0724-20 NY Times Crossword 24 Jul 20, Friday

Constructed by: Grant Thackray
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 14m 12s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Pub purchase : PINT

A US pint comprises 16 fluid ounces, and an imperial pint is 20 fluid ounces. The term “pint” comes into English via Old French, ultimately from the Latin “picta” meaning “painted”. The name arose from a line painted on the side of a beer glass that marked a full measure of ale.

16 Common ingredient in a poke bowl : TUNA

Poke is a Native-Hawaiian dish featuring diced raw fish. “Poke” is a Hawaiian word meaning “to slice”.

18 Southern university named for its town : ELON

Elon is a city in the Piedmont region of North Carolina located close to the city of Burlington. Elon University is a private liberal arts school founded in 1889.

20 Edison’s middle name : ALVA

Thomas Alva Edison (TAE) was a very successful inventor. He held over a thousand US patents in his name. Included in the list of Edison’s inventions is the phonograph, the movie camera and the long-lasting light bulb. He passed away in 1931. There is a test tube at the Henry Ford Museum that supposedly holds Edison’s last breath. Ford convinced Thomas’s son Charles to seal up a tube of air in the room just after the inventor died, as a memento.

21 Place for a nursery rhyme trio : TUB

The nursery rhyme “Rub-a-Dub-Dub” dates back to at least 1798 when it was first published in London:

Rub-a-dub-dub,
Three men in a tub,
And how do you think they got there?
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick-maker,
They all jumped out of a rotten potato,
‘Twas enough to make a man stare.

22 G.I. grub : MRE

The Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) comes in a lightweight package that’s easy to tote around. The MRE replaced the more cumbersome Meal, Combat, Individual (MCI) in 1981, a meal-in-a-can. In turn, the MCI had replaced the C-ration in 1958, a less sophisticated meal-in-a-can with a more limited choice.

23 Listing in an arcade : HIGH SCORES

Our word “arcade” comes from the Latin “arcus” meaning “arc”. The first arcades were passages made from a series of arches. This could be an avenue of trees, and eventually any covered avenue. I remember arcades lined with shops and stores when I was growing up on the other side of the Atlantic. Arcades came to be lined with lots of amusements, resulting in amusement arcades and video game arcades.

30 First name of the only fictional character in Time’s list of the 100 Most Important People of the Century : BART

Bart Simpson is the main character in television’s “The Simpsons”. Bart’s name was chosen by the writers as it is an anagram of “brat”. Bart is voiced by actress and comedian Nancy Cartwright.

32 Mine, in Montréal : A MOI

“À moi” (literally “to me”) is French for “mine”.

The original name of Montreal was “Ville-Marie”, meaning “City of Mary”. “Ville-Marie” is now the name of a borough in the city, the borough which includes the downtown area and “Old Montreal”. The present-day city covers most of the Island of Montreal (in French, “Île de Montréal”) that is located where the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers meet. The name “Montreal” comes from the three-headed hill that dominates the island and is called “Mount Royal”.

33 NSFW : ADULT

The abbreviation “NSFW” stands for “not safe/suitable for work”. It’s Internet slang used to describe online content that is best not viewed at work.

35 Cry from a successful hacker : I’M IN

A computer hacker is a computer expert, and in particular one who uses that expertise to solve problems with hardware and software. So, the original use of the term “hacking” was very positive. Since the 1980s, the term “hacker” is more commonly used for an expert in subverting computer security.

38 Leader memorialized by the Stone of Hope statue near the National Mall : KING

1963’s March on Washington was one of the largest political rallies in the history of the US, with about a quarter of a million people participating in the march itself. The rally was a call for civil and economic rights for African Americans. Famously, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech to the protesters while standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

39 Perfume compound : ESTER

Esters are very common chemicals. The smaller, low-molecular weight esters are usually pleasant smelling and are often found in perfumes. At the other end of the scale, the higher-molecular weight nitroglycerin is a nitrate ester and is very explosive, and polyester is a huge molecule and is a type of plastic. Fats and oils found in nature are fatty acid esters of glycerol known as glycerides.

40 A lot of volume? : TOME

“Tome” first came into English from the Latin “tomus” which means “section of a book”. The original usage in English was for a single volume in a multi-volume work. By the late 16th century, “tome” had come to mean “large book”.

41 Often-counterfeited boots : UGGS

Uggs are sheepskin boots that were first produced in Australia and New Zealand. The original Uggs have sheepskin fleece on the inside for comfort and insulation, with a tanned leather surface on the outside for durability. “Ugg” is a generic term Down Under, although it’s a brand name here in the US.

44 National park sights, for short : RVS

Recreational vehicle (RV)

47 Wrestling hold : HALF NELSON

The full nelson and half nelson are wrestling holds in which one wrestler secures an opponent by encircling the opponent’s arm(s) under the armpit(s) and around the neck. Some say the holds are named after Admiral Nelson, who was renowned for using encircling tactics in battle.

