0504-20 NY Times Crossword 4 May 20, Monday

Constructed by: Emily Carroll
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Use Fowl Language

Themed answers are common phrases that start with a sound made by a type of FOWL:

  • 37A What the starts of the answers to 17-, 24-, 48- and 60-Across do, punnily? : USE FOWL LANGUAGE
  • 17A Features of most hotel doors : PEEPHOLES (a chick goes “peep”)
  • 24A Gibberish : GOBBLEDYGOOK (a turkey goes “gobble”)
  • 48A Medical impostors, informally : QUACK DOCTORS (a duck goes “quack”)
  • 60A Bar with country music : HONKY-TONK (a goose goes “honk”)

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 5m 00s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Just about every character on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” : COP

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is a sitcom set in the 99th precinct of the NYPD in Brooklyn. Star of the show is “Saturday Night Live” alum Andy Samberg, who plays Detective Jake Peralta.

9 Actress Christina : RICCI

Christina Ricci is an American actress who found fame on the big screen at an early age, playing the very young Wednesday Addams in the 1991 movie version of “The Addams Family”.

14 Created for a particular purpose, as a committee : AD HOC

The Latin phrase “ad hoc” means “for this purpose”. An ad hoc committee, for example, is formed for a specific purpose and disbanded after making its final report.

16 Like the gases neon and argon, but not oxygen and hydrogen : INERT

An inert gas can be different from a noble gas. Both are relatively non-reactive, but a noble gas is an element. An inert gas might be a compound, i.e. made up of more than one element.

Neon was discovered in 1898 by two British chemists Sir William Ramsay and Morris Travers. They chilled a sample of air, turning it into a liquid. They then warmed that liquid and separated out the gases that boiled off. Along with nitrogen, oxygen and argon (already known), the pair of scientists discovered two new gases. The first they called “krypton” and the second “neon”. “Krypton” is Greek for “the hidden one” and “neon” is Greek for “new”.

The chemical element argon has the symbol Ar. Argon is a noble gas, and so by definition is relatively nonreactive. The name “argon” comes from the Greek word for “lazy, inactive”. There’s a lot of argon around, as it is the third-most abundant gas in our atmosphere.

The element oxygen has an atomic number of 8, and has eight electrons within each atom. The name “oxygen” was coined (“oxygène” in French) by Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, from the Greek “oxys” meaning “acid” and the French “-gène” meaning “producer”. It was originally believed that oxygen was needed to make all acids.

There are three naturally occurring isotopes of hydrogen. The most common isotope is what we ordinarily refer to as hydrogen, and it has no neutrons. This particular isotope is sometimes called “protium”. The isotope with one neutron is called “deuterium”. When paired with two atoms of oxygen, deuterium forms “heavy water”. The hydrogen isotope with two neutrons is called “tritium”. Tritium is radioactive, with a half-life of 12.3 years.

19 City that’s the setting for several van Gogh paintings : ARLES

Quite a few years ago now, I had the privilege of living just a short car-ride from the beautiful city of Arles in the South of France. Although Arles has a long and colorful history, the Romans had a prevailing influence over the city’s design. Arles has a spectacular Roman amphitheater, arch, circus as well as old walls that surround the center of the city. In more modern times, it was a place Vincent van Gogh often visited, and was where he painted many of his most famous works, including “Cafe Terrace at Night” and “Bedroom in Arles”.

20 Denouement : END

The denouement is the final resolution of a dramatic plot. The term “denouement” is French, and derives from the Old French for “untying”, an “unknotting” as it were.

23 Designer Gucci : ALDO

Gucci was founded in Rome, in 1921, by Guccio Gucci. Guccio’s son Aldo took over the company after his father’s death in 1953. It was Aldo who established the international presence for the brand and opened the company’s first overseas store, in New York City.

29 Flying insect with a narrow waist : WASP

While the wasp is considered to be a nuisance by many, the insect is very important to the agricultural industry. Wasps prey on many pest insects, while having very little impact on crops.

30 Costa ___ : RICA

Costa Rica is a country in Central America that is bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the South. Costa Rica is remarkable in my opinion, a leader on the world stage in many areas. It has been referred to as the “greenest” country in the world, the “happiest” country in the world, and has a highly educated populace. In 1949, the country unilaterally abolished its own army … permanently!

