0613-20 NY Times Crossword 13 Jun 20, Saturday

Constructed by: Trenton Charlson
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 13m 51s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

8 Je ne sais quoi : X-FACTOR

“Je ne sais quoi” is French for “I don’t know what”.

16 Home of Velázquez’s “Las Meninas” : EL PRADO

The Museo del Prado is in Madrid, the capital of Spain, and has one of the finest art collections in the world. The gallery’s most famous work is “Las Meninas” By Velazquez.

18 The Pantheon in Rome has one : ROTUNDA

In architecture, the word “rotunda” describes a building with a circular ground plan. Often the building has a dome, but that isn’t a strict requirement. The term can also refer to a round room within a building. The most famous example in this country is the Rotunda in the US Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

The Pantheon in Rome was built as a temple to all the gods of ancient Rome. Even though the Pantheon was built almost two thousand years ago, the roof at its center remains the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome.

27 Bad fit : AGUE

An ague is a fever, one usually associated with malaria.

31 Roaring Twenties style : DECO

The 1920s are often called the Roaring Twenties, a period of dynamic change across all aspects of life. Things were finally returning to normal after WWI, jazz became popular, some women “broke the mold” by becoming “flappers”, and Art Deco flourished. The whole decade came to a tragic end with the Wall Street Crash of 1929, followed by the Great Depression.

32 Classic bit of groanworthy wordplay : TOM SWIFTY

A “Tom Swifty” is a phrase consisting of a made-up quotation followed by a punning adverb. Such devices were common in the “Tom Swift” series of adventure novels for juveniles, hence the name. Examples would be:

  • “I’ll have a martini,” said Tom, dryly.
  • “Hurry up and get to the back of the ship!” Tom said sternly.
  • “Careful with that chainsaw,” Tom said offhandedly.
  • “I have no flowers,” Tom said lackadaisically.
  • “I dropped my toothpaste,” Tom said, crestfallen.

35 Opera with a noted triumphal march : AIDA

“Aida” is a celebrated opera by Giuseppe Verdi that is based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette. Mariette also designed the costumes and stages for the opening performance. The opera was first staged in 1871 in an opera house in Cairo. In the storyline, Aida is an Ethiopian princess brought into Egypt as a slave. Radames is an Egyptian commander who falls in love with her, and then complications arise!

38 Like some private eyes : EX-FBI

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was set up in 1908 as the Bureau of Investigation (BOI), with the name changing in 1935. The Bureau was set up at the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt. President Roosevelt was largely moved to do so after the 1901 assassination of President McKinley, as there was a perception that anarchists were threatening law and order. The FBI’s motto uses the organization’s initialism, and is “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity”.

47 Car that’s “really lookin’ fine,” in song : GTO

The 1964 song “G.T.O” was the debut recording for the surf rock group from the sixties known as Ronny & the Daytonas.

48 Trade : METIER

“Métier” is the French for “trade, profession”.

49 Alma mater of Samuel Morse : YALE

Samuel Morse was a very accomplished and reputable painter (he was engaged to paint a portrait of President John Adams, for example). In 1825 Morse was in Washington working on a commissioned painting when he received a one-line letter by horse-messenger telling him that his wife was ill. He left immediately for his home in New Haven, Connecticut but by the time that Morse arrived his wife had already died and had been buried. This single event spurred him to move from painting to the development of a rapid means of long distance communication, leading to the single-wire telegraph and Morse code.

53 Aspiration for many Second City performers, in brief : SNL

The Second City Theatre specializes in improv comedy, and is based in Chicago, the nation’s “second city”. The theater opened in 1959, and gave its start to an impressive lineup of comedy stars including Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, John Candy, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Mike Myers, Steve Carell, Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert.

57 “Roger that” : I GOTCHA

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”.

65 High points : APOGEES

In the celestial world, an apsis is a point in an orbit when the orbiting body is at its greatest, or least, distance from it’s center of orbit. The farthest and closest points of orbit are known as the apogee and perigee, when talking about bodies orbiting the Earth. The farthest and closest points for bodies orbiting the sun are known as the aphelion and perihelion.

Down

2 Source of the line “Let us not speak of them, but look, and pass on” : INFERNO

Dante Alighieri’s “Divine Comedy” is an epic poem dating back to the 14th century. The first part of that epic is “Inferno”, which is the Italian word for “Hell”. In the poem, Dante is led on a journey by the poet Virgil, starting at the gates of Hell on which are written the famous words “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”.

7 Hard-to-miss signs : NEONS

The basic design of neon lighting was first demonstrated at the Paris Motor Show in 1910. Such lighting is made up of glass tubes containing a vacuum into which has been introduced a small amount of neon gas. When a voltage is applied between two electrodes inside the tube, the neon gas “glows” and gives off the familiar light.

