0803-20 NY Times Crossword 3 Aug 20, Monday

Constructed by: Eric Bornstein
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Just a Phase

Themed answers each start with a PHASE, a state of matter:

  • 57A The terrible twos, e.g. (one hopes!) … or the start of 17-, 22-, 36- or 45-Across? : JUST A PHASE
  • 17A Where to go for a fill-up : GAS STATION
  • 22A Firm place to plant your feet : SOLID GROUND
  • 36A Viewing options popularized in the 1990s : PLASMA SCREEN TVS
  • 45A Cash or stock, e.g. : LIQUID ASSET

Bill’s time: 5m 31s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Home of Pago Pago : SAMOA

Pago Pago is the capital of American Samoa in the South Pacific. The island was used by the US Navy during WWII and it managed to escape most of the conflict. The only military incident of consequence was the shelling of the city’s harbor by a Japanese submarine. A more devastating event was the tsunami that hit Pago Pago and surrounding areas in 2009, causing widespread damage and numerous deaths.

6 Muscles that get “crunched” in crunches : ABS

The abdominal muscles (abs) are more correctly referred to as the rectus abdominis muscles. They might be referred to as a “six-pack”, or even a “ten-pack”, in a person who has developed the muscles and who has low body fat. In my case, more like a keg …

17 Where to go for a fill-up : GAS STATION

The gas pump was actually around before there were cars on the road. The first gas pump was the invention of one Sylvanus Bowser from Fort Wayne, Indiana. His first pump was designed to pump kerosene for lamps and stoves, and was introduced in 1885. As automobiles became popular, he modified the design to pump gasoline. He introduced the Self-Measuring Gasoline Storage Pump in 1905. He marketed his devices all around the world, and in some parts the name “bowser” is still used sometimes to refer to fuel pumps, and indeed some fuel tankers.

18 Mets’ venue before Citi Field : SHEA

Shea Stadium in Flushing Meadows, New York was named after William A. Shea, the man credited with bringing National League baseball back to the city in the form of the New York Mets. Shea Stadium was dismantled in 2008-2009, and the site now provides additional parking for the new stadium nearby called Citi Field.

Citi Field is the relatively new baseball stadium used by the New York Mets that sits right next door to the site of Shea stadium, where the Mets had played for decades. And the new facility’s name comes from corporate sponsor Citigroup.

20 ___ San Lucas (Mexican resort city) : CABO

Cabo San Lucas is a major tourist destination at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula in Mexico. “Cabo” is sometimes referred to as the “Fort Lauderdale of Mexico”.

28 “Auld ___ Syne” : LANG

The song “Auld Lang Syne” is a staple at New Year’s Eve (well, actually in the opening minutes of New Year’s Day). The words were written by Scottish poet Robbie Burns. The literal translation of “Auld Lang Syne” is “old long since”, but is better translated as “old times”. The sentiment of the song is “for old time’s sake”.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For days of auld lang syne

29 Tuesday, in Toulouse : MARDI

Toulouse is the fourth largest city in France, and is located in the southwest of the country. These days, Toulouse is noted as home to the Airbus headquarters and is known as the center of the European aerospace industry.

30 Ancient carver of stone heads in Mesoamerica : OLMEC

The Olmec were an ancient civilization that lived in the lowlands of south-central Mexico from about 1500 BC to about 400 BC.

Mesoamerica is a region extending from Central Mexico, south to Costa Rica. It is known as an area where societies flourished prior to the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 16th and 17th centuries.

33 Move on a pogo stick : HOP

What we know today as a pogo stick was invented in Germany by Max Pohlig and Ernst Gottschall. The name “pogo” comes from the first two letters in each of the inventors’ family names: Po-hlig and Go-ttschall.

36 Viewing options popularized in the 1990s : PLASMA SCREEN TVS

Plasma televisions are so called because the screen is made up of tiny cells containing electrically charged ionized gases (plasmas). Each of the cells is effectively a tiny fluorescent lamp.

39 ___ card (smartphone insert) : SIM

Most cell phones have SIM cards these days. SIM cards hold the personal information of the subscriber, with the acronym being short for “Subscriber Identity Module”.

