0510-20 NY Times Crossword 10 May 20, Sunday

Constructed by: Adam Fromm
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Border Crossings

Themed answers each comprise two countries that neighbor each other geographically, and in the grid. Each themed clue refers to a hidden word in the grid formed by the end of the name of one country and the beginning of the next:

  • 23A Wing it [Africa] : CHAD-LIBYA (hiding “ad lib”)
  • 28A Complete rip-off [Asia] : LAOS-CAMBODIA (hiding “scam”)
  • 41A Record company [Central America] : GUATEMALA-BELIZE (hiding “label”)
  • 58A What subjects and verbs must do [Europe] : BULGARIA-GREECE (hiding “agree”)
  • 66A Sort by urgency of need [Europe] : AUSTRIA-GERMANY (hiding “triage”)
  • 86A T-shirt size [South America] : BRAZIL-ARGENTINA (hiding “large”)
  • 99A First month of the year without a U.S. federal holiday [Asia] : MYANMAR-CHINA (hiding “March”)
  • 108A Biblical outcast [South America] : CHILE-PERU (hiding “leper”)

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 19m 36s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Some unwanted mail : SPAM

The term “spam”, used for unwanted email, is taken from a “Monty Python” sketch. In the sketch (which I’ve seen) the dialog is taken over by the word Spam, a play on the glut of canned meat in the markets of Britain after WWII. So “spam” is used for the glut of emails that takes over online communication. I can just imagine nerdy Internet types (like me) adopting something from a “Monty Python” sketch to describe an online phenomenon …

13 Half of an ice cream brand with a fake Danish name : HAAGEN

Häagen-Dazs ice cream originated in the Bronx, New York in 1961. The name “Häagen-Dazs” is a “nonsense” term, words chosen for its Scandinavian feel that the producers thought would appeal to potential customers.

22 Iris part : AREOLA

An areola (sometimes “areole”) in anatomy is a small ring of color, as in the areola surrounding the nipple, and the areola surrounding the pupil of the eye. “Areola” (plural “areolae”) comes from Latin, meaning “small open space”, and is a diminutive of the Latin word “area”, meaning “open space”.

23 Wing it [Africa] : CHAD-LIBYA (hiding “ad lib”)

“Ad libitum” is a Latin phrase meaning “at one’s pleasure”. In common usage, the phrase is usually shortened to “ad lib”. On the stage, the concept of an ad lib is very familiar.

The landlocked African country called Chad takes its name from the second largest wetland on the continent, which is known as Lake Chad.

The Italo-Turkish War was fought between the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Italy from September 1911 and October 1912. At the end of the conflict the Ottoman Empire ceded to Italy the three provinces of Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica. These provinces became Italian North Africa, and ultimately the country that we know today as Libya. The name “Libya” comes from the Ancient Greek “Libúē”, the historical name for Northwest Africa.

27 Après-ski drink : HOT COCOA

The beverages hot cocoa and hot chocolate differ from each other in that the latter contains cocoa butter, whereas the former does not.

“Après-ski” is a French term meaning “after skiing”. It refers to the good times to be had after coming off the slopes.

28 Complete rip-off [Asia] : LAOS-CAMBODIA (hiding “scam”)

The official name for the country of Laos is the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. In the Lao language, the country’s name is “Meuang Lao”. The French ruled Laos as part of French Indochina, having united three separate Lao kingdoms. As there was a plural of “Lao” entities united into one, the French added the “S” and so today we tend to use “Laos” instead of “Lao”.

The Kingdom of Cambodia is located in the Indochina Peninsula of Southeast Asia, and is bordered by Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and the Gulf of Thailand. “Cambodia” is the English version of the country’s name, which in Khmer is “Kampuchea”.

30 Barrel-flavored, as wine : OAKY

Oak barrels are sometimes used to store wine during fermentation and aging. The oak wood has a profound effect, usually changing the wine’s color, flavor and texture. If the wine is stored in stainless steel barrels, then a similar effect can be achieved by adding oak chips or staves to the liquid.

31 Washington, D.C., legalized it in 2014 : POT

“Potiguaya” is the Mexican-Spanish word for “marijuana leaves”. The slang name “pot” comes from “potiguaya”.

32 Wealthy king of legend : CROESUS

Croesus was the king of Lydia from 560 to 547 BC. He was noted for his fabulous wealth. As a result, the name “Croesus” entered the English language as a synonym for a wealthy man in expressions such as “rich as Croesus” and “richer than Croesus”.

