0729-20 NY Times Crossword 29 Jul 20, Wednesday

Constructed by: Amanda Chung & Karl Ni
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Strong Password

Themed answers each contain letters, a number and a special character, just like a STRONG PASSWORD:

  • 49A It may require letters, a number and a special character — as seen in 20-, 33- and 39-Across : STRONG PASSWORD
  • 20A Reduced-fat option : TWO-PERCENT MILK (2%MILK)
  • 33A Mobile device that debuted in 2016 : IPHONE SEVEN PLUS (IPHONE7+)
  • 39A Highly sought-after restaurant rating : ONE MICHELIN STAR (1MICHELIN*)

Bill’s time: 7m 12s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Small building blocks : ATOMS

Leucippus lived in the 5th century BC in ancient Greece. He founded the Atomist Movement. The atomists believed that the world was composed of just atoms and voids, and that the atom was an indestructible particle. How wrong they were …

6 Wisecracking bear of film : TED

“Ted” is a 2012 movie written, directed, produced and starring Seth MacFarlane. In the story, MacFarlane voices a somewhat irreverent teddy bear who is the best friend of a character played by Mark Wahlberg. The audiences liked the film, and “Ted 2” followed in 2015.

14 Specifically : TO WIT

The verb “to wit” means “to know”. The verb really isn’t used anymore except in the phrase “to wit” meaning “that is to say, namely”.

15 Certain craft beer, for short : IPA

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

16 Something that is bid : ADIEU

“Adieu” is French for “goodbye, farewell”, from “à Dieu” meaning “to God”. The plural of “adieu” is “adieux”.

17 Animal known scientifically as Alces alces : MOOSE

The moose is the largest species in the deer family, and can stand almost at 7 feet at the shoulder. Moose are a little unusual in that they are solitary animals, unlike other deers who tend to move in herds. We use the term “moose” here in North America, but confusingly, the same animal is referred to as “elk” in British English.

19 Church Lady’s foe : SATAN

Dana Carvey, along with the likes of Phil Hartman and Kevin Nealon, was part of the new breed of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) comedians credited with resurrecting the show in the late eighties. One of Carvey’s most popular characters was the Church Lady, and he became so associated with her that among fellow cast members Carvey was often referred to simply as “the Lady”. Another favorite Carvey character was Garth Algar who went to feature in the “Wayne’s World” movies. Carvey had open-heart surgery in 1997 to clear a blocked artery, but the surgical team operated on the wrong blood vessel. To recover, he had to have five more procedures. He ended up suing for medical malpractice and donated his $7.5 million compensation payment to charity.

25 Entree baked in a tin : POT PIE

“Entrée” means “entry” in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get “a way in”, an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the “entry” to the meal, the first course. I found the ordering of meals to be very confusing when I first came to America!

29 Apt rhyme for “casino” : RENO

The city of Reno’s economy took off when open gambling was legalized in Nevada in 1931. Within a short time, a syndicate had built the Bank Club in Reno, which was the largest casino in the world at the time.

30 Sch. in Ypsilanti : EMU

Eastern Michigan University (EMU) is a public university in Ypsilanti, Michigan, just outside Detroit. Despite the name “EMU”, the school’s athletes are called the “Eagles”.

The city of Ypsilanti, Michigan is named for Demetrius Ypsilanti, a hero in the Greek War of Independence. Among its claims to fame, Ypsilanti was the home to the original Dominick’s pizza store.

37 Forensic letters : CSI

Crime scene investigator (CSI)

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”.

39 Highly sought-after restaurant rating : ONE MICHELIN STAR

Michelin is a manufacturer of tires that is based in France. The company was founded by brothers Édouard and André Michelin in 1888. The brothers were running a rubber factory at the time, and invented the world’s first removable pneumatic tire, an invention that they used to launch their new company. Michelin is also noted for rating restaurants and accommodation in its famous Michelin Travel Guides, awarding coveted Michelin stars.

