0523-20 NY Times Crossword 23 May 20, Saturday

Constructed by: Wyna Liu & Erik Agard
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 15m 38s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 World capital where the language Ga is spoken : ACCRA

Accra sits on Ghana’s coast and is a major seaport as well as the country’s capital city. The name “Accra” comes from a local word “Nkran” meaning “ants”, a name chosen because of the large number of anthills found in the area when the city was founded.

6 Dish often topped with goat cheese and cranberries : KALE SALAD

When early European settlers came across red berries growing in the bogs of the northern part of America, they felt that the plant’s flower and stem resembled the head and bill of a crane. As such, they called the plant “craneberry”, which evolved into “cranberry”.

16 Yanqui : AMERICANO

In Spanish, an “Americano” (American) might be called a “Yanqui” (Yankee), although the term is often used in a derogatory fashion.

18 “Understood” : ROGER THAT

The term “roger”, meaning “yes” or “acknowledged”, comes from the world of radiotelephony. The British military used a phonetic alphabet in the fifties that included “Roger” to represent the letter “R”. As such, it became customary to say “Roger” when acknowledging a message, with R (Roger) standing for “received”.

21 First name at Springfield Elementary : EDNA

In “The Simpsons” television show, Bart Simpson’s teacher is one Edna Krabappel. Edna marries Ned Flanders, who is the next-door neighbor to the Simpson family.

22 End of many a co. name : LTD

In Britain and Ireland, the most common type of business (my perception anyway) is one that has private shareholders whose liability is limited to the value of their investment. Such a company is known as a private limited company, and has the abbreviation “Ltd.” after the name. If the shares are publicly traded, then the company is a public limited company, and has the letters “plc” after the name.

23 Abbr. of interest : APR

Annual percentage rate (APR)

26 A male one is a jack : ASS

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.

31 Peter preceder, in a phonetic alphabet : OBOE

The Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet was introduced in 1941 and used by all branches of the US military until they transitioned to what’s usually referred to as the NATO phonetic alphabet. The Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet starts with Able, Baker, Charlie and ends with X-ray, Yoke, Zebra.

38 February honoree : ST VALENTINE

Saint Valentine’s Day was introduced by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD to honor various martyrs with the name Valentine. However, the saint’s day was dropped by the Roman Catholic church in 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Try telling that to Hallmark though …

40 It’s named for the Norse god of war: Abbr. : TUES

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

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

41 Head overseas : TETE

In French, the “tête” (head) is the top of “le corps” (the body).

42 Big purchaser of scanners, in brief : TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency that employs the good folks who check passengers and baggage at airports.

43 Black ___ : OPS

“Black ops” is the name given to covert operations, activities that are usually outside of standard military protocol and may even be against the law. Funding for black ops is usually provided by a secret “black budget”.

44 Part of NATO: Abbr. : ORG

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded not long after WWII in 1949 and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. The first NATO Secretary General was Lord Ismay, Winston Churchill’s chief military assistant during WWII. Famously, Lord Ismay said the goal of NATO was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”

46 Red states, once : USSR

The association of the color red with communism dates back to the French Revolution. A red flag was chosen as a symbol by the revolutionaries, with the color representing the blood of workers who had died in the fight against capitalism.

The former Soviet Union (officially “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics”, i.e. USSR) was created in 1922, not long after the Russian Revolution of 1917 that overthrew the tsar. Geographically, the new Soviet Union was roughly equivalent to the old Russian Empire, and comprised fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs).

60 Sound name : PUGET

George Vancouver was a British explorer, and an officer in the Royal Navy. As well as exploring the coast of Australia, he is best known for his travels along the northwest coast of North America. The city of Vancouver was named in his honor. Travelling with him on his American voyage was a lieutenant Peter Puget, and in his honor, Vancouver named the waters south of the Tacoma Narrows “Puget’s Sound”. Nowadays, the name “Puget Sound” describes an area much greater than Vancouver had envisioned.

61 Figureheads? : MATHLETES

A mathlete is someone who competes in mathematics competitions.

Down

1 Source of some bubbles : ASTI

Asti is a city in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The region is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.

2 Amazon icon : CART

Amazon.com is the largest online retailer in the world. It is also the largest Internet company in the world by revenue. The company was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, in his garage in Bellevue, Washington. I’m a big fan of Amazon’s approach to customer service …

4 “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” for one : ROUND

Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.

5 Composer Bruckner : ANTON

Anton Bruckner was an Austrian composer. He’s no favorite of mine as he embraces the use of dissonances (I’m a sober traditionalist!). Bruckner’s “Symphony No. 7” is perhaps his most popular work. He created a slow and mournful movement for the work in recognition of the impending death of Richard Wagner, whom he greatly admired.

