0730-20 NY Times Crossword 30 Jul 20, Thursday

Constructed by: Joel Fagliano
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Two to One

Themed answers are all in the across-direction. They come in pairs that immediately follow each other in the list of clues.

  • 51A & 54A Appropriate ratio for this puzzle? : TWO TO ONE

Bill’s time: 6m 52s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

19 & 20 Graphic artist’s medium : INDIA INK

The black ink known as “India ink” was actually developed in China. The carbon pigment used to give the dark color was imported from India, hence the name.

21 & 22 Something neat, with “the” : BEE’S KNEES

There was a whole series of phrases involving animals that developed in the 1920s, with all designed to indicate a superlative. Some are still around today, such as “the cat’s pajamas” and “the bee’s knees”. Others didn’t last too long, e.g. “the eel’s ankle” and “the snake’s hip”.

23 & 25 Pasties, e.g. : MEAT PIES

A pasty is a meat pie, traditionally filled with beef, potato, rutabaga (swede) and onion. The most famous variety of the pie is the Cornish pasty sold in Cornwall in England. Cornish miners brought the recipe with them as they emigrated, so various versions are found around the world. I always get a pasty when I am in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, for example.

29 & 32 Partisan divide, so to speak : THE AISLE

The concept of left-right politics started in France during the French Revolution. When members of France’s National Assembly convened in 1789, supporters of the King sat to the President’s right, and supporters of the revolution to the President’s left. The political terms “left” and “right” were then coined in the local media and have been used ever since.

57 & 58 Quaker in the woods : ASPEN TREE

The “quaking” aspen tree is so called because the structure of the leaves causes them to move easily in the wind, to “tremble, quake”.

Down

1 Connection you might miss while flying? : WI-FI

“Wi-Fi” is nothing more than a trademark, a trademark registered by an association of manufacturers of equipment that use wireless LAN (Local Area Network) technology. A device labeled with “Wi-Fi” has to meet certain defined technical standards, basically meaning that the devices can talk to each other. The name “Wi-Fi” suggests “Wireless Fidelity”, although apparently the term was never intended to mean anything at all.

2 Charter member of OPEC : IRAN

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in 1960 at a conference held in Baghdad, Iraq that was attended by Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Nine more countries joined the alliance soon after, and OPEC set up headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and then Vienna, Austria in 1965. The basic aim of OPEC was to wrest control of oil prices from the oil companies and put it in the hands of the sovereign states that own the natural resource.

3 Genre for Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez : FOLK MUSIC

Joni Mitchell is a Canadian singer and songwriter from Fort MacLeod in Alberta. Mitchell is perhaps best known for her recordings “Big Yellow Taxi” and “Woodstock”.

Joan Baez is an American folk singer and a prominent activist in the fields of non-violence, civil rights, human rights and environmental protection. Baez has dated some high-profile figures in her life including Bob Dylan, Steve Jobs (of Apple) and Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead.

4 Photo lab request: Abbr. : ENL

Enlargement (enl.)

6 Boy on “The Andy Griffith Show” : OPIE

Opie Taylor is the character played by Ron Howard on “The Andy Griffith Show”. Opie lives with widowed father Andy Taylor (played by Andy Griffith) and his great-aunt Beatrice “Aunt Bee” Taylor (played by Frances Bavier). Ron Howard first played the role in 1960 in the pilot show, when he was just 5 years old. Howard sure has come a long way since playing Opie Taylor. He has directed some fabulous movies including favorites of mine like “Apollo 13”, “A Beautiful Mind” and “The Da Vinci Code”.

7 $100 bills, in slang : BENS

Benjamin Franklin’s portrait is featured on one side of the hundred-dollar bill (also called a “C-spot, C-note, benjamin”), and Philadelphia’s Independence Hall on the other side. There is a famous error in the image of Independence Hall. If you look closely at the clock face at the top of the building you can see that the “four” is written in Roman numerals as “IV”. However, on the actual clock on Independence Hall, the “four” is denoted by “IIII”, which has been the convention for clock faces for centuries.