45 Zeus’s weapon : BOLT

In Greek mythology, Zeus served as the king of the Olympic gods, and the god of the sky and thunder. He was the child of Titans Cronus and Rhea, and was married to Hera. Zeus was the equivalent of the Roman god Jupiter, who had similar realms of influence.

46 Things often found near cloverleafs : MOTELS

Cloverleaf interchanges allow two highways to cross without the need for stopping traffic. They are so called as when viewed overheard they look like the leaves of a four-leaf clover.

47 Cause of ruin : BANE

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.

57 Links org. : PGA

The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) was founded in 1916 and today has its headquarters (unsurprisingly) in Florida, where so many golfers live. Back in 1916, the PGA was based in New York City.

60 Unit in a baby announcement : OUNCE

Our term “ounce” (abbreviated to “oz.”) comes from the Latin “uncia”, which was 1/12 of a “libra”, the Roman “pound”. “Uncia” is also the derivation of our word “inch”, 1/12 of a foot.

63 Dwindle, with “out” : PETER …

The verb phrase “to peter out”, meaning “to fizzle out”, originated in the 1840s in the American mining industry. While the exact etymology isn’t clear, it probably derives from the term “saltpetre”, a constituent of gunpowder.

64 Part of the D.O.J. : DEA

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was set up in 1973 while President Nixon was in office.

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) was created in 1870 by the administration of President Ulysses S. Grant, although the office of the Attorney General had been operating since 1789. The DOJ Building in Washington, D.C. was completed in 1935, and was named the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building in 2001.

65 Quick to snap : TESTY

Somebody described as testy is touchy, irritably impatient. The term “testy” comes into English from Old French, ultimately deriving from “testu” meaning “stubborn, headstrong”, literally “heady”. So, our word “testy” comes from the same root as the French word “tête” meaning “head”.

Down

1 ___ card : ATM

Automatic Teller Machine (ATM)

4 Traditional Japanese seasoning : MISO

Miso is the name of the seasoning that makes miso soup. Basic miso seasoning is made by fermenting rice, barley and soybeans with salt and a fungus to produce a paste. The paste can be added to stock to make miso soup, or perhaps to flavor tofu.

10 Actress Amy with six Oscar nominations : ADAMS

Amy Adams is an American actress, although she was actually born in Vicenza, Italy while her father was a US serviceman stationed on an Italian base. My favorite Amy Adams film so far is the outstanding “Julie & Julia” in which she acted alongside Meryl Streep. I highly recommend this truly delightful movie.

11 Commercial lead-in to card : CITI-

During the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, the US government rescued Citibank by providing loan guarantees and two payments of $25 billion each. It turns out that the government made a tidy profit on that deal, as Citibank has since repaid the loans in full, along with interest.

12 Blue-green shade : TEAL

The beautiful color teal takes its name from the duck called a teal, which has dark greenish-blue (teal) markings on its head and wings.

13 Like many ships in the Bermuda Triangle : SUNK

The Bermuda Triangle is an area in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean that is famous for the loss of ships and aircraft under mysterious circumstances. The triangular area is roughly defined by Miami, Florida, and the islands of Bermuda and Puerto Rico.

21 Something waved in the Olympics : EPEE

There are three fencing events in the modern Olympics, with each distinguished by the weapon used:

  • Foil
  • Épée
  • Sabre

25 Mountain climber’s aid : PITON

A piton is a piece of mountaineering equipment, an anchor designed to protect a climber if he or she falls. It is a metal spike driven into a crack in the rock face with a hammer. Pitons have eye holes through which a rope is attached using carabiners. “Piton” is a French word for a “hook”.

31 Unframed artwork : MURAL

A mural is a painting that is applied directly to a wall or a ceiling. The term “mural” comes from the Latin “murus” meaning “wall”.

34 Lugged : SCHLEPPED

Our word “schlep” (sometimes “schlepp”) means “carry, drag”. “Schlep” comes from Yiddish, with “shlepen” having the same meaning.

