0517-20 NY Times Crossword 17 May 20, Sunday

Constructed by: Byron Walden
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: Wide-Open Spaces

Today’s grid is full of WIDE-OPEN SPACES, in that it has very few black squares. As a result, this puzzle ties the record for the fewest answers in a 21×21 grid.

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 20m 53s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 How some stock shares are sold : AT PAR

Stocks and other financial vehicles may be sold “at par”, meaning at the original price, neither discounted nor at a premium.

6 Caesar salad ingredient : ANCHOVY

Anchovies are saltwater fish that are quite small, although their adult size can vary from under an inch to over 15 inches depending on the species. Vegans should beware, as they are an ingredient in several common foods including Worcestershire sauce and Caesar salad dressing.

The caesar salad was created by restaurateur Caesar Cardini at the Hotel Caesar’s in Tijuana, Mexico. The original recipe called for whole lettuce leaves that were to be lifted up by the stem and eaten with the fingers.

13 Big name in swimwear : SPEEDO

Speedo brand swimwear was first produced in Australia in 1928, by a hosiery company that wanted to diversify. The brand name was chosen after a slogan competition among employees was won by “Speed on in your Speedos”. It was a long time ago, I guess …

19 African grazer : RHINO

There are five types of rhinoceros that survive today, with the smaller Javan Rhino being the most rare. The rhinoceros is probably the rarest large mammal on the planet, thanks to poaching. Hunters mainly prize the horn of the rhino as it is used in powdered form in traditional Chinese medicine.

22 R. J. Reynolds product that once sponsored “The Dick Van Dyke Show” : KENT CIGARETTES

“Readers Digest” published an exposé article in 1952 called “Cancer in the Carton”, creating a scare among cigarette smokers. In response, tobacco manufacturers introduced cigarettes with filters, creating the impression that this would mitigate the harmful effects of smoking. One of the new brands was Kent, which had a much-touted “Micronite filter”. In 1956, it was revealed that Kent cigarettes were made with carcinogenic blue asbestos in the filter, so there was a quick reformulation and a replacement that used charcoal was introduced. The Kent brand is named after Herbert Kent, a former executive of the Lorillard Tobacco Company.

“The Dick Van Dyke Show” is a sitcom that ran from 1961 to 1966 starring Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore as Rob and Laura Petrie. This classic show was created by the great Carl Reiner, who also had a supporting role on screen.

25 Flying class? : AVES

“Avis” is the Latin word for “bird”, giving rise to our adjective “avian” meaning “relating to birds”.

28 “The Confessions of ___ Turner” (1967 Pulitzer-winning novel) : NAT

“The Confessions of Nat Turner” is a 1976 novel by William Styron. It is written as a first-person narrative by slave and rebellion leader Nat Turner, and is based on a real document, a “confession” told by Turner to attorney Thomas Gray while he awaited trial.

Nat Turner was a slave in Virginia who led a slave rebellion in 1831 that led to the deaths of over a hundred people. Half of the casualties were white,and half were black. The 55 white deaths took place on the day of the rebellion as a growing mob of slaves traveled from house-to-house freeing fellow slaves but also killing any white people they came across; men, women and children. The rebellion was suppressed within two days by a white militia. Slaves involved in the rebellion were tried for insurrection and related crimes, and a total of 56 blacks were executed on suspicion of involvement in the uprising. In the aftermath, life for slaves became even more difficult as any freedoms that they had earned were largely curtailed.

34 Dyes that can be used as pH indicators : CONGO REDS

As we all recall from chemistry class, a pH of 7 is considered neutral. Anything less than 7 is an acid, and anything above 7 is a base.

35 Echo voice : ALEXA

Alexa is a personal assistant application that is most associated with the Amazon Echo smart speaker. Apparently, one reason the name “Alexa” was chosen is because it might remind one of the Library of Alexandria, the “keeper of all knowledge”.

36 Eponym of Aqaba’s airport : KING HUSSEIN

The coastal city of Aqaba is the only seaport in the country of Jordan. The city lies at the very northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba, which is off the Red Sea.

38 Editorial reversal : STET

“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

41 On the schedule : SLATED

To slate is to propose or schedule, a meaning that has existed since the 1880s.

45 Chef’s creation : RECIPE

The Latin “recipere” means “to take”, and the imperative form “recipe” was written at the top of medical prescriptions as an instruction, i.e. “take (the following)”. This use of “recipe” evolved into the instruction for preparing a dish of food in the mid-1700s.

