0714-20 NY Times Crossword 14 Jul 20, Tuesday

Constructed by: Stella Zawistowski
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Show Opening

Themed answers are common phrases reinterpreted with reference to Broadway shows:

  • 17A Super-cold spell on the set of a 1996 Broadway musical? : “RENT” FREEZE
  • 58A Positive, albeit terse, review of a 2003 Broadway musical? : “WICKED” GOOD
  • 11D Souvenir from a 1968 Broadway musical? : “HAIR” SHIRT
  • 34D Performance venue for a 1977 Broadway musical? : “ANNIE” HALL

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 7m 37s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 “Friends” or “Frasier” : SHOW

When the incredibly successful sitcom “Friends” was in development it was given the working title “Insomnia Cafe”. This was changed to “Friends Like Us”, before finally going to air as “Friends”.

15 Jacob’s first bride : LEAH

According to the Bible, Leah was one of the two wives of Jacob, the other being Leah’s sister Rachel. Jacob’s intention had been to marry Rachel, but Leah and Rachel’s father “switched” his daughters and provided Leah as the veiled bride. Jacob married Rachel a week later, and lived with the two wives concurrently.

17 Super-cold spell on the set of a 1996 Broadway musical? : RENT FREEZE

The musical “Rent” by Jonathan Larson is based on the Puccini opera “La bohème”. “Rent” tells the story of struggling artists and musicians living in the Lower East Side of New York, and is set against the backdrop of the AIDS epidemic. We saw “Rent” on Broadway quite a few years ago and were very disappointed …

19 What yeast makes dough do : RISE

Yeasts are unicellular microorganisms in the kingdom Fungi. The species of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used for centuries in the making of wine and beer, and in breadmaking. Saccharomyces cerevisiae converts carbohydrates into carbon dioxide and alcohol in the process of fermentation. When making beer and wine, the carbon dioxide and alcohol may be captured by the liquid. When making bread, the carbon dioxide and alcohol is driven off by heat.

20 One of the First Nations of Canada : CREE

The Cree are one of the largest groups of Native Americans on the continent. In the US, Montana is home to most of the Cree nation. They live on a reservation shared with the Ojibwe people. In Canada, most of the Cree live in Manitoba.

“First Nations” is a term used in Canada describing the ethnicity of Native Americans who are neither Inuit nor Métis people.

21 Primates, for humans : ORDER

Taxonomy is the classification of organisms or into groups or categories known as taxons (plural “taxa”). We are most familiar with the classification of organisms in the major taxonomic ranks (taxa):

  • Life
  • Domain
  • Kingdom
  • Phylum
  • Class
  • Order
  • Family
  • Genus (plural “genera”)
  • Species

Primates are mammals, many of whom are omnivorous and make good use of their hands. They also have larger brains relative to their body size, compared to other animals. The order Primates includes apes, lemurs, baboons and humans.

22 Newsmaking ex-Yankee, informally : A-ROD

Baseball player Alex Rodriguez, nicknamed “A-Rod”, broke a lot of records in his career, albeit under a shroud of controversy due to his use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs. When he signed a 10-year contract with the Texas Rangers for $252 million in 2000, it was the most lucrative contract in sports history. In 2007, Rodriguez signed an even more lucrative 10-year contract with the New York Yankees, worth $275 million. Rodriguez retired in 2016.

27 Org. concerned with sustainability : EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was set up during the Nixon administration and began operation at the end of 1970.

32 Waxing crescent, e.g. : PHASE

The phases of the moon have been given the following names, in order:

  • New moon
  • Waxing crescent moon
  • First quarter moon
  • Waxing gibbous moon
  • Full moon
  • Waning gibbous moon
  • Third quarter moon
  • Waning crescent moon
  • Dark moon

36 Abbr. in a discount bin : IRR

Irregular (“irr.” or “irreg.”)

37 Tweetstorm, e.g. : RANT

In the wonderful world of Twitter (said he, sarcastically), a tweetstorm is a series of related tweets by a single user on a related subject.

39 Christmas ___ : TREE

The custom of decorating trees at Christmas seems to have originated in Renaissance Germany. Those first trees were placed in guildhalls and were decorated with sweets and candy for the apprentices and children. After the Protestant Reformation, the Christmas tree became an alternative in Protestant homes for the Roman Catholic Christmas cribs. The Christmas tree tradition was imported into Britain by the royal family because of its German heritage. That tradition spread from Britain into North America.

