word “vacuus” meaning “empty”. “Inane” comes from the Latin “inanitis” meaning “empty space”.

68 Mary, Queen of Scots, e.g. : STUART

Mary, Queen of Scots ruled over Scotland from 1542 until 1567, even though she spent most of that reign in France, where she had grown up. 16-year-old Mary married 9-year-old Francis, the Dauphin of France in 1558, and the following year became queen consort when her husband acceded to the throne. Francis only ruled for a year before dying of natural causes. The young widow returned to Scotland, the country of her birth, in 1561. In 1567, Mary was forced to abdicate the Scottish throne in favor of her one-year-old son James, after an uprising against Mary and her third husband, the Earl of Bothwell. Mary fled south to seek the protection of her cousin, Elizabeth I of England. As Mary had once claimed Elizabeth’s throne as her own, Elizabeth had Mary imprisoned. Mary was held in confinement for over 18 years and eventually beheaded in 1587, having been found guilty of plotting to assassinate Elizabeth.

72 Philosopher Kierkegaard : SOREN

Soren Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher and theologian, and I’ve never really understood anything that he wrote!

73 “Salud!” cousin : SKOAL!

“Skoal” is a Scandinavian toast that has roots in the old Norse word “skaal” meaning “cup”.

“Salud” is Spanish for “health”, and is used as a toast. Salud!

80 Downwind, at sea : ALEE

Alee is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing aweather.

81 New England art inst. : RISD

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is a college in Providence, Rhode Island. The RISD is located right next door to Brown University.

88 Shot served with salt and lime : TEQUILA

Tequila is a city in Mexico that is located about 40 miles northwest of Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco. The city is the birthplace of the drink called “tequila”. Local people made a variety of a drink called mezcal by fermenting the heart of the blue agave plant that is native to the area surrounding Tequila. It was the Spanish who introduced the distillation process to the mescal, giving us what we now know as “tequila”.

92 Singer Knowles with a 2016 #1 album : SOLANGE

Solange Knowles is a singer/songwriter, and the younger sister of the incredibly successful singer Beyoncé. Solange was in the news a while back when security camera footage was released showing her punching and kicking Beyoncé’s husband Jay-Z in an elevator.

96 Tex who animated Bugs Bunny : AVERY

Tex Avery was a cartoon animator and voice actor in Hollywood. He was the man who created Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, and it was Avery who gave Bugs Bunny the line “What’s up, doc?” Apparently it was a phrase that was common in his native Texas and one that became a bit of a catchphrase at North Dallas High School, which Avery attended in the twenties.

97 Diploma equivalent, in brief : GED

The General Educational Development (GED) tests are a battery of four tests designed to demonstrate that a student has the academic skills of someone who has graduated from an American or Canadian high school.

104 Legally prohibit : ESTOP

The term “estop” means to block or stop by using some legal device. “Estop” comes from Old French, in which “estopper” means “to stop up” or “to impede”.

107 Parisian equivalent to “molto” or “muy” : TRES

In French, one might be “très” (very) glad to finish the crossword.

109 Stage prize since 1956 : OBIE

The Obies are the Off-Broadway Theater Awards. The Obies have been presented annually since 1956. The recipients used to be chosen by “The Village Voice” newspaper, but now are jointly administered with the American Theatre Wing.

111 Fitch of Abercrombie & Fitch : EZRA

Ezra Fitch and David Abercrombie were co-founders of the clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch. It is Ezra Fitch who gets the credit for introducing the Chinese game of mahjong into the US. Fitch bought up as many mahjong sets as he could find in villages all over China and sold them through Abercrombie & Fitch outlets.

118 Card game call : UNO!

UNO is a card game that was developed in the early seventies and that has been sold by Mattel since 1992. UNO falls into the shedding family of card games, meaning that the goal is to get rid of all your cards while preventing opponents from doing the same.

