0713-20 NY Times Crossword 13 Jul 20, Monday

Constructed by: Erik Agard
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Mahjong Tile

Themed answers are each icons depicted on a Mahjong tile:

  • 50A Game piece on which 20-, 33- or 39-Across might be pictured : MAHJONG TILE
  • 20A Flower of the tree Prunus mume : PLUM BLOSSOM
  • 33A Bringer of cold weather : NORTH WIND
  • 39A Winged beast on the Welsh flag : RED DRAGON

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 5m 33s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 One-named singer with the hit “Dark Lady” : CHER

“Cher” is the stage name used by singer and actress Cherilyn Sarkisian. Formerly one half of husband-wife duo Sonny & Cher, she is often referred to as the Goddess of Pop. In her acting career, Cher was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar of 1984 for her performance in “Silkwood”. She went further in 1988 and won the season’s Best Actress Oscar for playing Loretta Castorini in “Moonstruck”.

14 The “R” of the Supreme Court’s R.B.G. : RUTH

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg serves on the US Supreme Court. Justice Ginsburg was the second woman to join the Court, and was nominated by President Bill Clinton. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1999 and underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. During that time she did not miss one day on the bench. In 2009 Justice Ginsburg had surgery for pancreatic cancer, and was back to work 12 days later. She had left-lung lobectomy to remove cancerous nodules in 2018, which forced Justice Ginsburg to miss oral argument in January 2019, for the first time since joining the court 25 years earlier. Much of Ginsburg’s life is recounted in the excellent 2018 movie “On the Basis of Sex”.

15 Tropical fruit : MANGO

The delicious mango is the national fruit of India, Pakistan and the Philippines. Almost half of the world’s supply of mangoes comes from India.

17 Palo ___, Calif. : ALTO

The city of Palo Alto, California takes its name from a specific redwood tree called El Palo Alto (Spanish for “the tall stick”) that is located within the bounds of the city. The tree is 110 feet tall and over a thousand years old.

19 Asterisk : STAR

The name of the typographical symbol “asterisk” comes from the Greek word “asteriskos” meaning “little star”. The original use of the asterisk was by printers of family trees in feudal times. Back then it was a symbol indicating the date of birth.

27 Month with no federal holidays : AUGUST

The US Congress created the first federal holidays in 1870, but only designated four such holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Independence Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

39 Winged beast on the Welsh flag : RED DRAGON

I’ve always thought the Welsh flag to be a magnificent design. At the center of the flag is a red dragon, which was the emblem of Cadwaladr. Cadwaladr was the king of much of what today is known as Wales, from 655 to 682.

42 Lindsay of “The Parent Trap” : LOHAN

I think that actress Lindsay Lohan’s big break came with the Disney remake of “The Parent Trap” in 1998. I’ve really only enjoyed one of Lohan’s films though, “Freaky Friday” from 2003 in which she stars alongside the fabulous Jamie Lee Curtis.

45 Place to store canned goods : PANTRY

The word “pantry” dates back to 1300, when it came into English from the Old French “panetrie” meaning a “bread room”. Bread is “pain” in French, and “panis” in Latin.

50 Game piece on which 20-, 33- or 39-Across might be pictured : MAHJONG TILE

Mahjong (also “mahjongg” and “mah-jongg”) is the Chinese word for “sparrow”. Mahjong is a game that originated in China, and is usually played by four players. There is a myth that the game was developed by the Chinese philosopher, Confucius. The myth also suggests that Confucius was fond of birds, and hence chose the name “sparrow”.

56 One-named singer with the hit “Orinoco Flow” : ENYA

“Orinoco Flow” is a song by Irish singer Enya that she released in 1988. It’s the one that goes “sail away, sail away, sail away …”

60 Gourmand’s passion : FOOD

A gourmand is someone who takes great pleasure in consuming food and drink, often eating and drinking to excess. The related term “gourmet” refers to someone who has a refined palate.

61 The Little Mermaid : ARIEL

In the 1989 Disney animated film “The Little Mermaid”, the title character is given the name “Ariel”. In the original fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen that dates back to 1836, the Little Mermaid is given no name at all. There is a famous statue of the unnamed Little Mermaid sitting in Copenhagen Harbor, in Andersen’s homeland of Denmark.

62 ___ mater : ALMA

The literal translation for the Latin term “alma mater” is “nourishing mother”. The phrase was used in ancient Rome to refer to mother goddesses, and in Medieval Christianity the term was used to refer to the Virgin Mary. Nowadays, one’s alma mater is the school one attended, either high school or college, usually one’s last place of education.

