0722-20 NY Times Crossword 22 Jul 20, Wednesday

Constructed by: Peter A. Collins
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Symbolically Elemental

Themed answers each include the symbol for a chemical element, as well as the name of that element, hidden inside:

  • 17A Six-time All-Star for the Arizona Diamondbacks (2013-18) : PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT (Au & gold)
  • 27A “Moonbeam,” for a flashlight, e.g. : MILITARY JARGON (Ar & argon)
  • 43A “Are you as jazzed as I am?” : ISN‘T IT EXCITING (Sn & tin)
  • 57A People are protected when they’re in it : SAFE ENVIRONMENT (Fe & iron)

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 6m 40s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 ___ War (1899-1902) : BOER

“Boer” is the Dutch and Afrikaans word for “farmer”, a word that was used to describe the Dutch-speaking people who settled parts of South Africa during the 1700s.

14 Muscat resident : OMANI

Muscat is the capital of Oman. The city lies on the northeast coast of the state on the Gulf of Oman, a branch of the Persian Gulf.

15 Org. that supported the Lovings in Loving v. Virginia : ACLU

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has its roots in the First World War. It grew out of the National Civil Liberties Bureau (CLB) that was founded to provide legal advice and support to conscientious objectors. The ACLU’s motto is “Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself”. The ACLU also hosts a blog on the ACLU.org website called “Speak Freely”.

16 Humerus attachment : ULNA

The humerus is the long bone in the upper arm. The bones in the forearm are the radius and ulna. “Ulna” is the Latin word for “elbow”, and “radius” is Latin for “ray”.

17 Six-time All-Star for the Arizona Diamondbacks (2013-18) : PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT (Au & gold)

Gold is a metallic chemical element with the symbol Au. Gold is extremely unreactive. Silver and other base metals dissolve in nitric acid, and so testing an unknown sample with nitric acid can confirm the presence of gold. This assaying practise gave rise to the figurative use of the term “acid test” to describe any definitive test.

20 “Shut … UP!,” in a text : OMG!

“OMG” is text-speak for “Oh My Gosh!” “Oh My Goodness!” or any other G-words you might care to use …

21 Java, for one: Abbr. : ISL

Java is a large island in Indonesia that is home to the country’s capital, Jakarta. With a population of over 130 million, Java is the most populous island in the world, with even more people than Honshu, the main island of Japan.

23 Taraji P. ___, star of “Hidden Figures” : HENSON

“Hidden Figures” is an excellent 2016 film based on a book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly. Both book and film tell the story of female African-American mathematicians who worked for NASA during the Mercury and Apollo programs in the 1960s.

27 “Moonbeam,” for a flashlight, e.g. : MILITARY JARGON (Ar & argon)

The noun “jargon” can describe nonsensical and meaningless talk, or the specialized language of a particular group, trade or profession. The term “jargon” is Old French, with the more usual meaning of “chattering”. How apt …

The chemical element argon has the symbol Ar. Argon is a noble gas, and so by definition is relatively nonreactive. The name “argon” comes from the Greek word for “lazy, inactive”. There’s a lot of argon around, as it is the third-most abundant gas in our atmosphere.

32 Compound containing an NH2 group, informally : AMINO

Amino acids are essential to life in many ways, not least of which is their use as the building blocks of proteins. Nine amino acids are considered “essential” for humans. These nine must be included in the diet as they cannot be synthesized in the body.

34 Yule quaff : NOG

It’s not really clear where the term “nog” (as in “eggnog”) comes from although it might derive from the word “noggin”, which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.

Yule celebrations coincide with Christmas, and the words “Christmas” and “Yule” (often “Yuletide”) have become synonymous in much of the world. However, Yule was originally a pagan festival celebrated by Germanic peoples. The name “Yule” comes from the Old Norse word “jol” that was used to describe the festival.

“Quaff” is both a verb and a noun. One “quaffs” (takes a hearty drink) of a “quaff” (a hearty drink).

36 Some hosp. workers : LPNS

Licensed practical nurse (LPN)

37 Circe turned Odysseus’ men into these, in the “Odyssey” : SWINE

Circe was a minor goddess in Greek mythology. The goddess of magic, she was fond of transforming those who did not please her into animals by using magical potions. In Homer’s “Odyssey”, Odysseus was given the herb called “moly” to protect him from the magical powers of Circe.

39 “Little” fellow of old comics : NEMO

Little Nemo was the hero in a comic strip drawn by Winsor McCay in the early 1900s. The strip was called “Little Nemo in Slumberland” when it was published in the “New York Herald”, and then “In the Land of Wonderland Dreams” when it moved to the “New York American”.