49 Sophisticated : SUAVE

The Latin word “suavis” translates as “agreeable, pleasant to the senses”. “Sauvis” is the root of the English word “suave” that describes someone who is gracious and sophisticated, and perhaps somewhat superficial. “Sauvis” also gave us the English word “sweet” meaning “pleasing to the taste”.

50 Subjects of four famous violin concertos by Vivaldi : SEASONS

“The Four Seasons” is the most famous work by Italian Baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi. It is a collection of four violin concerti that evoke the seasons of the year. Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” is a favorite choice for background music in elevators and elevators. Personally, my favorite use of the piece is as a backdrop to the 1981 romantic comedy film “The Four Seasons”, starring Alan Alda and Carol Burnett.

Antonio Vivaldi was one of the great composers of the Baroque period. He achieved fame and success within his own lifetime, notoriety that faded soon after he died. Vivaldi’s music has reemerged in recent decades and I am sure everyone is familiar with at least part of his most famous composition, the violin concerto called “The Four Seasons”. Vivaldi was nicknamed “The Red Priest” because he was indeed a priest, and he had red hair.

56 Flavorful : SAPID

Something that is sapid is tasty, savory. The opposite to “sapid” is “insipid”, meaning “without taste, bland”.

57 Colts, maybe : PISTOLS

Samuel Colt was fascinated as a young man by the science behind gunpowder and its use in weapons. He decided early on in his life that he would respond to the challenge of the day, how to achieve the impossible, a weapon that fires more than two times before reloading (like a double-barreled shotgun). He came up with the concept of the revolver while at sea, modeling his design on the spoked wheel that steered the ships on which he served. His revolver made him a very rich man in his own lifetime. By the time he died in 1862, his estate was valued at around $15 million. Can you imagine? $15 million back in 1862?

59 Sch. on Chesapeake Bay : USNA

The United States Naval Academy (USNA) is located in Annapolis, Maryland. The USNA was founded in 1845 and educates officers for both the US Navy and the US Marine Corps. The motto of the USNA is “Ex Scientia Tridens”, which translates as “From Knowledge, Sea Power”.

Chesapeake Bay is on the Atlantic coast and is surrounded by the states of Maryland and Virginia. Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the whole country, with over 150 rivers and streams draining into it, including the Potomac.

60 Interstellar clouds : NEBULAE

In astronomical terms, a nebula is a cloud of dust and ionized gases (“nebula” is the Latin for “cloud”). Many nebulae form as gases collapse in on themselves under the influence of enormous gravitational forces. Ultimately these collapses can result in the creation of new stars.

66 Creature seen basking on the shores of the Galápagos : IGUANA

An iguana is a lizard, and as such is cold-blooded. There are times when pet iguanas need heat from an IR lamp to maintain body temperature.

The Galápagos Islands lie over 500 miles west of Ecuador. The Galápagos owe their celebrity to the voyage of HMS Beagle which landed there in 1835, with Charles Darwin on board. It was Darwin’s study of various species on the islands that inspired him to postulate his Theory of Evolution.

67 Superman co-creator Jerry : SIEGEL

Superman’s origins can be traced back to an illustrated short story titled “The Reign of the Superman” created by high school classmates Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in 1933. That first “Superman” wasn’t a very glamorous character. He was a vagrant who gained psychic powers and used them for nefarious purposes. By the time that Siegel and Shuster put together a comic strip called “The Superman”, the title character had evolved into a superhero. The pair sold all rights to “The Superman” character to Detective Comics in 1938 for the princely sum of $130.

69 Sports icon with the autobiography “Faster Than Lightning” : USAIN BOLT

Usain Bolt is a Jamaican sprinter who won the 100m and 200m race gold medals in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. Back in Jamaica, Bolt was really into cricket, and probably would have been a very successful fast bowler had he not hit the track instead.

71 Entertainer Minnelli : LIZA

Actress and singer Liza Minnelli is the daughter of Judy Garland and movie director Vincente Minnelli. Liza won her only Oscar for her lead performance in 1972’s “Cabaret”. She has also won an Emmy, Grammy and Tony, and is one of the very few entertainers to have made that “sweep”.

75 Bitcoin and the like : E-CURRENCIES

Bitcoins are digital units of currency that are used on some Internet sites. Bitcoins are the most popular alternative currency used on the Web today. More and more reputable online retailers are accepting bitcoins, including Overstock.com, Expedia, Dell and Microsoft.

