0710-20 NY Times Crossword 10 Jul 20, Friday

Constructed by: John Lieb
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 11m 23s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

9 Like noble gases : STABLE

The rare gases are better known as the noble gases, but neither term is really very accurate. “Noble” gas might be a better choice though, as they are all relatively unreactive. But “rare” they are not. Argon, for example, is a major constituent (1%) of the air that we breathe.

15 Japanese emperor from 1926 to 1989 : HIROHITO

Hirohito was the Emperor of Japan from 1926 until he died in 1989. Even though he reigned right through WWII, he was not prosecuted for war crimes, which is a decision still much debated among historians.

16 1997 film with the tagline “One wrong flight can ruin your whole day” : CON AIR

“Con Air” is an entertaining action movie that was released in 1997. The film tells the story of a bunch of convicts being transported by air who escape and take control of the plane. If you take a look at the movie’s closing credits you’ll see the words “In Memory of Phil Swartz”. Swartz, a welder with the special effects team, was killed in a tragic accident when a static model of the plane used in the movie fell on him.

19 Once going by : NEE

“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”. The term “née” is mainly used in English when referring to a married woman’s birth name, assuming that she has adopted her husband’s name, e.g. Michelle Obama née Robinson, and Melania Trump née Knavs.

20 Tea, in Mandarin : CHA

“Cha” is a Mandarin Chinese word for “tea”.

22 Fashion monogram : YSL

Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) was an Algerian-born French fashion designer. Saint Laurent started off working as an assistant to Christian Dior at the age of 17. Dior died just four years later, and as a very young man Saint-Laurent was named head of the House of Dior. However, in 1950 Saint Laurent was conscripted into the French Army and ended up in a military hospital after suffering a mental breakdown from the hazing inflicted on him by his fellow soldiers. His treatment included electroshock therapy and administration of sedatives and psychoactive drugs. He was released from hospital, managed to pull his life back together and started his own fashion house. A remarkable story …

23 Bozos, north of the border : HOSERS

The derogatory word “hoser”, meaning “foolish or uncultivated person”, is apparently attributed to Canadians. That said, I just read that the term is in fact rarely used north of the border.

25 Garb for the masses? : ALBS

An alb is a white, neck-to-toe vestment worn by priests, usually with a rope cord around the waist. The term alb comes from “albus”, the Latin word for “white”.

The principal act of worship in the Roman Catholic tradition is the Mass. The term “Mass” comes from the Late Latin word “missa” meaning “dismissal”. This word is used at the end of the Latin Mass in “Ite, missa est” which translates literally as “Go, it is the dismissal”.

27 Sam Shepard play about warring brothers : TRUE WEST

As well as being an accomplished actor, Sam Shepard was the author of over forty plays and several books. Shepard’s 1978 play “Buried Child” won a Pulitzer in 1979. As an actor, Shepard was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of test pilot Chuck Yeager in the 1983 film “The Right Stuff”.

29 Choler : IRE

“Choler” is “anger, irritability”. Choler (also “cholera”) was one of the body’s four basic substances of medieval science, the so-called four humors. All diseases were caused by these four substances getting out of balance. The four humors were:

  • Black bile (melancholia)
  • Yellow bile (cholera)
  • Phlegm (phlegma)
  • Blood (sanguis)

33 Subject of a 23-foot bronze statue in San Diego’s Balboa Park : EL CID

Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar was known as El Cid Campeador, which translates as “The Champion” or perhaps “The Lord, Master of Military Arts”. El Cid was a soldier who fought under the rule of King Alfonso VI of Spain (among others). However, he was sent into exile by the King in 1080, after acting beyond his authorization in battle. El Cid then offered his services to his former foes, the Moorish kings, After a number of years building a reputation with the Moors, he was recalled from exile by Alfonso. By this time El Cid was very much his own man. Nominally under the orders of Alfonso, he led a combined army of Spanish and Moorish troops and took the city of Valencia on the Mediterranean coast in 1094, making it his headquarters and home. He died in Valencia, quite peacefully, in 1099.