40 Beefcakes : STUDS

It’s not really clear how the word “cheesecake” came to be used for a provocative picture of a woman. It is known that the term arose in the 1930s, and originally applied to the covers of pulp magazines that used the images of the attractive young females to attract a largely male audience. One theory is that during the depression years, the luscious cheesecake dessert was unattainable, as were the “luscious” models depicted on the magazine covers. The male equivalent of “cheesecake” is “beefcake”.

42 H2O, south of the border : AGUA

A water molecule is composed of an oxygen atom with two hydrogen atoms on roughly opposite sides (at about a 150-degree angle). So, sometimes the molecule is represented by “HOH”, although more usually it’s “H2O”.

56 Christmas carol : NOEL

“Noël” is the French word for the Christmas season, and ultimately comes from the Latin word for “birth” (natalis). “Noel” has come to be used as an alternative for “Christmas carol”.

57 The terrible twos, e.g. (one hopes!) … or the start of 17-, 22-, 36- or 45-Across? : JUST A PHASE

When I was a schoolkid, I was taught that there were three fundamental states of matter: solid, liquid and gas. I think it is now generally accepted that there is a fourth fundamental state matter, namely plasma. Plasma is a state without a definite shape or volume, and in that sense is similar to a gas. In a plasma, electrons have been ripped away from their nuclei, forming a conductive electron “sea”. Plasmas are created from gases by applying a massive voltage difference or an extremely high temperature.

59 Protected, at sea : ALEE

Alee is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing aweather.

60 Floral garland : DAISY CHAIN

The flowers of the daisy plant close tightly at sunset and then open up again in the morning. It is this behavior that led to the name “daisy”, from the Old English for “day’s eye”. So, the daisy could be called a “well-rested” plant. And, someone who is well-rested attacks the day “fresh as a daisy”. Interesting, huh?

63 Halves of quarts : PINTS

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.

Two pints make up a quart, which is a “quarter” of a gallon, hence the name.

Down

5 Quantity: Abbr. : AMT

Amount (amt.)

6 “I was with my girlfriend all evening,” e.g. : ALIBI

“Alibi” is the Latin word for “elsewhere” as in, “I claim that I was ‘elsewhere’ when the crime was committed … I have an ‘alibi’”.

7 Donation to the Red Cross : BLOOD

Back in 1859, a Swiss businessman called Henri Dunant went to meet French emperor Napoleon III, to discuss making it easier to conduct commerce in French-occupied Algeria. The Emperor was billeted at Solferino, where France and Austria were engaged in a major battle. In one day, Dunant witnessed 40,000 soldiers die in battle and countless wounded suffering on the battlefield without any organized medical care. Dunant abandoned his business agenda and instead spent a week caring for the sick and wounded. Within a few years he had founded the precursor to the Red Cross, and in 1901 he was awarded the first ever Nobel Peace Prize.

8 Info in a data breach: Abbr. : SSN

So often, we are asked for “the last four digits” of our Social Security Numbers (SSNs).

14 Breakfast sizzler : BACON

“Bacon” is an Old French word that we imported into English. The term ultimately comes from the Proto-Germanic “bakkon” meaning “back meat”.

23 Kind of club for singers : GLEE

A glee club is a choir group, usually of males, that sings short songs known as “glees”. A glee is a song scored for three or more voices that is performed unaccompanied.

24 Little rapscallions : IMPS

We might call a little imp a “rapscallion”, an evolution from “rascallion” that in turn comes from “rascal”.

25 Home of Timbuktu : MALI

The Republic of Mali is a landlocked country in western Africa located south of Algeria. Formerly known as French Sudan, the nation’s most famous city is Timbuktu. Mali is the third-largest producer of gold on the continent, after South Africa and Ghana.

27 Takes too much, in brief : ODS

Overdose (OD)

30 Buckeyes’ sch. : OSU

Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus was founded back in 1870 as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College. The athletic teams of OSU are called the Buckeyes, named after the state tree of Ohio. In turn the buckeye tree gets its name from the appearance of its fruit, a dark nut with a light patch thought to resemble a “buck’s eye”.