41 Mini-albums, for short : EPS

An extended-play (EP) record, CD or download contains more music than a single, but less than an LP.

42 Like streakers : NAKED

People have been running around naked for an awfully long time, but the application of the word “streaking” to the phenomenon only dates back to 1973. A journalist was reporting on a mass nude run of 533 people at the University of Maryland in 1973, and used the words “they are streaking (i.e. moving quickly) past me right now. It’s an incredible sight!”. The Associated Press picked up the story the next day, and interpreted “streaking” as the term to describe “running naked”, and we’ve been using it that way ever since.

46 Pickled green garnishes : CAPERS

The seasoning we know as “capers” are the edible flower buds of the caper bush, also known as Flinders rose. By the time we get them in a jar, the buds have been pickled and salted. I’m not a huge fan of capers …

48 Medical impostors, informally : QUACK DOCTORS (a duck goes “quack”)

A quack is a person who pretends to have knowledge that he or she does not in fact possess. The term especially applies to someone fraudulently pretending to have medical skills. Our modern word is an abbreviation of “quacksalver”, an archaic term with Dutch roots that translates as “hawker of salve”, Back in the Middle Ages, quacksalvers would shout out (quack) as they sold their pseudo-medical wares.

53 “For ___ us a child is born …” : UNTO

According to the Bible’s Book of Isaiah:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

55 Actress Kravitz of “Big Little Lies” : ZOE

Zoë Kravitz is an actress and singer. Zoë has a couple of famous parents, namely musician Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet.

58 Singer of the 2015 #1 hit “Hello” : ADELE

“Hello” is a 2015 song by English singer Adele that won her three Grammy Awards: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance.

60 Bar with country music : HONKY-TONK (a goose goes “honk”)

A honky-tonk is a bar with musical entertainment, usually country music. The etymology of the term “honky-tonk” seems unclear. The term has evolved to mean any cheap, noisy bar or dance hall.

65 Hermann who wrote “Siddhartha” : HESSE

The 1922 novel “Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse focuses on the spiritual journey of a man called Siddhartha. Even though the Buddha’s name was Siddhartha Gautama before he renounced his former life, Hesse’s Siddhartha is a different character who lived around the time of the Buddha.

67 Olympians’ blades : EPEES

The French word for sword is “épée”. In competitive fencing the épée is connected to a system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

Down

1 Wisecrack : JAPE

“To jape” means “to joke or quip”. The exact origins of “jape” are unclear, but it does seem to come from Old French. In the mid-1600s, “to jape” was a slang term meaning “to have sex with”. No joke …!

2 Home for Adam and Eve : 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.

6 Spy sent by Moses into Canaan : CALEB

According to the Bible, after fleeing Egypt the Hebrews were led by Moses to the promised land of Canaan. Moses sent twelve spies into Canaan (one from each of the Twelve Tribes) to report on what awaited them. Ten spies returned with exaggerated stories of giants who would kill the Hebrew army if it entered Canaan. Two spies, Caleb and Joshua, came back with valid reports that the Hebrews could inhabit the area. As a result of the false reports from the ten spies, the Hebrews did not enter Canaan but instead wandered the desert for another forty years, before they finally took up residence in the promised land. At the end of the forty years, Caleb and Joshua were the only adults that survived the forty-year journey, a reward from God for their obedience.

7 Three-time Pro Bowler ___ Beckham Jr. : ODELL

Odell Beckham Jr. is a National Football League wide receiver from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 2014, “OBJ” made a much-applauded one-handed catch while falling backwards to score a touchdown for the New York Giants against the Dallas Cowboys, a move that some have dubbed the greatest catch ever made.

8 Sheriff’s group : POSSE

Our word “posse” comes from an Anglo-Latin term from the early 15th century “posse comitatus” meaning “the force of the county”.

9 Narrow inlet : RIA

A drowned valley might be called a ria or a fjord, and both are formed as sea levels rise. A ria is a drowned valley created by river erosion, and a fjord is a drowned valley created by glaciation.

12 Belief system : CREDO

A creed or credo is a confession of faith, or a system of belief or principles. “Credo” is Latin for “I believe”.

