0808-20 NY Times Crossword 8 Aug 20, Saturday

Constructed by: Brooke Husic & Sid Sivakumar
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 19m 31s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Seat of Hillsborough County, with a population of 400,000+ : TAMPA

The Florida city of Tampa has been known as “the Big Guava” since the seventies. The term is imitative of New York’s “Big Apple”, and refers to the unsuccessful search for the reported wild guava trees that were once hoped to be the basis of a new industry for the area. Tampa has also been called “Cigar City”, a reference to the cigar industry that fueled the area’s growth starting in the 1880s.

6 Smart : CHIC

“Chic” is a French word meaning “stylish”.

13 Setting for much of “Life of Pi” : OCEAN

The 2012 movie “Life of Pi” is based on a 2001 novel of the same name by Yann Martel. The “Pi” in the title is an Indian boy named Pi Patel who finds himself adrift for 227 days in a small boat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

14 When NATO was formed : TRUMAN ERA

Harry Truman wanted to go to West Point having served with the Missouri Army National Guard on active duty in WWI, but he couldn’t get in because of his poor eyesight. Young Truman didn’t have the money to pay for college anywhere else. He did manage to study for two years towards a law degree at the Kansas City Law School in the twenties, but he never finished his schooling. So, Harry S. Truman was the last US President (out of a list of ten) who did not have a college degree.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded not long after WWII in 1949 and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. The first NATO Secretary General was Lord Ismay, Winston Churchill’s chief military assistant during WWII. Famously, Lord Ismay said the goal of NATO was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”

18 Bit of German street food, informally : BRAT

A bratwurst (sometimes “brat” in the US) is a German sausage. The name comes from “brät-” meaning “finely chopped meat”, and “Wurst” meaning “sausage”.

19 Form moisture, in a way : BEAD

That might be a bead of sweat, for example.

24 Sitcom regular at Monk’s Cafe : ELAINE

The character Elaine Benes, unlike the other lead characters (Jerry, Kramer and George), did not appear in the pilot episode of “Seinfeld”. NBC executives specified the addition of a female lead when they picked up the show citing that the situation was too “male-centric”.

The Monk’s Café coffee shop that features in the sitcom “Seinfeld”, isn’t a real restaurant. Well, the interior is a studio set, and the exterior shots are taken from a real restaurant. That real restaurant is a diner in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan called Tom’s Restaurant.

26 Seasonal milkshake flavor, informally : NOG

It’s not really clear where the term “nog” (as in “eggnog”) comes from although it might derive from the word “noggin”, which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.

27 It’s just above a 4 : DOLLAR SIGN

That would be on a keyboard.

The dollar sign ($) was first used for the Spanish-American peso, in the late 18th century. The peso was also called the “Spanish dollar” (and “piece of eight”). The Spanish dollar was to become a model for the US dollar that was adopted in 1785, along with the dollar sign.

34 Key : ISLE

A key (also “cay”) is a low offshore island, as in the Florida “Keys”. Our term in English comes from the Spanish “cayo” meaning “shoal, reef”.

35 What newcomers learn, with “the” : … ROPES

As one might expect perhaps, the phrase “learning the ropes” is nautical in origin. A new recruit on a sailing vessel would have to learn how to tie the appropriate knots and learn which rope controlled which sail or spar.

36 Feature in many depictions of Buddha : HALO

Gautama Buddha was the sage on whose teachings the Buddhist tradition was founded. It is generally believed that the Buddha was born as Siddhartha Gautama in Kapilavastu in present-day Nepal, in about 563 BCE.

38 Hard-to-believe filings at the N.S.A. : UFO REPORTS

In 1952, the USAF revived its studies of reported sightings of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) in a program called Project Blue Book. Project Blue Book ran from 1952 until it was shut down in 1969 with the conclusion that there was no threat to national security and that there were no sightings that could not be explained within the bounds of modern scientific knowledge.

40 What was originally used as a yellow dye before its best-known property was discovered : TNT

“TNT” is an abbreviation for “trinitrotoluene”. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

42 Joint that sells joints : POT DISPENSARY

“Potiguaya” is the Mexican-Spanish word for “marijuana leaves”. The slang name “pot” comes from “potiguaya”.

