0810-20 NY Times Crossword 10 Aug 20, Monday

Constructed by: Lynn Lempel
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Keys

Themed answers each start with a location where we might find KEYS:

  • 56A Typically lost items that are “found” in the starts of 16-, 24-, 45- and 57-Across : KEYS
  • 16A Designation on many a driver’s license : ORGAN DONOR (keys of an organ)
  • 24A Bright, sunny area of a house : FLORIDA ROOM (the Florida Keys)
  • 45A Launch vehicle for many NASA missions : ATLAS ROCKET (keys in an atlas)
  • 57A Ringlet on a salon floor : LOCK OF HAIR (keys for a lock)

Bill’s time: 5m 07s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Bay of Pigs locale : CUBA

The Bay of Pigs is on the southern coast of Cuba. The bay was the site of the abortive military invasion of Cuba in 1961 by a paramilitary group sponsored by the CIA. Cuban forces defending against the attack were personally led by Fidel Castro, and emerged victorious after three days of fighting.

5 Constricting snakes : BOAS

Boa constrictors are members of the Boidae family of snakes, all of which are non-venomous. Interestingly, the female boa is always larger than the male.

9 Actor who’s the opposite of subtle : HAM

The word “ham”, describing a performer who overacts, is a shortened form of “hamfatter” and dates back to the late 1800s. “Hamfatter” comes from a song in old minstrel shows called “The Ham-Fat Man”. It seems that a poorly performing actor was deemed to have the “acting” qualities of a minstrel made up in blackface.

12 “Moby-Dick” captain : AHAB

Captain Ahab is the obsessed and far from friendly captain of the Pequod in Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick”. The role of Captain Ahab was played by Gregory Peck in the 1956 John Huston film adaptation. Patrick Stewart played Ahab in a 1998 miniseries in which Peck made another appearance, as Father Mapple.

13 Large group on the move : HORDE

A horde is a large crowd. “Horde” ultimately derives from the Turkish “ordu” meaning “camp, army”.

14 Drink such as Pepsi : COLA

The Pepsi-Cola formulation was developed by one Caleb Bradham who made the drink at home and sold it as Brad’s Drink. Bradham’s aim was to provide a drink that was pleasant to taste, that would aid digestion and boost energy. Included in the formula were pepsin (a digestive enzyme) and kola nuts. These two ingredients inspired the brand name we use today: Pepsi-Cola.

20 Attics : GARRETS

A garret is a room on the top floor of a house, one under a gabled roof. “Garret” is a synonym of “attic”.

24 Bright, sunny area of a house : FLORIDA ROOM (the Florida Keys)

The Florida Keys are a chain of low islands that stretch from the tip of the Florida peninsula, about 15 miles south of Miami. The westernmost inhabited island is Key West, and the westernmost uninhabited island is Dry Tortugas. Most of the inhabited islands are connected by US Highway 1, which traverses several impressive bridges.

27 Setting at the prime meridian, for short : GMT

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is the time at the Prime Meridian, the meridian that runs through Greenwich in London.

A meridian is a line of longitude, and the Prime Meridian is that line of longitude defined as 0 degrees. The Prime Meridian is also called the Greenwich Meridian as it passes through the Royal Observatory in Greenwich in southeast London. Of course the line of longitude that is used to represent 0 degrees is an arbitrary decision. 25 nations formally decided in 1884 to use the Greenwich Meridian as 0 degrees as it was already a popular choice. That is all except the French, who abstained from the vote and used the Paris Meridian as 0 degrees on French charts for several decades.

31 “No more seats,” in brief : SRO

Standing room only (SRO)

36 Fruit in Newton cookies : FIG

The Fig Newton cookie is based on what is actually a very old recipe that dates back to ancient Egypt. Whereas we grew up with “Fig Rolls” in Ireland, here in America the brand name “Fig Newton” was used, as the cookies were originally produced in Newton, Massachusetts.

38 Leather for fine gloves : SUEDE

Suede is leather made from the underside of an animal’s skin, usually the skin from a lamb. As such it is very soft, although not as durable as leather made from the exterior skin. The soft leather was, and is still used for making gloves. Back in 1859 these gloves were called “gants de Suede” in France, or “gloves of Sweden”. So, the name “suede” comes from the French word for Sweden.

41 Seoul automaker : KIA

Kia Motors is the second largest manufacturer of cars in South Korea, behind Hyundai (and Hyundai is a part owner in Kia now). Kia was founded in 1944 as a manufacturer of bicycle parts, and did indeed produce Korea’s first domestic bicycle. The company’s original name was Kyungsung Precision Industry, with the Kia name introduced in 1952.