77 47th U.S. vice president : BIDEN

Vice President Joe Biden was a US Senator representing the state of Delaware from 1973 until he joined the Obama administration. While he was a senator, Vice President Biden commuted to Washington from Wilmington, Delaware almost every working day. He was such an active customer and supporter of Amtrak that the Wilmington Station was renamed as the Joseph R. Biden Railroad Station in 2011. Biden has made over 7,000 trips from that station, and the Amtrak crews were known to even hold the last train for a few minutes so that he could catch it. Biden earned himself the nickname “Amtrak Joe”.

78 Comic actor whose wife left him to marry their neighbor, Frank Sinatra : ZEPPO MARX

“Zeppo” was the stage name of Herbert, the youngest of the five Marx Brothers. Zeppo appeared in the first five Marx Brothers movies, always playing the straight man and the romantic lead. After he quit acting, Zeppo owned a company called Marman Products, and developed what’s known today as the Marman Clamp. Marman clamps were used to secure the first atomic bombs used by the US military. They are still used today in spaceflight systems.

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.

82 Classic Chevrolets : BEL AIRS

Louis-Joseph Chevrolet was a Swiss race car driver who co-founded the Chevrolet Motor Car Company in 1911. To this day, the company logo is a stylized Swiss cross, in honor of Chevrolet’s Swiss roots.

84 Eaglelike : AQUILINE

A nose that is described as “aquiline” is hooked, in fact shaped like the beak of an eagle. “Aquilinus” is Latin for “like an eagle”.

87 AAA service : TOW

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a not-for-profit organization focused on lobbying, provision of automobile servicing, and selling of automobile insurance. The AAA was founded in 1902 in Chicago and published the first of its celebrated hotel guides back in 1917.

91 Alka-Seltzer tablet, for one : FIZZER

Alka-Seltzer is a brand of fizzy antacid that has been marketed since 1931. In terms of ingredients, it is a mix of sodium bicarbonate, aspirin and anhydrous citric acid.

94 Returning after curfew, say : IN LATE

Our word “curfew” comes from an Old French word meaning “cover fire”. In medieval days a bell would ring in the evenings as a signal to bank the hearths in preparation for sleeping. The intent was to prevent uncontrolled fires starting from fireplaces that were not tended during the night.

95 Substance used to preserve the Declaration of Independence : ARGON GAS

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.

On 11 June 1776, the Continental Congress appointed a committee of five people to draft a declaration of independence. Included in the five were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Adams persuaded the other committee members to give Jefferson the task of writing the first draft. A resolution of independence was passed by the Congress on 2 July 1776. The final draft of the declaration was approved by the Congress two days later, on July 4th. John Adams wrote a letter to his wife that included an assertion that July 2nd (the date of the resolution of independence) would become a great American holiday. Of course Adams was wrong, and it was actually the date the Declaration of Independence was finalized that came to be celebrated annually.

97 ___ Pieces : REESE’S

Reese’s Pieces are an extension to the successful Peanut Butter Cups line. They are pieces of candy that look like M&Ms, but are filled with peanut butter.

99 Mary I or Elizabeth I : TUDOR

The Wars of the Roses was a series of civil wars fought for the throne of England between the rival Houses of Lancaster (with a symbol of a red rose) and York (with a symbol of a white rose). Ultimately the Lancastrians emerged victorious after Henry Tudor defeated King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field. Henry was crowned King Henry VII, and so began the Tudor dynasty. Henry Tudor united the rival houses by marrying his cousin Elizabeth of York. Henry VII had a relatively long reign of 23 years that lasted until his death, after which his son succeeded to the throne as Henry VIII, continuing the relatively short-lived Tudor dynasty. Henry VIII ruled from 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry VIII was the last male to lead the House of Tudor, as his daughter Queen Elizabeth I died without issue. When Elizabeth died, the Scottish King James VI succeeded to the throne as James I of England and Ireland. James I was the first English monarch of the House of Stuart.

Mary I was Queen of England and Ireland from 1553 to 1558. Mary was the only surviving child from the marriage of King Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Unlike her father, Mary adhered to her Roman Catholic faith and was noted for her brutal persecution of Protestants during her reign. She had almost three hundred religious dissenters burned at the stake, resulting in her gaining the nickname “Bloody Mary”. Roman Catholic rule was reversed after she died, when her half-sister Elizabeth I succeeded to the throne.

