0529-20 NY Times Crossword 29 May 20, Friday

Constructed by: Sam Ezersky
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 15m 05s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Twitter label for top hashtags : TRENDS

In the world of Twitter, for example, a phrase that is getting “tagged” by users more than other phrases is said to be “trending”.

15 Currency of Indonesia : RUPIAH

The rupiah is the currency used in Indonesia. The locals often use the name “perak” for the same unit of currency, which is a word meaning “silver”.

17 Tough nut to crack : ENIGMA

Our term “enigma” meaning “puzzle, riddle” comes from the Greek “ainigma”, which means the same thing.

19 Do without : ESCHEW

“To eschew”, meaning “to avoid, shun” comes from the Old French word “eschiver” that means the same thing.

20 Money, in slang : GELT

“Gelt” is the Yiddish word for “money”.

22 White House family of the early 20th century : TAFTS

William Howard Taft may have been the 27th President of the United States, but his lifelong ambition was to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. President Taft was able to realize that dream in 1921, eight years after losing his bid for re-election as president. As Chief Justice, this former US President swore in two new presidents: Calvin Coolidge (in 1925) and Herbert Hoover (in 1929). William Howard Taft is also remembered as the most obese president. In the last year of his presidency, he weighed about 340 pounds (he was 5 feet 11 inches tall). Twelve months after leaving the White House, President Taft had dropped 80 pounds and substantially lowered his blood pressure.

25 Billion-dollar Procter & Gamble brand : OLAY

Oil of Olay was developed in South Africa in 1949. When Oil of Olay was introduced internationally, it was given slightly different brand names designed to appeal in the different geographies. In Ireland we know it as Oil of Ulay, for example, and in France it is Oil of Olaz.

Procter & Gamble was founded in 1837 by William Procter and James Gamble. Procter was a candlemaker, an immigrant from England. Gamble was a soapmaker, an immigrant from Ireland. The pair had settled in Cincinnati and married two sisters. Their father-in-law persuaded the two to set up in business together, and the rest is history.

26 Country album? : WORLD ATLAS

The famous Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator published his first collection of maps in 1578. Mercator’s collection contained a frontispiece with an image of Atlas the Titan from Greek mythology holding up the world on his shoulders. That image gave us our term “atlas” that is used for a book of maps.

33 Where BMW is headquartered : MUNICH

The initialism “BMW” stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke, which translates into Bavarian Motor Works. BMW was making aircraft engines during WWI, but had to cease that activity according to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The company then started making motorcycles, and moved into automobile production starting in 1928. BMW moved back into aircraft engine manufacturing during the build-up of the Luftwaffe prior to WWII.

36 “Live well” sloganeer : GNC

General Nutrition Centers (GNC) is a retailer of health and nutrition supplements based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The company was founded in 1935 as a small health food store in downtown Pittsburgh. There are now about 5,000 stores in the US. The GNC slogan is “Live Well”.

37 Subject that encompasses net neutrality : CYBERLAW

The principle of Net neutrality holds that those entities managing the Internet should treat all data passing through equally. The term “Net neutrality” was coined in 2003 by Tim Wu, a media law professor at Columbia University.

43 It comes to light : MOTH

It isn’t really understood why moths are attracted to artificial lights. There is one theory that sounds plausible to me though. It is suggested that moths navigate at night by maintaining the moon (the brightest celestial object) at a fixed angle. When a moth finds a brighter light source, like an artificial light, it gets confused.

45 Product of transcription : RNA

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

46 Certain Afrocentrist, informally : RASTA

I must admit that I don’t really know much about Rastafarianism. I do know that a “Rasta”, such as Bob Marley, is a follower of the movement. Some say that Rastafarianism is a religion, some not. I also know that it involves the worship of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia.

47 One making a malicious attack, maybe : BOT

A bot is a computer program that is designed to imitate human behavior. It might crawl around the Web doing searches for example, or it might participate in discussions in chat rooms by giving pre-programmed responses. It might also act as a competitor in a computer game.

51 Zoo attraction : APE HOUSE

The tailless primates known as apes (also “hominoids”) are divided into two main branches: gibbons (lesser apes) and hominids (great apes). The hominids are the great apes, and belong to the family of primates called Hominidae. Extant genera that make up the family Hominidae are:

  • chimpanzees
  • gorillas
  • humans
  • orangutans

Down

1 Lullaby locale : TREE TOP

“Rock-a-Bye Baby” is a lullaby, the history of which is much debated. Some say it originated in England, and others claim that it was the first poem that was written on American soil.

Rock-a-bye baby, on the tree top,
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock,
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all.