40 Spike in movie rentals? : LEE

Film director Spike Lee was born in Atlanta, Georgia but has very much made New York City his home and place of work. Most of Lee’s films are set in New York City, including his first feature film, 1986’s “She’s Gotta Have It”. That film was shot over two weeks with a budget of $175,000. “She’s Gotta Have It” grossed over $7 million at the US box office.

42 Kingdom of horsemen in “The Lord of the Rings” : ROHAN

Rohan is one of the realms in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth, and is a realm that features most significantly in his book “The Lord of the Rings”.

43 “Are you as jazzed as I am?” : ISN’T IT EXCITING (Sn & tin)

The Latin word for tin is “stannum”, and so tin’s atomic symbol is “Sn”. One of the ores used as a source of tin is “stannite”.

47 Alley ___ : OOP

French people, and French circus acrobats in particular, use the phrase “allez hop!” as words of encouragement, sort of like our “let’s go!”. The phrase was anglicized to “alley oop!”.

53 ___ Records (British label) : EMI

EMI was a British music company, with the initialism standing for Electric and Musical Industries.

54 Univ. paper graders, maybe : TAS

Teaching assistant (TA)

57 People are protected when they’re in it : SAFE ENVIRONMENT (Fe & iron)

The Latin word for “iron” is “ferrum”, which gives us “Fe” as the metal’s chemical symbol.

61 Man of the cloth? : DIOR

Christian Dior was a French fashion designer. As WWII approached, Dior was called up by the French military, drawing a temporary halt to his career in fashion. He left the army in 1942 and for the duration of the war designed clothes for wives of Nazi officers and French collaborators. After the war his designs became so popular that he helped to re-establish Paris as the fashion center of the world.

62 Rich dessert : TORTE

A torte is a type of cake made primarily with eggs, sugar and ground nuts (but no flour).

63 Some sorority chapters : RHOS

Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter “p”, although it is equivalent to the Roman letter R.

64 Yemen’s capital : SANA

Sana (also “Sana’a”) is the capital city of Yemen. Sitting at an elevation of 7,380 feet, Sana is one of the highest capital cities in the world. Within the bounds of today’s metropolis is the old fortified city of Sana, where people have lived for over 2,500 years. The Old City is now a World Heritage Site. According to legend, Sana was founded by Shem, the son of Noah.

Down

1 Cops, in slang : PO-PO

“Po-po” is a slang term meaning “police”.

2 One leading the faithful in prayer : IMAM

An imam is a Muslim leader, and often the person in charge of a mosque or perhaps a Muslim community.

4 Photo blowup: Abbr. : ENL

Enlargement (enl.)

7 Like some TV screens, for short : LCD

Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) are the screens that are found in most laptops today, and in flat panel computer screens and some televisions. LCD monitors basically replaced Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) screens, the old television technology.

8 Who sings “Let It Go” in “Frozen” : ELSA

“Let It Go” is an incredibly successful song from the Disney animated film “Frozen” released in 2013. It was performed in the movie by Idina Menzel, who also was the voice actor for the character Elsa. “Let It Go” is one of the very few Disney songs to make it into the Billboard Top Ten.

9 Aid in some makeshift repairs : DUCT TAPE

What we tend to call “duct” tape today was originally known as “duck” tape. In its first form, duck tape was rubber-based adhesive applied to a duck cloth backing, hence the name. Cotton duck cloth is a canvas-like material, a plain woven cotton fabric. The name “duck” comes from the Dutch “doek” meaning “linen canvas”. Duck tape started to be known as “duct tape” in the fifties, as it was commonly used to wrap air ducts in the construction industry.

11 Mixture : OLIO

“Olio” is a term meaning “hodgepodge, mixture” that comes from the mixed stew of the same name. The stew in turn takes its name from the Spanish “olla”, the clay pot used for cooking.

18 Greek peak southeast of Olympus : OSSA

Mount Ossa in Greece is located between Mount Pelion in the south, and the famed Mount Olympus in the north. Mount Ossa is also known as Kissavos.

19 Bits of forensic evidence : HAIRS

Something described as forensic is connected with a court of law, or with public discussion or debate. The term comes from the Latin “forensis” meaning “of a forum, of a place of assembly”. We mainly use the word today to mean “pertaining to legal trials” as in “forensic medicine” and “forensic science”.

24 Start of a German count : EINS

“Eins, zwei, drei, vier” is German for “one, two, three, four”.

25 WSJ competitor : NY TIMES

The title of the widest circulation of any American newspaper is an honor competed for by “The Wall Street Journal”, “The New York Times” and “USA Today”, with each paper selling about 2 million copies each day (including online subscribers).

