0807-20 NY Times Crossword 7 Aug 20, Friday

Constructed by: Tom Pepper
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 12m 07s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 Place to get a variety of views : OP-ED PAGE

“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

16 Friendly term of address in France : MON AMI

“Mon ami” is French for “my friend”, when referring to a male. The phrase “mon amie” is used for a female.

18 Crunchy candy bar since 1930 : ZAGNUT

The Zagnut candy bar is a tad unusual in that it contains no chocolate. Introduced in 1930, Zagnut bars have seen a resurgence in popularity over the past decade. Apparently, the lack of chocolate to melt is appreciated by US troops deployed in warm climates.

22 Cover with perfume : CENSE

To cense is to perfume with incense. Such a lovely word …

23 White wine aperitif : KIR

Kir is a French cocktail made by adding a teaspoon or so of crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) to a glass, and then topping it off with white wine. The drink is named after Felix Kir, the Mayor of Dijon in Burgundy, who used to offer the drink to his guests. My wife is particularly fond of a variant called a kir royale, in which the white wine is replaced with champagne.

29 Je ne sais quoi : AURA

An aura (plural “aurae”) is an intangible quality that surrounds a person or thing, a “je ne sais quoi”. “Je ne sais quoi” is French for “I don’t know what”.

33 Sent : ON CLOUD NINE

I don’t think that anyone is really certain of the etymology of the term “on cloud nine” meaning “elated”, but I do like the following explanation. The 1896 “International Cloud-Atlas” was a long-standing reference used to define cloud shapes that was based on a classification created by amateur meteorologist Luke Howard some decades earlier. The biggest and fluffiest of all cloud shapes (and most comfortable-looking to lie on) is cumulonimbus. And you guessed it, of the ten cloud shapes defined in the atlas, cumulonimbus was cloud nine …

36 Mary Barra, for G.M., beginning in 2014 : CEO

Mary Barra is the chief executive officer of General Motors (GM). Barra is the first woman to hold the top position in a global automotive manufacturing company.

37 Pastries with a portmanteau name : CRONUTS

A cronut is a pastry that resembles a doughnut but is made using a croissant-like dough. It is filled with cream and deep-fried in grapeseed oil. It is a relatively new pastry, having been invented by New York bakery owner Dominique Ansel in 2013. The term “cronut” is a portmanteau of “croissant” and “doughnut”.

43 Move like a snail : INCH

Snails and slugs are referred to collectively as gastropods. There are many, many species of gastropods, found both on land and in the sea. Gastropods with shells are generally described as snails, and those species without shells are referred to as slugs.

45 Ancient Greek birthplace of Parmenides : ELEA

Parmenides was a philosopher in ancient Greece. He was born in the Greek city of Elea located on the Italian coast, and so the school of philosophy that he founded is called the Eleatic School.

47 Tippi on the Hollywood Walk of Fame : HEDREN

Tippi Hedren is an actress from New Ulm, Minnesota who is best known for her starring roles in two Alfred Hitchcock classics: “The Birds” (1963) and “Marnie” (1964). Famously, Hedren claimed that Hitchcock destroyed her movie career because she would not succumb to his sexual advances, a charge that has been denied. Hedren’s daughter is actress Melanie Griffith.

49 Totally relaxed, so to speak : ZEN

Zen is a Buddhist school that developed its own tradition in China back in the 7th century AD. Zen is a Japanese spelling of the Chinese word “chan”, which in turn derives from the Sanskrit word “dhyana” meaning “meditation”.

61 Paid for a ride, in a way : UBERED

Uber is a ridesharing service that was founded in 2009 and is based in San Francisco. The service is somewhat controversial and has been described as an illegal taxicab operation. Central to Uber’s service is the company’s mobile app, which can use the client’s GPS location to help find the nearest available ride. Uber’s main competitor is Lyft.

62 Classic works by the poet Martial : EPIGRAMS

An epigram is a short and clever statement, poem or discourse.