41 Concert piano : GRAND

A grand piano is one with the frame supported horizontally on three legs. An upright piano has the frame and strings running vertically. Grand pianos come in many sizes. For example, the length of a concert grand is about 9 feet, a parlor grand is about 7 feet, and a baby grand is about 5 feet.

45 One of the components of an M.L.B. Triple Crown : RBI

In Major League baseball, a player can earn the Triple Crown when he is the leader in three specific statistics. The pitching Triple Crown includes wins, strikeouts and earned run average (ERA). The batting Triple Crown includes home runs, runs batted in (RBI) and batting average.

46 Workplace discrimination law enforcer, for short : EEOC

“Equal Employment Opportunity” (EEO) is a term that has been around since 1964 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was set up by the Civil Rights Act. Title VII of the Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion.

51 Where to find Amazon’s Alexa : ECHO

Alexa is a personal assistant application that is most associated with the Amazon Echo smart speaker. Apparently, one reason the name “Alexa” was chosen is because it might remind one of the Library of Alexandria, the “keeper of all knowledge”.

53 Modern missives : EMAIL

Our word “missive”, which is used for a written message or letter, comes from the Latin “mittere” meaning “to send”.

56 Norse goddess of fate : NORN

The Norns were female goddesses in Norse mythology. These female deities ruled the destiny of men. Sure, hasn’t it always been that way? Just kidding!!

57 Suds maker : SOAP

Soap is basically made by adding a strong alkali (like lye) to a fat (like olive oil or palm oil). The fats break down in the basic solution in a process called saponification. The crude soap is extracted from the mixture, washed, purified and finished in molds.

58 Positive, albeit terse, review of a 2003 Broadway musical? : WICKED GOOD

“Wicked” (more completely, “Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz”) is a 2003 stage musical that is a retelling of the L. Frank Baum novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. The musical is based on a 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire” called “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West”.

64 Muckraking journalist Jacob : RIIS

Journalist Jacob Riis is famous for his photographs and newspaper articles that highlighted the plight of the impoverished in New York City. He wrote “How the Other Half Lives”, originally an extensive article that appeared in “Scribner’s Magazine” at Christmas 1889. The article had such an impact that Riis was commissioned to expand it into a book, which was published the following year.

65 Kind of message made obsolescent by faxes : TELEX

Telex grew out of the world of the telegraph. What Telex brought to telegraphy was the ability to route messages. Instead of having to talk to an operator to route a particular message to the intended party, the user of a telex could route the message directly to another telex machine by way of a rotary dial, one very similar to that on a telephone.

Down

1 Poet/playwright Federico García ___ : LORCA

Garcia Lorca was a Spanish poet and dramatist. Lorca is as famous for his poems and his plays as he is for the circumstances of his death. Although it has never been irrefutably proven, many believe that he was shot and killed while in the custody of Nationalist militia, one month after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War.

2 Chris in the International Tennis Hall of Fame : EVERT

Chris Evert is a former professional tennis player from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Evert has the best winning percentage in professional tennis, man or woman worldwide, losing less than 10% of all her matches.

3 Core belief : TENET

A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “he holds”.

5 Abbr. on a returned check : NSF

Not sufficient funds (NSF)

9 Genius, informally : SHERLOCK

According to author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, his character Sherlock Holmes was based on a Dr. Joseph Bell for whom Doyle worked in Edinburgh. That said, Bell actually wrote a letter to Doyle in which he said “you are yourself Sherlock Holmes and well you know it”.

11 Souvenir from a 1968 Broadway musical? : HAIR SHIRT

The full name of the famed show from the sixties is “Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical”, although the 1979 film adaptation was simply titled “Hair”. This controversial work outraged many when it was first performed in the sixties, as it attacked many aspects of life at the time. For example, the song “Air” is a satirical look at pollution, sung by a character who comes onto the stage wearing a gas mask. The opening lines are “Welcome, sulfur dioxide. Hello carbon monoxide. The air … is everywhere”. How things have changed over the past few decades said he … satirically …

13 Gardener’s bane : WEED

Today, we tend to use the word “bane” to mean “anathema, a source of persistent annoyance”. A few centuries ago, a bane was a cause of harm or death, perhaps a deadly poison.

