0629-20 NY Times Crossword 29 Jun 20, Monday

Constructed by: Peter Gordon
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Word from a Word

Themed answers are each two-words. The letters of the second word are found throughout the first word, and in the same order:

  • 18A Position sought every six years : SENATE SEAT
  • 20A Close guy friend : MAIN MAN
  • 26A Home theater feature, maybe : SURROUND SOUND
  • 43A Annual award for architects : PRITZKER PRIZE
  • 52A Safest course of action : BEST BET
  • 56A Pop-up store opportunity for bargain hunters : SAMPLE SALE

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 5m 30s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Part of a constellation : STAR

In astronomical terms, the zodiac is a group of 13 constellations that together form a roughly circular pattern in the night sky. Most of these constellations are named for animals, which explains with the word “zodiac” comes from the Greek “zodiakos” meaning “circle of little animals”. We can’t see the whole Zodiac at any one time in the year, but one constellation does dominate the sky every four weeks. In astrological terms, there are only 12 signs of the zodiac. Astrologists skip the constellation Ophiuchus (visible November/December). Ophiuchus is the serpent bearer.

10 Top Olympic medal : GOLD

In the Ancient Olympic Games, the winner of an event was awarded an olive wreath. When the games were revived in 1896, the winners were originally given a silver medal and an olive branch, with runners-up receiving a bronze medal and a laurel branch. The tradition of giving gold, silver and bronze medals began at the 1904 Summer Olympic Games held in St. Louis, Missouri.

14 Parasitic insects that suck : LICE

Lice (singular “louse”) are small wingless insects, of which there are thousands of species. There are three species of lice affecting humans, i.e. head lice, body lice and pubic lice. Most lice feed on dead skin found on the body of the host animal, although some feed on blood. Ick …

15 Digestive aid brand : BEANO

Beano is a dietary supplement that is used to reduce gas in the digestive tract. It contains an enzyme that breaks down complex sugars found in many vegetables. This makes the food more digestible and apparently cuts down on gas.

16 Song for a diva : ARIA

The term “diva” comes to us from Latin via Italian. “Diva” is the feminine form of “divus” meaning “divine one”. The word is used in Italy to mean “goddess” or “fine lady”, and especially is applied to the prima donna in an opera. We often use the term to describe a singer with a big ego.

17 Prefix with knock or lock : ANTI-

Pinging is also known as “engine knocking”. It is a metallic sound, created when not all of the fuel-air mixture is detonated by the spark plug, with some of it detonated late in the cycle. The late detonation causes the knocking/pinging sound. Additives (anti-knock agents) in gasoline can help reduce the chances of pinging.

The first anti-lock braking system (ABS) was developed for use on aircraft, in 1929. The system reduced braking distances for aircraft by 30% because pilots were able to apply a full braking force immediately on landing instead of applying gradual pressure to avoid skidding.

18 Position sought every six years : SENATE SEAT

The six-year terms enjoyed by US senators are staggered, so that every two years about one third of the 100 US Senate seats come up for reelection.

22 In his Webby Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech (which is limited to five words), he said “Please don’t recount this vote” : AL GORE

Former Vice President Al Gore was a joint recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 in recognition for his work in climate change activism. He also won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for his book on climate change called “An Inconvenient Truth”. The documentary of the same name that was spawned by the book won an Academy Award. In addition, Gore won an Emmy as co-owner of Current TV, an independent news network.

The Webby Awards recognize excellence on the Internet, and have been presented since 1995. One interesting twist in the Webby version of the award ceremony is that (theoretically) recipients are limited to five-word acceptance speeches.

23 What unagi is, at a sushi bar : EEL

“Unagi” is the Japanese term for” freshwater eel”, and “anago” is the term for “saltwater eel”.

24 2014 film in which David Oyelowo played Martin Luther King Jr. : SELMA

“Selma” is a 2014 film about the Selma-to-Montgomery marches of 1965. Directed by Ava DuVernay, the movie stars David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson.

26 Home theater feature, maybe : SURROUND SOUND

Monophonic sound (“mono”) is sound reproduced using just one audio channel, which is usually played out of just one speaker. Stereophonic sound is reproduced using two audio channels, with the sound from each channel played out of two different speakers. The pair of stereo speakers are usually positioned apart from each other so that sound appears to come from between the two. Quadraphonic sound (4.0 surround sound) uses four audio channels with the sound played back through four speakers that are often positioned at the corners of the room in which one is listening.