64 Underperformed, colloquially : DOGGED IT

To dog it is to not expend the effort necessary to accomplish a task. Folks tell me that the expression is quite common, but I must confess that I personally haven’t heard it used outside of crosswords. I’ll have to listen more carefully in the future …

Down

1 Broadway hit, informally : BOFF

“Boffo” (sometimes “boff”) is show biz slang for “very successful”, and is a term that dates back to the early sixties.

2 The Olympic Australis is the world’s largest discovered one : OPAL

The largest opal ever found, and the most valuable, is the Olympic Australis. It was discovered in South Australia in 1956. That same year, the Summer Olympics were being held in Melbourne so the newly discovered stone was given the name “Olympic Australis”.

7 Molding shape : OGEE

An ogee is a type of S-curve. Specifically it is a figure consisting of two arcs that curve in opposite directions (like an S) but both ends of the curve end up parallel to each other (which is not necessarily true for an S).

9 Breaker of a celebrity breakup, maybe : TMZ

TMZ.com is a celebrity gossip website launched in 2005. “TMZ” stands for “thirty-mile zone”, a reference to the “studio zone” in Los Angeles. The studio zone is circular in shape with a 30-mile radius centered on the intersection of West Beverly Boulevard and North La Cienega Boulevard.

10 Extermination target : ROACH

The insect known as a cockroach is closely related to the termite. Although generally considered a pest, the lowly cockroach has at least one claim to fame. A cockroach named Nadezhda was sent into space in 2007 by Russian scientists, where it became the first terrestrial creature to give birth in space. Nadezhda bore 33 cockroaches.

11 One side of baseball’s Freeway Series rivalry : ANGELS

The Anaheim Angels baseball team is today more correctly called the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (LAA). The “Angels” name dates back to 1961 when the team was founded in the “City of Angels”, Los Angeles. When the franchise moved to Anaheim in 1965 they were known as the California Angels, then the Anaheim Angels, and most recently the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Angels are also known as “the Halos”.

12 Film part for Frank Sinatra and George Clooney : DANNY OCEAN

“Ocean’s 11” is a great film from 1960, starring Frank Sinatra as Danny Ocean. The original storyline is updated for the excellent 2001 remake, with George Clooney playing the lead. In the 1960 movie, the love interest is a character called Beatrice Ocean, played by Angie Dickinson. In the 2001 version, the love interest gets a new name, Tess Ocean, and is played by Julia Roberts. The 2001 remake (titled “Ocean’s Eleven”, note the spelling) spawned two sequels: “Ocean’s Twelve” in 2004 and “Ocean’s Thirteen” in 2007.

Frank Sinatra was married four times in all. His first wife, and mother of his three children, was Nancy Barbato. Barbato and Sinatra met in Jersey City while in their teens, and married in their early twenties in 1939. They divorced in 1951 following a string of affairs that Sinatra had after he moved his family to Hollywood. One of those very public affairs was with actress Ava Gardner, who became Sinatra’s second wife a few months after divorcing Barbato. That marriage lasted until 1957. Sinatra then married actress Mia Farrow, when she was 21 years old and he was 29 years her senior. That marriage only lasted a couple of years. Sinatra’s last marriage took place in 1976, and was Barbara Blakely Marx, the ex-wife of Zeppo Marx of the Marx Brothers.

Actor George Clooney’s breakthrough role was playing Dr. Doug Ross on TV’s “ER”, although before that he had a fairly regular role on the sitcom “Roseanne”. George’s aunt was the singer and actress Rosemary Clooney.

13 Creatures whose males barely eat or drink during incubation : EMUS

Emu eggs are very large, with a thick shell that is dark-green in color. One emu egg weighs about the same as a dozen chicken eggs. It is the male emu that incubates the eggs. The incubation period lasts about 8 weeks, during which time the male neither eats nor drinks, just lapping up any morning dew that is nearby. While incubating a clutch of eggs, male emus lose about a third of their weight.