9 One of Peter Rabbit’s sisters : FLOPSY

Beatrix Potter was an English author, famous for the children’s books she wrote and illustrated. The most famous character in her stories was Peter Rabbit, whose sisters were Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail. Potter put her talent as an artist to good use in the scientific world as well. She recorded many images of lichens and fungi as seen through her microscope. As a result of her work, she was respected as an expert mycologist.

11 Grand finale? : CRU

“Cru” is a term used in the French wine industry that means “growth place”. So, “cru” is the name of the location where the grapes are grown, as opposed to the name of a specific vineyard. The terms “premier cru” and “grand cru” are also used, but the usage depends on the specific wine region. Generally it is a classification awarded to specific vineyards denoting their potential for producing great wines. “Grand cru” is reserved for the very best vineyards, with “premier cru” the level just below.

12 Relative of the honeycreeper : TANAGER

The scarlet tanager is a beautiful-looking bird in the cardinal family. It is truly scarlet in color, other than its wings and tail.

14 Motor contests with a portmanteau name : ROADEOS

A roadeo is a competition held between drivers of buses or trucks. The competition’s name is a play on the words “road” and “rodeo”.

24 Bygone Buick : LESABRE

The Buick Special was a car produced by General Motors in various forms from 1936, making a final brief appearance in 1975. The Buick Special was given the name “LeSabre” in 1959, and a “Skylark” option was introduced in 1961. The engine was changed from a V8 in 1962, making the Buick Special the first American production car to use a V6.

25 2005 horror sequel : SAW II

The “Saw” franchise of movies is gruesome in the extreme. I’ve only seen a few minutes of “Saw” footage (accidentally). The storylines center on imprisoned victims who are faced with having to mutilate themselves in order to escape. Ugh …

37 Ad ___ : REM

The Latin term “ad rem” translates literally as “to the matter”.

38 Heavenly : ELYSIAN

The Elysian Fields were the final resting place of the heroic and virtuous in Greek mythology.

45 Supposed sightings off the coast of Norway : KRAKENS

Kraken are huge sea monsters of legend that were reputed to live off the coasts of Iceland and Norway. It’s possible that the kraken legend was inspired by real-life giant squid.

47 Kind of type used in the Gutenberg Bible : GOTHIC

The Gutenberg Bible was first printed in the 1450s by Johannes Gutenberg in Mainz, Germany. This printing was significant in the history of the printed book because it marked the first time that movable type was used in printing in the West.

51 Shelter grp. : ASPCA

Unlike most developed countries, the US has no umbrella organization with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an organization called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

61 One of the March sisters : MEG

“Little Women” is a novel written by American author Louisa May Alcott. The quartet of “little women” comprises Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March. Jo is a tomboy, the main character in the story, and is based on Alcott herself.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Hyperbolic figure : ZILLION
8 Je ne sais quoi : X-FACTOR
15 Quite a lot? : ONE ACRE
16 Home of Velázquez’s “Las Meninas” : EL PRADO
17 “And so it begins!” : OFF WE GO!
18 The Pantheon in Rome has one : ROTUNDA
19 Satisfied : MET
20 Pokes around : SNOOPS
22 Kick in : ADD
23 Postgraduate hurdles : ORALS
26 Takes evening courses? : SUPS
27 Bad fit : AGUE
28 “No way!” : UNREAL!
30 Not forward : SHY
31 Roaring Twenties style : DECO
32 Classic bit of groanworthy wordplay : TOM SWIFTY
34 Speaks sharply : BARKS
35 Opera with a noted triumphal march : AIDA
36 Power ___ : TRIP
38 Like some private eyes : EX-FBI
41 Cajolery : SWEET TALK
46 Pseudologist : LIAR
47 Car that’s “really lookin’ fine,” in song : GTO
48 Trade : METIER
49 Alma mater of Samuel Morse : YALE
50 ___ vez (again: Sp.) : OTRA
52 To some extent, informally : SORTA
53 Aspiration for many Second City performers, in brief : SNL
54 Stationary : AT REST
56 Vowelless interjection : TSK
57 “Roger that” : I GOTCHA
59 Screenwriter’s pitch : PREMISE
62 Marine, say : AQUATIC
63 Club owners? : CAVEMEN
64 Split hairs : NITPICK
65 High points : APOGEES