31 12, for 1/3, 1/4 and 1/6: Abbr. : LCD

The lowest/least common denominator (LCD) of a set of fractions is the least common multiple of the denominators of those fractions. For example, the LCD of ⅓ and ¼ is 12 as both ⅓ and ¼ can be expressed in multiples of 1/12 (⅓ is 4/12 and ¼ is 3/12).

37 Slightly : A TAD

Back in the 1800s, “tad” was used to describe a young child, and this extended into our usage of “small amount” in the early 1900s. The original use of “tad” for a child is very likely a shortened version of “tadpole”.

43 Throat : GULLET

The esophagus is the gullet, the “pipe” that carries food from the mouth down into the stomach. The term comes from the Greek “oisophagos” that can be translated as “to carry to eat”.

45 Hawaiian porch : LANAI

A lanai is a type of veranda, and a design that originated in Hawaii. A kind blog reader tells me that the etymology of “lanai” seems unclear, but that the island name of “Lana’i” is not related.

46 “Golden” things in the Bible : IDOLS

According to the Book of Exodus in the Bible, Moses’ brother Aaron made a golden calf as an idol for the Israelites to worship while Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments. When Moses returned, he became angry on seeing the calf and destroyed it.

48 Actress Essman of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” : SUSIE

“Curb Your Enthusiasm” is an improv comedy show aired by HBO that was created and stars Larry David, the creator of “Seinfeld”. As an aside, Larry David sat a few feet from me at the next table in a Los Angeles restaurant a few years ago. I have such a huge claim to fame …

53 Indian flatbread : NAAN

Naan (also “nan”) bread is very popular in Indian restaurants, as well as in other West, Central and South Asian cuisines. Indian Naan is traditionally baked in a clay oven known as a tandoor.

55 Bills with Alexander Hamilton on them : TENS

The obverse of the US ten-dollar bill features the image of Alexander Hamilton, the first US Secretary of the Treasury. As such, ten-dollar bills are sometimes called “Hamiltons”. By the way, the $10 bill is the only US currency in circulation in which the portrait faces to the left. The reverse of the ten-dollar bill features the US Treasury Building.

57 Attys.’ degrees : JDS

The law degree that is abbreviated to J.D. stands for “Juris Doctor” or “Doctor of Jurisprudence”.

58 Drug also known as angel dust : PCP

Phencyclidine is a recreational drug usually referred to on the street as “PCP” or “angel dust”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Home of Pago Pago : SAMOA
6 Muscles that get “crunched” in crunches : ABS
9 [Oh, well] : [SIGH]
13 Things that go off when there’s danger : ALARM BELLS
16 Other: Sp. : OTRO
17 Where to go for a fill-up : GAS STATION
18 Mets’ venue before Citi Field : SHEA
19 Regarding : AS TO
20 ___ San Lucas (Mexican resort city) : CABO
21 Member of a tough crowd, say : BOOER
22 Firm place to plant your feet : SOLID GROUND
24 “That sounds fun to me!” : I’M DOWN!
28 “Auld ___ Syne” : LANG
29 Tuesday, in Toulouse : MARDI
30 Ancient carver of stone heads in Mesoamerica : OLMEC
33 Move on a pogo stick : HOP
36 Viewing options popularized in the 1990s : PLASMA SCREEN TVS
39 ___ card (smartphone insert) : SIM
40 Beefcakes : STUDS
41 Doesn’t win : LOSES
42 H2O, south of the border : AGUA
44 “So’s your mama!,” for one : RETORT
45 Cash or stock, e.g. : LIQUID ASSET
50 Child’s counterpart : ADULT
51 Witty remark : QUIP
52 “I’ll get right ___” : ON IT
56 Christmas carol : NOEL
57 The terrible twos, e.g. (one hopes!) … or the start of 17-, 22-, 36- or 45-Across? : JUST A PHASE
59 Protected, at sea : ALEE
60 Floral garland : DAISY CHAIN
61 “Money ___ everything” : ISN’T
62 Opposite NNW : SSE
63 Halves of quarts : PINTS