41 Record company [Central America] : GUATEMALA-BELIZE (hiding “label”)

Guatemala in Central America became independent from Spain in 1821, first becoming part of the Mexican Empire, and then becoming completely independent two years later.

Belize was formerly known as British Honduras, which explains why English is the country’s official language. Belize is located on the northeastern coast of Central America, and borders Mexico and Guatemala.

45 Two-time third-party presidential candidate : PEROT

Ross Perot graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1953, as president of his class. Perot served his 4-year commitment but then resigned his commission, apparently having become somewhat disillusioned with the navy. He was ranked number 101 on the Forbes 400 List of Richest Americans in 2012, and at that time was worth about $3.5 billion. Back in 1992, Perot ran as an independent candidate for US president. He founded the Reform Party in 1995, and ran as the Reform Party candidate for president in 1996.

47 “The Walking Dead” channel : AMC

“The Walking Dead” is a horror television show made by AMC that is based on a comic book series of the same name. There are lots of flesh-eating zombies featured, so I won’t be caught “dead” watching it …

56 Proboscis, informally : SNOOT

“Snoot” is a variant of “snout”, and is a word that originated in Scotland. The idea is that someone who is snooty, or “snouty”, tends to look down his or her nose at the rest of the world.

A proboscis is a long appendage attached to the head of an animal, and is sometimes referred to as an elongated “nose”. Many an insect has a proboscis, as does an elephant.

58 What subjects and verbs must do [Europe] : BULGARIA-GREECE (hiding “agree”)

Bulgaria is a country in Southeastern Europe lying on the west coast of the Black Sea. Bulgaria’s capital city is Sofia.

Someone from Greece can be called a Hellene. “Ellas” is the Greek word for “Greece”, the name of the country. Greece is also known as the “Hellenic” Republic.

62 Ancho pepper, before drying : POBLANO

An ancho is a dried poblano pepper that is used in Mexican cuisine. The poblano is a mild chili.

66 Sort by urgency of need [Europe] : AUSTRIA-GERMANY (hiding “triage”)

Triage is the process of prioritizing patients for treatment, especially on the battlefield. The term “triage” is French and means “sorting”.

The name “Austria” is a Latin variant of the German name for the country, “Österreich”. “Österreich” itself means “Eastern borderlands”, a reference to the country’s history as a prefecture of neighboring Bavaria to the west.

The country that we know in English as “Germany” is known as “Deutschland” in German. The name “Germany” comes from “Germania”, which is the Latin name that Julius Caesar gave to the peoples located east of the Rhine. The name “Deutschland” comes from an Old High German word meaning “land belonging to the people”.

76 Planet where the cry “Shazbot!” is said to have originated : ORK

“Mork & Mindy” is a sitcom that originally aired from 1978 to 1982. The title characters were played by Robin Williams and Pam Dawber. Mork is an alien from the planet Ork who reports back to his superior called Orson. Orson is played by voice actor Ralph James. Ralph James was also known for providing the voice of Mr. Turtle in famous Tootsie Pop commercials in the seventies. Nanu nanu!

79 Food chain link : PREY

A food chain is a series of organisms, the smallest of which gets eaten by a larger one, which in turn feeds a still larger one, etc. Food chains are considered part of a food web.

80 Treats prepared on an open fire : S’MORES

S’mores are treats peculiar to North America that are usually eaten around a campfire. A s’more consists of a roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two graham crackers. The earliest written reference to the recipe is in a 1927 publication called “Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts”. Girl Scouts always did corner the market on cookies and the like!

81 Part of O.E.D.: Abbr. : ENG

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines a lot of words (wds.).

82 Organic fertilizer : GUANO

Guano is the droppings of seabirds, bats and seals. It is prized as fertilizer as it doesn’t really smell, and contains high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen. The word “guano” means “seabird droppings” in the Quechua language spoken in the Andes region of South America.

85 Male 91-Acrosses : HARTS

Nowadays, a hart is a male red deer over five years old. A hind is a female red deer.

86 T-shirt size [South America] : BRAZIL-ARGENTINA (hiding “large”)

Brazil is the largest country in South America, and the fifth largest country in the world (after Russia, Canada, China and the US). Brazil was a Portuguese colony from 1500 to 1815. The official name of the country under Portuguese rule was Terra da Santa Cruz (Land of the Holy Cross). However, European sailors used the name Terra do Brasil (Land of Brazil), a reference to the brazilwood tree that was much prized in Europe for the deep red dye that it produced.

