0605-20 NY Times Crossword 5 Jun 20, Friday

Constructed by: John Wrenholt
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 15m 26s!

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 They go low when others go high : BASSI

The bass is the lowest male singing voice. A man with such a voice might be called a “basso” (plural “bassi”). In an opera, the villain of the piece is usually played by a basso.

21 Dating abbr. : BCE

The designations Anno Domini (AD, “year of Our Lord”) and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC without a year “0” in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) used to replace BC.

23 2000s music star who writes his name with four dots : WILL.I.AM

“Will.i.am” is the stage name of rap artist and singer William Adams Jr. who is famous as the lead member of the Black Eyed Peas.

24 Fish with a prehensile tail : SEAHORSE

Seahorses belong to the genus Hippocampus. The genus name comes from the Greek “hippo” meaning “horse” and “kampos” meaning “sea monster”. It’s the male seahorse who carries the fertilized eggs, and not the females. The region of the brain known as the hippocampus, is so called because it resembles a seahorse in shape.

A part of the body that is described as prehensile is adapted for grasping. Examples would be an elephant’s trunk and a monkey’s tail.

27 Member of a chamber group : CELLO

Chamber music is a style of classical musical that is written for a small group of instruments, as opposed to a full orchestra. That number of players should be able to stage a performance in a “chamber”, traditionally a large room in a palace or other grand residence.

39 Escort down the aisle, informally : USH

“To ush” is “to usher”, to show to a seat.

40 Lead-in to op : SYS-

System operator (sysop)

41 Ingredient in tempera and tempura : EGG

Tempera is a painting medium made from a colored pigment mixed with a binder such as egg yolk. Tempera painting dates back at least to Ancient Egypt, and is a medium that is very long-lasting. Tempera was the primary medium for painted works of art for centuries, until the introduction of oil paints between the 5th and 9th centuries.

45 Like a very cold night, idiomatically : THREE-DOG

Apparently, indigenous Australians would sleep in a hole in the ground alongside their tame dingoes. On a cold night, they would huddle up to two dingoes, and if it was really, really cold, it was a “three-dog night”.

50 Mr. High-and-Mighty : HIS NIBS

His Nibs is a term of unknown origin used from the early 1800s to describe a boss, employer or a self-important person. However, I know that “His Nibs” is also used in the much older card game of cribbage (describing a jack), but maybe the term was added to the old game more recently.

53 Shakespearean killer : ASP

In William Shakespeare’s play “Antony and Cleopatra”, the heroine of the piece addresses the asp as she uses the snake to commit suicide:

Come, thou mortal wretch,
With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate
Of life at once untie: poor venomous fool,
Be angry, and dispatch.

Later she says:

Peace, peace!
Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,
That sucks the nurse asleep?

55 Hairdo famously sported by Lucille Ball : POODLE CUT

The “poodle cut” hairstyle was popular in the 1950s. The style was a short cut, with the hair permed in very tight curls. One woman who famously sported the poodle cut was First Lady Mamie Eisenhower.

57 Sacred city in Buddhism : LHASA

Lhasa is the capital city of Tibet, with the name “Lhasa” translating as “place of the gods”. However, Lhasa used to be called Rasa, a name that translates into the less auspicious “goat’s place”. Lhasa was also once called the “Forbidden City” due to its inaccessible location high in the Himalayas and a traditional hostility exhibited by residents to outsiders. The “forbidden” nature of the city has been reinforced since the Chinese took over Tibet in the early 1950s as it has been difficult for foreigners to get permission to visit Lhasa.

60 Drawing of grass? : TOKE

“Toke” is a slang term describing a puff on a marijuana cigarette, or on a pipe containing the drug.

61 Oscar winner for “Little Miss Sunshine” : ARKIN

Actor Alan Arkin won his only Oscar (Best Supporting Actor) for his role in “Little Miss Sunshine” from 2006, a movie that I just did not understand …

“Little Miss Sunshine” is a respected 2006 comedy film about a family’s road trip in a VW bus. I tried watching this one a couple of times and just couldn’t take it at all despite a great cast that includes Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette and Alan Arkin.

62 Trailer advisory : NSFW

The abbreviation “NSFW” stands for “not safe/suitable for work”. It’s Internet slang used to describe online content that is best not viewed at work.