42 It shares a border with Georgia : CHECHNYA

Chechnya is a federal subject of Russia located in the North Caucasus in the very southwest of the country. The capital of Chechnya is Grozny. In the days of the USSR, Chechnya was part of the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR). The former ASSR was subsequently divided into the Chechen Republic and the Republic of Ingushetia. The Chechen Republic declared independence from the Russian Federation, which resulted in the First Chechen War, fought from 1994 to 1996. Boris Yeltsin’s government in Moscow signed a peace treaty ending the war and ceding autonomy to Chechnya. However, Chechnya-based Islamic fighters invaded Dagestan in 1999, at which point Russian troops entered Chechnya again, starting the Second Chechen War. The second conflict raged until 2009, when the Russians withdrew many of their troops having severely disabled the capabilities of the Chechen separatists.

The former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) of Georgia is now an independent country. Supposedly, the Georgian people were given their name because they especially revered St. George. The flag of Georgia does indeed feature five St. George’s crosses.

52 Patriotic org. : DAR

In order to be a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), an applicant has to prove that she is a descendant of someone closely associated with, and supportive of, the American Revolution. The DAR maintains an online database of Revolutionary War patriots. The database is searchable, and is known as the Patriot Index.

53 Volleyball coup : ACE

In volleyball, each team can only touch the ball a maximum of three times before it returns to the other side of the net. The three contacts are often a “bump” (a preliminary pass) and a “set” (setting up the attacking shot) followed by a “spike” (a shot into the opposing court).

57 Dark red gemstone : GARNET

Garnets are silicate minerals that come in many colors. However, the color that we call “garnet” is a dark red.

Down

3 Ubernerd of ’90s TV : URKEL

Steve Urkel is a character on the TV show “Family Matters” that originally aired in the late eighties and nineties. The Urkel character was the archetypal “geek”, played by Jaleel White. Urkel was originally written into the show’s storyline for just one episode, but before long, Urkel was the show’s most popular recurring character.

5 Debut album for Dr. Dre : THE CHRONIC

“Dr. Dre” is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such as Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

6 “The Simpsons” character named for a U.S. president : MILHOUSE

Milhouse Van Houten is a character on the animated TV show “The Simpsons”. Milhouse is Bart Simpson’s best friend, and has a crush on Bart’s sister Lisa.

President Richard Milhous Nixon (RMN) used “Milhous” in his name in honor of his mother Hannah Milhous. Richard was born in a house in Yorba Linda, California. You can visit that house today as it is on the grounds of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. It’s a really interesting way to spend a few hours if you ever get to Yorba Linda …

7 Self-help books for those feeling lost? : ATLASES

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.

9 Downhill run : SCHUSS

A schuss is a very fast run downhill in skiing, one with no turns taken to slow the pace of the descent. “Schuss” is a German word for “shot”.

10 Linus or Lucy, e.g. : TOON

In Charles Schulz’s fabulous comic strip “Peanuts”, Charlie Brown is friends with at least three members of the van Pelt family. Most famously there is Lucy van Pelt, who bosses everyone around, and who operates a psychiatric booth that looks like a lemonade stand. Then there is Linus, Lucy’s younger brother, the character who always has his security blanket at hand. Lastly there is an even younger brother, Rerun van Pelt. Rerun is constantly hiding under his bed, trying to avoid going to school.

11 Rita Moreno’s “West Side Story” role : ANITA

Puerto Rican singer, dancer and actress Rita Moreno is one of the few performers to have won an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony. Moreno got her big break, and won her Oscar, for playing Anita in the 1961 screen adaptation of “West Side Story”. And, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2004.

Leonard Bernstein’s musical “West Side Story” is based on William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. The musical is set in New York City and features two rival gangs: the Sharks from Puerto Rico and the Jets with working-class, Caucasian roots. Tony from the Jets (played by Richard Beymer) falls in love with Maria (played by Natalie Wood) from the Sharks. All this parallels Romeo from the House of Montague falling for Juliet from the House of Capulet in the Italian city of Verona. The stage musical was adapted into a very successful 1961 movie with the same title.

12 Places of worship : BASILICAS

In its modern usage, the term “basilica” applies to a Roman Catholic church that has been given special ceremonial rights by the Pope.

13 Classic toy with colored pegs : LITE-BRITE

The Lite-Brite toy was introduced in 1967. It is basically a light box with a grid of holes in which colored pegs can be placed to create designs. You can now get a Lite-Brite app for the iPad.