Argentina is the second largest country in South America (after Brazil), and the world’s largest Spanish-speaking nation. The name “Argentina” comes from the Latin “argentum”, the word for “silver”. It is thought that the name was given by the early Spanish and Portuguese conquerors who also named the Rio de la Plata (the “Silver River”). Those early explorers got hold of lots of silver objects that they found among the native population.

92 Shapes made by thumbs and index fingers : ELS

A person might make a demeaning gesture by using the extended thumb and forefinger to make a letter L, standing for the word “loser”. The gesture is often made by raising the hand to the forehead. It has been suggested that the gesture originated in a Michigan State hockey game in 1974.

93 Glossed over : ELIDED

“To elide” is to pass over, omit or slur a syllable when speaking.

94 Like some toy cars : DIE-CAST

A metal toy is often die-cast, meaning that it is manufactured by forcing molten metal into the cavity of a mold. The mold is then cooled, the metal solidifies and takes on the shape defined by the mold.

97 Sportage maker : KIA

Kia’s Sportage is a compact SUV that has been manufactured since 1993.

98 ___ Cochran, Mississippi senator from 1978 to 2018 : THAD

Senator Thad Cochran was elected US Senator for the state of Mississippi in 1978, and served until he was forced to resign in 2018 due to health concerns. While earning his B.A. at the University of Mississippi, Cochran was on the cheerleading squad, with fellow senator Trent Lott.

99 First month of the year without a U.S. federal holiday [Asia] : MYANMAR-CHINA (hiding “March”)

The US Congress created the first federal holidays in 1870, but only designated four such holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Independence Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

The Republic of the Union of Myanmar is the official name of the Asian country that some nations still recognize as the Union of Burma.

The world’s most populous country is the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The Republic of China (ROC) is the official name of the sovereign state that we usually call Taiwan.

108 Biblical outcast [South America] : CHILE-PERU (hiding “leper”)

The horrible disease known as leprosy is also called Hansen’s disease, named after the Norwegian physician famous for isolating the bacterium that causes the disease. We can use the term “leper” to mean someone in general who is shunned by society.

The nation of Chile has a very distinctive shape. It is a narrow strip that runs up the west coast of South America. The average width of the country is only a little over 100 miles, and yet its length is about 2,700 miles. Chile is touted as the longest country in the world, although I am not so sure what that means exactly. I mean, Russia extends about 4,800 miles from east-to west, so maybe “longest” implies long in the north-south direction?

Peru’s name comes from the word “Biru”. Back in the early 1500s, Biru was a ruler living near the Bay of San Miguel in Panama. The territory over which Biru ruled was the furthest land south in the Americas known to Europeans at that time. The Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro was the first European to move south of Biru’s empire and the land that he found was designated “Peru”, a derivative of “Biru”.

110 Org. behind the New Horizons project : NASA

NASA’s New Horizons space probe was launched in 2006 with the primary mission of flying by and studying Pluto. As New Horizons launched, Pluto was officially classified as a planet, but a few months later it was downgraded to a dwarf planet. New Horizons achieved its primary mission in 2015, and is now headed towards a large object in the Kuiper Belt, scheduled to arrive there in 2019.

111 One whose job prospects go up in smoke? : POPE

A new pope is elected in a papal conclave, a meeting of the College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic church. After each round of voting, the individual ballots are burned. If the ballot is inconclusive, then the ballots are burned with a chemical (originally, damp straw was used) so that the resulting smoke is black. The smoke can be seen by crowds gathered near the Sistine Chapel where the conclave is held. If the ballot has resulted in a pope being selected, then the individual ballots are burned on their own so that they give off white smoke.

113 Biggest U.S. union, familiarly : THE NEA

The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest labor union in the country, and mainly represents public school teachers.

115 City north of Des Moines : AMES

The Iowa city of Ames was founded as a stop on the Cedar Rapids and Missouri Railroad in 1864. It was named for US Congressman Oakes Ames from the state of Massachusetts in honor of the role that Ames played in the building of the transcontinental railroad.

The city of Des Moines is the capital of Iowa, and takes its name from the Des Moines River. The river in turn takes its name from the French “Riviere des Moines” meaning “River of the Monks”. It looks like there isn’t any “monkish” connection to the city’s name per se. “Des Moines” was just the name given by French traders who corrupted “Moingona”, the name of a group of Illinois Native Americans who lived by the river. However, others contend that French Trappist monks, who lived a full 200 miles from the river, somehow influenced the name.