6 Playwright who wrote “All great truths begin as blasphemies” : SHAW

George Bernard Shaw (GBS) was a very successful Irish playwright. Shaw is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize for Literature, and an Oscar. He won his Oscar for adapting his own play “Pygmalion” for the 1938 film of the same name starring Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller. Most people are more likely to have seen the musical adaptation of “Pygmalion” that goes by the title “My Fair Lady”.

7 Enemy of the Joker : BATGIRL

Yvonne Craig played Batgirl in the television series “Batman” from the sixties. Batgirl’s alter ego was Barbara Gordon, the librarian daughter of Commissioner Gordon.

9 Dance done to fiddle music : REEL

The reel is a Scottish country dance that is also extremely popular in Ireland.

10 Thrombus, more familiarly : CLOT

A blood clot is a very necessary response to an injury and is intended to prevent bleeding. Also called a thrombus, the clot comprises aggregated blood platelets trapped in a mesh made from fibrin, a fibrous protein. If a thrombus forms in a healthy blood vessel, restricting blood flow, that condition is known as thrombosis.

11 Cabinet dept. that tracks homelessness : HUD

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has its roots in the “Great Society” program of President Lyndon Johnson. HUD’s mission is to address the housing needs of the citizenry at the national level. HUD can provide mortgage insurance to help people become homeowners and also provide rental subsidies to lower-income families. HUD also is responsible for enforcement of Federal Fair Housing laws.

13 Sister brand of 7Up : RC COLA

Claude A. Hatcher ran a grocery store in Columbus, Georgia. He decided to develop his own soft drink formula when he balked at the price his store was being charged for Coca-Cola syrup. Hatcher launched the Union Bottling Works in his own grocery store, and introduced Royal Crown Ginger Ale in 1905. The Union Bottling Works was renamed to Chero-Cola in 1910, the Nehi Corporation in 1925, and Royal Crown Company in the mid-fifties. The first RC Cola hit the market in 1934.

7UP was introduced to the world as “Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda”, and was a patent medicine that contained lithium citrate, a mood-stabilizing drug. The introduction of a mood-stabilizing medication was pretty timely, as the 1929 Wall Street Crash happened just two weeks later. 7UP’s “Uncola” advertising campaign dates back to 1967.

14 Mint family members : THYMES

In ancient Greece, thyme was burned as incense and used in baths as it was believed to be a source of courage.

23 Lightning unit : VOLT

Alessandro Volta was the physicist who invented the first battery, way back in 1800. One of Volta’s first applications of his new invention was to use a battery (and a very long run of wire between the Italian cities of Como and Milan) to shoot off a pistol from 30 miles away! The electric potential unit “volt” is named for Volta.

24 What can help you step up your workout routine? : STAIRMASTER

The StairMaster is perhaps the most famous stair-climbing fitness machine. The StairMaster company was founded in 1983.

28 Princess in “The Crown” : ANNE

Anne, Princess Royal was born in 1950 and is the only daughter of British Queen Elizabeth II. Princess Anne has been in the public spotlight for many things, including her success as an equestrian. Princess Anne was the first member of the British Royal Family to have competed in an Olympic Games. Her daughter Zara Phillips continued the tradition and competed as a member of the British equestrian team in the 2012 Olympic Games. Zara’s medal was presented to her by her own mother, Princess Anne.

“The Crown” is a historical drama produced for Netflix that covers the life of British Queen Elizabeth II from her marriage to Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. For the first two seasons, Elizabeth is played by Claire Foy and Philip by Matt Smith. For the next two seasons, Olivia Colman and Tobias Menzies take over as Elizabeth and Philip.

30 Bread, in Bologna : PANE

Bologna is a city in northern Italy. The city is home to the University of Bologna that was founded way back in 1088. The University of Bologna is the oldest existing university in the world.

33 Woman’s name that becomes another woman’s name when its vowels are switched : MYRA

The vowels are A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y.

35 Three-pointer? : HAT TRICK

A hat trick is the scoring of three goals by the same player in a game of say, soccer or hockey.