21 Mission name in “The Martian” : ARES

“The Martian” is an intriguing 2015 science fiction film starring Matt Damon as an astronaut who is accidentally stranded on Mars. The movie is based on a 2011 novel of the same name by Andrew Weir. One thing that I liked about the film is that the science cited is fairly realistic. In fact, NASA collaborated with the filmmakers extensively from script development to principal casting.

26 Spring feast : SEDER

The Passover Seder is a ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish Passover holiday, celebrating the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.

28 “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” actor who played in the N.F.L. : TERRY CREWS

Terry Crews is a former football player who became a very successful actor and comedian after retiring from the sport. Crews is a multi-talented person. He is a very capable flute player, and quite the portrait artist. Crews took over as host of “America’s Got Talent” in 2019.

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is a sitcom set in the 99th precinct of the NYPD in Brooklyn. Star of the show is “Saturday Night Live” alum Andy Samberg, who plays Detective Jake Peralta.

31 Coinage for a certain working-class male voter : NASCAR DAD

“NASCAR dad” is one of those phrases that is used to broadly describe a perceived demographic, the “typical” person who enjoys watching NASCAR. It is often used to describe a bloc of voters, and is akin to “soccer mom”.

34 Sci-fi general : LEIA

The full name of the character played by Carrie Fisher in the “Star Wars” series of films is Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan, and later Leia Organa Solo. Leia is the twin sister of Luke Skywalker, and the daughter of Anakin Skywalker (aka “Darth Vader”) and Padmé Amidala. Leia is raised by her adoptive parents Bail and Breha Organa. She eventually marries Han Solo.

36 Change in Cuba : CENTAVOS

“Centavo” is a Spanish and Portuguese word, and is used for the coin that represents 1/100 of the basic monetary unit of quite a few countries, including Cuba. “Centavo” comes from the Latin “centum” meaning “one hundred” and “-avo” meaning “portion, fraction”.

38 Baltic native : LETT

Latvia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs). People from Latvia are called Letts.

The natives of modern day Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are sometimes referred to as Balts, a reference to the Baltic Sea on which the three countries lie. The term “Balt” is also used for someone who speaks one of the Baltic languages, a group of languages spoken by people mainly residing within the borders of Latvia and Lithuania, as well as in some immigrant communities around the world.

39 Duke’s grp. : ACC

Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)

Duke University was founded in 1838 as Brown’s Schoolhouse. The school was renamed to Trinity College in 1859, and to this day the town where the college was located back then is known as Trinity, in honor of the school. The school was moved in 1892 to Durham, North Carolina in part due to generous donations from the wealthy tobacco industrialist Washington Duke. Duke’s donation required that the school open its doors to women, placing them on an equal footing with men. Trinity’s name was changed to Duke in 1924 in recognition of the generosity of the Duke family. Duke’s athletic teams are known as the Blue Devils.

40 Government assistance : THE DOLE

The word “dole”, meaning “financial relief”, originated as the Old English word “dal”, the state of sharing, giving out. The phrase “on the dole”, relating to institutional relief, dates back to the twenties.

45 Musical “repeat” mark : SEGNO

“Dal segno” can appear on a musical score, sometimes abbreviated to “D.S.” The term translates from Italian as “from the sign”, and is an instruction to repeat a passage starting from a special sign, often called the “segno” in English.

47 San ___, city near Berkeley : PABLO

San Pablo, California is a city in Northern California. San Pablo is almost completely surrounded by the city of Richmond in the San Francisco Bay Area.

48 Drink, so to speak : OCEAN

The ocean, the sea, the drink.

49 Suspects, informally : PERPS

Perpetrator (perp)

51 Celebrity chef Paula : DEEN

Paula Deen is a celebrity chef from Savannah, Georgia who is noted for her Southern cooking. Deen has been criticized for the amount of salt, fat and sugar in her recipes. The criticism became even more intense when Deen disclosed that she herself has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

54 Mideast title : AGA

“Aga” (also “agha”) is a title that was used by both civil and military officials in the Ottoman Empire.