18 Almond ___ (candy brand) : ROCA

Almond Roca is a brand of chocolate-covered toffee that has a coating of ground almonds, and was invented in 1923.

31 Jennifer of “Dirty Dancing” : GREY

The celebrated 1987 film “Dirty Dancing” stars Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, who were both relative unknowns at the time of filming. “Dirty Dancing” had a relatively low budget but was destined to earn over $200 million. It became the first movie to sell more than a million copies on home video. There was a prequel made in 2004 called “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights”, that wasn’t a good film at all. Patrick Swayze was paid $200,000 for his 1987 performance, and received $5 million to make a cameo in the prequel.

33 War supporter : HAWK

The dove is a symbol of peace, and the hawk is a symbol of war.

34 Performance venue for a 1977 Broadway musical? : ANNIE HALL

The Broadway musical “Annie” is based on the Harold Gray comic strip “Little Orphan Annie”. There have been two film adaptations of the musical. Both were really quite successful, including one released in 1982, directed by John Huston of all people. It was his only ever musical.

I suppose if there is any Woody Allen movie that I enjoy watching, it’s “Annie Hall” from 1977. I think Diane Keaton is a great actress and she is wonderful in this film. You’ll see Paul Simon as well, making a rare movie appearance, and even Truman Capote playing himself. The film is also famous for sparking a movement in the fashion world to adopt the “Annie Hall” look, that very distinctive appearance championed by the Annie Hall character.

39 Word with love or right : … TRIANGLE

An acute triangle is a triangle in which all three angles are less than 90 degrees (i.e. acute angles). An obtuse triangle is one which has one angle that is greater than 90 degrees (i.e. obtuse). Acute and obtuse triangles are collectively referred to as oblique triangles, meaning they are not right triangles. A right triangle is one that includes a 90-degree angle.

41 Collector of letters: Abbr. : GPO

General post office (GPO)

42 “Aladdin” monkey : ABU

Abu is a monkey in the Disney production of “Aladdin”. The character is based on Abu, a thief in the 1940 film “The Thief of Baghdad”.

44 Sexiest Man Alive magazine : PEOPLE

There used to be a “People” page in each issue of “Time” magazine. This page was spun-off in 1974 as a publication of its own, which we now call “People” magazine. “People” is noted for its annual special editions with features such as “Best & Worst Dressed” and “Sexiest Man Alive”. The “Sexiest Man Alive” edition now appears at the end of November each year. The first choice for “Sexiest Man” was Mel Gibson, in 1985.

54 ___ Cooper : MINI

The original mini was a fabulous car, one that I drove all over Ireland in my youth. It had a unique front-wheel-drive layout that took up very little space, allowing for a lot of room (relatively speaking) for passengers and baggage. One space-saving trick was to mount the engine transversely, so it sits rotated 90 degrees from the norm. That engine had a capacity of only 848cc. In 1961, a Mini Cooper model was introduced, which was a sporty version. The Mini Cooper was a phenomenal hit, especially after repeated wins in the Monte Carlo Rally. The Mini marque has been owned by BMW since 1994.