23 Rheinland city : KOLN

Cologne is the fourth largest city in Germany, and is known as “Köln” in German.

25 Kraft Foods brand : SANKA

The first successful process for removing caffeine from coffee involved steaming the beans in salt water, and then extracting the caffeine using benzene (a potent carcinogen) as a solvent. Coffee processed this way was sold as Sanka here in the US. There are other processes used these days, and let’s hope they are safer …

26 Game played on a dirt court : BOCCI

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”.

27 Former company with a crooked logo, appropriately enough : ENRON

After all the trials following the exposure of fraud at Enron, several of the key players ended up in jail. Andrew Fastow was the Chief Financial Officer. He plea-bargained and received ten years without parole, and became the key witness in the trials of others. Even Fastow’s wife was involved and she was sentenced to one year for helping her husband hide money. Jeffrey Skilling (ex-CEO) was sentenced to 24 years and 4 months. Kenneth Lay (CEO) died in 2006 after he had been found guilty but before he could be sentenced. The accounting firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstruction of justice for shredding thousands of pertinent documents and deleting emails and files (a decision that the Supreme Court later overturned on a technicality). But still, Arthur Andersen collapsed under the weight of the scandal and 85,000 people lost their jobs (despite only a handful being directly involved with Enron).

31 Symptom Checker offerer : WEBMD

WebMD is a website containing health information. Online since 1996, WebMD is read by over 80 million readers each month. One example of the useful features on the site is the Pill Identification Tool.

32 Poet whose name consists of side-by-side opposites : NOYES

Alfred Noyes was an English poet best known for his narrative poem “The Highwayman” that was published in 1906. The highwayman in the poem is in love with an innkeeper’s daughter named Bess. Bess dies trying to warn her lover about an ambush, and then the highwayman dies when trying to exact revenge for her death. The highwayman and Bess meet up as ghosts on winter nights.

34 Father of King Arthur : UTHER

According to legend, King Arthur was the son of Uther Pendragon. Uther magically disguised himself as his enemy Gorlois and slept with Gorlois’ wife Igerna, and the result of the union was Arthur.

35 Bonus feature, of a sort : EASTER EGG

In a film, book, computer program (or even a crossword!), an “Easter egg” is a hidden message or inside joke that is left intentionally during production. The term “Easter egg” is used for such a device as it evokes the idea of an Easter egg hunt. You can check out thousands of such Easter eggs at www.eeggs.com.

42 Hard to let go of, in a way : TENURED

A job in a university that is described as “tenure-track” is one that can lead to a tenured position. A tenured position is a “job for life”. A person with tenure can only be dismissed for cause.

44 Straight : HETERO

“Heterosexuality” is sexual attraction between persons of the opposite gender. The prefix “hetero-” comes from the Greek “heteros” meaning “different, other”.

49 Leonard ___, subject of a 1983 mockumentary : ZELIG

“Zelig” is a 1983 film by Woody Allen. It tells the fictitious story, in documentary style, of Leonard Zelig (played by Allen) who has the gift of being able to change his appearance in order to better fit in with the company he keeps. He becomes famous as a “human chameleon”. By using archive footage, the film includes clever “cameos” by real figures from history (like Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover and Susan Sontag).

50 Choice : PLUM

To describe something as plum is to say that it is especially desirable, e.g. a plum job, the plum choice. We’ve been using “plum” in this sense since the late 18th century, and it is probably a reference to the particularly sweet and enjoyably parts of a plum pudding.

51 ___ bag (fashion accessory) : HOBO

A hobo bag is a rather unstructured-looking, crescent-shaped bag with a long strap and soft sides that tends to slump when set down. It’s called a hobo bag because the shape resembles that of the bundle carried by archetypal hobos on the ends of sticks resting on their shoulders.

53 Coppers : PO-PO

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

“To cop” was northern-English dialect for “to seize, catch”, and is still a slang term meaning “to get hold of, steal”. This verb evolved in the noun “copper”, describing a policeman, someone who catches criminals. “Copper” is often shortened to “cop”.