119 Sun follower? : MON

The days of the week are named for celestial bodies and gods

  • Sunday — Sun’s Day
  • Monday — Moon’s Day
  • Tuesday — Tiu’s day
  • Wednesday — Woden’s day
  • Thursday — Thor’s day
  • Friday — Freya’s day
  • Saturday — Saturn’s day

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Smashing : SOCKO
6 Wide-eyed in wonder : AGOG
10 Woofer output : BASS
14 Casual vodka order : STOLI
19 Bubbling : ABOIL
20 Pricey : DEAR
21 Alma mater of Grant and Lee: Abbr. : USMA
22 Board game piece : TOKEN
23 Dog’s order at a malt shop? : HOUND SHAKE (from “handshake”)
25 The “day” in “seize the day” : DIEM
26 “Arrival” visitor : ALIEN
27 You can see right through it : LENS
28 Part of H.M.S. : HER
29 “Game of Thrones” patriarch has difficulties? : NED FLOUNDERS (from “Ned Flanders”)
32 Zora Neale Hurston’s “___ Eyes Were Watching God” : THEIR
34 Stand-up comic Kondabolu : HARI
35 Drum heard in raga music : TABLA
36 Creator of Christopher Robin : AA MILNE
38 Beat out by a hair : EDGED
40 Big name in ratings : NIELSEN
44 Male sailors : SHIPMEN
45 Words of affirmation : YESSES
47 Upscale : DELUXE
48 Android alternative : IOS
49 ___ Mahal : TAJ
51 Kind of diet : FAD
53 Chest muscle, informally : PEC
54 The “S” of 48-Across : SYSTEM
58 Advised a chess player to attack the king? : COUNSELED CHECK (from “canceled check”)
65 Spanish unit of time with a tilde : ANO
66 Yoda, to Luke : MENTOR
67 Shows as an encore presentation : REAIRS
68 A fingerprint can leave one : SMUDGE
70 Cell no., say : TEL
71 Strips of weapons : UNARMS
72 Coming from two speakers : STEREO
73 Frequent choice for maid of honor : SISTER
75 Deg. for an aspiring attorney abroad : LLB
76 Part of Disney’s advertising budget? : MOUSE MARKETING (from “mass marketing”)
78 How some pranks might go : TOO FAR
82 Constellation with a palindromic name : ARA
83 Scat syllable for Sinatra : DOO
84 Hula loop : LEI
86 Academy Award winner for “Moonlight” and “Green Book” : ALI
87 Dr. Seuss character who becomes “King of the Mud” : YERTLE
91 Sushi condiment : WASABI
95 Birds that can recognize themselves in mirrors : MAGPIES
99 Beyond sad, or beyond happy : IN TEARS
101 Some piercing spots : LOBES
102 Categorically stated : AVERRED
103 Indubitably : QUITE
105 Bellybutton fluff : LINT
106 Bordeaux wine region : MEDOC
107 Decisively defeat a cabinet department? : TROUNCE STATE (from “trance state”)
111 Musical knack : EAR
112 Share on social media : POST
115 Like a zealous fan base : RABID
116 School attended by 20 prime ministers : ETON
117 Feeling one gets under anesthesia at the dentist? : FUZZY MOUTH (from “fuzzy math”)
120 Rat in “Ratatouille” : EMILE
121 Word before or after run : LONG
122 Memo heading : IN RE
123 Prize for a doc, maybe : OSCAR
124 Stick a fork in : SPEAR
125 Weapon with a bell guard : EPEE
126 Loathsome person : TOAD
127 Indira Gandhi’s father : NEHRU