8 Chemical suffix that’s also a direction : ENE

An alkene is an organic compound made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms. It differs from an alkane in that it has at least one C=C double bond. The simplest alkene is the gas ethylene, a major raw material used in the manufacture of plastics (like polyethylene).

24 Approximate shape of the British pound sign : ELL

The official name of the currency of the UK is the pound sterling (plural “pounds sterling”). The most plausible suggestion for the etymology of the term “sterling” is that it derives from the Old English “steorra” meaning “star”, with the diminutive “-ling”. The resulting “little star” or “sterling” referred to a silver penny used by the English Normans. The pound sterling is the world’s oldest currency still in use.

25 Baby food form : PUREE

A purée is a food that has been made smooth by straining or blending. “Purée” is a French term, which I believe is now used to mean “pea soup” (more completely written as “purée de pois”). The French verb “purer” means “to strain, clean”, from the Latin “purare” meaning “to purify, clean”.

31 Ticket abbr. that’s found inside “ticket abbr.” : ETA

The abbreviation “ETA” (estimated time of arrival) can be found inside the phrase “ticket abbreviation”.

32 Buffoon : ASS

A buffoon is a clown or jester, although the word “buffoon” tends to be used more figuratively to describe someone foolish and ridiculous. The term comes from the Italian “buffa” meaning “joke”.

38 ___ Hubbard, Scientology founder : L RON

L. Ron Hubbard wrote a self-improvement book in 1950 called “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health”. A few years later, he used the concepts in the book as he founded his Church of Scientology.

40 French department that borders Switzerland : AIN

The Ain is a river in the east of France that gives its name to the Ain department. The Ain flows into the Rhône not too far from the city of Lyon.

45 Jesse who broke three world records in 45 minutes : OWENS

Jesse Owens is famous for winning four gold medals at the Berlin Olympic Games in 1936, much to the chagrin of Adolf Hitler. Jesse’s real name was James Cleveland Owens, and he went by “JC” as a child. However, his Alabama accent was misconstrued at school when his family moved to Cleveland, so teachers and classmates called him “Jesse” instead of “JC”, and the name stuck.

49 Choice in a sleepover game : DARE

Truth or dare.

50 Extolling poetry : ODES

To extol something is to praise it loudly. The term comes from the Latin “extollere” meaning “to raise up, elevate”.

52 Turkey piece : WING

A male turkey is called a “tom”, taking its name from a “tomcat”. The inference is that like a tomcat, the male turkey is relatively wild and undomesticated, sexually promiscuous and frequently gets into fights. A female turkey is called a “hen”.

54 Greek consonant : TAU

Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, and the letter that gave rise to our Roman “T”. Both the letters tau (T) and chi (X) have long been symbolically associated with the cross.

55 Any of the Sierra Nevadas: Abbr. : MTN

The American Sierra Nevada range lies in California and Nevada. The Spanish Sierra Nevada range is in Andalusia, with the name meaning “snowy range” in Spanish.

56 Sierra Nevada, e.g. : ALE

The Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is powered almost exclusively by solar energy, and even has a charging station for electric vehicles at its brewery. The company also uses the cooking oil from its restaurant as biodiesel for its delivery trucks. Discarded yeast is used to make ethanol fuel, and spent grain is used as food for livestock. For its efforts to preserve the environment, Sierra Nevada won the EPA’s “Green Business of the Year” award for 2010.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 & 5 Fiancée : WIFE TO BE
9 & 14 Recyclable metal : SCRAP IRON
15 & 16 Real estate showing : OPEN HOUSE
17 & 18 It’s all downhill from here : FALL LINE
19 & 20 Graphic artist’s medium : INDIA INK
21 & 22 Something neat, with “the” : BEE’S KNEES
23 & 25 Pasties, e.g. : MEAT PIES
26 & 27 Close with a handle : PULL SHUT
29 & 32 Partisan divide, so to speak : THE AISLE
33 & 35 Exhausts : TIRES OUT
36 & 37 Bunny hill, for one : SKI SLOPE
39 & 41 “Hang on …” : WAIT A SEC …
42 & 43 Some perfume ingredients : ROSE OILS
44 & 46 What a considerate speaker tries to strike : GOOD TONE
47 & 49 Toppled by the wind : BLOWN DOWN
51 & 54 Appropriate ratio for this puzzle? : TWO TO ONE
55 & 56 Raised one’s paddle, say : MADE A BID
57 & 58 Quaker in the woods : ASPEN TREE
59 & 60 Ones whose livelihoods are derived from agriculture or forestry work : LAND USERS
61 & 62 Some retirement savings : NEST EGGS