Down

4 Editorial insertion : SIC

[Sic] indicates that a quotation is written as originally found, perhaps including a typo. “Sic” is Latin for “thus, like this”. The term is more completely written as “sic erat scriptum”, which translates as “thus was it written”.

9 First name of the most-selected author in Oprah’s Book Club : TONI

Writer Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. Amongst other things, Morrison is noted for coining the phrase “our first black President”, a reference to President Bill Clinton.

“Oprah’s Book Club” was a segment that started in 1996 on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”. Each book reviewed was a personal recommendation by Winfrey herself. The first book reviewed was “The Deep End of the Ocean” by Jacquelyn Mitchard. The original book club ended in 2011, but there’s now a reboot known as “Oprah’s Book Club 2.0” that focuses on digital media now that “The Oprah Winfrey Show” is no more.

10 M.O. : STYLE

“Modus operandi” (plural “modi operandi”) is the Latin for “mode of operating”, a term we’ve been using since the mid-1600s. It’s often used by the police when referring to the methods typically employed by a particular perpetrator of a crime, and is usually abbreviated to “M.O.”

12 Warning during the Battle of Britain : AIR ALERT

The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the oldest independent air force in the world (i.e. the first air force to become independent of army or navy forces). The RAF was formed during WWI on 1 April 1918, a composite of two earlier forces, the Royal Flying Corps (part of the Army) and the Royal Naval Air Service. The RAF’s “finest hour” was the Battle of Britain, when the vastly outnumbered British fighters fought off the might of the Luftwaffe causing Hitler to delay his plan to cross the English Channel. This outcome prompted Winston Churchill to utter the memorable words

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

19 Au pair’s specialty, for short : TLC

Tender loving care (TLC)

An au pair is a domestic assistant from a foreign country working and living as part of a host family. The term “au pair” is French, and means “on a par”, indicating that an au pair is treated as an equal in the host family.

22 They may come with a children’s menu : CRAYONS

We use the word “crayon” for a stick of colored wax used for drawing. The term was imported in the 16th century from French, in which language it means “pencil”.

35 Drama at the Tonys, say : STAGE PLAY

The Tony Awards are more completely referred to as the Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Broadway Theatre. The awards are named for Mary Antoinette “Tony” Perry, who was a co-founder of the American Theatre Wing.

37 Defensive fortifications : BASTIONS

A bastion (also called a “bulwark”) is an angular structure that juts out from a fortified wall. Guards inside the bastion can fire along the outside of the wall. We now use the term “bastion” to describe any protection against external danger.

44 Short short : LIL

Lil’ is a short form of the word “little”. There are a whole slew of rappers named “Lil’ something”, such as Lil Wayne, Lil’ J, and Lil’ Kim.

47 Asian capital on the Buriganga River : DHAKA

Dhaka (once “Dacca”) is the capital city of Bangladesh. Dhaka is known for many things, including production of the finest muslin in the world. It’s also the rickshaw capital of the world, with about 400,000 rickshaws running each day.

48 Rest stop, metaphorically : OASIS

An isolated area of vegetation in a desert is called an oasis (plural “oases”). As water is needed for plant growth, an oasis might also include a spring, pond or small lake. We often use the term “oasis” more generally to describe a haven, a place of rest.

49 50s president? : GRANT

Ulysses S. Grant (USG) was born Hiram Ulysses Grant in 1822 in Point Pleasant, Ohio. At the request of Grant’s father, US Congressman Thomas L. Hamer nominated 16-year-old Ulysses to West Point. Hamer mistakenly wrote the young lad’s name as “Ulysses S. Grant”, and so that became the future president’s adopted name.

52 Garbage disposal unit : SCOW

A scow is a flat-bottomed boat with squared-off ends that’s often used for transportation, usually pushed or pulled by a barge. Often a scow can be seen carrying junk or garbage.

56 What hits the HI notes? : UKE

The ukulele (uke) originated in the 1800s and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

Hawaii (HI)