Down

1 “Oh, no!” : CRAP!

To crap out is to make a losing roll on the first throw in a game of craps. A losing roll (aka “a crap”) is a roll of 2, 3 or 12.

3 “___, Brute?” : ET TU

It was Shakespeare who popularized the words “Et tu, Brute?” (meaning “And you, Brutus?”). They appear in his play “Julius Caesar”, although the phrase had been around long before he penned his drama. It’s not known what Julius Caesar actually said in real life (if anything at all) as he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate in Rome.

4 Diamond shape, in geometry : RHOMBUS

“Rhomb” is an alternative name for a rhombus (plural “rhombi”), a 4-sided figure with sides of equal length and angles at the corners that aren’t right angles. So, that would make a rhombus a “diamond” shape.

5 Trinket worn for luck : AMULET

Amulets are items worn to ward off disease or to protect against harmful magic spells.

Trinkets and baubles are small ornaments, and often pieces of jewelry.

6 Gas detected by home test kits : RADON

The element radon (Rn) is a radioactive gas, and a byproduct produced when uranium decays naturally in the earth. Radon gas can collect and accumulate in buildings and rooms that are particularly well insulated with very little air exchange. The danger is very real, as radon is listed as the second most frequent cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoke.

10 Basic cable channel that’s part of WarnerMedia Entertainment : TBS

The tbs cable television station started out in 1967 as a local broadcast TV station in Atlanta. The station’s first call letters were WJRJ-TV, and this was changed to WTCG in 1970 when it was acquired by Ted Turner (the TCG stood for Turner Communications Group). In 1976, Turner started distributing WTCG via satellite making its programming available in other parts of the country. WTCG was only the second channel to transmit via satellite, following HBO. The difference was that WTCG was broadcast without requiring a premium subscription. The station’s call sign was changed again in 1979 to WTBS, with “TBS” standing for Turner Broadcasting System. In 1981, the channel adopted the moniker “Superstation WTBS”.

26 Texter’s “Oh, just remembered …” : BTW …

By the way (BTW)

31 Bird whose head doesn’t make a sound? : WREN

The wren is a small songbird belonging to the family troglodytidae and the genus troglodytes. Wrens are known for making dome-shaped nests.

The head of the word “wren” is a silent letter W.

37 “The Princess Diaries” actress Anne : HATHAWAY

Actress Anne Hathaway is a favorite of mine, I must say. She starred in “The Devil Wears Prada” in 2006 and in 2007’s “Becoming Jane”, a film that I particularly enjoyed.

“The Princess Diaries” is a series of novels for young adults by Meg Cabot. There have been two Disney adaptations of the books, both starring Anne Hathaway as Mia Thermopolis and Julie Andrews as Queen Clarisse Renaldi.

42 A.P. ___ (high school English course, for short) : LANG

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school (HS). After being tested at the end of an AP course, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

45 Receptors for solar energy : PANELS

Solar panels are arrays of solar cells that make use of what’s known as the photovoltaic effect. We are more likely to have learned about the photoelectric effect in school, in which electrons were ejected from the surface of some materials when it was exposed to light or other forms of radiation. The photovoltaic effect is related but different. Instead of being electrons ejected from the surface, in the photovoltaic effect electrons move around in the material creating a difference in voltage.

46 Complaints : BEEFS

A beef is a complaint or a grievance. It’s not quite clear how “beef” came to have this meaning, but one suggestion is that it derives from the habit of soldiers at the end of the 1800s complaining about the quality or availability of beef in their rations.

48 “To Kill a Mockingbird” or “The Maltese Falcon” : NOVEL

Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” was first published in 1960. The book is a mainstay in English classes all around the world. In my humble opinion, “To Kill A Mockingbird” is a great ambassador for American literature.

The classic detective novel “The Maltese Falcon” was written by Dashiell Hammett and first published in 1930. The main character is Sam Spade, a character played by Humphrey Bogart in the third movie adaptation of the book, a film of the same name and released in 1941.

52 One corner on a Monopoly board : JAIL

The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of “The Landlord’s Game” created in 1903 by a Quaker woman named Lizzie Phillips. Phillips used her game as a tool to explain the single tax theory of American economist Henry George. The Landlord’s Game was first produced commercially in 1924. The incredibly successful derivative game called Monopoly was introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow, who became a very rich man when Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game just two years later in 1935.

54 Garnish for a Corona : LIME

The Mexican beer called Corona is the biggest-selling imported beer in the United States.