Down

1 Try to see the whole picture : ZOOM OUT
2 Source of the line “Let us not speak of them, but look, and pass on” : INFERNO
3 Shield bearer, typically : LEFT ARM
4 Regulation : LAW
5 Word before pick or pack : ICE …
6 Sch. yearbook section : ORGS
7 Hard-to-miss signs : NEONS
8 Plant suited to an arid environment : XEROPHYTE
9 One of Peter Rabbit’s sisters : FLOPSY
10 Complex units: Abbr. : APTS
11 Grand finale? : CRU
12 Relative of the honeycreeper : TANAGER
13 Weird type : ODD DUCK
14 Motor contests with a portmanteau name : ROADEOS
21 Bounce : OUST
24 Bygone Buick : LESABRE
25 2005 horror sequel : SAW II
27 Eventually accept : ADAPT TO
29 Ceiling : LID
33 Accelerate in the process : FAST-TRACK
34 Snacks : BITES
37 Ad ___ : REM
38 Heavenly : ELYSIAN
39 So-called “Chinese chess” : XIANGQI
40 Kind of shelter : FALLOUT
42 Abraded : WORE
43 Station slot : AIRTIME
44 “Decisions, decisions …” : LET’S SEE …
45 Supposed sightings off the coast of Norway : KRAKENS
47 Kind of type used in the Gutenberg Bible : GOTHIC
51 Shelter grp. : ASPCA
54 Prologue follower : ACT I
55 Cakehole : TRAP
58 Dance genre : TAP
60 Annual e-sports competition since 1996 : EVO
61 One of the March sisters : MEG

18 thoughts on “0613-20 NY Times Crossword 13 Jun 20, Saturday”

  1. 52:13 with one lookup (Honeycreeper) and 2 errors – SLY (vs SHY) and Xeroplyte (phYte) . If you’re not forward, you’re SLY, possibly? But My first entry for “Not Forward” was AFT. Also started with 37D as Ad LIB, which gave BARTER for 48A Trade. Took quite a while to unravel that section. Looking up what a Honeycreeper is opened up the NE corner, the last to fall.

  2. 12:29, no errors. Everything kind of clicked in this one (and then I did today’s “Saturday Stumper”, in the WSJ, which cost me two hours and much angst … so … you just never know … 😜).

    1. 2 lookups.. So I can’t claim victory.. But I did finish it for my own satisfaction. Tough one for me.. Too many french words, with no warning. Never heard of EVO. Well over an hour..

    2. Found this to be one of the toughest ones in several weeks, but I did finish it. Over the last 4 hours I put it down and left it alone for a while and came back to it.

      Had a real tough time gaining traction and getting started.

  3. 33 minutes. Usually don’t time myself as I’m never quick (nor quick witted). Had the same two errors as Ron F. Oddly, the sectors fell in order: SW/NW/NE/SE. Relatively easy for a Saturday. Normally these take me all day, on and off.

  4. 27:10, no errors. I started in the NW going clockwise and had almost no entries until I got a foothold in the SW. I finished that off and things just started to fall into place. A pretty good Saturday for me. For the second gay in a row I had no typos to search for while solving online. Pretty good for a Friday/Saturday combo.

  5. 30:44 with one square off – I had BAlKS and TANAGEl. It was my last guess, and I guessed wrong. BARKS seems pretty obvious now. Also had “aft” before SHY. AD hoc before AD REM. Took me a while to get TOM SWIFTY even though it was in a puzzle just a few weeks ago.

    In the crossword world I think “Little Women” and “Harry Potter” were the only books ever written.

    Didn’t know METIER. I knew its two other meanings – METIER – one of those things that shoots across the sky every now and then. And METIER – as in “My steak seems METIER than the last time I ate here”….

    Best –

    Best –

  6. And coming in last, yet again, with a screaming 42:48 after using the first 2/3 of the alphabet to get “metier”, since I had ad “rep”….me! But finishing in a time less than two days is a victory for me…until tomorrow!

  7. Managed to finish WNE but not without a struggle. Only letter in
    sq. 48 that made a word was M so went with that to complete the grid
    even though Trade/METIER made no sense at the time. I own a full set of Tom Swifts so can appreciate a good Tom Swifty, my favorite of which can’t be repeated here.

  8. I got about 10% of this one and that’s as far as I could go…hats off to those who finished it…I am not in the Same class with you and at age 79 it looks like I will never be.
    Stay safe

  9. I thought this was a pretty tough but fair puzzle. Took me forever to get going but finally got it all after 79 minutes.I must say I’ve never heard of a xerophyte however.

  10. If I were left-handed, I think I’d want to bear my shield on the right arm, not the left. That would be prudent, especially in face-to-face warfare. (Do I have to deal with all the other stuff in this puzzle, too?)

  11. 34:05, 2 errors: (A) FACTOR; (A)EROPHYTE. Thought my error today would be the cross of REM/METIER, but guessed correctly at the M.

  12. This entire puzzle was difficult for me. North east corner was brutal. Ended up with five incorrect boxes (10 errors).
    Wifey finally had to ask me to hang it up.
    Like asking a rabid dog to stop forming at the mouth.

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