22 Dickens’s “The Mystery of ___ Drood” : EDWIN

“The Mystery of Edwin Drood” is an unfinished novel by Charles Dickens. The story itself is centered not on the title character, but on Edwin Drood’s uncle, a choirmaster named John Jasper.

24 Steffi of tennis fame : GRAF

Steffi Graf is a former World No. 1 professional tennis player from Germany. Graf won 22 Grand Slam singles titles, which is more than any other man or woman other than Margaret Court. She is married to another former World No. 1, namely Andre Agassi.

25 Yin’s partner : YANG

The yin and yang can be illustrated using many different metaphors. In one, as the sun shines on a mountain, the side in the shade is the yin and the side in the light is the yang. The yin is also regarded as the feminine side, and the yang the masculine. The yin can also be associated with the moon, while the yang is associated with the sun.

31 Animal at Yellowstone National Park : ELK

The elk (also “wapiti”) is one of the largest species of deer in the world, with only the moose being bigger. Early European settlers were familiar with the smaller red deer back in their homelands, so when they saw the “huge” wapiti they assumed it was a moose, and incorrectly gave it the European name for a moose, namely “elk”. The more correct name for the beast is “wapiti”, which means “white rump” in Shawnee. It’s all very confusing …

Yellowstone was the first National Park to be established in the world, when it was designated as such by President Grant in 1872. What a great tradition it started! The American National Parks truly are a treasure.

32 Beverage for a darts player, perhaps : ALE

Darts is a wonderful game that’s often played in English and Irish pubs, even over here in America. The scoring in a traditional game of darts is difficult to describe in a sentence or two, but the game of darts called “Round the Clock” is simply hitting the numbers 1 through 20 on the dartboard in sequence.

35 Frankenstein’s assistant in “Young Frankenstein” : IGOR

In the world of movies, Igor has been the assistant to Dracula, Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein among others. Igor is almost invariably portrayed as a hunchback.

I am not really a big fan of movies by Mel Brooks, but “Young Frankenstein” is the exception. I think the cast has a lot to do with me liking the film, as it includes Gene Wilder (Dr. Frankenstein), Teri Garr (Inga), Marty Feldman (Igor) and Gene Hackman (Harold, the blind man).

36 Basilica benches : PEWS

A pew is a bench in a church, one usually with a high back. The original pews were raised and sometimes enclosed seats in the church used by women and important men or families. “Pew” comes from the Old French “puie” meaning “balcony, elevation”.

In its modern usage, the term “basilica” applies to a Roman Catholic church that has been given special ceremonial rights by the Pope.

40 Mailing letters? : USPS

The US Postal Service (USPS) is a remarkable agency in many ways. For starters, the government’s right and responsibility to establish the Post Office is specifically called out in Article One of the US constitution. Also, the first postmaster general was none other than Benjamin Franklin. And, the USPS operates over 200,000 vehicles, which is the largest vehicle fleet in the world.

45 Places to take French classes : ECOLES

In French, one might learn “une leçon” (a lesson) in an “école” (school).

46 Bop on the head : CONK

The bean, the conk, the head …

47 Popular pattern for socks and sweaters : ARGYLE

The argyle pattern is based on the Campbell tartan. The Campbell clan is based in the Argyll region (note the spelling) in the west of Scotland, giving the Argyle pattern its name.

51 Actor Russell or director Cameron : CROWE

Russell Crowe is a highly successful actor from New Zealand. Understandably, he doesn’t like people to call him “Australian”, even though it was in Australia that he launched his acting career. Not too long before the 9/11 attacks, the FBI contacted Crowe to inform him that al-Qaeda was plotting to kidnap him as part of a general attack on high-profile “American” icons. For a few months the New Zealander was guarded by Secret Service agents.

Cameron Crowe was a contributing editor for “Rolling Stone” magazine before he moved into the world of film, becoming an actor, producer, director and screenwriter. Crowe wrote “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”, and wrote and directed “Say Anything…” and the huge hit “Jerry Maguire”. He also wrote and directed the semi-autobiographical movie “Almost Famous”, which was released in 2000.