54 “The Bell of ___” (Longfellow poem) : ATRI

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote “The Sicilian’s Tale; The Bell of Atri”, a narrative poem set in the small town of Atri in the Abruzzo region of Italy.

56 Heavy metal : LEAD

Lead is a heavy metallic element with the symbol Pb (standing for “plumbum”, Latin for “lead”). Although lead proves to be a very useful metal, it is very toxic and is poisonous if absorbed into the body.

Down

1 Piece of concrete : SLAB

The terms “cement”, “mortar” and ”concrete” are related, and tend to get confused at times. Cement is a binder that hardens over time and binds other materials together. Cement mixed with a fine aggregate forms mortar, a workable paste used to bind building blocks together. Cement mixed with sand and gravel forms concrete, a pourable slurry that hardens into an extremely robust building material.

5 Greek personification of darkness : EREBUS

Erebus was one of the Primordial deities of Greek mythology, meaning he was one of first beings to come into existence. “Erebus” is also used in ancient Greek literature as a region in the underworld where the dead pass to immediately after dying.

8 Author Gaiman of the “Sandman” series : NEIL

Neil Gaiman is an English author whose works include novels, comic books and graphic novels.

9 Point on a buck : TINE

The antlers on a deer come to points. The higher the number of points, the more prized the head of the deer as a trophy, so I am told …

10 Cartoon referenced in the Walt Disney Animation Studios logo : STEAMBOAT WILLIE

Walt Disney’s iconic cartoon character Mickey Mouse, was introduced to the public in 1928 in the cartoon “Steamboat Willie”. Mickey was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1978, making him the first cartoon character to be so honored. Walt Disney had some nice words to say in Disneyland in 1954:

I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.

23 Bit of poetry with the same syllable count as this very clue : HAIKU

A haiku is a very elegant form of Japanese verse. When writing a haiku in English we tend to impose the rule that the verse must contain 17 syllables. This restriction comes from the rule in Japanese that the verse must contain 17 sound units called “moras”, but moras and syllables aren’t the same thing. Sadly, the difference is not so clear to me. Here’s an example of a Haiku:

Haikus are easy
But sometimes they don’t make sense
Refrigerator

26 Wordsworth, e.g. : ODIST

The great English poet William Wordsworth is intrinsically linked with the Lake District in the north of England, where he lived from much of his life. The Lake District is a beautiful part of the country, and I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Dove Cottage in Grasmere a couple of times, where Wordsworth lived with his sister Dorothy …

46 It became a province of Indonesia in 1958 : BALI

Bali is both an island and a province in Indonesia. It is a popular tourist spot, although the number of visitors dropped for a few years as a result of terrorist bombings in 2002 and 2005 that killed mainly tourists. Bali became more popular starting in 2008 due to a significant and favorable change in the exchange rate between the US dollar and the Indonesian rupiah.

47 Web developer’s code : HTML

The initialism “HTML” stands for HyperText Markup Language. HTML is the language used to write most Internet web pages (including this one).

48 Racer Luyendyk : ARIE

Arie Luyendyk is a racing driver from the Netherlands, winner of the Indianapolis 500 on two occasions. Luyendyk’s son, also called Arie, is following in his father’s footsteps and is also an auto racer. Arie Luyendyk Jr. also appeared on the reality shows “The Bachelorette” in 2012, and “The Bachelor” in 2018.

49 ___ Brasi (“The Godfather” role) : LUCA

Luca Brasi is one of Don Corleone’s most loyal “enforcers” in Mario Puzo’s novel “The Godfather”. Brasi comes to a violent end, garroted while his hand is pinned to a wooden bar with a knife. Famously, the Corleone family learn of his demise when they receive Brasi’s bulletproof vest wrapped around dead fish. The message is that he “sleeps with the fishes”. In the big screen adaptation of “The Godfather”, Luca Brasi is played by ex-wrestler and professional bodyguard Lenny Montana. The role launched a very successful television character-acting career for Montana.

50 Nonflowering plant : FERN

Ferns are unlike mosses in that they have xylem and phloem, making them vascular plants. They also have stems, leaves and roots, but they do not have seeds and flowers, and reproduce using spores. Spores differ from seeds in that they have very little stored food.

51 What might block a channel : SILT

Today, we mostly think of silt as a deposit of sediment in a river. Back in the mid-1400s, silt was sediment deposited by seawater. It is thought that the word “silt” is related to “salt”, as found in seawater.