27 Shopping ___ : MALL

Surprisingly (to me!), our word “mall”, meaning “shady walk” or “enclosed shopping space”, comes from the Italian for “mallet”. All of our shopping-style malls are named for “The Mall” in St. James’s Park in London. This tree-lined promenade was so called as it used to be a famous spot to play the croquet-like game called “pall-mall”. The game derived its name from the Italian for ball (palla) and mallet “maglio”. The London thoroughfare called the Mall still exists, at one end of which is Buckingham Palace. Indeed, parallel to the Mall is a street called Pall Mall.

28 Louvre Pyramid architect : IM PEI

When I. M. Pei became the first foreign architect to work on the Louvre in Paris, he not only designed the famous glass and steel pyramid, but also worked on renovations throughout the museum. His design was very controversial, causing a lot of ill feelings among the public. Eventually, when the work was complete, public opinion became more favorable. Personally, I think it is magnificent, both inside and out.

29 Rocker Bon Jovi : JON

Jon Bon Jovi was born John Francis Bongiovi, Jr. He is the frontman of the band that took his name, i.e. Bon Jovi.

30 Bob Feller and Nolan Ryan each pitched 12 of these : ONE-HITTERS

Bob Feller was a major league baseball player who turned out for the Cleveland Indians for all of his playing career. Feller played for the Indians from 1936 to 1956, with a four year interruption for military service as a Chief Petty Officer on the USS Alabama during WWII.

Nolan Ryan is famous for having more career strikeouts that any other baseball pitcher. However, he also holds the record for the most career walks and wild pitches. Another record that Ryan holds is the most no-hitters, a total of seven over his career.

31 For whom “time and tide wait,” in a saying : NO MAN

Versions of the idiomatic expression “time and tide wait for no man” have been around since the early 1200s. Even though the phrase seems to conjure up images of King Canute trying to hold back the tide, there is no connection to the sea at all. Back in the 1200s, the word “tide” wasn’t associated with ocean currents but rather to a period of time, as in yule-tide, Christmas-tide, etc. So basically, the idiom says that man can’t put a halt to time, despite what one’s plastic surgeon might tell one …

35 Pagoda instrument : GONG

Pagodas are tiered (“storied”) towers found in various parts of Asia that are usually built for religious purposes.

37 Per diem payments, e.g. : STIPENDS

“Per diem” is the Latin for “by the day”. We tend to use the term for a daily allowance for expenses when traveling for work.

38 Like the monsoon season : WET

The term “monsoon” was first used in India in the days of the British Raj, when it described the seasonal winds that brought rain from the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea from June to September. “Monsoon” is derived from the Portuguese “monção”, which in turn comes from the Arabic “mawsim” meaning “season”.

45 Onetime Nissan S.U.V. : XTERRA

The Xterra is a compact SUV built by Nissan in Smyrna, Tennessee (and in Brazil).

49 Ivan or Peter, e.g. : TSAR

The term “czar” (also “tsar”) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time. We tend to use the “czar” spelling, as opposed to “tsar”, when we describe a person today with great power or authority, e.g. “Drug Czar”.

52 Reebok competitor : AVIA

The “Avia” brand name for athletic shoes was chosen as “avia” is the Latin word for “to fly”, and suggests the concept of aviation. Avia was founded in Oregon in 1979.

56 Leave in : STET

“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

58 B+, e.g. : ION

Excitation of an atom occurs when the atom absorbs energy and at least one of its electrons moves out of its resting orbit into a higher orbit. When the electron returns to its lowest orbit it may do so by emitting the excess energy in the form of a photon, that is by emitting a characteristic color of light. If sufficient energy is used to excite the atom, the electron may break out of orbit completely, in which case the atom becomes a positively-charged ion.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Accumulated, with “up” : PILED …
6 Asked earnestly : PLED
10 ___ War (1899-1902) : BOER
14 Muscat resident : OMANI
15 Org. that supported the Lovings in Loving v. Virginia : ACLU
16 Humerus attachment : ULNA
17 Six-time All-Star for the Arizona Diamondbacks (2013-18) : PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT (Au & gold)
20 “Shut … UP!,” in a text : OMG!
21 Java, for one: Abbr. : ISL
22 Flummoxed : AT A LOSS
23 Taraji P. ___, star of “Hidden Figures” : HENSON
26 Word with twist or tongue : -TIE
27 “Moonbeam,” for a flashlight, e.g. : MILITARY JARGON (Ar & argon)
32 Compound containing an NH2 group, informally : AMINO
33 Shirts and blouses : TOPS
34 Yule quaff : NOG
36 Some hosp. workers : LPNS
37 Circe turned Odysseus’ men into these, in the “Odyssey” : SWINE
39 “Little” fellow of old comics : NEMO
40 Spike in movie rentals? : LEE
41 Part of a wineglass : STEM
42 Kingdom of horsemen in “The Lord of the Rings” : ROHAN
43 “Are you as jazzed as I am?” : ISN’T IT EXCITING (Sn & tin)
47 Alley ___ : OOP
48 “Enough already!” : STOP IT!
49 Class for baseball’s Albuquerque Isotopes : TRIPLE-A
53 ___ Records (British label) : EMI
54 Univ. paper graders, maybe : TAS
57 People are protected when they’re in it : SAFE ENVIRONMENT (Fe & iron)
60 Aide: Abbr. : ASST
61 Man of the cloth? : DIOR
62 Rich dessert : TORTE
63 Some sorority chapters : RHOS
64 Yemen’s capital : SANA
65 Start : ONSET