40 Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley employee, informally : IBANKER

The investment banking firm Goldman Sachs was founded in New York in 1869 by Marcus Goldman. Samuel Sachs joined the firm in 1882, the same year that he married Louisa Goldman, Marcus’s daughter. The name “Goldman Sachs” was adopted by the firm in 1885. Goldman Sachs made out like bandits during the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007-08 as the company actually short-sold subprime mortgage bonds. As the price of the bonds nose-dived, Goldman Sachs made huge profits.

41 Capitol Hill org. : CONG

Congress (Cong.)

The designer of Washington D.C., Pierre L’Enfant, chose the crest of a hill as the site for the future Congress House. He called the location “Jenkins Hill” and “Jenkins Heights”. Earlier records show the name as “New Troy”. Today we call it “Capitol Hill”.

47 Bowling game : BOCCE

The Italian bowling game of “bocce” (often anglicized as “bocci” or “boccie”) is based on a game played in ancient Rome. “Bocce” is the plural of the Italian word “boccia” meaning “bowl”.

48 Tennis pro Naomi : OSAKA

Naomi Osaka is a Japanese-born tennis professional who became the first Asian player to be ranked number-one in singles.

51 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.

52 Pulitzer-winning James : AGEE

James Agee was a noted American film critic and screenwriter. Agee wrote an autobiographical novel “A Death in the Family” that won him his Pulitzer in 1958, albeit posthumously. He was also one of the screenwriters for the 1951 classic movie “The African Queen”.

53 Award co-administered by the American Theater Wing since 2014 : OBIE

There’s a slight error in the clue, I think. The American Theatre Wing uses the “Theatre” spelling.

The Obies are the Off-Broadway Theater Awards. The Obies have been presented annually since 1956. The recipients used to be chosen by “The Village Voice” newspaper, but now are jointly administered with the American Theatre Wing.

54 One of the friends on “Friends” : ROSS

Ross Geller is the character on “Friends” played by David Schwimmer. The role was actually written with Schwimmer in mind, and so Ross was the first of the “Friends” to be cast.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Small building blocks : ATOMS
6 Wisecracking bear of film : TED
9 Things finished with handshakes : PACTS
14 Specifically : TO WIT
15 Certain craft beer, for short : IPA
16 Something that is bid : ADIEU
17 Animal known scientifically as Alces alces : MOOSE
18 Breathful : AIR
19 Church Lady’s foe : SATAN
20 Reduced-fat option : TWO-PERCENT MILK
23 Relaxation station : SPA
24 Imitates : DOES
25 Entree baked in a tin : POT PIE
29 Apt rhyme for “casino” : RENO
30 Sch. in Ypsilanti : EMU
33 Mobile device that debuted in 2016 : IPHONE SEVEN PLUS
36 Poop : TIRE
37 Forensic letters : CSI
38 Father : SIRE
39 Highly sought-after restaurant rating : ONE MICHELIN STAR
44 State-of-the-art : NEW
45 Zeus’s weapon : BOLT
46 Things often found near cloverleafs : MOTELS
47 Cause of ruin : BANE
48 Post-___ (some hosp. patients) : OPS
49 It may require letters, a number and a special character — as seen in 20-, 33- and 39-Across : STRONG PASSWORD
56 Certain school athletics : TRACK
57 Links org. : PGA
58 Bit of paperless reading : E-BOOK
60 Unit in a baby announcement : OUNCE
61 “Yikes!” : EEK!
62 Place for a beverage cart : AISLE
63 Dwindle, with “out” : PETER …
64 Part of the D.O.J. : DEA
65 Quick to snap : TESTY