59 Pointillism unit : DOT

Pointillism is a style of painting that grew out of Impressionism. The pointillist technique calls for the artist to use small, distinct dots of bold color to build up the image. Pointillism was developed in the late 1800s by the great French painter, Georges Seurat. You can go see his magnificent work “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” at The Art Institute of Chicago the next time you’re in town.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Grant entry to : LET IN
6 Things that may be open or folded : ARMS
10 “Friends” or “Frasier” : SHOW
14 Pizzeria needs : OVENS
15 Jacob’s first bride : LEAH
16 Give a hoot : CARE
17 Super-cold spell on the set of a 1996 Broadway musical? : RENT FREEZE
19 What yeast makes dough do : RISE
20 One of the First Nations of Canada : CREE
21 Primates, for humans : ORDER
22 Newsmaking ex-Yankee, informally : A-ROD
23 Have a magnetic effect on : ATTRACT
25 Gloss targets : LIPS
27 Org. concerned with sustainability : EPA
28 Full out : WHOLE-HOG
32 Waxing crescent, e.g. : PHASE
35 Succumb to pressure : CRACK
36 Abbr. in a discount bin : IRR
37 Tweetstorm, e.g. : RANT
38 Old piano’s sound : PLONK
39 Christmas ___ : TREE
40 Have title to : OWN
41 Concert piano : GRAND
42 Trying to look cultured : ARTSY
43 Saying “No thanks” to, say : SKIPPING
45 One of the components of an M.L.B. Triple Crown : RBI
46 Workplace discrimination law enforcer, for short : EEOC
47 We two : YOU AND I
51 Where to find Amazon’s Alexa : ECHO
53 Modern missives : EMAIL
56 Norse goddess of fate : NORN
57 Suds maker : SOAP
58 Positive, albeit terse, review of a 2003 Broadway musical? : WICKED GOOD
60 Like tales you can’t believe : TALL
61 Poker prerequisite : ANTE
62 Dark, yellowish green : OLIVE
63 It keeps the wheels turning : AXLE
64 Muckraking journalist Jacob : RIIS
65 Kind of message made obsolescent by faxes : TELEX

Down

1 Poet/playwright Federico García ___ : LORCA
2 Chris in the International Tennis Hall of Fame : EVERT
3 Core belief : TENET
4 It may grow via compounding : INTEREST
5 Abbr. on a returned check : NSF
6 Wide-eyed : ALERT
7 Plant by a pond : REED
8 Lab rat’s challenge : MAZE
9 Genius, informally : SHERLOCK
10 What a bandage may cover : SCRAPE
11 Souvenir from a 1968 Broadway musical? : HAIR SHIRT
12 Estimator’s phrase : OR SO
13 Gardener’s bane : WEED
18 Almond ___ (candy brand) : ROCA
24 Something studied by a primatologist : APE
26 Sort : ILK
28 All wet : WRONG
29 Unit in the measure of a horse’s height : HAND
30 Miners’ finds : ORES
31 Jennifer of “Dirty Dancing” : GREY
32 Reasons to do something : PROS
33 War supporter : HAWK
34 Performance venue for a 1977 Broadway musical? : ANNIE HALL
35 Extended family : CLAN
38 Conflict helpful to customers : PRICE WAR
39 Word with love or right : … TRIANGLE
41 Collector of letters: Abbr. : GPO
42 “Aladdin” monkey : ABU
44 Sexiest Man Alive magazine : PEOPLE
45 Auditioner’s desire : ROLE
47 “Aiiieee!” : YIKES!
48 Dieter’s food request, maybe : NO OIL
49 Motored : DROVE
50 End of many a nonfiction book : INDEX
51 ___ noche (tonight: Sp.) : ESTA
52 Sweet-talk : COAX
54 ___ Cooper : MINI
55 Broadway opening? : ACT I
59 Pointillism unit : DOT

5 thoughts on “0714-20 NY Times Crossword 14 Jul 20, Tuesday”

  1. One error: I had PLUNKed in PLINK instead of PLONK and the timer read 12:38 by the time I saw what was WRONG and fixed it. Sigh … 😜.

  2. Nonny, don’t feel bad… it was I *thought* I was done at 14:10, but it took me to 26:39 before I figured out “plonk” instead of “plink”…..sigh….

  3. 11:18. Got most of my early traction with the Downs, then cycled thru. My last entry was the O in PLONK. Looking at 28 D for “All Wet”, WRING seems like a reasonable entry, recalling the VERY old wringer type washing machine that my Grandmother had. If I ever beat Bill’s time then I’ll be 58A – WICKEDGOOD – for a day, at least. Keep Dreaming!

  4. 17:19, no errors… and same as @Nonny and @DuncanR, I also ran through plink and plunk before settling on plonk. Added distractions included 2 hyperactive Aussie Shepherds, 2 bouncing grandkids, one viola being practiced and general morning mayhem.

  5. 13:41. I sure am glad to see others with higher than usual early-week times. I thought it was just the fact I had been away from them for a week.

    Only excuse I have for this one is doing it at 38,000 feet. I was on a flight from Houston to Las Vegas and just off of the right side of the plane in the northwestern sky about halfway through the flight was quite a view of the comet Neowise. Ordinarily you just need to get out of the city to see it that well, but a plane will work too.

    Best –

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