0511-20 NY Times Crossword 11 May 20, Monday

Constructed by: Ross Trudeau
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Bottom Row

The grid includes three ROWS in which all the answers are synonyms of “BOTTOM”:

  • 38A Last line of a spreadsheet (as suggested by the shaded squares?) : BOTTOM ROW
  • 12A Pirate’s plunder : BOOTY
  • 14A Follow closely, as a spy might a mark : TAIL
  • 15A Hot dog holders : BUNS
  • 19A Places where rouge goes : CHEEKS
  • 21A Crash into from the back : REAR-END
  • 59A Car opposite the locomotive : CABOOSE
  • 61A Late, as in making payments : BEHIND
  • 67A What’s left of a cigarette : BUTT
  • 68A Kind of roast : RUMP
  • 69A “Funny Girl” role for which Barbra Streisand won an Oscar : FANNY

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 5m 16s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

9 Egyptian “boy king” : TUT

“King Tut” is a name commonly used for the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun. Tutankhamun may not have been the most significant of the pharaohs historically, but he is the most famous today largely because of the discovery of his nearly intact tomb in 1922 by Howard Carter. Prior to this find, any Egyptian tombs uncovered by archaeologists had been ravaged by grave robbers. Tutankhamun’s magnificent burial mask is one of the most recognizable of all Egyptian artifacts.

12 Pirate’s plunder : BOOTY

“Booty”, meaning “plunder, profit”, is derived from the Old French word “butin” that has the same meaning.

15 Hot dog holders : BUNS

A hot dog is a sausage served in a split roll. The term “hot dog” dates back to the 19th-century and is thought to reflect a commonly-held opinion that the sausages contained dog meat.

16 Mattress giant : SERTA

Serta was founded in 1931 when a group of 13 mattress manufacturers came together, essentially forming a cooperative. Today, the Serta company is owned by eight independent licensees in a similar arrangement. Serta advertisements feature the Serta Counting Sheep. Each numbered sheep has a different personality, such as:

  • #1 The Leader of the Flock
  • #½ The Tweener
  • #13 Mr. Bad Luck
  • #53 The Pessimist
  • #86 Benedict Arnold

17 Like many missed field goals : WIDE

That would be football.

18 The Phantom in “The Phantom of the Opera” : ERIK

In Gaston Leroux’s novel “The Phantom of the Opera”, the young Christine Daaé is obsessively admired by Erik, the “phantom” who lives below the Paris Opera House. Christine is also pursued by her childhood friend Raoul, Viscount de Chagny.

23 Greeting in Rio : OLA

Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city in Brazil (after São Paulo). “Rio de Janeiro” translates as “January River”. The name reflects the discovery of the bay on which Rio sits, on New Year’s Day in 1502.

28 Brand of foam darts : NERF

Nerf is a soft material used in a whole series of toys designed for “safe” play indoors. The Nerf product is used to make darts, balls and ammunition for toy guns. “NERF” is an acronym, standing for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.

37 World Cup cheer : OLE!

The FIFA World Cup is the most prestigious tournament in the sport of soccer. The competition has been held every four years (excluding the WWII years) since the inaugural event held in Uruguay in 1930. The men’s World Cup is the most widely viewed sporting event in the world, even outranking the Olympic Games. And, the women’s World Cup is fast catching up …

41 Letter addenda, for short : PSS

One adds a PS (post scriptum, or simply “postscript”) at the end of a letter (ltr.). A second postscript is a post post scriptum, a PPS.

44 Synthetic fabric : RAYON

Rayon is a little unusual in the textile industry in that it is not truly a synthetic fiber, but nor can it be called a natural fiber. Rayon is produced from naturally occurring cellulose that is dissolved and then reformed into fibers.

45 Horse’s disapproving vote? : NEIGH

“Neigh” sounds like “nay”.

53 The East, to the West : ASIA

In geographical terms there are three “Easts”. “Near East” and “Middle East” are terms that are often considered synonymous, although “Near East” tends to be used when discussing ancient history and “Middle East” when referring to the present day. The Near/Middle East encompasses most of Western Asia and Egypt. The term “Far East” describes East Asia (including the Russian Far East), Southeast Asia and South Asia.

54 “Hamilton” writer Lin-Manuel ___ : MIRANDA

Lin-Manuel Miranda is a composer and playwright from New York City, and the creator and star of the hit Broadway musicals “Hamilton” and “In the Heights”. Miranda also co-wrote the songs for the 2016 Disney animated feature “Moana”. He started composing early, and wrote jingles as a child. One of those jingles was later used by Eliot Spitzer in his 2006 gubernatorial campaign.

56 Muscles that are targets of planking, informally : ABS

The plank is an isometric exercise that strengthens the abdominals, as well as the back and shoulder muscles.

58 TV journalist Curry : ANN

Television journalist Ann Curry is perhaps best known for the time she spent as co-host on NBC’s “Today” show. NBC executives asked Curry to resign from the “Today” show because ratings were low. I just read online that Curry was also pushed out because of the way she insisted on dressing and because she refused to dye her gray hair. I hope that isn’t true …

59 Car opposite the locomotive : CABOOSE

The word “caboose” originally came from Middle Dutch and was the word for a ship’s galley. When the last car in a train in North America was given a stove for the comfort of the crew, it took on the name “caboose”. The term has also become slang for a person’s backside.