55 Sleeveless garment, informally : CAMI

A camisole (also “cami”) is a sleeveless undergarment worn by women that extends down to the waist. “Camisole” is a French word that we imported into English that ultimately derives from the Latin “camisia” meaning “shirt, nightgown”.

60 Line-skipping option at the airport, for short : PRE

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) operates its precheck program known as “TSA Pre✓” or “TSA PreCheck”). Members of the program receive expedited screening at airports at most airports. In order to become a member, a traveler must apply online, appear in person at a designated office for a background check and fingerprinting, and pay a fee for a 5-year membership.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Drink that’s hard on the stomach? : BODY SHOT
9 Merchant : TRADER
15 Place to get a variety of views : OP-ED PAGE
16 Friendly term of address in France : MON AMI
17 They have many followers online : FANSITES
18 Crunchy candy bar since 1930 : ZAGNUT
19 Take off in a hurry : FLY
20 Some bridges connect them : TEETH
22 Cover with perfume : CENSE
23 White wine aperitif : KIR
24 Without considering the consequences : RASHLY
26 Intoxicate : BESOT
29 Je ne sais quoi : AURA
30 Spread all around : SOWN
33 Sent : ON CLOUD NINE
36 Mary Barra, for G.M., beginning in 2014 : CEO
37 Pastries with a portmanteau name : CRONUTS
38 Do minimal work and succeed : SKATE BY
40 Murmur : COO
41 “Too bad” : THAT’S A SHAME
43 Move like a snail : INCH
45 Ancient Greek birthplace of Parmenides : ELEA
46 Stokes, say : TENDS
47 Tippi on the Hollywood Walk of Fame : HEDREN
49 Totally relaxed, so to speak : ZEN
50 A filter might be used for one : PHOTO
52 “Awesome!” : SUPER!
54 High-risk bond rating : CCC
57 Eager reply to an invitation : LOVE TO!
59 Be someone you’re not : ROLE-PLAY
61 Paid for a ride, in a way : UBERED
62 Classic works by the poet Martial : EPIGRAMS
63 Always down : MOROSE
64 Underperformed, colloquially : DOGGED IT

Down

1 Broadway hit, informally : BOFF
2 The Olympic Australis is the world’s largest discovered one : OPAL
3 Refuse : DENY
4 Golf hole spec: Abbr. : YDS
5 “C’mon, tell me!” : SPIT IT OUT!
6 Constant critic : HATER
7 Molding shape : OGEE
8 Trial : TEST RUN
9 Breaker of a celebrity breakup, maybe : TMZ
10 Extermination target : ROACH
11 One side of baseball’s Freeway Series rivalry : ANGELS
12 Film part for Frank Sinatra and George Clooney : DANNY OCEAN
13 Creatures whose males barely eat or drink during incubation : EMUS
14 Religious act : RITE
21 Spicy condiment from North Africa : HARISSA
23 Rheinland city : KOLN
25 Kraft Foods brand : SANKA
26 Game played on a dirt court : BOCCI
27 Former company with a crooked logo, appropriately enough : ENRON
28 Request to a couch hog : SCOOCH OVER
29 Increasing source of internet revenue : AD SALES
31 Symptom Checker offerer : WEBMD
32 Poet whose name consists of side-by-side opposites : NOYES
34 Father of King Arthur : UTHER
35 Bonus feature, of a sort : EASTER EGG
39 “And so …” : THEN …
42 Hard to let go of, in a way : TENURED
44 Straight : HETERO
48 Acts in a grandmotherly way, say : DOTES
49 Leonard ___, subject of a 1983 mockumentary : ZELIG
50 Choice : PLUM
51 ___ bag (fashion accessory) : HOBO
53 Coppers : PO-PO
54 Sporting, with “in” : CLAD …
55 Sleeveless garment, informally : CAMI
56 Dermatological concern : CYST
58 Lines of credit? : ODE
60 Line-skipping option at the airport, for short : PRE