13 Santa ___ : ANA

Santa Ana is the county seat of Orange County, California and takes its name from the Santa Ana River that runs through the city.

20 “Hot” thing : TAMALE

Hot Tamales are a cinnamon candy made by Just Born. They look like red versions of the other Just Born candy called Mike and Ike. That’s no coincidence as Hot Tamales were developed as a way to make use of rejected Mike and Ike candy. The dark red color and intense cinnamon flavor was added to the Mike and Ike rejects, masking the original flavor and color.

25 Port Sudan is on it : RED SEA

The Red Sea (sometimes called the Arabian Gulf) is a stretch of water lying between Africa and Asia. The Gulf of Suez (and the Suez Canal) lies to the north, and the Gulf of Aden to the south. According to the Book of Exodus in the Bible, God parted the Red Sea to allow Moses lead the Israelites from Egypt.

30 Timor-___ (U.N. member since 2002) : LESTE

Timor is an island in Maritime Southeast Asia. The island is politically divided into West Timor, belonging to Indonesia, and the independent state of East Timor (aka “Timor-Leste”). The name “Timor” comes from a Malay word for “east”, and is used as Timor lies at the eastern end of the Lesser Sunda Islands.

33 Brooks, for example : MEL

Mel Brooks’ real name is Melvin Kaminsky. Brooks is one of very few entertainers (there are only ten) who have won the “Showbiz Award Grand Slam” i.e. an Oscar, Tony, Grammy and Emmy. He is in good company, as the list also includes the likes of Richard Rogers, Sir John Gielgud, Marvin Hamlisch and Audrey Hepburn.

37 Some A.B.A. members : DAS

District attorney (DA)

American Bar Association (ABA)

45 R, in a postal abbreviation : RHODE

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the union, and is the second-most densely populated. (after New Jersey). Rhode Island is known as the Ocean State (and more informally “Little Rhody), largely because about 14% of the state’s area is made up of ocean bays and inlets. Exactly how Rhode Island got its name is a little unclear. What is known is that way back in 1524, long before the Pilgrims came to New England, the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano likened an island in the area to the Island of Rhodes in the Mediterranean. There were subsequent references to “Rhode Island” in English publications, before the colonists arrived.

48 “By the way,” e.g. : SEGUE

A segue is a transition from one topic to the next. “Segue” is an Italian word that literally means “now follows”. It was first used in musical scores directing the performer to play into the next movement without a break. The oft-used term “segway” is given the same meaning, although the word “segway” doesn’t really exist. It is a misspelling of “segue” that has been popularized by its use as the name of the personal transporter known as a Segway.

53 Renaissance family name : ESTE

The House of Este is a princely dynasty in Europe. The House of Hanover that ruled Britain from 1714 to 1901 (when Queen Victoria died) was perhaps the most notable branch of the House of Este. The House takes its name from the town of Este in the province of Padua in northern Italy.

55 Water monitor, for short : EPA

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

57 Quote from Homer : D’OH

“The Simpsons” is one of the most successful programs produced by the Fox Broadcasting Company. Homer Simpson’s catchphrase is “D’oh!”, which became such a famous exclamation that it has been included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) since 2001. “D’oh!” can be translated as “I should have thought of that!”

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 World capital where the language Ga is spoken : ACCRA
6 Dish often topped with goat cheese and cranberries : KALE SALAD
15 Cut scene? : SALON
16 Yanqui : AMERICANO
17 Food for a brown bear : TROUT
18 “Understood” : ROGER THAT
19 Reprimand to the overly speedy : IT’S NOT A RACE
21 First name at Springfield Elementary : EDNA
22 End of many a co. name : LTD
23 Abbr. of interest : APR
26 A male one is a jack : ASS
28 Machine shop essential : MILL
31 Peter preceder, in a phonetic alphabet : OBOE
32 “Well, of course!” : DUH!
33 Held eye contact for too long, say : MADE IT WEIRD
36 Festival observed every October 31 to November 2 : DIA DE LOS MUERTOS
38 February honoree : ST VALENTINE
39 Something to do for peace : SUE
40 It’s named for the Norse god of war: Abbr. : TUES
41 Head overseas : TETE
42 Big purchaser of scanners, in brief : TSA
43 Black ___ : OPS
44 Part of NATO: Abbr. : ORG
46 Red states, once : USSR
49 One meaning of a raised index finger : CHECK PLEASE!
54 Completely : HEAD-TO-TOE
58 Name derived from the Greek for “holy” : AGNES
59 Sending to the cloud, e.g. : UPLOADING
60 Sound name : PUGET
61 Figureheads? : MATHLETES
62 Question from someone waving across a crowded room : SEE ME?