63 Et ___ (and others: Lat.) : ALII

“Et alii” (et al.) is the equivalent of “et cetera” (etc.), with “et cetera” being used in place of a list of objects, and “et alii” used for a list of names.

64 Gumbo vegetable : OKRA

Gumbo is a type of stew or soup that originated in Louisiana. The primary ingredient can be meat or fish, but to be true gumbo it must include the “holy trinity” of vegetables, namely celery, bell peppers and onion. Okra used to be a requirement but this is no longer the case. Okra gave the dish its name as the vernacular word for the African vegetable is “okingumbo”, from the Bantu language spoken by many of the slaves brought to America.

69 “Funny Girl” role for which Barbra Streisand won an Oscar : FANNY

The movie “Funny Girl” stars Barbra Streisand in the title role of Fanny Brice. The real Fanny 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.

70 Network with an eye logo : CBS

CBS used to be known as the Columbia Broadcasting System. CBS introduced its “eye” logo in 1951. That logo is based on a Pennsylvania Dutch hex sign.

71 Many craft brews, for short : IPAS

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

72 Pricey seating option : LOGE

In most theaters and stadia today, “loge” is the name given to the front rows of a mezzanine level. Loge can also be used for box seating.

Down

2 Amy of “Parks and Recreation” : POEHLER

Amy Poehler was a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” from 2001 to 2008, notable for appearing in many great sketches, including those where she played Hillary Clinton opposite Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin. Poehler also starred with Fey in the 2008 movie “Baby Mama”. And, Poehler led the cast of the sitcom “Parks and Recreation” for its seven-season run.

“Parks and Recreation” is a sitcom that started airing on NBC in 2009, and is a show that has grown on me. It stars the “Saturday Night Live” alum Amy Poehler. The creators of “Parks and Recreation” are part of the team responsible for the American version of “The Office”, so you’ll notice some similarities in the style of the two shows, and some actors that have appeared in both.

5 “Oh, also …,” in a text : BTW

By the way (BTW)

8 More like tired eyes : BLEARIER

To blear is to dim the vision, usually with watery eyes.

13 Shaggy beasts of 53-Across : YAKS

The English word “yak” is an Anglicized version of the Tibetan name for the male of the species. Yak milk is much prized in the Tibetan culture. It is made into cheese and butter, and the butter is used to make a tea that is consumed in great volume by Tibetans. The butter is also used as a fuel in lamps, and during festivals the butter is even sculpted into religious icons.

27 Beats by ___ (audio brand) : DRE

Beats by Dre is a brand of audio products made by Beats Electronics, a company that was co-founded by rapper Dr. Dre. Apple bought Beats for $3 billion in 2014, the largest acquisition by far in the company’s history.

29 Watch chain : FOB

A fob is attached to an object to make it easier to access. And so a key fob is a chain attached to a key so that it can be retrieved easily. There are also watch fobs, and the pocket in a vest in which a watch can be placed is called a fob. In fact, the original use of the term “fob” was for a small pocket in which one could carry valuables.

34 Rita of “West Side Story” : MORENO

Puerto Rican singer, dancer and actress Rita Moreno is one of the few performers to have won an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony. Moreno got her big break, and won her Oscar, for playing Anita in the 1961 screen adaptation of “West Side Story”. And, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2004.

36 ___ vincit amor : OMNIA

“Omnia vincit amor” is a line from Eclogue X, one of the major works of the Latin poet Virgil. We know the phrase in English as “love conquers all”.

41 Certain lap dog, familiarly : POM

The Pomeranian is a small breed of dog named for the Pomerania region of Europe (part of eastern Germany and northern Poland). The breed was much loved by the royalty of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, Queen Victoria owned a particularly small Pomeranian. Due to the notoriety of the monarch’s pet, the Pomeranian was bred for small size, so that during the Queen’s admittedly long reign, the size of the average “pom” was reduced by 50% …

43 Narrow waterways : STRAITS

A strait (str.) is a narrow waterway connecting two large bodies of water. A strait might be considered the opposite of an isthmus, which is a narrow strip of land connecting two large land masses. Straits often have significant economic and geopolitical significance, as they can form choke points for maritime traffic. Examples are the Strait of Hormuz (connecting the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman) and the Strait of Gibraltar (connecting the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea).

46 Adamant refusal : I SAID NO!

The words “adamant” and “adamantine” can mean “hard like rock, stony”, in the literal sense. In the more figurative sense, someone who is adamant or adamantine is stubborn or inflexible, like a mule, mulish.

47 Enlivening, with “up” : GINNING …

“To gin up” is slang meaning “to enliven, excite”. The term probably derives from the older “to ginger up”. Gingering up was the rather nasty practice of putting ginger up inside a horse to make it lively and move with a high tail.