The Elizabethan Era, the period associated with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, is considered by many to be the golden age of English history. It was the age of William Shakespeare and the age of the English Renaissance. Elizabeth I was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, and the last sovereign of the House of Tudor.

Down

3 The ___ State, nickname for Maine : PINE TREE

Maine is the least densely populated state east of the Mississippi, with almost 90% of its land covered with forests. Perhaps that’s why the state’s nickname is “The Pine Tree State” …

4 Targets of formicide : ANTS

A formicide is a substance used to kill ants. “Formica” is Latin for “ant”.

5 Mythical flier : ROC

The mythical roc is a huge bird of prey, one reputedly able to carry off and eat elephants. The roc was said to come from the Indian subcontinent. The supposed existence of the roc was promulgated by Marco Polo in the accounts that he published about his travels through Asia.

9 Freaking out : HITTING THE PANIC BUTTON

In Greek mythology, Pan was a lecherous god, one who fell in love with Echo the mountain nymph. Echo refused Pan’s advances so that he became very angry. Pan’s anger created a “panic” (a word derived from the name “Pan”) and a group of shepherds were driven to kill Echo.

12 Rockyesque interjections : YOS

You might remember Rocky Balboa saying, “Yo, Adrian!” in the original “Rocky” movie. Adrian was Rocky’s wife played by Talia Shire, sister of director Francis Ford Coppola.

14 Some biodiesel sources : PLANT OILS

Biodiesel is a fuel made from vegetable oil or animal fat. The first diesel engine (made by Rudolf Diesel) ran on biodiesel, specifically peanut oil.

15 Victorian home? : EASTERN AUSTRALIA

Victoria is the most densely populated state in Australia, with most inhabitants living in the state capital of Melbourne. Just like the Australian state of Queensland, Victoria was named for Queen Victoria, the British monarch at the time the state was founded.

23 “Capeesh” : I SEE

“Capeesh?” is a slang term meaning “do you understand?” It comes from the Italian “capisce” meaning “understand”.

29 Org. for lightweights : WBA

World Boxing Association (WBA)

34 Like the hands in the Allstate logo : CUPPED

Allstate is the second-largest provider of personal insurance in the US, after State Farm. Allstate started doing business in 1931 as part of Sears Roebuck, and indeed I can remember when Allstate offices were located in Sears stores. Sears spun off Allstate in 1993.

36 Keystone ___ : KOPS

The Keystone Cops (sometimes “Keystone Kops”) were a band of madcap policemen characters who appeared in silent movies. A 1914 short film called “A Thief Catcher” that was believed lost was rediscovered in 2010. “A Thief Catcher” featured the magnificent Charlie Chaplin in an early role as a Keystone Cop.

37 ___ & the Blowfish : HOOTIE

Hootie & the Blowfish is an American rock band, first formed in 1986 at the University of South Carolina. The leading figure in the band was Darius Rucker, and it was he who came up with the band’s very original name. “Hootie” and “Blowfish” were the nicknames of two friends of Rucker from the college choir. Hootie had a round face and glasses, and was so-named due to his owl-like appearance. Blowfish had chubby cheeks, which earned him his moniker.

40 Popular dating app : TINDER

Tinder is a matchmaking app that uses Facebook profiles. Users “swipe” photos of potential matches, either to the right (“like”) or to the left (“not interested”). Users who “match” each other can then chat within the app.

42 Lake drained by the Truckee River : TAHOE

Lake Tahoe (often referred to simply as “Tahoe”) is up in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and is located right on the border between California and Nevada. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the country, and the largest lake in general, behind the five Great Lakes. It’s also the second deepest lake, with only the beautiful Crater Lake in Oregon being deeper. Given its location, there are tall casinos that sit right on the shore on the Nevada side of the state line where gambling is legal.

The Truckee River is the only outlet of the magnificent Lake Tahoe in the High Sierra of California/Nevada. The Truckee River flows northeast through Reno, Nevada and empties into Pyramid Lake.

44 Places of iniquity : DENS

One might get corrupted in a den of iniquity. The phrase “den of iniquity” probably comes from “den of thieves”, words of Jesus quoted in the gospels of both Mark and Matthew.