Down

1 Cops, in slang : PO-PO
2 One leading the faithful in prayer : IMAM
3 Some creases on the face : LAUGH LINES
4 Photo blowup: Abbr. : ENL
5 Start, as a meal : DIG INTO
6 Ghostly shade : PALLOR
7 Like some TV screens, for short : LCD
8 Who sings “Let It Go” in “Frozen” : ELSA
9 Aid in some makeshift repairs : DUCT TAPE
10 Cause of a limp, maybe : BUM LEG
11 Mixture : OLIO
12 Some rushers, in football : ENDS
13 “Dagnabbit!” : RATS!
18 Greek peak southeast of Olympus : OSSA
19 Bits of forensic evidence : HAIRS
24 Start of a German count : EINS
25 WSJ competitor : NY TIMES
27 Shopping ___ : MALL
28 Louvre Pyramid architect : IM PEI
29 Rocker Bon Jovi : JON
30 Bob Feller and Nolan Ryan each pitched 12 of these : ONE-HITTERS
31 For whom “time and tide wait,” in a saying : NO MAN
35 Pagoda instrument : GONG
37 Per diem payments, e.g. : STIPENDS
38 Like the monsoon season : WET
39 “Me? Uh-uh!” : NOT I!
41 Crept quietly : STOLE
42 Castigate : RIP INTO
44 Apartment restriction : NO PETS
45 Onetime Nissan S.U.V. : XTERRA
46 Spanish for “how” : COMO
49 Ivan or Peter, e.g. : TSAR
50 Overly hasty : RASH
51 “Given that …” : IF SO …
52 Reebok competitor : AVIA
55 Pay (up) : ANTE
56 Leave in : STET
58 B+, e.g. : ION
59 Part of many a three-day weekend: Abbr. : MON

16 thoughts on “0722-20 NY Times Crossword 22 Jul 20, Wednesday”

  1. 19:57 I am continually both amused and amazed at how puzzle constructors come up with these themes…nice one today, in spite of my typically slow time

  2. 14:59 With one assist in the NW corner. Stared at it for about 3-4 minutes and nothing registered. Think I was trying to read more into the clues than was there. Never heard of POPO for the police, but I suppose it makes sense.

  3. 10:44. Got the theme almost immediately. PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT now plays for the St. Louis Cardinals so that was easy for me. POPO was in a puzzle just recently. That’s the only reason I got that one. Clever theme.

    Best –

  4. No errors.. Started quick.. Ended in NW corner. Like others, never heard POPO.. but I also misinterpreted “shut up.,.” for 20A.. As in “stop talking” and not “OMG”… What’s dumb is I figured out the theme and stared at GOLD and AU for a long time.., I was forcing SAVED for 1A thinking that was right until I changed my attitude and considered the notion I could be wrong. Took a breath and “VOILA”… (that’s a word I need to remember it starts with a V)…

  5. My father – a WWII vet – said they called it “duck” tape because
    wrapping something with it made it waterproof. Like a duck.

  6. 13:50, no errors. 57A: Had the ‘E’ and the ‘ON’ so I went with with NE/NEON; took a while to backtrack from that. Enjoyed Bill’s explanation of the etymology of DUCT TAPE.

    Personally I think the glass pyramid in the middle of the French Renaissance architecture of the Louvre sticks out like a sore thumb. To each his own.

  7. No errors but a tough one, I thought. Last to fall was the NW. I could not think of what the symbol for gold was. I kinda thought it had an “A” in it. POPO, I vaguely knew but I had to have three of the letters before the fourth came to me. My first impression of “One leading the faithful in prayer” was Christian observance and it took a long time to realize the clue was talking about Islam. OMG, I thought was very poorly clued on the part of the editors. Altogether, like I said, a tough NW although I ultimately prevailed.

  8. No errors about 10 minutes. If you read it as SHUT ….UP!!! as what someone (not me) might say after hearing something amazing the OMG clueing makes perfect sense. Clever theme.

  9. Finally came to the same notion that “shut…up!”, with the right inflection and tone, could be an OMG! Liked the clever chemical elements theme.

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