Down

1 ___ card : ATM
2 Friendly honk : TOOT
3 “I’m in pain! I’m in pain!” : OW! OW!
4 Traditional Japanese seasoning : MISO
5 Intercedes : STEPS IN
6 Princess’ headwear : TIARA
7 Greater than great : EPIC
8 Adventure seeker : DAREDEVIL
9 Affix with adhesive : PASTE ON
10 Actress Amy with six Oscar nominations : ADAMS
11 Commercial lead-in to card : CITI-
12 Blue-green shade : TEAL
13 Like many ships in the Bermuda Triangle : SUNK
21 Something waved in the Olympics : EPEE
22 Option that’s almost always listed last : NONE
25 Mountain climber’s aid : PITON
26 Venture a thought : OPINE
27 Cast : THREW
28 Many a hymn, essentially : POEM
29 “Undo” button : RESET
30 Select few : ELITE
31 Unframed artwork : MURAL
32 Clientele : USERS
34 Lugged : SCHLEPPED
35 “Hey! Over here!” : PSST!
40 Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley employee, informally : IBANKER
41 Capitol Hill org. : CONG
42 Little pranksters : IMPS
43 “Easy peasy!” : NO SWEAT!
47 Bowling game : BOCCE
48 Tennis pro Naomi : OSAKA
49 Subway station : STOP
50 “I’d have to agree” : TRUE
51 Tweetstorm, e.g. : RANT
52 Pulitzer-winning James : AGEE
53 Award co-administered by the American Theater Wing since 2014 : OBIE
54 One of the friends on “Friends” : ROSS
55 Bonehead : DOLT
59 Aid for a decoder : KEY

15 thoughts on “0729-20 NY Times Crossword 29 Jul 20, Wednesday”

  1. 23:28 I got the theme reveal early on, then wasted a lot of time thinking I would find rebuses using symbols. Of course I also shot myself in the foot because I drink skim milk and go to diners…I have Michelins on my car….

    1. I suspect that Bill has no control over the ads that appear on his blog.

      On my iPad, I’m using the ad blocker “AdBlock” (in Safari) to get rid of what would otherwise be a surfeit of ads. That does have a downside: some other sites won’t let me proceed until I have turned off the ad blocker. Over all, though, it’s worth it.

  2. 14:57, no errors. Nice puzzle today. I enjoyed the theme being a part time computer nerd (when I’m not out crashing in my mountain bike).

  3. 13:35. Why am I always the last to post until the syndicated crew comes along 5 weeks later? Definitely didn’t see the theme at all until the reveal.

    Did not know (did not wit?) that “to wit” actually means to know. I was wondering what the past tense would be. Witted? Uh..no. It’s actually “wist”. I wist that all the time?

    The word is so archaic it’s actually conjugated. To wit, I wot, you wost, he/she wot, we/they wit. Past and past participle wist. Only other form is, witting, is the present participle. I guess we still use that – “I wittingly deleted the file”.

    That’s enough of my wit for one day.

    Best –

  4. 16:32 with a couple assists in the NW corner. Just could not suss it out. Started with 1A as LEGOS. Not a good start. When I looked up “Alces Alces” as MOOSE for 17A, then I changed 1D to SIM card. Didn’t help much. Also started with ONE % milk. For 13D I had LOST before SUNK. Had DNA before CSI and then DEP for part of D.O.J. Fixed that at the end to DEA to get the chime.

    Only partially on the setter’s wavelength today – obviously.

    But it’s a beautiful day here in Seattle and my 3rd. Anniv. so a great day!!

  5. No errors But what another maze of misdirects and subliminal hinting… Once I realized what this/these constructors we’re up to I rephrased my angle.. It got easier.

  6. 50:33 one error…I had pilon for piton at 25D…the theme was way over my blue collar head…Am I the only one who detests two setter puzzles?👎👎
    Stay safe😀

  7. 14:58, no errors. I, also, had difficulty with the NW corner. Thinking Legos for 1A and YEOW for 3D (but didn’t write them down); unfamiliar with the scientific name for MOOSE.

  8. A lot of obscure clues for me and pot pie is not baked in a tin which, as far as I’ve ever known, is a synonym for a can. Boston brown bread is baked in a tin.

  9. Love all the great comments above. Lisa’s comment about POT PIEs being baked in a tin has me wanting to go and suss that one out. For one thing, I love the turkey pot pies that are sold in the frozen food section of supermarkets. They do come in a “pie tin” and they do get baked. I think I saw a segment of America’s Test Kitchen not too long ago in which they whipped up some pot pies. I’ll have to go back and see how they did it.

    Lots to delve into today. That’s how I like them. No errors, nice challenge.

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