116 Resident of the Palazzo Ducale : DOGE

Doges were the elected chief magistrates of the former republics of Venice and Genoa.

Down

2 Manhattan neighborhood west of the East Village : NOHO

“NoHo” is short for North of Houston (street), and is the equivalent area to SoHo, South of Houston, both of which are in New York City.

3 Order : FIAT

A fiat is an arbitrary rule that is imposed, and is the Latin for “let it be done”.

4 Cranky codger : OLD COOT

“Geezer”, “codger” and “coot” are all not-so-nice terms meaning “old man”.

6 Sandwich often served with remoulade sauce : PO’ BOY

A po’ boy is a submarine sandwich from Louisiana. There are a lot of theories about where the name came from, and none sound too convincing to me. A po’ boy differs from a regular submarine sandwich in that it uses Louisiana French bread, which is soft in the middle and crusty on the outside.

7 Killer of the Night King on “Game of Thrones” : ARYA

Maisie Williams is the English actress who plays the tomboyish young girl Arya Stark on the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones”.

9 Key of Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” : D-FLAT

“Clair de lune” is the beautiful third movement from Claude Debussy’s piano work called the “Suite bergamasque”. “Clair de lune” is French for “moonlight”.

11 Lead-in to many a joke on “The Daily Show” : NEWSCLIP

“The Daily Show” is a satirical news program on Comedy Central that first aired in 1996. The show was presented by Craig Kilborn from 1996 until 1998, and then very successfully by Jon Stewart from 1999 until 2015. Trevor Noah took over as host when Jon Stewart left.

12 Senator who once served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review : TED CRUZ

US Senator Ted Cruz served as Solicitor General for the state of Texas before heading to Washington. Cruz was appointed Solicitor General in 2003 at the age of 32, making him the youngest solicitor general in the country. Famously, Cruz is an opponent of the Affordable Care Act and made a speech in 2013 in the US Senate on the subject that lasted for 21 hours and 19 minutes. It was the fourth longest speech in the history of the Senate.

14 Many Omanis : ARABS

Oman lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is neighbored by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Oman is a monarchy, and the official name of the state is the Sultanate of Oman. All of the country’s legislative, executive and judiciary power resides with the hereditary sultan.

15 Group seen in gathering clouds? : A-E-I-O-U

All of the vowels appear in alphabetical order in the phrase “gathering clouds”.

17 Wellsian race of the future : ELOI

In the 1895 novella by H. G. Wells called “The Time Machine”, there are two races that the hero encounters in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet’s surface. The Morlocks are a domineering race living underground who use the Eloi as food.

24 Objects in one of Jesus’ miracles : LOAVES

According to the Gospels of the New Testament, Jesus performed two miracles in which he fed the multitude. The first was the Feeding of the 5,000, with five barley loaves and two small fish, which is reported in all four Gospels. The second was the Feeding of the 4,000, with seven loaves and a few small fish, which is reported in the Gospels of Mark and Matthew.

28 Singer Lisa : LOEB

Singer Lisa Loeb was discovered by actor Ethan Hawke, who lived just across the street from her in New York City. Hawke took a demo of her song “Stay (I Missed You)” and gave it to director Ben Stiller, who in turn used it over the ending credits of his 1994 movie “Reality Bites”. The movie was a hit, the song went to number one, and Loeb became the first artist ever to hit that number one spot without having signed up with a record label. Good for her!

33 Media for scientists : AGARS

Agar (also “agar-agar”) is a jelly extracted from seaweed that has many uses. Agar is found in Japanese desserts, and can also be used as a food thickener or even as a laxative. In the world of science, it is the most common medium used for growing bacteria in Petri dishes.

34 Unit of brightness : LUMEN

The lumen is a measure of the amount of visible light emitted by a source.

35 Raw material for Cadbury : CACAO

The flowers of the cacao tree grow in clusters, directly on the trunk and on older branches. The pollinated flowers turn into ovoid cacao pods, each of which contain 20-60 seeds or beans. The seeds are used as the main ingredient in chocolate.

39 Kind of column seen on the Jefferson Memorial : IONIC

The Ionic was one of the three classical orders of architecture, the others being the Doric and Corinthian. An Ionic column is relatively ornate. It usually has grooves running up and down its length and at the top there is a “scroll” design called a “volute”. The scroll motif makes Ionic columns popular for the design of academic buildings. The term “Ionic” means “pertaining to Ionia”, with Ionia being an ancient territory that is located in modern-day Turkey.