31 “To thine ___ self be true” : OWN

In William Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet”, Polonius gives some fatherly advice to his son Laertes before the young man heads off to France. Included among the numerous pearls of wisdom is the oft-quoted “Neither a borrower nor a lender be” and “to thine own self be true”.

Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportioned thought his act.
Be thou familiar but by no means vulgar.
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel,
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatched, unfledged comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
Bear ’t that th’ opposèd may beware of thee.
Give every man thy ear but few thy voice.
Take each man’s censure but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not expressed in fancy—rich, not gaudy,
For the apparel oft proclaims the man,
And they in France of the best rank and station
Are of a most select and generous chief in that.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be,
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

32 Chinese-born architect who won a 43-Across : IM PEI

I. M. Pei (full name: Ieoh Ming Pei) was an exceptional American architect who was born in China. Of Pei’s many wonderful works, my favorite is the renovation of the Louvre in Paris, and especially the Glass Pyramid in the museum’s courtyard.

35 Odometer button : RESET

An odometer measures distance traveled. “Odometer comes from the Greek “hodos” meaning “path” and “metron” meaning “measure”.

37 Vietnamese New Year : TET

The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

43 Annual award for architects : PRITZKER PRIZE

The Pritzker Architecture Prize is an annual award that has been presented since 1979. The award is funded by the estate of Jay Pritzker, the founder of the Hyatt Hotel chain.

48 Chaney of silent films : LON

Lon Chaney, Sr. played a lot of crazed-looking characters in the days of silent movies. He did much of his own make-up work, developing the grotesque appearances that became his trademark, and earning himself the nickname “the man of a thousand faces”. Most famous were his portrayals of the title characters in the films “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1923) and “The Phantom of the Opera” (1925).

56 Pop-up store opportunity for bargain hunters : SAMPLE SALE

A pop-up store is one that is temporary. The idea is that a pop-up store opens in empty retail space for a limited period of time, often to meet the needs of a particular season or holiday. Examples of the genre might be Halloween stores or Christmas stores.

59 Vogue competitor : ELLE

“Elle” magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. “Elle” is the French word for “she”. “Elle” is published monthly worldwide, although you can pick up a weekly edition if you live in France.

60 Savings plans for old age, in brief : IRAS

Individual retirement account (IRA)

62 Cape Canaveral org. : NASA

The famous headland in Florida called Cape Canaveral was named by Spanish explorers in the early 16th century. As the Cape acts as a launching station for many of NASA’s rockets, when President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 the NASA facility on nearby Merritt Island was renamed the Kennedy Space Center, and President Johnson went as far as renaming the whole of Cape Canaveral to Cape Kennedy. The name change for the cape didn’t go down well in Florida though, as the headland had been called Cape Canaveral for over 400 years. So, the name was restored in 1973, and Cape Kennedy is no more.

64 Newspaper pieces collected in the book “The Last Word” : OBITS

Our word “obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”. The Latin term was used for “record of the death of a person”, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

Down

2 Funny Fey : TINA

Comedian and actress Tina Fey was born Elizabeth Stamatina Fey in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. Fey is perhaps best known to television viewers as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” (1997-2006), and as the creator and star of the sitcom “30 Rock” (2006-2013).

4 Director Rob : REINER

The great director and actor Rob Reiner first came to prominence playing “Meathead”, Archie and Edith Bunker’s son-in-law in “All in the Family”. Since then, Reiner has directed a long string of hit movies including, “The Princess Bride”, “Stand by Me”, “This Is Spinal Tap”, “When Harry Met Sally”, “Misery” and “A Few Good Men”.

5 Son of David in the Old Testament : ABSALOM

According to the Hebrew Bible, Absalom was the third son of David, after Amnon and Chileab.

8 Santa ___ winds : ANA

The Santa Ana winds are the very dry air currents that sweep offshore late in the year in Southern California. Because these air currents are so dry, they are noted for their influence over forest fires in the area, especially in the heat of the fall. The winds arise from a buildup of air pressure in the Great Basin that lies between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. Under the right conditions, that air spills over the peaks of the Sierra Nevada and basically “falls” down the side of the Sierra range, heading for the ocean. As the air falls it becomes drier and heats up so that relative humidity can fall to below 10% by the time it hits the coast.