58 Old Eur. domain : HRE

The Holy Roman Empire (HRE) existed from 962 to 1806 AD and was a territory of varying size over the centuries that centered on the Kingdom of Germany. The HRE was a successor to the western half of the Ancient Roman Empire.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 They go low when others go high : BASSI
6 Come to : COST
10 One who goes into a seasonal rut : STAG
14 Exhortation from a personal trainer : AGAIN!
15 Part of many an insurance bundle : AUTO
16 More than a pair : TRIO
17 Skateboard piece that connects the wheels to the deck : TRUCK
18 Spot for a campaign sign : FRONT YARD
20 Mother ___ : HEN
21 Dating abbr. : BCE
23 2000s music star who writes his name with four dots : WILL.I.AM
24 Fish with a prehensile tail : SEAHORSE
27 Member of a chamber group : CELLO
28 ___ minimum : AT A
29 Focus for a core workout : ABS
32 It has four legs and a head : BED
33 Outlet for international travelers : DUTY-FREE STORE
37 One whose work is always blowing up? : BALLOON ARTIST
38 Many hotel shuttles : PASSENGER VANS
39 Escort down the aisle, informally : USH
40 Lead-in to op : SYS-
41 Ingredient in tempera and tempura : EGG
42 What recycling code “40” is used for : STEEL
45 Like a very cold night, idiomatically : THREE-DOG
50 Mr. High-and-Mighty : HIS NIBS
53 Shakespearean killer : ASP
54 Laugh syllable : HAR
55 Hairdo famously sported by Lucille Ball : POODLE CUT
57 Sacred city in Buddhism : LHASA
59 Details : INFO
60 Drawing of grass? : TOKE
61 Oscar winner for “Little Miss Sunshine” : ARKIN
62 Trailer advisory : NSFW
63 Due : OWED
64 Proofing need, in baking : YEAST

Down

1 Things often drawn at night : BATHS
2 Avoid a clash : AGREE
3 Ski lodge feature : SAUNA
4 Editorial insertion : SIC
5 Quaint stationery shop item : INK BOTTLE
6 Parisian hangouts : CAFES
7 Just between you and me? : OUR
8 Put in storage : STOW
9 First name of the most-selected author in Oprah’s Book Club : TONI
10 M.O. : STYLE
11 Cattle drive leader : TRAIL BOSS
12 Warning during the Battle of Britain : AIR ALERT
13 State of invincibility enabled by a cheat code : GOD MODE
19 Au pair’s specialty, for short : TLC
22 They may come with a children’s menu : CRAYONS
25 Transports : HAULS
26 Sincere : EARNEST
30 Direction word : BEAR
31 They’ll wait for you : SERVERS
33 Writes quickly : DASHES OFF
34 Traditionalist : FOGY
35 Drama at the Tonys, say : STAGE PLAY
36 Slight bit : TINGE
37 Defensive fortifications : BASTIONS
38 Colorful spot on a map : PUSHPIN
43 Provide resources for : ENDOW
44 Short short : LIL
46 Abominable : HATED
47 Asian capital on the Buriganga River : DHAKA
48 Rest stop, metaphorically : OASIS
49 50s president? : GRANT
51 Politician O’Rourke : BETO
52 Garbage disposal unit : SCOW
56 What hits the HI notes? : UKE
58 Old Eur. domain : HRE

10 thoughts on “0605-20 NY Times Crossword 5 Jun 20, Friday”

  1. 26:16, no errors. Difficult, I thought, with many missteps and many pauses to stare off into space and wait for inspiration … 😜.

  2. Another interesting time for me… 23:23, no errors. Couldn’t get traction in the NW to begin with. Worked all the way around and finished there. I ended up just staring at that corner until I got BASSI. Then it fell into place. Probably one of my best Friday efforts.

  3. 42:16. This felt an awful lot like a Saturday puzzle to me. The SW is what killed me. MISNIBS, which I’d never heard before, was just the beginning.

    Then there were a few missteps. For 1A I initially put BEARS as in being very bearish towards the market. It didn’t get much better from there.

    Best –

    1. I shall assume that you meant to type “HIS NIBS”, or was “MISNIBS” a misstep that held things up?

      1. MISNIBS was just an error of transcribing it from the grid to my post. It’s just more evidence I didn’t know the expression….and apparently still don’t.

    2. @Jeff @DuncanR
      It did seem like a Saturday. That makes my time even more impressive (to me). Every once in awhile a puzzle just flows for me and I don’t know why. I’m gonna savor this cuz it maybe a long, long time before I do this well again. Cheers.

      1. Alaska Steve – It’s ok this time, but a few more times like that, and we may have to kick you out of our bottom feeders club. Duncan will bring that up in the minutes of our next meeting. Nonny was kicked out years ago.

  4. 43:27 “….and coming in last…. “ I agree with Jeff, this was as painful as a Saturday, which now concerns me what tomorrow’s puzzle will be like….

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