49 Singer/songwriter Sands : EVIE

Evie Sands is a singer from Brooklyn, New York. Sands is also a noted songwriter, having penned songs that have been recorded by the likes of Barbra Streisand, Gladys Knight, Karen Carpenter, Linda Ronstadt and Dusty Springfield.

50 Ω : OHMS

The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every school kid knows as Ohm’s Law.

58 Money for a bullet train ticket, maybe : YEN

The Korean won, Chinese yuan, and Japanese yen (all of which are Asian currencies) take their names from the Chinese written character that represents “round shape”.

Although rail transportation started out its life in Europe, it really came into its own across the vast United States. However, it was the Japanese who developed rail transportation into the exceptional service it is today. A bullet train is any high-speed train that resembles the locomotives developed by the Japanese in the fifties and sixties.

59 Muscle that can be exercised by dumbbells, for short : DELT

The deltoid “muscle” is actually a group of muscles, the ones that cover the shoulder and create the roundness under the skin. The deltoids (delts) are triangular in shape resembling the Greek letter delta, hence the name.

60 Super Six, of old autodom : ESSEX

The Essex Motor Company manufactured small and affordable cars in Detroit starting in 1918. Essex was actually a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Hudson Motor Company. Essex was dissolved in 1922, after which Hudson made the cars directly, continuing the Essex name until 1932.

Down

1 The Taj Mahal, e.g. : TOMB

The most famous mausoleum in the world has to be the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The Taj Mahal was built after the death of the fourth wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal (hence the name of the mausoleum). The poor woman died in childbirth delivering the couple’s 14th child. When Shah Jahan himself passed away 35 years later, he was buried beside his wife Mumtaz, in the Taj Mahal.

2 HP competitor : ACER

Acer is a Taiwanese company that I visited a couple of times when I was in the electronics business. I was very impressed back then with the company’s dedication to quality, although I have heard that things haven’t gone so well in recent years …

3 They have many outlets : MEGAMALLS

Surprisingly (to me!), our word “mall”, meaning “shady walk” or “enclosed shopping space”, comes from the Italian for “mallet”. All of our shopping-style malls are named for “The Mall” in St. James’s Park in London. This tree-lined promenade was so called as it used to be a famous spot to play the croquet-like game called “pall-mall”. The game derived its name from the Italian for ball (palla) and mallet “maglio”. The London thoroughfare called the Mall still exists, at one end of which is Buckingham Palace. Indeed, parallel to the Mall is a street called Pall Mall.

7 Lollapalooza : HUMDINGER

A humdinger or a pip is someone or something outstanding. “Humdinger” is American slang dating back to the early 1900s, and was originally used to describe a particularly attractive woman.

A “lollapalooza” is something outstanding, one of a kind, as is a “dilly”.

8 Content of some chats, in brief : IMS

Even though instant messaging (sending and receiving IMs) has been around since the 1960s, it was AOL who popularized the term “instant message” in the eighties and nineties. The “AOL Instant Message” service was known as AIM.

10 Big name in luxury handbags : FENDI

Fendi is an Italian fashion house that was founded in 1925 by Adele Casagrande. Fendi started out as a fur and leather shop in Rome, and these days is famous for its line of handbags.

11 Word that sounds like “orange” in a classic knock-knock joke : AREN’T

Knock, knock!
Who’s there?
Banana.
Banana who?
Knock knock
Who’s there?
Banana.
Banana who?
Knock knock
Who’s there?
Orange.
Orange who?
Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?

15 Film ___ : NOIR

The expression “film noir” has French origins, but only in that it was coined by a French critic in describing a style of Hollywood film. The term, meaning “black film” in French, was first used by Nino Frank in 1946. Film noir often applies to a movie with a melodramatic plot and a private eye or detective at its center. Good examples would be “The Big Sleep” and “D.O.A”.

22 It has four bases : DNA

Nucleobases are molecules that form the backbone of DNA and RNA chains. It is the sequence of these bases in the DNA chain that makes up the so-called “genetic code”. In DNA, the four bases are adenine (A), guanine (G), thymine (T) and cytosine (C). The same bases are found in RNA, except that thymine is replaced by uracil (U). In DNA, the nucleobases exist in “base pairs”.

29 2019 event for Uber, briefly : IPO

An initial public offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).