Down

1 Connection you might miss while flying? : WI-FI
2 Charter member of OPEC : IRAN
3 Genre for Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez : FOLK MUSIC
4 Photo lab request: Abbr. : ENL
5 Rental availability sign : TO LET
6 Boy on “The Andy Griffith Show” : OPIE
7 $100 bills, in slang : BENS
8 Chemical suffix that’s also a direction : ENE
9 Perform brilliantly : SHINE
10 Items set up in agility drills : CONES
11 “Wow, no manners!” : RUDE!
12 Warts and all : AS IS
13 Smallest hail size, about a quarter-inch in diameter : PEA
21 Hayride seats : BALES
22 High flier : KITE
24 Approximate shape of the British pound sign : ELL
25 Baby food form : PUREE
26 Fish with a pointed snout : PIKE
27 Remained in effect : STOOD
28 Source of power for a golf swing : HIPS
29 Holder of a toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, etc. : TOILET BAG
30 Shacks : HUTS
31 Ticket abbr. that’s found inside “ticket abbr.” : ETA
32 Buffoon : ASS
34 Faint from emotion : SWOON
38 ___ Hubbard, Scientology founder : L RON
40 French department that borders Switzerland : AIN
44 Sort who’s lost all hope : GONER
45 Jesse who broke three world records in 45 minutes : OWENS
46 Message that can be favorited : TWEET
47 “Like a ___!” : BOSS
48 Easy run : LOPE
49 Choice in a sleepover game : DARE
50 Extolling poetry : ODES
52 Turkey piece : WING
53 Casino calculation : ODDS
54 Greek consonant : TAU
55 Any of the Sierra Nevadas: Abbr. : MTN
56 Sierra Nevada, e.g. : ALE

5 thoughts on “0730-20 NY Times Crossword 30 Jul 20, Thursday”

  1. 11:52…..whaaaat? My typical approach is to do all the across clues first, then the downs. Even my feeble mind could see that was going nowhere fast after reading the first few across clues, so I started doing the downs. Then it filled in much faster than a Thursday should…for me. 🙂

  2. 9:00, no errors. What Duncan said, except that I kept going back to the Across clues and getting caught up in the peculiar nature of this puzzle. As a lowly solver, I can only imagine the extra difficulty it posed for the constructor. Amazing … 😜.

  3. 12:01 What Duncan – Nonny said (Notice how I got the One-Two in there). Also impressed that there were no exotic words in there other than AIN, which is unknown to me. I also had ROSE HIPS before ROSE OILS. Since 28D is HIPS, I knew 43A had to be something else (tho the I and the S remained).

    Clever idea

  4. I do not enjoy this puzzle type. But I was halfway through in about 4 minutes. Ended up at 19:29. BLOWN OVER instead of BLOWN DOWN, ROTH IRAS instead of NEST EGGS slowed me down. I was sure they were right…until they weren’t. I’m glad that’s over.

  5. 12:59. Ditto all of the above. I also agree the puzzle was a bit tedious to finish.

    Interesting note in Wordplay – the setter, who is one of Will Shortz’ minions, took 5 YEARS to complete this puzzle. He stopped and started several times, but he kept running into logistical roadblocks. He said the constraints of this puzzle were unreal. He finally got 3/4 done and with the shutdown finally had time to finish the bottom 1/4. Better to appreciate the effort that went into constructing this puzzle than focusing on its tedium to solve.

    Final note on all of the “to wit” notes from yesterday. “Unwittingly” is probably the most common usage of that meaning of “to wit” these days. “Whenever I unwittingly step off an airplane before it lands, bad things seem to happen.” If I keep using examples like that, people will start (continue?) calling me a halfwit.

    Best –

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