48 State capital on the Mississippi : ST PAUL

Saint Paul is the state capital of Minnesota, and is one half of the “Twin Cities” , also known as Minneapolis-Saint Paul. Saint Paul used to be called Pig’s Eye, named after a popular tavern in the original settlement in the area. In 1841, Father Lucien Galtier established a log chapel nearby that he dedicated to St. Paul the Apostle, giving the city its current name. The magnificent Cathedral of St. Paul now sits on the site where the log chapel was built.

50 Word with roll or bar : SUSHI …

Sushi is a Japanese dish that has as its primary ingredient cooked, vinegared rice. The rice is usually topped with something, most often fish, and can be served in seaweed rolls. If we want raw fish by itself, then we have to order sashimi.

51 Muppet wearing a horizontally striped shirt : ERNIE

Ernie is one of the Muppets on the children’s TV show “Sesame Street”. Ernie is usually seen with his roommate Bert, whom he frequently annoys and frustrates. Ernie is known for taking long baths with his rubber duckie. That “Rubber Duckie” is the title character in a hit song that Ernie (voiced by Jim Henson) released in 1970.

56 English county that’s home to Brighton : SUSSEX

Sussex is a county in the southeast of England that lies right on the English Channel. The county of Sussex has about the same boundaries as the ancient Kingdom of Sussex, a Saxon colony that existed for about five hundred years until the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Hastings, a town on the Sussex coast, was the site of the first battle of the Norman Conquest of England.

Brighton is a town (now part of the city called Brighton and Hove) on the south coast of England. Brighton developed as a major seaside tourist destination during the Victorian era after the completion of the London and Brighton Railway in 1841. Large hotels were built on the seafront, as well as famous piers that housed concert halls and other places of entertainment.

61 Butter, in Burgundy : BEURRE

The Burgundy region of France is famous for its wine production. If you’re looking at a label that isn’t translated into English though, you’ll see Burgundy written in French, namely “Bourgogne”.

62 Doctors Without Borders and others, in brief : NGOS

Non-governmental organization (NGO)

Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) is an international aid organization that was founded in France in 1971. The organization is usually referred to as Doctors Without Borders here in North America, but goes by the initialism MSF in much of the world.

70 Numbers of concern to showrunners : NIELSENS

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 …

72 The “Last Great Race on Earth” : IDITAROD

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race covers an incredible 1,161 miles, from Anchorage to Nome in Alaska. The race starts every year on the first Saturday in March, with the first race having been held in 1973. Finishing times range from over 8 days to 15 days or more. The first few races only used a northern route, but then a southern route was added to the roster every second year. It’s kind of a good thing, because when the racers take the northern route they don’t even pass through the town of Iditarod!

73 Love match? : ZERO-ZERO

In tennis the score of zero is designated as “love”. Some people believe that this usage originates from the French “l’oeuf” (meaning “the egg”). The idea is that the written character “0” looks like an egg.

76 South African money : RAND

The rand is the currency of South Africa. Much of South Africa’s famed gold comes from mines around Johannesburg in the Witwatersrand (Afrikaans for “the ridge of white waters”). The rand currency takes its name from this ridge.

77 Slo-___ fuse : BLO

“Slo-Blo” is a brand name of slow blow fuses. Slow blow fuses are designed to protect against damaging overcurrent in a circuit while allowing harmless, short-term high current events.

78 Pan flute musician in iconic commercials of the 1980s : ZAMFIR

Pan flutes (also “panpipes”) are folk instruments that have been around a long time, and are believed to be the first mouth organs. The pan flute is named for the Greek god Pan, who was often depicted playing the instrument.

79 Like a jackass : EQUINE

A female donkey/ass is known as a jenny, and a male is known as a jack, or sometimes “jackass”. We started using the term “jackass” to mean “fool” in the 1820s.

83 Lead-in to while : ERST-

“Erst” is an archaic way of saying “formerly, before the present time”. The term is mostly seen as part of the word “erstwhile”, an adjective meaning “of times past”.

85 Party line? : CONGA

The conga line is a dance that originated as a Cuban carnival march. It became popular in the US starting in the thirties. The dance is apparently named after the Congo region of Africa, and it was originated by slaves who were brought from there to Cuba.

92 W.W. II general ___ Arnold : HAP

Henry “Hap” Arnold was the Commanding General of the US Army Air Corps during the Second World War. Before the war, Arnold was taught to fly by the Wright Brothers. After the war, Arnold was one of the co-founders of Pan American Airways, but opted not to become president of the company and instead remained in the military.