Down

1 Source of some bubbles : ASTI
2 Amazon icon : CART
3 Narrow escapes : CLOSE SHAVES
4 “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” for one : ROUND
5 Composer Bruckner : ANTON
6 ___ Lawson, W.N.B.A. star-turned-coach for the Boston Celtics : KARA
7 “___ Gitano,” Spanish-language hit for Beyoncé and Alejandro Fernández : AMOR
8 Bound to follow : LEGAL LIMIT
9 Bring into existence : ERECT
10 Brought into existence : SIRED
11 Word often followed by a Roman numeral : ACT …
12 ___-di-dah : LAH
13 Santa ___ : ANA
14 Indicator of a note’s duration, on a score : DOT
20 “Hot” thing : TAMALE
23 Slightly off : A BIT STRANGE
24 Not watertight : POROUS
25 Port Sudan is on it : RED SEA
26 Expands : ADDS TO
27 Get ready for action : SUIT UP
29 “?????” : I DON’T GET IT
30 Timor-___ (U.N. member since 2002) : LESTE
31 Shortened again : O’ER
33 Brooks, for example : MEL
34 Auto correction : TUNE UP
35 Mini : WEE
37 Some A.B.A. members : DAS
44 Eight-related : OCTAL
45 R, in a postal abbreviation : RHODE
47 Makes red in the face? : SLAPS
48 “By the way,” e.g. : SEGUE
50 It gets a licking : CONE
51 Bar supply : KEGS
52 Appear : SEEM
53 Renaissance family name : ESTE
54 Generator’s output : HUM
55 Water monitor, for short : EPA
56 ___-weekly : ALT
57 Quote from Homer : D’OH

16 thoughts on “0523-20 NY Times Crossword 23 May 20, Saturday”

  1. 20:08 after finding and fixing an error of the meant-to-go-back-and-look-at-that variety. Some tricky cluing, but not all that difficult, considering.

  2. 29:25. Same experience as Alaska Steve, but maybe more extreme. This puzzle felt like I would never be able to START it much less finish it. I’m guessing I filled maybe a third of the grid in the first 20 minutes and 2/3 of the grid the last 9:25. Very clever stuff in this one too numerous to mention.

    Best –

    1. Mr. Snail here for the slowest time — about 45 minutes. Any time I solve Saturday is a triumph for the week, no matter the timing.

  3. I’m not sure how to score myself.. I started great with the bottom 2/3s but the whole top third or first 4 rows I came to a grinding halt.. After my 1 hour limit came up, I did a lookup on 6D and then the floodgates opened up. Not one error in the whole thing. Technically, I suppose it’s a DNF? But I sure liked this puzzle.. I did have fun.

    Why is 4D ROUND?

    1. A “round” is a song with a melody that allows different singers to come in at different times during the song and sing their parts from the beginning – and is often sung in this way. The song listed in 4D is an example of one. “Three Blind Mice” and “Frère Jacques” are two more examples.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITvyJniLMGY

  4. I don’t time myself and it’s a good thing. I did manage to finish WNE, however. Didn’t feel too confident after my initial review but I chipped away and finally finished. I was helped in the southwest by remembering MATHLETES from a fairly recent puzzle. Typical Agard cluing; love/hate.

  5. DNF after 35 minutes. Simply could not see the upper left corner, in spite of having ROUND and IT’S NOT A RACE.

  6. 1:09:24 no errors…since Mr Agard like Mr Chen doesn’t seem to be able to construct a puzzle without a partner I got a partner ((Mr Google) to help me with 36A. I had the first 8 letters and most of but not all of the rest but my partner knew what they were…Seems fair to me.
    To make the center clue in a puzzle something like that is IMO very annoying although it may be commonplace for some of you it is not for me.
    Once I got the answer I didn’t bother to look for what it meant and Bill didn’t comment on it either.
    Stay safe everyone…it’s NOT OVER YET.

  7. My first DNF for a Saturday puzzle in quite a while. After one hour I was still having major difficulty with the lower south. I thought of check please butThought the postal abbreviation had to be Route or rural. Rhode Island never occurred to me. Oh well.

  8. I see the explanations are for the ones I knew, not the ones I didn’t. MILL is a machine shop essential? If only they could all have been as simple as DIADELOSMUERTOS. Living in Texas for many years probably helped with that one. MATHLETES is getting to be a bore. The puzzle makers seem to be finding their inner middle school selves by putting ASS in so many puzzles. Teehee, teehee, teehee. Do people actually say things like MADEITWEIRD? Below average for a Saturday puzzle, IMO.

  9. Any Agard puzzle is a joy for me. Saw him on Jeopardy! and have loved him ever since. I always know it’s gonna be a good brain workout.

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