40 America’s Cup, e.g. : TROPHY

The America’s Cup is a trophy that has been awarded for yacht racing since 1851. It was first presented to the winner of a race around the Isle of Wight in England that was won by a schooner called “America”. The trophy was eventually renamed to “The America’s Cup” in honor of that first race winner.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Twitter label for top hashtags : TRENDS
7 Relative of a histogram : BAR CHART
15 Currency of Indonesia : RUPIAH
16 Had a midday break : ATE LUNCH
17 Tough nut to crack : ENIGMA
18 Explanation for the existence of evil in God’s presence : THEODICY
19 Do without : ESCHEW
20 Money, in slang : GELT
21 Care package sender, often : MOM
22 White House family of the early 20th century : TAFTS
23 Contest : VIE
24 Store window sign : SALE
25 Billion-dollar Procter & Gamble brand : OLAY
26 Country album? : WORLD ATLAS
29 What a relief! : PAIN PILL
31 ___ kick : ON A
32 Yielding : PLIANT
33 Where BMW is headquartered : MUNICH
36 “Live well” sloganeer : GNC
37 Subject that encompasses net neutrality : CYBERLAW
39 Central to, with “of” : AT THE HEART …
43 It comes to light : MOTH
44 Put on display, with “out” : TROT …
45 Product of transcription : RNA
46 Certain Afrocentrist, informally : RASTA
47 One making a malicious attack, maybe : BOT
48 Pore over : SCAN
50 Ditch : DESERT
51 Zoo attraction : APE HOUSE
53 Capable of handling the task : UP TO IT
54 Best-selling studio album of all time (33x platinum) : THRILLER
55 Hold tight : CLENCH
56 Something U and I have in common : SYMMETRY
57 Evans who was the 2009-10 N.B.A. Rookie of the Year : TYREKE

Down

1 Lullaby locale : TREE TOP
2 Goes once around the track : RUNS A LAP
3 It’s worse than a bomb : EPIC FAIL
4 “Sweet dreams!” : NIGHTY NIGHT!
5 Olivia de Havilland and Olivia Newton-John, for two : DAMES
6 Playwright who wrote “All great truths begin as blasphemies” : SHAW
7 Enemy of the Joker : BATGIRL
8 Just behind : AT HEEL
9 Dance done to fiddle music : REEL
10 Thrombus, more familiarly : CLOT
11 Cabinet dept. that tracks homelessness : HUD
12 Savage : ANIMAL
13 Sister brand of 7Up : RC COLA
14 Mint family members : THYMES
23 Lightning unit : VOLT
24 What can help you step up your workout routine? : STAIRMASTER
26 Sail-hoisting device : WINCH
27 Reservation : DOUBT
28 Princess in “The Crown” : ANNE
30 Bread, in Bologna : PANE
33 Woman’s name that becomes another woman’s name when its vowels are switched : MYRA
34 “Whew!” elicitor : CLOSE ONE
35 Three-pointer? : HAT TRICK
37 Corn or bean plant, perhaps : CANNERY
38 Cry accompanying a double take : WHAT THE …?!
39 Attempts to hit : AT BATS
40 America’s Cup, e.g. : TROPHY
41 Until due : TO TERM
42 Need for teachers across the board : ERASER
46 Left-facing arrow, in an email : REPLY
48 Flat part of a flat : SOLE
49 Extremely popular to a small fan base : CULT
50 Channel : DUCT
52 For ___ (birthday card category) : HIM

12 thoughts on “0529-20 NY Times Crossword 29 May 20, Friday”

  1. 50:39….today’s torment was was brought to me by the southwest corner… Finished the bulk of the puzzle in a “good for me” 20 minutes. The southwest took more than that alone 🙁

  2. Well, that was pathetic. At 20 minutes I had almost nothing. Needed hints to get two words to get me started. Then it all fell into place. 37:32 with two “assists.”

  3. 28:15. Interesting grid – if you look at just the answers, there’s very little difficulty in this one. The cluing is what made this hard. It was vague in a lot of areas. That’s why you had to get a grip somewhere and then the puzzle filled after that like Alaska Steve said.

    THEODICY and GELT were new to me, but not much else was. THEODICY has been used only one other time in a NYT crossword, and that was in 1973 according to today’s Wordplay article.

    It’s Friday so I think I may spend some GELT on a belt (or two) this evening.

    Best –

  4. 3 errors.. Actually a quick finish for me. Feels good after yesterday’s DNF.
    Had ZURICH for 33A so left me with ZYLA for 33D and ANRE for 28D. Ha!

    What was amazing was that I got THEODICY and TYREKE and RUPIAH. I’ll take it for a Friday.
    Be safe.

  5. 1:11:11 no errors…very misleading and tough clues…I was ready to scrap this several times but stuck with it and lucked out with some crosses and a couple lookups…the SW corner was the toughest…not my cup of tea.
    Stay safe

  6. 28:59, no errors. Happy for a clean fill today, as previous posters experienced it looked like I was going nowhere for the first 15 minutes or so. Just enough handholds to allow filling of the vague and esoteric entries. Had LOOT before GELT; PAIN (Fr.) before PANE(It.); HER before HIM.

  7. About a half-hour no errors. Thought it was curtains after reading the clues for the NE but the rest wasn’t too bad. Have a great weekend.

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