55 Ed.’s stack : MSS

An editor (ed.) might read or edit a manuscript (MS)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Fall guy? : STUNTMAN
9 Like noble gases : STABLE
15 Japanese emperor from 1926 to 1989 : HIROHITO
16 1997 film with the tagline “One wrong flight can ruin your whole day” : CON AIR
17 Things found on old desktops : INKWELLS
18 Raises : HOISTS
19 Once going by : NEE
20 Tea, in Mandarin : CHA
21 Reunion attendee, informally : AUNTIE
22 Fashion monogram : YSL
23 Bozos, north of the border : HOSERS
25 Garb for the masses? : ALBS
27 Sam Shepard play about warring brothers : TRUE WEST
29 Choler : IRE
30 Captivates : ENGROSSES
33 Subject of a 23-foot bronze statue in San Diego’s Balboa Park : EL CID
35 Shade of deep blue : MARINE
36 Produce : CREATE
37 “Same here” : AS AM I
38 Night owl, often : LATE RISER
41 Aloof : ICY
42 It shares a border with Georgia : CHECHNYA
44 Places to wear goggles : LABS
46 ” … you know the rest” : ETC ETC
47 Startling sound : POP!
50 Cut again, say : RE-EDIT
52 Patriotic org. : DAR
53 Volleyball coup : ACE
54 Saws : ADAGES
55 Annual event to grow awareness of men’s health issues : MOVEMBER
57 Dark red gemstone : GARNET
58 Sarcastic show of approval : SLOW CLAP
59 Extras : ADD-ONS
60 Meetings : SESSIONS

Down

1 Well-polished : SHINY
2 Points raised while eating : TINES
3 Ubernerd of ’90s TV : URKEL
4 Impatient demand : NOW!
5 Debut album for Dr. Dre : THE CHRONIC
6 “The Simpsons” character named for a U.S. president : MILHOUSE
7 Self-help books for those feeling lost? : ATLASES
8 Rebuffs : NOS
9 Downhill run : SCHUSS
10 Linus or Lucy, e.g. : TOON
11 Rita Moreno’s “West Side Story” role : ANITA
12 Places of worship : BASILICAS
13 Classic toy with colored pegs : LITE-BRITE
14 Speakers’ stumbles : ERS
21 Mission name in “The Martian” : ARES
24 Farm animal that sounds like you? : EWE
26 Spring feast : SEDER
27 Sleek : TRIM
28 “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” actor who played in the N.F.L. : TERRY CREWS
30 Medium for modern marketing campaigns : EMAIL
31 Coinage for a certain working-class male voter : NASCAR DAD
32 Wise elder : GRAYBEARD
34 Sci-fi general : LEIA
36 Change in Cuba : CENTAVOS
38 Baltic native : LETT
39 Duke’s grp. : ACC
40 Government assistance : THE DOLE
43 Causes for alarm? : HEISTS
45 Musical “repeat” mark : SEGNO
47 San ___, city near Berkeley : PABLO
48 Drink, so to speak : OCEAN
49 Suspects, informally : PERPS
51 Celebrity chef Paula : DEEN
54 Mideast title : AGA
55 Ed.’s stack : MSS
56 The year 1101 : MCI

5 thoughts on “0710-20 NY Times Crossword 10 Jul 20, Friday”

  1. 33:47, 3X Bill’s time, in other words: fast for me on a Friday. Probably because there were no trademarked cereal names today….

  2. 14:45, no errors. Both “NASCAR DAD” and “MOVEMBER” are new to me, but crosses made them relatively easy to get.

  3. Well, it’s Friday. Persistence paid off. 27:31 and like @DuncanR, a decent time for a Friday. MOVEMBER? NASCAR DAD? And when will I remember that there’s a C in SCHUSS? I thought this was a pretty “tricksy” puzzle.

  4. 21:28 Felt like it was taking forever but I’m still under 2x Bill’s times for the entire week. I must be in a different universe!! Also unfamiliar with NASCAR DAD, TERRY CREWS or THE CHRONIC, but several good crossing “guesses” paid off. Can I keep up the streak on Sat??

  5. 24:37. A couple of really good guesses to get TRUE WEST and THE CHRONIC were neutralized by some mindless missteps. I had SOCCER DAD before NASCAR DAD plus a few others.

    Seems unfair for Paula DEEN to get that criticism. After all, the four major food groups are salt, sugar, fat and alcohol…..

    Best –

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