Down

1 Long story : SAGA
2 “What a shame!” : ALAS!
3 What a sail is tied to : MAST
4 Approximately : OR SO
5 Quantity: Abbr. : AMT
6 “I was with my girlfriend all evening,” e.g. : ALIBI
7 Donation to the Red Cross : BLOOD
8 Info in a data breach: Abbr. : SSN
9 “Leaving already?” : SO SOON?
10 “That seemed right to me, too” : I THOUGHT SO
11 Like most vegetation : GREEN
12 Keep everything for oneself : HOARD
14 Breakfast sizzler : BACON
15 And others: Abbr. : ET AL
21 “Charming” jewelry? : BRACELET
22 What a skinny-dipper lacks : SWIMSUIT
23 Kind of club for singers : GLEE
24 Little rapscallions : IMPS
25 Home of Timbuktu : MALI
26 Theatrical sort : DRAMA QUEEN
27 Takes too much, in brief : ODS
30 Buckeyes’ sch. : OSU
31 12, for 1/3, 1/4 and 1/6: Abbr. : LCD
32 “The Marvelous ___ Maisel” : MRS
34 On top of : OVER
35 Surreptitious sound during an exam : PSST!
37 Slightly : A TAD
38 Word repeated in “Waste ___, want ___” : NOT
43 Throat : GULLET
44 Give back to : REPAY
45 Hawaiian porch : LANAI
46 “Golden” things in the Bible : IDOLS
47 Light blue shades : AQUAS
48 Actress Essman of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” : SUSIE
49 Takes a chair : SITS
52 “Huh, funny running into you!” : OH, HI!
53 Indian flatbread : NAAN
54 “That true?” : IS IT?
55 Bills with Alexander Hamilton on them : TENS
57 Attys.’ degrees : JDS
58 Drug also known as angel dust : PCP

15 thoughts on “0803-20 NY Times Crossword 3 Aug 20, Monday”

  1. … And I continue to get slower and slower. 11:37, no errors. But some early incorrect guesses slowed me down. Did it while listening to my granddaughter’s Zoom piano lesson.

  2. 7:52. After seeing PLASMA TV SCREENS I couldn’t figure out what an LCD tv had to do with those numbers in the clue for 31D. It’s Monday. I’m allowed a mental lapse or two.

    Best –

  3. 7:06, no errors. Happy to be in a ‘photo finish’ with Nonny. The clues seemed a bit tricky for a Monday.
    As a kid, growing up in New York City during the 50’s and 60’s, I got to watch the construction of Shea Stadium, and attended a Mets game.

  4. @ Bill—Are you sure about your comment for 28-Across, Auld LANG Syne? It seems that the last line of the verse should be: “And days of auld lang syne” as opposed to “Of auld lang syne”.

  5. I also thought this one had a little bite to it. I often approach a Monday puzzle with a cavalier attitude thinking that it will be a pushover. Today’s puzzle exemplifies why not to let myself do that. I came away with no errors but had to focus my disciplined methodology nonetheless. A nice wake up call for me.

  6. Lyrics
    Should auld acquaintance be forgot
    And never brought to mind?
    Should auld acquaintance be forgot
    And days of auld lang syne?
    For auld lang syne, my dear
    For auld lang syne
    We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
    For days of auld lang syne
    We twa hae run about the braes
    And pu’d the gowans fine
    But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit
    Sin days of auld lang syne
    We twa hae paidl’d i’ the burn
    Frae morning sun till dine
    But seas between us braid hae roar’d
    Sin days of auld lang syne
    For auld lang syne, my dear
    For auld lang syne
    We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
    For days of auld lang syne
    And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp
    And surely I’ll be mine
    And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
    For auld lang syne
    And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere
    And gie’s a hand o’ thine
    And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught
    For auld lang syne
    For auld lang syne, my dear
    For auld lang syne
    We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
    For auld lang syne
    For auld lang syne, my dear
    For auld lang syne
    We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
    For auld lang syne
    Source: Musixmatch
    Songwriters: W. Afanasieff / Kenny G
    Auld Lang Syne lyrics © Universal Music Corp., Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, Music Mgt., B Lion Music, Megatrax Music, Southern Gypsey Queen, Legendary Notes, Redemption Songs Ltd, Limetree Arts And Music, Other Music Inc.

    1. Thank you, August. That settles it for sure. It is plain to see that the wording varies at different parts of the song. Much obliged.

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