The beautiful Jefferson Memorial was completed in 1947 and sits on the banks of the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. The idea for the memorial really came from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, as he was a great admirer of President Jefferson.

40 “Funny Girl” composer Jule : STYNE

Jule Styne was an English songwriter who made a name for himself in America with a series of popular musicals. Styne wrote a number of famous songs including “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from “Funny Girl”, “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, and “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” from “Gypsy”.

I’ve always wondered if the Fanny Brice from Jane Austen’s “Mansfield Park” was somehow related to the Fanny Brice that Barbra Streisand played in “Funny Girl”. Fanny Brice of musical fame was a real person (although I hadn’t heard of her). Brice was a theater and film actress, and “Funny Girl” is very loosely based on her life story. Fanny Brice was born into a Hungarian Jewish family in New York City, with the real name of Fania Borach.

43 Vaper’s device, informally : E-CIG

An electronic cigarette (also called an “e-cigarette”) is a battery-powered device that resembles a real cigarette. The e-cigarette vaporizes a solution that contains nicotine, forming a vapor that resembles smoke. The vapor is inhaled in a process called “vaping”, delivering nicotine into the body. The assumption is that an e-cigarette is healthier than a regular cigarette as the inhaled vapor is less harmful than inhaled smoke. But, that may not be so …

44 Nutritional snack from Clif : LUNA BAR

The LUNA Bar is a nutrition bar introduced in 1999 that is aimed at women. Apparently, the bar was created by a group of female employees at the Clif Bar company to address nutritional needs specific to women.

45 Trig, for calc, e.g. : PREREQ

The Latin word “calculus” was originally used for a reckoning or an account, and originally applied to a pebble that was used to maintain a count. The Latin word came from the Greek for a pebble, “khalix”.

52 Snack with a recommended microwave time of just three seconds : POP-TART

Pop-Tart is the most successful single brand for the Kellogg company, as millions of the sugary treats are sold every year. The US Military bought quite a few in 2001, and dropped 2.4 million Pop-Tarts into Afghanistan during the invasion after 9/11.

54 Theater impresario Ziegfeld : FLORENZ

Florenz “Flo” Ziegfeld, Jr. was the man behind the series of theatrical revues called the “Ziegfeld Follies”, as well as the producer of the musical “Show Boat”. The “Follies” shows were structured as imitations of the “Folies Bergère” cabaret shows of Paris.

55 Abbr. in a genealogical tree : DAU

Daughter (dau.)

57 ___ Strait, separator of Australia and Papua New Guinea : TORRES

Papua New Guinea is a country occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea (the western side of the island is part of Indonesia).

60 Kylo ___, “Star Wars” antagonist : REN

Kylo Ren is the son of Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa in the “Star Wars” universe. The character’s birth name was Ben Solo. He was trained as a Jedi knight by his uncle, Luke Skywalker. However, Ben came to embrace the Dark Side, and changed his name to Kylo Ren. Ren is played by actor Adam Driver.

61 Candy heart phrase : I’M YOURS

The forerunner to Sweethearts candy was introduced in 1866, with the famous sayings written on the candy tailored for use at weddings. One of the original expressions was, “Married in pink, he will take a drink”. The original candy was a lot bigger, to fit all those words! The smaller, heart-shaped candy hit the shelves in 1901. We’ve been able to buy Sweethearts with the words “Text me” since 2010.

64 Each verse of “Deck the Halls” has 32 of them : LAS

The music for the Christmas song “Deck the Halls” is a traditional Welsh tune that dates back to the 16th century. The same tune was used by Mozart for a violin and piano duet. The lyrics with which we are familiar (other than the “f-la-la”) are American in origin, and were recorded in the 19th century.

“’Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la la la la!”

66 Host Tyler of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” : AISHA

Aisha Tyler is an actor and comedian who was a co-host on “The Talk” for several years starting in 2011. She began hosting the reboot of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” in 2013.

The American improv comedy TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway” is a spin-off of a very successful British show of the same name. The British TV show is itself a spin-off of a BBC radio show that I well remember. Lots of fun …

69 “We Three Kings” subjects : MAGI

The Christmas carol “We Three Kings” is a favorite of mine. The carol was written in 1857 by the rector of an Episcopal church in Williamsport, Pennsylvania called John Henry Hopkins, Jr. Hopkins composed “We Three Kings” for a Christmas pageant in New York City.