32 Cher, for example : ALTO

In choral music, an alto (plural “alti”) is the second-highest voice in a four-part chorus made up of soprano, contr(alto), tenor and bass. The word “alto” describes the vocal range, that of the deepest female singing-voice, whereas the term “contralto” describes more than just the alto range, but also its quality and timbre. An adult male’s voice (not a boy’s) with the same range as an alto is called a “countertenor”.

“Cher” is the stage name used by singer and actress Cherilyn Sarkisian. Formerly one half of husband-wife duo Sonny & Cher, she is often referred to as the Goddess of Pop. In her acting career, Cher was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar of 1984 for her performance in “Silkwood”. She went further in 1988 and won the season’s Best Actress Oscar for playing Loretta Castorini in “Moonstruck”.

39 Kind of coat : PEA

A pea coat (also “pea jacket”) is a heavy woolen outer jacket originally associated with sailors. Nowadays anyone wears them (they’re very comfortable and warm). The female equivalent of a pea coat is often called a Jackie O jacket, after Jackie Onassis.

43 Like ballet dancers, at times : ON TOE

“En pointe” is the name given to ballet dancing on the tips of the toes, and is a French term. A ballerina wears pointe shoes (sometimes “toe shoes”) to perform this delightful-looking, albeit unhealthy feat (pun!).

44 Metaphorical source of irritation : THORN

A thorn in the side (sometimes “thorn in the flesh”) is an idiom describing an irritant. The phrase comes from the Second Epistle to the Corinthians in the Christian Bible:

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

47 CB channel for emergency use : NINE

A CB’er is someone who operates a Citizens Band (CB) radio. In 1945, the FCC set aside certain radio frequencies for the personal use of citizens. The use of the Citizens Band increased throughout the seventies as advances in electronics brought down the size of transceivers and their cost. There aren’t many CB radios sold these days though, as they have largely been replaced by cell phones.

52 Daughter of Tethys in Greek mythology : STYX

In Greek mythology, Styx was the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys, and the mother of Zelus, Nike, Kratos and Bia (aka Eos).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Seat of Hillsborough County, with a population of 400,000+ : TAMPA
6 Smart : CHIC
10 Spread, with “out” : FAN …
13 Setting for much of “Life of Pi” : OCEAN
14 When NATO was formed : TRUMAN ERA
16 Actress Price who co-starred on CBS’s “Rules of Engagement” : MEGYN
17 Ring highlights? : GEMSTONES
18 Bit of German street food, informally : BRAT
19 Form moisture, in a way : BEAD
20 “Oh, no you ___!” : DIDN’T
21 Demographic myth often used with respect to Asian-Americans : MODEL MINORITY
24 Sitcom regular at Monk’s Cafe : ELAINE
26 Seasonal milkshake flavor, informally : NOG
27 It’s just above a 4 : DOLLAR SIGN
30 Argue (with) : SPAR
34 Key : ISLE
35 What newcomers learn, with “the” : … ROPES
36 Feature in many depictions of Buddha : HALO
37 [Is this thing on?] : [TEST]
38 Hard-to-believe filings at the N.S.A. : UFO REPORTS
40 What was originally used as a yellow dye before its best-known property was discovered : TNT
41 Kid’s fixation : NEW TOY
42 Joint that sells joints : POT DISPENSARY
48 Square : UNHIP
49 Singer/songwriter Sands : EVIE
50 Ω : OHMS
53 Entered angrily, say : STOMPED IN
55 Hit the town : GO OUT
56 It starts right out of the gate : HORSE RACE
57 Common recyclable : EMPTY
58 Money for a bullet train ticket, maybe : YEN
59 Muscle that can be exercised by dumbbells, for short : DELT
60 Super Six, of old autodom : ESSEX