55 Certain basketball defense : ZONE

In some team sports, there is a choice between man-to-man defense and zone defense. In the former, each defensive player guards a corresponding player on the other team. In the latter, each defensive player covers a particular “zone” of the playing area.

61 Spigot : TAP

Back in the 15th century, a spigot was specifically a plug to stop a hole in a cask. Somewhere along the way, a spigot had a valve added for variable control of flow.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Kids around : JESTS
6 Just about every character on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” : COP
9 Actress Christina : RICCI
14 Created for a particular purpose, as a committee : AD HOC
15 Big fuss : ADO
16 Like the gases neon and argon, but not oxygen and hydrogen : INERT
17 Features of most hotel doors : PEEPHOLES (a chick goes “peep”)
19 City that’s the setting for several van Gogh paintings : ARLES
20 Denouement : END
21 Last words of a threat : OR ELSE
23 Designer Gucci : ALDO
24 Gibberish : GOBBLEDYGOOK (a turkey goes “gobble”)
26 Spins, as a baton : TWIRLS
29 Flying insect with a narrow waist : WASP
30 Costa ___ : RICA
31 Not do takeout at a restaurant : EAT IN
34 All the rage : HIP
37 What the starts of the answers to 17-, 24-, 48- and 60-Across do, punnily? : USE FOWL LANGUAGE
41 Mini-albums, for short : EPS
42 Like streakers : NAKED
43 What you might build a winter fort with : SNOW
44 Avid : KEEN
46 Pickled green garnishes : CAPERS
48 Medical impostors, informally : QUACK DOCTORS (a duck goes “quack”)
53 “For ___ us a child is born …” : UNTO
54 Muscular : STRONG
55 Actress Kravitz of “Big Little Lies” : ZOE
58 Singer of the 2015 #1 hit “Hello” : ADELE
60 Bar with country music : HONKY-TONK (a goose goes “honk”)
62 More decisive : SURER
63 Ma that might baa : EWE
64 Knight stick? : LANCE
65 Hermann who wrote “Siddhartha” : HESSE
66 Fire truck’s color : RED
67 Olympians’ blades : EPEES

Down

1 Wisecrack : JAPE
2 Home for Adam and Eve : EDEN
3 What dogs do in the spring : SHED
4 Apex : TOP
5 Group of fish : SCHOOL
6 Spy sent by Moses into Canaan : CALEB
7 Three-time Pro Bowler ___ Beckham Jr. : ODELL
8 Sheriff’s group : POSSE
9 Narrow inlet : RIA
10 Shabbily dressed : IN RAGS
11 Film about food? : CELLOPHANE
12 Belief system : CREDO
13 “There, there” : IT’S OK
18 Spheres : ORBS
22 Dickens’s “The Mystery of ___ Drood” : EDWIN
24 Steffi of tennis fame : GRAF
25 Yin’s partner : YANG
26 “Can’t argue with that” : TRUE
27 Puff of smoke : WISP
28 Performers in a rink : ICE SKATERS
31 Animal at Yellowstone National Park : ELK
32 Beverage for a darts player, perhaps : ALE
33 Small amount : TAD
35 Frankenstein’s assistant in “Young Frankenstein” : IGOR
36 Basilica benches : PEWS
38 Brief race, in brief : ONE-K
39 Things wizards wave : WANDS
40 Mailing letters? : USPS
45 Places to take French classes : ECOLES
46 Bop on the head : CONK
47 Popular pattern for socks and sweaters : ARGYLE
48 Suppress : QUASH
49 Excessive, as influence : UNDUE
50 Catchall category : OTHER
51 Actor Russell or director Cameron : CROWE
52 Muscular : TONED
55 Certain basketball defense : ZONE
56 “___ bitten, twice shy” : ONCE
57 Just manages, with “out” : EKES
59 Before, in verse : ERE
61 Spigot : TAP

4 thoughts on “0504-20 NY Times Crossword 4 May 20, Monday”

  1. 9:22, no errors. Less than twice Bill’s time, so I’m good with that. A little slow for me today. Maybe I should wake up before I do the puzzles.

  2. 6:53. Nothing much intelligent to say about this one – although that never seemed to quiet me in the past.

    Best-

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.