71 Deodorant brand : ARRID

Arrid is an antiperspirant deodorant brand introduced in the thirties. Slogans associated with Arrid have been “Don’t be half-safe – use Arrid to be sure”, “Stress stinks! Arrid works!” and “Get a little closer”.

72 Sierra ___ : LEONE

The Republic of Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa that lies on the Atlantic Coast. The capital city of Freetown was originally set up as a colony to house the “Black Poor” of London, England. These people were mainly freed British slaves of Caribbean descent who were living a miserable life in the run-down parts of London. Perhaps to help the impoverished souls, perhaps to rid the streets of “a problem”, three ships were chartered in 1787 to transport a group of blacks, with some whites, to a piece of land purchased in Sierra Leone. Those who made the voyage were granted British citizenship and protection. The descendants of these immigrants, and others who made the journey over the next 60 years, make up the ethnic group that’s today called the Sierra Leone Creole.

77 Sensationalist newspaper : RAG

A low-quality newspaper is often referred to as a “rag”. There are lots of rags out there …

81 Observance first celebrated in 1970 : EARTH DAY

Earth Day was founded in the US, where it was introduced by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. Earth Day was designed to increase awareness and appreciation of our planet’s natural environment. The original Earth Day was on April 22nd, 1970. Decades later, the day is observed in over 175 countries.

89 Item in a toxic internet “challenge” : TIDE POD

The dark side of social media struck again in late 2017 when “The Tide Pod Challenge” became an Internet sensation. Participants were eating Tide detergent pods on camera, and getting very sick and dangerously injured.

91 Region around the Beltway, informally : DC AREA

The phrase “inside the Beltway” is used to refer to the infrastructure and politics of Washington, D.C. The Beltway in this case is Interstate 495, also known as the Capital Beltway.

98 Poppycock : TRIPE

“Tripe” is an informal term meaning “rubbish, of little value”. Tripe is actually the rubbery stomach lining of an animal such as a cow. Tripe is a traditional dish in British cuisine that is prepared by poaching it with onions in milk.

It is thought that the relatively gentle term “poppycock”, meaning “nonsense”, comes from a Dutch word for “dung” combined with a Latin word for “excrete”. Not so gentle after all …

99 Classic computer game set on an abandoned island : MYST

In the days when I played the occasional video game, the best of the bunch was undoubtedly Myst. It is a game full of puzzles with the player wandering through a beautifully-designed (for its day) interactive world.

100 Michelle of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” : YEOH

Michelle Yeoh is an actress from Malaysia who appeared in several Hong Kong action films in which she did her own stunts and martial arts scenes. Her most famous action performance was in the 2000 movie “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, although I best know her for playing opposite Pierce Brosnan in the Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies”.

“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” is a martial arts movie released in 2000. Despite the film’s Mandarin dialogue, it still became a huge international hit. “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” grossed well over $100 million in the US alone, and is still the highest-grossing foreign-language film in American history.

101 With 37-Across, Ingrid Bergman’s role in “Casablanca” : ILSA …
(37a See 101-Down : … LUND)

Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund were played by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in the 1942 movie “Casablanca”. I love the words of one critic describing the chemistry between Bogart and Bergman in this film: “She paints his face with her eyes”. Wow …

102 Tricky pronoun to use : WHOM

The pronoun “who” is used when referring to either male or female humans. The objective form of “who” is “whom”, and the possessive is “whose”.

103 Wine opener? : OENO-

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.

104 ’60s dance craze that evolved from the Chicken : FRUG

The Frug was a sixties dance craze that evolved out of another dance fad called the Chicken. After the Frug came the Swim, the Monkey, the Dog, the Watusi, the Mashed Potato and the Jerk.