93 Clock setting on the Big Island: Abbr. : HST

Hawaii–Aleutian Standard Time (HST)

The largest island in the state of Hawaii is named Hawaii, and nicknamed “the Big Island”. Of the Hawaiian islands that I’ve had the pleasure to visit, the Big Island is definitely my favorite.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 How some stock shares are sold : AT PAR
6 Caesar salad ingredient : ANCHOVY
13 Big name in swimwear : SPEEDO
19 African grazer : RHINO
20 Yalitza ___, Best Actress nominee for 2018’s “Roma” : APARICIO
21 Woodworking machine : PLANER
22 R. J. Reynolds product that once sponsored “The Dick Van Dyke Show” : KENT CIGARETTES
24 Had legs, so to speak : LASTED
25 Flying class? : AVES
26 Like some leaves and knives : SERRATED
27 Blast : FUN TIME
28 “The Confessions of ___ Turner” (1967 Pulitzer-winning novel) : NAT
29 Scrapped : WENT AT IT
30 One who might say “Your money’s no good here”? : BARTERER
31 Overwhelming favorite : SURE BET
33 Roofing material : TIN
34 Dyes that can be used as pH indicators : CONGO REDS
35 Echo voice : ALEXA
36 Eponym of Aqaba’s airport : KING HUSSEIN
38 Editorial reversal : STET
39 Simmering sites : STOVETOPS
41 On the schedule : SLATED
45 Chef’s creation : RECIPE
47 Crosses one’s fingers : HOPES
49 Sophisticated : SUAVE
50 Subjects of four famous violin concertos by Vivaldi : SEASONS
52 Can’t take : DETESTS
54 Body part that’s also a Hebrew letter : SHIN
55 Christ, to Christians : OUR LORD
56 Flavorful : SAPID
57 Colts, maybe : PISTOLS
59 Sch. on Chesapeake Bay : USNA
60 Interstellar clouds : NEBULAE
62 Fundamental dispositions : NATURES
63 With 55-Down, inning enders : THIRD …
65 Pourable art material : RESIN
66 Creature seen basking on the shores of the Galápagos : IGUANA
67 Superman co-creator Jerry : SIEGEL
69 Sports icon with the autobiography “Faster Than Lightning” : USAIN BOLT
71 Entertainer Minnelli : LIZA
75 Bitcoin and the like : E-CURRENCIES
77 47th U.S. vice president : BIDEN
78 Comic actor whose wife left him to marry their neighbor, Frank Sinatra : ZEPPO MARX
81 Airer of the gospel music reality competition “Sunday Best” : BET
82 Classic Chevrolets : BEL AIRS
84 Eaglelike : AQUILINE
85 One with a small but devoted fan base : CULT HERO
87 AAA service : TOW
88 Restrained from biting : MUZZLED
89 Places of intense scrutiny : HOT SEATS
90 Entertainment on a diner place mat, maybe : MAZE
91 Alka-Seltzer tablet, for one : FIZZER
92 Early omnivore : HUNTER-GATHERER
94 Returning after curfew, say : IN LATE
95 Substance used to preserve the Declaration of Independence : ARGON GAS
96 Apt rhyme for “bore” : SNORE
97 ___ Pieces : REESE’S
98 Has in mind : PLANS ON
99 Mary I or Elizabeth I : TUDOR