16 thoughts on “0807-20 NY Times Crossword 7 Aug 20, Friday”

  1. 42:26 with a couple lookups. Played like a Sat. for me – first pass thru yielded almost nothing. Unfamiliar with HARISSA, ELEA, POPO, Olympic Australis (thought it might be some Greek reference).
    Had VENDOR vs. TRADER; HEINZ vs. SANKA; THUS vs. THEN; TENUOUS vs. TENURED; ACNE vs. CYST; etc. Thought a Cyst would be more of an internal body issue rather than dermatological. Lots to figure out and correct. Not a good start to the day.

  2. 19:40, no errors. I’d never heard of a “BODY SHOT” (another of those references that would never have made it into the NYT puzzle while Margaret Farrar was the editor)! My only guess would have been that it was a sports term of some kind … and … hmm … well … look it up and you’ll see why I’m pausing 😜. I’d also never heard of “HARISSA” … which is odd, given my extreme passion for obscure North African spices … 😜. And I had to do a run through the alphabet to get the “Z” of “TMZ” and “ZAGNUT” (one of which is very new to me and the other of which I had not heard since childhood).

    I woke up this morning with the name “Xanthippe” running through my head. Maybe I’m doing too many crossword puzzles … 😳.

    1. I have seen descriptions of a “body shot” a few years back (the alcohol one you are referring to), but was not aware of the term for it – I thought the clue referred to boxing and taking a tough “shot” to the stomach.

      1. @Ron … I agree. When I began to see what the answer to the clue “Drink that’s hard on the stomach?” had to be, I first thought of a possible/probable sports connection and I also realized that a “shot” can be thought of as a drink, so the clue made sense in a punny way. After I was done, I looked up “BODY SHOT” to see if it meant what I thought it did in sports and discovered the (somewhat risque) additional meaning of the phrase (something I’d never heard of). I have to wonder if the setter and/or editor were aware of it. Maybe, maybe not … I just don’t know … 🤨.

  3. 34:34. Very hard Friday. Wasn’t sure I’d make it through this one. One error too embarrassing to mention here.

    A BODY SHOT can be a boxing punch to the gut or torso. The BODY SHOT they’re referring to, I suppose, I always knew as a “belly shot” which is a jello shot that one drinks (consumes?) from the navel of of another. Belly shots tend not to be the very first drink of the night…. So I hear!!

    If you want something risque, look up the first definition of BOFF…

    So are all of our clever little comments here considered EPIGRAMS?

    Nice puzzle by this setter. I guess Mr. Pepper was really worth his salt today.

    Best –

  4. 45:27 with so many lookups it is embarrassing. “Body shots“ sound like they might have been “entertaining” about 50 years ago…now I’m dealing with a more convex surface 🙂

  5. That humble pie I mentioned might be on the menu for today? It was delicious. 39:46 with several lookups. Oh, well. Hard puzzle today.

  6. Good grief, this played like a Saturday. Got off to a hot start in the NE, then went absolutely cold. 45 minutes later, after a great deal of mindful staring, finally got it puzzled out. As Jeff said, “…Mr. Pepper was really worth his salt today.” Which makes me Mrs. Dash, I guess. Really good puzzle.

  7. 1:12:50 no errors but several lookups.
    @RonF…everything you said.
    @Nonny yes you do work too many puzzles.
    I felt like this one was a collaboration of David Steinberg, Jeff Chen, and Eric Agard. 👎👎👎
    Stay safe.

  8. One letter short; sq 49. Ran it through an alphabet check but apparently stopped before I got to Z which would have made sense.
    My grid (newspaper) also omitted the clues for 56 and 60 Down which didn’t help. Can’t really say that I enjoyed this one.

  9. Hot a good start then fizzled… POPO PLUM CAMI HOBO… They got me.

    Did not know SANKA was from Kraft.. I used to drink that stuff.. Especially in college.

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