55 Scheduling guesses that might be updated in midair, for short : ETAS

Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 One-named singer with the hit “Dark Lady” : CHER
5 Regions : AREAS
10 Little ‘uns : TOTS
14 The “R” of the Supreme Court’s R.B.G. : RUTH
15 Tropical fruit : MANGO
16 Rude sound at the dinner table : BURP
17 Palo ___, Calif. : ALTO
18 Milk source on a dairy cow : UDDER
19 Asterisk : STAR
20 Flower of the tree Prunus mume : PLUM BLOSSOM
23 Bread bag closer : TIE
24 “How ya ___?” : BEEN
25 Money back on a purchase : REBATE
27 Month with no federal holidays : AUGUST
30 Hairstyle option : TWISTS
32 What cold weather may bring : FROST
33 Bringer of cold weather : NORTH WIND
36 See 8-Down : … AGO
37 ___-hole (place to secrete oneself) : HIDEY
38 Word before whiz : GEE …
39 Winged beast on the Welsh flag : RED DRAGON
42 Lindsay of “The Parent Trap” : LOHAN
44 Forms a mass of small bubbles : FROTHS
45 Place to store canned goods : PANTRY
46 “Take that!” : BOOYAH!
48 Nickname for grandma : NANA
49 Make a mistake : ERR
50 Game piece on which 20-, 33- or 39-Across might be pictured : MAHJONG TILE
56 One-named singer with the hit “Orinoco Flow” : ENYA
58 Hairstyle option : WEAVE
59 Word between File and View on a menu bar : EDIT
60 Gourmand’s passion : FOOD
61 The Little Mermaid : ARIEL
62 ___ mater : ALMA
63 Small earring : STUD
64 “Gimme a C …!” and “Go team!” : YELLS
65 Dee ___, director of “Bessie” and “Mudbound” : REES

Down

1 “Oh, no!” : CRAP!
2 Main body of a ship : HULL
3 “___, Brute?” : ET TU
4 Diamond shape, in geometry : RHOMBUS
5 Trinket worn for luck : AMULET
6 Gas detected by home test kits : RADON
7 Gets discontinued : ENDS
8 With 36-Across, in the distant past : AGES …
9 Alpha Kappa Alpha, for one : SORORITY
10 Basic cable channel that’s part of WarnerMedia Entertainment : TBS
11 “Awesome!” : OUTTA SIGHT!
12 Personality facet : TRAIT
13 Unrestrained shopping trip : SPREE
21 Superlative : BEST
22 Work well together : MESH
26 Texter’s “Oh, just remembered …” : BTW …
27 Miles away : AFAR
28 Impulse : URGE
29 Comment made with a pat on the back : GOOD FOR YOU
30 Commotions : TO-DOS
31 Bird whose head doesn’t make a sound? : WREN
33 Close : NIGH
34 Close : NEAR
35 When tripled, a liar’s mantra : DENY
37 “The Princess Diaries” actress Anne : HATHAWAY
40 Rainless : DRY
41 Travel all over the place : ROAM
42 A.P. ___ (high school English course, for short) : LANG
43 Rampaging : ON A TEAR
45 Receptors for solar energy : PANELS
46 Complaints : BEEFS
47 “… well, never mind then” : … OR NOT
48 “To Kill a Mockingbird” or “The Maltese Falcon” : NOVEL
51 “Take this!” : HERE
52 One corner on a Monopoly board : JAIL
53 Inactive : IDLE
54 Garnish for a Corona : LIME
55 Scheduling guesses that might be updated in midair, for short : ETAS
57 Subtract’s opposite : ADD

5 thoughts on “0713-20 NY Times Crossword 13 Jul 20, Monday”

  1. 6:47, no errors.

    Re 54-Down: I have to wonder if sales of Corona have taken a hit in recent times, given the advent of the coronavirus. (And I realize that would be a completely irrational reaction, but … hey … people can be irrational … 😜.)

    FWIW: Here in Denver, I’ve recently been doing a lot of “urban hiking”. Partly to make myself feel useful and partly because it makes for a better workout, I pick up a lot of trash. About half of the aluminum beer cans I find are Modelos; almost none are Coronas.

  2. 10:37. Leisurely solve today. Too much blood in my stomach from a giant NY Strip Steak yesterday…none left for my brain.

  3. 9:38. First puzzle I’ve done in a week, and I’m doing it from 38,000 feet up. Definitely felt rusty. Much harder than I was anticipating for a Monday.

    Nonny – I heard they actually stopped manufacturing Corona beer for a while. I believe it’s started again. I drank Modelo when I was in Mexico this past week. I don’t remember if I saw a Corona or not. Actually, I don’t remember much from this past week period….

    Best –

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