Down

1 The Taj Mahal, e.g. : TOMB
2 HP competitor : ACER
3 They have many outlets : MEGAMALLS
4 Place to go that requires cash at the door? : PAY TOILET
5 ___ Petry, first female African-American writer with a million-selling novel (“The Street”) : ANN
6 Destroy : CREAM
7 Lollapalooza : HUMDINGER
8 Content of some chats, in brief : IMS
9 Conjoined title character of 1990s-2000s Nickelodeon cartoons : CATDOG
10 Big name in luxury handbags : FENDI
11 Word that sounds like “orange” in a classic knock-knock joke : AREN’T
12 Eliciting a “Blech!” : NASTY
14 Shampoo brand : T/GEL
15 Film ___ : NOIR
19 Some trips to resupply festivities : BEER RUNS
22 It has four bases : DNA
23 Word of dismissal : NONSENSE
24 Toolbar heading : EDIT
25 Ditch : LOSE
28 Downplay the significance of : SOFT-PEDAL
29 2019 event for Uber, briefly : IPO
30 Places for demos : SHOWROOMS
31 Makes the rounds on a weekend night, say : PARTY-HOPS
32 Cher, for example : ALTO
33 Optimistic : ROSY
39 Kind of coat : PEA
40 Let know, with “off” : TIPPED …
42 Too forward : PUSHY
43 Like ballet dancers, at times : ON TOE
44 Metaphorical source of irritation : THORN
45 Turns down : DIMS
46 Throw out : EVICT
47 CB channel for emergency use : NINE
51 Zoom call option : MUTE
52 Daughter of Tethys in Greek mythology : STYX
54 Infinitive verb suffix in Italian : -ERE
55 “Huh!” : GEE!

12 thoughts on “0808-20 NY Times Crossword 8 Aug 20, Saturday”

  1. 22:07, no errors. Most of my problems were in the upper right. TGEL and FENDI were unknown to me and, for some reason, I had ATOMIC ERA before TRUMAN ERA. Never heard of CATDOG. Had (Film) CLIP before NOIR and DIRTY before NASTY. Finally got it all straightened out, but not before losing a bit more of the little hair that remains on my head.

    One of the first family cars that I remember (from the late 40’s) was a Hudson! Nice to be reminded of the company.

  2. 26:23 Actually less than 2X the times of Bill and Nonny on a Sat!!! Makes us for Friday’s poor time. Filled in very little on the first pass and just chipped away at it, a letter at a time. Finished sooner than I realized. No “real” errors, just a bad letter or two here and there. Unfamiliar with TGEL and CATDOG.

    Always thought the BRAT in Bratwurst meant “roast”, from braten. Bratkartoffel – Roast potatoes – go so well with Schnitzel.

  3. 20:37. This one just seemed to click for me. Anytime I get anywhere near Bill’s time, I know it’s a good day. I needed a few good guesses such as getting CATDOG from C_TD_G. I had 2 or 3 of those.

    I remember FENDI from other crosswords. Nonny must be slowing down because I know he’s seen it before as well. TGEL I remembered after seeing it, but I needed all crosses to get it.

    I’ll enjoy this one while I can. Next Saturday (or sooner) could be a debacle.

    Best –

    1. @Jeff … I think the problem is that there are too many words in my aging brain and some of them are too close together. I this case, I actually thought of “Fendi” and then I thought, “No, that word is actually “Effendi” and it’s “a man of high education or social standing in an eastern Mediterranean or Arab country”. In any case, I probably aam slloowing dowwn a litttle annd I’m certainly not effended by your observaationn … 😜😜😜.

  4. And bringing up the rear…52:18!! Sadly, what bothered me the most was the SE corner…the omega indicated “ohm” to me and not the plural…just couldn’t let that go to finish the corner. Friday’s was still worse….

  5. Did ok. Still had 2 look ups. Didn’t know DNA had 4 bases. Never heard of MODEL MINORITY so I’ll to go look that up. Never knew there was such a thing as a POT DISPENSARY.. so on to Sunday.

  6. 1:10:00 DNF…when I saw the first clue I knew what the results were going to be…a Saturday puzzle with 2 setters and IMO a lot of “off the wall” clues…not for me 👎👎👎👎👎
    Stay safe

  7. 34:22, no errors. Started off very slowly, got momentum through the middle, then hit a roadblock in the bottom right corner. Even though I initially had the correct entries: OHMS and SHOW ROOMS; I put in PARTY HARD and DODGE (Chrysler Corporation marketed a slant-6 engine as a Super Six in the late 1970’s).

  8. This one came fairly easy for me considering it’s a Saturday puzzle.

    I am too smart to time myself, because I am too dumb to solve quickly.

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