Down

1 Major tributary of the Mississippi : ARKANSAS
2 Gymnastics event for both men and women : THE VAULT
3 The ___ State, nickname for Maine : PINE TREE
4 Targets of formicide : ANTS
5 Mythical flier : ROC
6 Isolated : APART
7 Account : NARRATIVE
8 Popular performance-enhancing supplement for athletes : CREATINE
9 Freaking out : HITTING THE PANIC BUTTON
10 Good-sized wedding band : OCTET
11 Competed : VIED
12 Rockyesque interjections : YOS
13 Spends extravagantly : SPLURGES
14 Some biodiesel sources : PLANT OILS
15 Victorian home? : EASTERN AUSTRALIA
16 Whole : ENTIRE
17 Judged : DEEMED
18 Things taken while waiting : ORDERS
20 Representative : AGENT
23 “Capeesh” : I SEE
27 Whiffs : FANS
29 Org. for lightweights : WBA
30 End-of-level challenges in video games : BOSSES
32 Items in 18″ x 18″ x 1 3/4″ boxes : EXTRA-LARGE PIZZAS
34 Like the hands in the Allstate logo : CUPPED
36 Keystone ___ : KOPS
37 ___ & the Blowfish : HOOTIE
39 What sneers express : SCORN
40 Popular dating app : TINDER
42 Lake drained by the Truckee River : TAHOE
43 Iniquities : EVILS
44 Places of iniquity : DENS
46 Spanish “that” : ESO
48 State capital on the Mississippi : ST PAUL
50 Word with roll or bar : SUSHI …
51 Muppet wearing a horizontally striped shirt : ERNIE
52 Chinese port city on Korea Bay : DALIAN
53 Occupy, as a booth : SIT AT
55 See 63-Across : … OUTS
56 English county that’s home to Brighton : SUSSEX
58 Weather map symbol : SUN
61 Butter, in Burgundy : BEURRE
62 Doctors Without Borders and others, in brief : NGOS
64 Having a low neckline, as a dress : DECOLLETE
66 “Gotta split” : I BETTER GO
68 Group of 18th-century thinkers that included Voltaire and Rousseau : LUMIERES
70 Numbers of concern to showrunners : NIELSENS
72 The “Last Great Race on Earth” : IDITAROD
73 Love match? : ZERO-ZERO
74 Respondent : ANSWERER
76 South African money : RAND
77 Slo-___ fuse : BLO
78 Pan flute musician in iconic commercials of the 1980s : ZAMFIR
79 Like a jackass : EQUINE
80 Your current occupation? : PUZZLE
82 Some skilled workers in “Brave New World” : BETAS
83 Lead-in to while : ERST-
85 Party line? : CONGA
86 Former North Carolina senator Kay ___ : HAGAN
89 Let fly : HURL
90 Clickable list : MENU
92 W.W. II general ___ Arnold : HAP
93 Clock setting on the Big Island: Abbr. : HST

13 thoughts on “0517-20 NY Times Crossword 17 May 20, Sunday”

  1. 38:45. One square error – SiPID instead of SAPID. I just assumed it would be “insipid” without the “in”. And the down cross of DALIAN was no help at all. A cruel intersection indeed.

    I really like these themeless Sunday grids. I was reading about the small number of entries on Wordplay. Although it makes sense, I’d never thought of the fact that the fewer entries the more difficult both the solve and the construction….usually.

    Best –

  2. 39:03, no errors. This went both fast and slow. I ended up in the SW corner stumped for a while…until I changed Harpo to Zeppo. Lost 3-4 minutes there. I enjoyed the plethora of “Zs” in that corner. Interesting. Does anyone else remember that one of the most haunting sounds in the Kill Bill movies was the Lonely Shepherd by Zamfir?

    1. Oh, yeah. Don’t forget about season 12 episode 10 of South Park. “With Craig’s help, the boys start up a Peruvian pan flute band to make money. However, they are detained by Homeland Security and sent to Peru to end the “Pandemic.” In the pan flute bands’ absence, giant guinea pigs invade South Park.” Yup. South Park had a Pandemic episode in October 2008.

  3. 56:58. At least I can say I’ve been to Dalian. They used to make steam locomotives there. Unfortunately, that’s all I can say, given I’m coming in last amongst the 5 of us…:-)

  4. 2:05:00 with one error…I had aces for 25A and don’t understand how the Latin Avis translates to aves…I did not enjoy anything about this puzzle.
    Stay safe

    1. Hence the clue “Flying class?”. It could be argued that some aves do not fly: penguins, ostriches and emus are some examples.

  5. 34:24, exactly the same error as @Jeff (and for the same reason). Fell into a few other traps: NARRATION before NARRATIVE; SPLASHES before SPLURGES; TAR before TIN; HARPO before ZEPPO; IMPALAS before BELAIRS. Kept looking for the theme to influence answers in some way. Impressive construction.

  6. 48:07. Sunday in under an hour – good for me. Felt it was easy until I hit the bottom half. Like @BruceB was also looking for a theme and had TAR before TIN. For some reason thought there was also a Beppo Marx as well as a Zeppo. So I guessed wrong. Only other Beppo I know is Buco Di Beppo. Must have been hungry while solving – but not THAT hungry.

  7. 31:05, no errors. Don’t get why it took that long, given I only really had one major misstep. Like I said on the other blog, these would be more fun if they were opened up more (as evidenced by some of the other 21x21s I’ve done and the 25×25 themelesses I’ve done), but we probably won’t get that from the NYT.

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