108 Helper during taxing times? : CPA

Certified public accountant (CPA)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “For more ___ …” : INFO
5 Some unwanted mail : SPAM
9 Terse bit of advice : DON’T
13 Half of an ice cream brand with a fake Danish name : HAAGEN
19 Work up a sweat : TOIL
20 Rent : TORE
21 Like tap water in a restaurant : FREE
22 Iris part : AREOLA
23 Wing it [Africa] : CHAD-LIBYA (hiding “ad lib”)
25 Blue : LEWD
26 Chew out : RAIL ON
27 Après-ski drink : HOT COCOA
28 Complete rip-off [Asia] : LAOS-CAMBODIA (hiding “scam”)
30 Barrel-flavored, as wine : OAKY
31 Washington, D.C., legalized it in 2014 : POT
32 Wealthy king of legend : CROESUS
33 Recess : ALCOVE
36 Charge for admission : FEE
37 See 101-Down : LUND
38 Quaint contraction : ‘TIS
41 Record company [Central America] : GUATEMALA-BELIZE (hiding “label”)
45 Two-time third-party presidential candidate : PEROT
47 “The Walking Dead” channel : AMC
48 Beyond great : SUPER
49 Baking measure : CUP
50 Cerebral : BRAINY
51 Take in : REAP
53 ___ shoots (salad ingredient) : PEA
54 One of five for a dolphin : FIN
55 Supple leather : DOESKIN
56 Proboscis, informally : SNOOT
58 What subjects and verbs must do [Europe] : BULGARIA-GREECE (hiding “agree”)
62 Ancho pepper, before drying : POBLANO
65 Puzzled : BEMUSED
66 Sort by urgency of need [Europe] : AUSTRIA-GERMANY (hiding “triage”)
70 Misgiving : QUALM
74 Where meditators look : INWARDS
75 ___ candy : EAR
76 Planet where the cry “Shazbot!” is said to have originated : ORK
79 Food chain link : PREY
80 Treats prepared on an open fire : S’MORES
81 Part of O.E.D.: Abbr. : ENG
82 Organic fertilizer : GUANO
84 Hold up : ROB
85 Male 91-Acrosses : HARTS
86 T-shirt size [South America] : BRAZIL-ARGENTINA (hiding “large”)
90 Not to mention : AND
91 Forest ranger : DEER
92 Shapes made by thumbs and index fingers : ELS
93 Glossed over : ELIDED
94 Like some toy cars : DIE-CAST
97 Sportage maker : KIA
98 ___ Cochran, Mississippi senator from 1978 to 2018 : THAD
99 First month of the year without a U.S. federal holiday [Asia] : MYANMAR-CHINA (hiding “March”)
102 Dismissed out of hand : WRITE OFF
106 Want badly : YEN FOR
107 Sit at a red light, say : IDLE
108 Biblical outcast [South America] : CHILE-PERU (hiding “leper”)
109 Exclamation from a cheek pincher : SO CUTE!
110 Org. behind the New Horizons project : NASA
111 One whose job prospects go up in smoke? : POPE
112 Responsibility : ONUS
113 Biggest U.S. union, familiarly : THE NEA
114 Set of two : DYAD
115 City north of Des Moines : AMES
116 Resident of the Palazzo Ducale : DOGE

Down

1 Hankering : ITCH
2 Manhattan neighborhood west of the East Village : NOHO
3 Order : FIAT
4 Cranky codger : OLD COOT
5 “Reach for the sky!” : STICK ‘EM UP!
6 Sandwich often served with remoulade sauce : PO’ BOY
7 Killer of the Night King on “Game of Thrones” : ARYA
8 “Throw ___ bone” : ME A
9 Key of Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” : D-FLAT
10 Black pie crust component : OREO
11 Lead-in to many a joke on “The Daily Show” : NEWSCLIP
12 Senator who once served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review : TED CRUZ
13 Hurt : HARMED
14 Many Omanis : ARABS
15 Group seen in gathering clouds? : A-E-I-O-U
16 Discovery that might cause a rush : GOLD STRIKE
17 Wellsian race of the future : ELOI
18 Gram : NANA
24 Objects in one of Jesus’ miracles : LOAVES
28 Singer Lisa : LOEB
29 Top of the line : A-ONE
31 Fruit with an obovate shape : PEAR
33 Media for scientists : AGARS
34 Unit of brightness : LUMEN
35 Raw material for Cadbury : CACAO
36 Popular Amazon Prime dramedy from Britain : FLEABAG
39 Kind of column seen on the Jefferson Memorial : IONIC
40 “Funny Girl” composer Jule : STYNE
42 Copy : APE
43 Vaper’s device, informally : E-CIG
44 Nutritional snack from Clif : LUNA BAR
45 Trig, for calc, e.g. : PREREQ
46 Relaxed : EASED UP
50 Some wetlands : BOGS
52 Snack with a recommended microwave time of just three seconds : POP-TART
54 Theater impresario Ziegfeld : FLORENZ
55 Abbr. in a genealogical tree : DAU
57 ___ Strait, separator of Australia and Papua New Guinea : TORRES
59 What one is in Paris? : UNE
60 Kylo ___, “Star Wars” antagonist : REN
61 Candy heart phrase : I’M YOURS
63 Raises one’s paddle, say : BIDS
64 Each verse of “Deck the Halls” has 32 of them : LAS
66 Host Tyler of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” : AISHA
67 Dishearten : UNMAN
68 Scottish tradition before battle : SWORD DANCE
69 “We Three Kings” subjects : MAGI
71 Deodorant brand : ARRID
72 Sierra ___ : LEONE
73 “Whoops, sorry about that!” : MY BAD!
77 Sensationalist newspaper : RAG
78 Openings under desks : KNEEHOLES
81 Observance first celebrated in 1970 : EARTH DAY
82 Big to-do : GALA
83 Like “Saturday Night Live” : ON LATE
86 Put up with : BEAR
87 Pull back : RESCIND
88 Mother of 60-Down : LEIA
89 Item in a toxic internet “challenge” : TIDE POD
91 Region around the Beltway, informally : DC AREA
95 Just for laughs : IN FUN
96 Put on a show : EMOTE
97 Work with one’s hands : KNEAD
98 Poppycock : TRIPE
99 Classic computer game set on an abandoned island : MYST
100 Michelle of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” : YEOH
101 With 37-Across, Ingrid Bergman’s role in “Casablanca” : ILSA
102 Tricky pronoun to use : WHOM
103 Wine opener? : OENO-
104 ’60s dance craze that evolved from the Chicken : FRUG
105 Join : FUSE
108 Helper during taxing times? : CPA