Down

1 Comedian Mort : SAHL
2 Instrument from the French for “high wood” : OBOE
3 Bad shot by Dracula? : COUNT MISS (from “can’t miss”)
4 Affinity : KINSHIP
5 Lacking originality : OLD
6 Follower : ADHERENT
7 Prepare, with “up” : GEAR …
8 Symbol of sturdiness : OAK
9 ___ launcher : GRENADE
10 Close pals : BUDDIES
11 “Yeah, right!” : AS IF!
12 Process, as ore : SMELT
13 Language with only 14 native letters : SAMOAN
14 He made his final cameo in “Avengers: Endgame” : STAN LEE
15 Spilled one’s soul : TOLD ALL
16 ’30s migrant : OKIE
17 Unwelcome look : LEER
18 Places to exchange dollars for quarters : INNS
24 Stand out from the crowd : SHINE
30 Little bits of energy : ERGS
31 Competitor of eBay : UBID
33 Tree that lines the Central Park Mall : ELM
34 Debut single for both Jimi Hendrix and Patti Smith : HEY JOE
36 Flaws and all : AS IS
37 Shout for 44-Across : AHOY
39 Put off for another day : DEFER
41 Building caretakers : SUPERS
42 Higher-ups in a hierarchy : EXECS
43 Part of a guitar : NECK
46 One on the road in “On the Road” : SAL
50 Maker of Instant Feathers and Hi-Speed Tonic : ACME
52 Laura of “Marriage Story” : DERN
55 Does some bronco-busting, e.g. : TAMES
56 Accustom (to) : ENURE
57 Broadband device : MODEM
59 Loosen, in a way : UNTIE
60 Banned display of firepower, informally : N-TEST
61 Conductor Georg with 31 Grammys : SOLTI
62 Passed out in Vegas : DEALT
63 Gambino crime family patriarch : CARLO
64 Attractive but vacuous guy, in slang : HIMBO
68 Mary, Queen of Scots, e.g. : STUART
69 Prod : GOAD
71 Prod : URGE
72 Philosopher Kierkegaard : SOREN
73 “Salud!” cousin : SKOAL!
74 Heed an army poster : ENLIST
76 “Will you allow me to demonstrate?” : MAY I?
77 Plane ticket info : ROW
79 Comfy seating at a carnival? : FAIR COUCH (from “fair catch”)
80 Downwind, at sea : ALEE
81 New England art inst. : RISD
85 “Mind. Blown.” : I’M AMAZED
88 Shot served with salt and lime : TEQUILA
89 Clean : LAUNDER
90 Lexicographer Partridge : ERIC
92 Singer Knowles with a 2016 #1 album : SOLANGE
93 Ever so slightly : A BIT
94 Perk from work : BENEFIT
96 Tex who animated Bugs Bunny : AVERY
97 Diploma equivalent, in brief : GED
98 Make an engaging offer? : PROPOSE
100 British spy Christopher in 2016 news : STEELE
104 Legally prohibit : ESTOP
107 Parisian equivalent to “molto” or “muy” : TRES
108 Increase, with “up” : RAMP …
109 Stage prize since 1956 : OBIE
110 It distinguishes meaning in many East Asian languages : TONE
111 Fitch of Abercrombie & Fitch : EZRA
113 Red carpet interviewee : STAR
114 Traffic sign word : THRU
118 Card game call : UNO!
119 Sun follower? : MON

10 thoughts on “0503-20 NY Times Crossword 3 May 20, Sunday”

  1. 22:15, no errors. Never heard of a “HIMBO”, but I like the concept (and I’ve met one or two 😜).

  2. 48:10. I never have great times on Sunday puzzles. I think it’s an attention span issue. Regardless, I thought this was yet another puzzle that was hard to grab any momentum from. I hate to use the word slog, but if the crossword cliche fits…Enjoyed it anyway.

    I started playing chess at a young age, losing on a regular basis to my older brother and father. One time around age 9 or 10 I finally beat my brother. I was already in his face about it when he informed me that I hadn’t said “check” when I had put him into “check”. I thought he had made that rule up. I always heard people do it, but I didn’t know that it was an actual rule. To this day I don’t understand why it’s a rule, but that’s another matter.

    Oh well, lesson learned the hard way. I don’t even remember who ended up winning that game which probably means he did. I eventually got my revenge as I win more often these days than he does. My 82 year old father can still beat both of us on a regular basis, however. Grrr..

    1. My father (who is, sadly, 33 years gone) grew up on the Canadian frontier and spent a lot of winter evenings in a log cabin playing checkers. By the time I came along, he had not played in many years but, one night, one of my older brothers talked him into playing a game with us (the two of us, against him). For much of the game, it appeared that we were doing all right and then, in a single long move, he captured most of the pieces we had left (having carefully played a strategic game up to that point). Now, of course, I was just a kid and I wasn’t much better at checkers than I was at chess, so I could be wrong; nevertheless, I was enormously impressed by his prowess and still have a vivid memory of the event … 😜.

  3. 47:30, no errors. I again lost some time searching for one elusive, stupid error. I had some good spots and some bad ones. Got the theme early and that helped.

  4. 42:49 If anybody can “sorta kinda” get the theme, I guess that would be me. Also never heard the term “himbo” before, definitely know some guys who qualify…

  5. 1:33:06 with 3 errors one being the same as Bills ..If I said what I thought about 2 setter puzzles I might be banned from this website so I will just say I am not a big fan.
    Stay safe everyone.

  6. No errors but it took awhile. Himbo just sounded right. Wasn’t sure of aRa/soRen and mEdoc/avEry but pulled it off.

  7. 41:48, 2 errors: HIM(E)O; LL(E). Totally unfamiliar with both entries, but, after the fact, HIMBO makes sense as the male equivalent of a bimbo.

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