55 Invite to one’s penthouse, say : ASK UP

Originally, the term “penthouse” described a modest building attached to a main structure. In fact, in centuries past, the manger in which Jesus was born was often referred to as a penthouse. The modern, more luxurious connotation dates back to the early twenties.

57 Peon : SERF

A serf was a member of the lowest feudal class, someone attached to land owned by a lord. “Serf” comes from the Latin “servus”, meaning “slave”.

A peon is a lowly worker who has no real control over his/her working conditions. The word “peon” comes into English from Spanish, in which language it has the same meaning.

60 Funny Bombeck : ERMA

Erma Bombeck wrote for newspapers for about 35 years. She produced more than 4,000 witty and humorous columns under the title “At Wit’s End”, with all describing her home life in suburbia.

63 “Black-ish” network : ABC

“black-ish” is a sitcom starring Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross that premiered in 2014. The show is noted for tackling tough issues such as racism, police brutality, attitudes toward the LGBT community, and the 2016 US presidential election.

65 Coll.-level classes : APS

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school (HS). After being tested at the end of an AP course, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Chapel recess : APSE
5 Not keep a secret : BLAB
9 Egyptian “boy king” : TUT
12 Pirate’s plunder : BOOTY
14 Follow closely, as a spy might a mark : TAIL
15 Hot dog holders : BUNS
16 Mattress giant : SERTA
17 Like many missed field goals : WIDE
18 The Phantom in “The Phantom of the Opera” : ERIK
19 Places where rouge goes : CHEEKS
21 Crash into from the back : REAR-END
23 Greeting in Rio : OLA
24 “Oh yeah? ___ who?” : SEZ
26 Drew up, as plans : DRAFTED
28 Brand of foam darts : NERF
30 Strikes (out) : XES
32 “Them’s fightin’ words!” : IT’S WAR!
33 Loving term for one caring for a sick child : DR MOM
35 High heels and others : SHOES
37 World Cup cheer : OLE!
38 Last line of a spreadsheet (as suggested by the shaded squares?) : BOTTOM ROW
41 Letter addenda, for short : PSS
44 Synthetic fabric : RAYON
45 Horse’s disapproving vote? : NEIGH
49 “In that case, sure” : OK THEN
51 Fasten : TIE
53 The East, to the West : ASIA
54 “Hamilton” writer Lin-Manuel ___ : MIRANDA
56 Muscles that are targets of planking, informally : ABS
58 TV journalist Curry : ANN
59 Car opposite the locomotive : CABOOSE
61 Late, as in making payments : BEHIND
63 Et ___ (and others: Lat.) : ALII
64 Gumbo vegetable : OKRA
66 Decorated anew : REDID
67 What’s left of a cigarette : BUTT
68 Kind of roast : RUMP
69 “Funny Girl” role for which Barbra Streisand won an Oscar : FANNY
70 Network with an eye logo : CBS
71 Many craft brews, for short : IPAS
72 Pricey seating option : LOGE

Down

1 Leave hurriedly and secretively : ABSCOND
2 Amy of “Parks and Recreation” : POEHLER
3 What a pitcher might have after a long game : SORE ARM
4 Suffix with kitchen : -ETTE
5 “Oh, also …,” in a text : BTW
6 Den : LAIR
7 Lent support to : AIDED
8 More like tired eyes : BLEARIER
9 Complete a double play, in baseball slang : TURN TWO
10 Less than perfect : UNIDEAL
11 [Shame on you!] : [TSK!]
13 Shaggy beasts of 53-Across : YAKS
15 Strengthens, with “up” : BEEFS …
20 “___ sells” (advertising catchphrase) : SEX
22 Betrays, in a way : RATS ON
25 Flavorful : ZESTY
27 Beats by ___ (audio brand) : DRE
29 Watch chain : FOB
31 “Drat!” : SHOOT!
34 Rita of “West Side Story” : MORENO
36 ___ vincit amor : OMNIA
39 ___ chicken (Indian dish) : TANDOORI
40 “Well, aren’t ___ pair!” : WE A
41 Certain lap dog, familiarly : POM
42 Group that meets on the slopes : SKI CLUB
43 Narrow waterways : STRAITS
46 Adamant refusal : I SAID NO!
47 Enlivening, with “up” : GINNING …
48 Color manually : HAND-DYE
50 Hard thing to break : HABIT
52 ___ and flow : EBB
55 Invite to one’s penthouse, say : ASK UP
57 Peon : SERF
60 Funny Bombeck : ERMA
62 Make well : HEAL
63 “Black-ish” network : ABC
65 Coll.-level classes : APS

4 thoughts on “0511-20 NY Times Crossword 11 May 20, Monday”

  1. 7:57, no errors, and … nobody’s gonna believe this … I totally missed the theme … how is that even possible? … but it’s there, in the app, and I don’t think anyone sneaked into my house and did it for me … I think I’m cracking up … 😳.

  2. 9:53 no errors. My fingers must be slow. It seemed like I was whizzing through the puzzle and was surprised at how slow I was. Still learning the on line system. I often have to correct entries cuz I thought I was filling an “across” when the program was filling a “down.”

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