11 thoughts on “0510-20 NY Times Crossword 10 May 20, Sunday”

  1. 28:14 after failing to get the happy music at the end, finding my error, and fixing it: I had used TORN instead of TORE for 20-Across and failed to check the crossing entry – the sort of error that always makes me want to go back to pen and paper solves for the NYT puzzle (but, as I’ve said before, the statistics kept by the app are enough to make me stick with it).

  2. 38:12. Saw the theme relatively early and leaned on it heavily. I generally just needed a few letters to figure the theme answers out.

    TIDE POD challenge? Really? Darwinism at its best.

    A colleague of mine travels to CHINA with some regularity. He describes the make up of its people as exactly as the U.S. – Same number of super rich, same number of upper class, middle class, lower class people…..but then add a billion peasants. That’s a lot of people.

    Best –

  3. 37:25. Nice Sunday. Like @Jeff I figured out the theme early. It helped me a lot, too. Constructor’s notes were interesting.

  4. 41:48, 2 errors: P(A)BLANO; T(A)RRES. Spelling error crossed with an unknown. Enjoyed the theme, it was relevant and helped in solving the puzzle.

  5. I do these puzzles on newspaper versions. This puzzle had two 1A entries in the clues, and the DOWN clue column was labelled ACROSS. Otherwise this puzzle had a cute theme which made it easier to fill in the long answers. But I have never heard of 78D. (Kneeholes), and I don’t know what the answer to 89D means (tidepod?).

    1. Bill talks about this above. A Tide pod is a product from Proctor & Gamble consisting of highly-concentrated laundry detergent in a sort of water-soluble “pill” that you drop in your washing machine with a load of wash. Some time ago, YouTube videos began to be posted showing someone (usually a teenager) supposedly chewing and swallowing one of these things and challenging others to do the same. I think (or hope) that all such videos have now been removed from YouTube, because ingesting one of these things was, of course, very dangerous. That anyone would be stupid enough to do such a thing must, of course, give one pause … 😳.

  6. Arrgh! I spelled “Haagen” as “Haggen” so my 15D ‘group’ was “GEIOU”. In my defense, that group of letters does show up in “”gathering clouds” – it’s just not as well-known of a group.

    At the time I thought to myself, “aren’t Fromm and Shortz being lazy just making something up to fit a random string of letters!”

    I should have known better, and I should have clued in that the G should really be A.

  7. Also, “Kneehole” is a new word for me… but dictionaries back it up. However, it did remind me of this exchange on the Simpsons:

    Moe: “The ‘garage’? Hey fellas, the ‘garage’! Well, ooh la-de-da, Mr. French Man!”

    Homer: “Well, what do you call it?”

    Moe: “A car hole.”

  8. 6 errors.. Same as Bruce on 3 of them. I had SNOOB and BARRES , then that gave me PABLANO.. Then the SE corner stalled me. TROTSOUT for 102A.. THOM for 102D and TIDSPOD for 89D.. Never heard of TIDE POD.. Well it’s a nice recovery from Agard Saturday.. Interesting write up on CROESUS.. Never heard that phrase before.

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