53 Jonathan Van ___, member of the “Queer Eye” cast : NESS

“Queer Eye” is a reality TV show that was launched in 2003 as “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”. Each episode features a panel of gay professional experts in the fields of fashion and design giving a makeover to a straight man.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Rock in which fossils can be found : SHALE
6 Pub purchase : PINT
10 Property of a subatomic particle : SPIN
14 Character of Apple products : LOWER CASE I
16 Common ingredient in a poke bowl : TUNA
17 Off-roadable : ALL-TERRAIN
18 Southern university named for its town : ELON
19 Final challenge of a video game level : BOSS BATTLE
20 Edison’s middle name : ALVA
21 Place for a nursery rhyme trio : TUB
22 G.I. grub : MRE
23 Listing in an arcade : HIGH SCORES
30 First name of the only fictional character in Time’s list of the 100 Most Important People of the Century : BART
32 Mine, in Montréal : A MOI
33 NSFW : ADULT
34 “___ victory!” : ONTO
35 Cry from a successful hacker : I’M IN
36 Ish : KINDA
37 Similar (to) : AKIN
38 Leader memorialized by the Stone of Hope statue near the National Mall : KING
39 Perfume compound : ESTER
40 A lot of volume? : TOME
41 Often-counterfeited boots : UGGS
42 Stock character? : STORE OWNER
44 National park sights, for short : RVS
45 Pasta name suffix : -INI
46 Free money? : BAIL
47 Wrestling hold : HALF NELSON
54 “The Bell of ___” (Longfellow poem) : ATRI
55 Showing things as they really are : TRUE TO LIFE
56 Heavy metal : LEAD
57 Compressed storage media : MICROFILMS
58 Hang around : IDLE
59 Rely (on) : LEAN
60 Regales : FETES

Down

1 Piece of concrete : SLAB
2 Prefix with -gram : HOLO-
3 They have boring jobs : AWLS
4 Looks the other way : LETS THINGS SLIDE
5 Greek personification of darkness : EREBUS
6 Auditioner’s hope : PART
7 Attends : IS AT
8 Author Gaiman of the “Sandman” series : NEIL
9 Point on a buck : TINE
10 Cartoon referenced in the Walt Disney Animation Studios logo : STEAMBOAT WILLIE
11 Flex one’s authority over : PULL RANK ON
12 Trying to untie? : IN OVERTIME
13 Family nickname : NANA
15 Maryland specialty : CRAB CAKES
23 Bit of poetry with the same syllable count as this very clue : HAIKU
24 Resettled, in a way : IMMIGRATED
25 Blowing up online : GOING VIRAL
26 Wordsworth, e.g. : ODIST
27 Total : RUN TO
28 Venerable sort : ELDER
29 Admire, as a lover’s eyes : STARE INTO
31 Salon product : TONER
43 Singular event : ONE OFF
46 It became a province of Indonesia in 1958 : BALI
47 Web developer’s code : HTML
48 Racer Luyendyk : ARIE
49 ___ Brasi (“The Godfather” role) : LUCA
50 Nonflowering plant : FERN
51 What might block a channel : SILT
52 “You want a piece ___?” : OF ME
53 Jonathan Van ___, member of the “Queer Eye” cast : NESS

5 thoughts on “0724-20 NY Times Crossword 24 Jul 20, Friday”

  1. 28:06 With one assist to help unravel the series of long downs in the NE. Unfamiliar with EREBUS, BOSSBATTLE, NEIL GAIMAN, Van NESS, ATRI. Only ELON I know of is Mr. Musk. Much to be learned from today.

    For a while I was blurry eyed on 6D. Kept reading it as “Auctioneers Hope” and kept wanting it to be SALE – but just didn’t fit, of course. Had KILO vs. HOLO.

    30A – My first reading and I wanted it to be MICKEY (of Mouse fame) but only 4 char. long. I had the A and then I wanted it to be MATA (of Hari fame). Never watched the Simpsons so BART doesn’t readily come to mind.

    39A Never sure if it’s going to be ESTER or ATTAR (especially when I have only letters 3 and 5).

    Good mis-direction on several clues.

  2. 10:43, no errors. Initially, I misread the clue for 6D exactly as Ron did; what’s up with that? … 😜

    And … I spent some time, after I was done, looking for a theme to explain the strange-looking grid, but didn’t find one. (Not a problem, just … odd … 😜.)

    A friendlier puzzle than my first glance led me to expect. Nice.

  3. 20:06 no errors. Add me to the list of folks that misread 6D as well. I also had that what the heck moment early on before everything fell into place. As nice solve for me after yesterday’s disaster.

  4. 20:29. Agreed. This looked a lot tougher when it was blank. Not many short answers to help out so you actually had to think a lot in this one. It was a full 2 minutes before I even entered my first letter – LUCA Brasi.

    Best –

  5. Taking my rightful place in last with 38:08: Me! “BossBattle” and “Lower Case i” got me, which is ironic given that I work the puzzle on an iPhone… But hey, at least I didn’t misread 6D…

    😊

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