10 Dashboard dial that goes from “E” to “F” : GAS GAUGE

Back in the 1800s, “dashboard” was the name given to a board placed at the front of a carriage to stop mud from “dashing” against the passengers in the carriage, mud that was kicked up by the hoofs of the horses. Quite interesting …

11 Cookie since 1912 : OREO

The Oreo cookie was introduced in 1912. The Oreo was intended to be a competitor to the very similar Hydrox cookie which had debuted four years earlier. The Oreo won the resulting battle on the grocery store shelves …

12 Polygraph flunker : LIAR

We are most familiar with the word “polygraph” as the generic name for a lie detector instrument. This usage began in 1921, although the term had been around since the end of the 18th century. Back then, a polygraph was a mechanical device used to make multiple copies as something was written or drawn. Famously, Thomas Jefferson used a polygraph to preserve copies of letters that he wrote to correspondents.

19 Red Muppet on “Sesame Street” : ELMO

The “Sesame Street” character named Elmo has a birthday every February 3rd, and on that birthday he always turns 3½ years old. The man behind/under Elmo on “Sesame Street” for many years was Kevin Clash. If you want to learn more about Elmo and Clash, you can watch the 2011 documentary “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey”.

26 Clean with a broom : SWEEP

The sweeping implement known as a “broom” used to be called a “besom”. A besom was made from a bundle of twigs tied to a stouter pole. The favored source for the twigs came from thorny shrubs from the genus Genista. The common term for many species of Genista is “broom”. Over time, “broom besoms” came to be known simply as “brooms”.

27 Al ___, four-time Indianapolis 500 winner : UNSER

The Unser family seems to have auto racing in their blood. Al Unser, Sr. won the Indy 500 on four occasions. Al’s brother Jerry was the first of the Unsers to compete at Indianapolis. Al’s other brother Bobby, won the Indy three times. Al’s son, Al Junior, won the Indy twice. Al Junior’s son is also a racing driver who competes at the Indy Speedway.

29 Product for one pulling an all-nighter : NODOZ

NoDoz and Vivarin are brand names of caffeine pills.

30 Motherless calf : DOGIE

“Dogie” (sometimes “dogy”) is cowboy slang for a motherless calf in a herd.

34 Dover’s state: Abbr. : DEL

The city of Dover is the capital of Delaware, and is the state’s second biggest city (after Wilmington). Dover is named after the town of Dover on the south coast of England, and was given that name by William Penn. The English Dover lies in the county of Kent, and the American Dover resides in Kent County.

38 Long lunches? : HEROS

A hero is a submarine sandwich. The hero originated in New York City in the 1800s among Italian immigrants who wanted an Italian sandwich that reminded them of home. The name “hero” was coined in the 1930s, supposedly by a food critic in the “New York Herald Tribune” when he wrote that “one had to be a hero” to finish the gigantic sandwich. Hero is a prevalent term to this day in New York City, reserved for a submarine sandwich with an Italian flavor.

45 Louisiana music typically featuring an accordion : ZYDECO

Zydeco is a style of folk music that evolved from Creole music in Louisiana. The name “Zydeco” is imitative of the French word for green beans, “les haricots”. The term arose from a popular dance tune called “Les Haricots Sont Pas Salés” (“The Green Beans Ain’t Salty”).

49 Thrift shop caveat : AS IS

A caveat is a warning or a qualification. “Caveat” is the Latin for “let him beware”.

51 Big-screen film format : IMAX

The IMAX Corporation, which is behind the IMAX film format, is a Canadian company. The impetus for developing the system came after Expo ’67 in Montreal. Back then large format screenings were accomplished using multiple projectors with multiple screens, with images basically stitched together. The team behind the IMAX technology set out to simplify things, and developed a single-camera, single-projector system.

52 Rorschach image : BLOT

The Rorschach test is a psychological test in which a subject is asked to interpret a series of inkblots. The test was created by Swiss Freudian psychoanalyst Hermann Rorschach in the 1920s.

53 Lackluster : BLAH

Something described as lackluster is dull, it “lacks luster”. The term “lack-luster” was probably coined by the Bard himself. William Shakespeare used is in his play “As You Like It”, which was probably written in 1599:

And then he drew a dial from his poke
And, looking on it with lackluster eye,
Says very wisely, “It is ten o’clock.

58 Ring master? : ALI

Muhammad Ali won 56 professional fights, 37 of which were knockouts. He lost 5 fights, 4 being decisions and one being a technical knockout (TKO). The TKO-loss was Ali’s second-to-last fight, against Larry Holmes. By the time Ali took on Holmes, he was already showing signs of Parkinson’s Syndrome, although the diagnosis would not come until four years later.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Part of a constellation : STAR
5 Facing the pitcher : AT BAT
10 Top Olympic medal : GOLD
14 Parasitic insects that suck : LICE
15 Digestive aid brand : BEANO
16 Song for a diva : ARIA
17 Prefix with knock or lock : ANTI-
18 Position sought every six years : SENATE SEAT
20 Close guy friend : MAIN MAN
22 In his Webby Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech (which is limited to five words), he said “Please don’t recount this vote” : AL GORE
23 What unagi is, at a sushi bar : EEL
24 2014 film in which David Oyelowo played Martin Luther King Jr. : SELMA
26 Home theater feature, maybe : SURROUND SOUND
31 “To thine ___ self be true” : OWN
32 Chinese-born architect who won a 43-Across : IM PEI
33 Well-behaved : GOOD
35 Odometer button : RESET
37 Vietnamese New Year : TET
38 Row of bushes : HEDGE
39 What to leave a phone message after : BEEP
40 Got out of bed : AROSE
42 Home heating option : OIL
43 Annual award for architects : PRITZKER PRIZE
47 Coat of paint : LAYER
48 Chaney of silent films : LON
49 Far ___ (a long distance away) : AFIELD
52 Safest course of action : BEST BET
56 Pop-up store opportunity for bargain hunters : SAMPLE SALE
59 Vogue competitor : ELLE
60 Savings plans for old age, in brief : IRAS
61 : : COLON
62 Cape Canaveral org. : NASA
63 Erotic : SEXY
64 Newspaper pieces collected in the book “The Last Word” : OBITS
65 “How do you like ___ apples?” : THEM

Down

1 Close with a bang : SLAM
2 Funny Fey : TINA
3 Intermission preceder : ACT I
4 Director Rob : REINER
5 Son of David in the Old Testament : ABSALOM
6 One starting college, typically : TEEN
7 Prohibit : BAN
8 Santa ___ winds : ANA
9 Wrecks beyond repair : TOTALS
10 Dashboard dial that goes from “E” to “F” : GAS GAUGE
11 Cookie since 1912 : OREO
12 Polygraph flunker : LIAR
13 See socially : DATE
19 Red Muppet on “Sesame Street” : ELMO
21 Kind of badge for a scout : MERIT
24 One expressing contempt : SNEERER
25 Newspaper worker : EDITOR
26 Clean with a broom : SWEEP
27 Al ___, four-time Indianapolis 500 winner : UNSER
28 Slow on the ___ : UPTAKE
29 Product for one pulling an all-nighter : NODOZ
30 Motherless calf : DOGIE
31 Heavenly sphere : ORB
34 Dover’s state: Abbr. : DEL
36 Cause of seizures : EPILEPSY
38 Long lunches? : HEROS
41 Lymphocyte-producing organs : SPLEENS
44 Like most centers in basketball : TALL
45 Louisiana music typically featuring an accordion : ZYDECO
46 Purpose : INTENT
49 Thrift shop caveat : AS IS
50 Taxi charge : FARE
51 Big-screen film format : IMAX
52 Rorschach image : BLOT
53 Lackluster : BLAH
54 “If all ___ fails …” : ELSE
55 Sports squad : TEAM
57 Have a bawl : SOB
58 Ring master? : ALI

5 thoughts on “0629-20 NY Times Crossword 29 Jun 20, Monday”

  1. 6:11. Didn’t notice the theme until I had finished the puzzle.

    I didn’t know anti-lock brakes originated on airplanes, but it certainly makes sense.

    So I guess technically carbon paper is a polygraph. The former usage of that word is more intuitive than our current usage.

    Best –

  2. 8:59, no errors. I guess 8 to 9 minutes is the fastest my fumbling fingers seem to be able to do on my Kindle Fire on Mondays. See ya tomorrow.

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