Seoul is the capital city of South Korea. The Seoul National Capital Area is home to over 25 million people and is the second largest metropolitan area in the world, second only to Tokyo, Japan.

43 Kind of ball that’s supersoft : NERF

Nerf is a soft material used in a whole series of toys designed for “safe” play indoors. The Nerf product is used to make darts, balls and ammunition for toy guns. “NERF” is an acronym, standing for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.

44 President after F.D.R. : HST

The letter “S” in the middle of the name Harry S. Truman (HST) doesn’t stand for anything. The future-president was named “Harry” in honor of his mother’s brother Harrison “Harry” Young. The initial “S” was chosen in honor of young Harry’s two grandfathers: Anderson S-hipp Truman and S-olomon Young.

45 Launch vehicle for many NASA missions : ATLAS ROCKET (keys in an atlas)

Atlas boosters launched the first four US astronauts into space. The Atlas rocket design was originally developed in the late fifties and was deployed for several years as it was intended, as an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

48 Miley who played Hannah Montana : CYRUS

Miley Cyrus became famous playing the Disney Channel character “Hannah Montana”. Miley is the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. When she was born, Billy Ray and his wife named their daughter “Destiny Hope”, but soon they themselves calling her “Smiley” as she was always smiling as a baby, and this got shortened to Miley over time. Cute …

49 ___ scale (rater of mineral hardness) : MOHS

The Mohs scale of mineral hardness was developed in 1812 by Friedrich Mohs. Basically Mohs took minerals and scratched them with other minerals. In this way he was able to determine which minerals were hardest (most scratch resistant) and which softest. On the scale, diamond is the hardest (and rated 10), while talc is the softest (and rated 1).

50 Insects that may emerge after 17 years : CICADAS

Cicadas are insects that are found all over the world. Although they resemble locusts, cicadas are an unrelated family. The name “cicada” is Latin and translated as “tree cricket”. However, the name is imitative of the clicking sound the insect makes using parts of its exoskeleton known as “tymbals”.

53 Play-___ (toy clay) : DOH

Back in the 1930s, a manufacturer in Cincinnati produced a doughy compound that was used to clean wallpaper. Twenty years later, school-kids started using the cleaning material as a modelling compound, so the manufacturer reworked the formula, and sold it to local schools. It was given the name “Play-Doh”.

54 Boat that sailed while it rained for 40 days and nights : ARK

The term “ark”, when used with reference to Noah, is a translation of the Hebrew word “tebah”. The word “tebah” is also used in the Bible for the basket in which Moses was placed by his mother when she floated him down the Nile. It seems that the word “tebah” doesn’t mean “boat” and nor does it mean “basket”. Rather, a more appropriate translation is “life-preserver” or “life-saver”. So, Noah’s ark was Noah’s life-preserver during the flood.

59 Bit of evidence for Sherlock : CLUE

According to author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, his character Sherlock Holmes was based on a Dr. Joseph Bell for whom Doyle worked in Edinburgh. That said, Bell actually wrote a letter to Doyle in which he said “you are yourself Sherlock Holmes and well you know it”.

60 Author Rice who created the vampire Lestat : ANNE

Lestat de Lioncourt is the central character in Anne Rice’s series of erotic and Gothic novels “The Vampire Chronicles”. Lestat was played by Tom Cruise in the 1994 movie adaptation of Rice’s first novel “Interview with the Vampire”.

61 Pro Football Hall-of-Fame QB John : ELWAY

Former quarterback John Elway played his entire professional football career with the Denver Broncos. Elway was the oldest player ever to be named MVP in a Super Bowl game, being so honored in Super Bowl XXXIII in the 1998 season after the Broncos’ victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

62 Like pie, it’s said : EASY

The idiom “as easy as pie” is used to describe something that is simple to do. It appears that the reference here is to the simplicity of eating pie, rather than making a pie.

63 “Gangnam Style” musician : PSY

“PSY” is the stage name of South Korean rapper Park Jae-sang. PSY became an international star when his 2012 music video “Gangnam Style” went viral on YouTube. That video had over 1 billion views on YouTube in about six months, making it the most viewed YouTube video clip of all time.

Down

4 “Honest” president : ABE

Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth President of the US. There are several stories told about how he earned the nickname “Honest Abe”. One story dates back to early in his career as a lawyer. Lincoln accidentally overcharged a client and then walked miles in order to right the wrong as soon as possible.

5 Tennis champ Bjorn : BORG

Björn Borg is a retired tennis player from Sweden, and a former World No. 1. Borg won 41% of the 27 Grand Slam singles tournaments that he entered, which is a record that stands to the day. He was known for reacting very calmly under pressure on the tennis court and hence earned the nicknames “Ice Man” and “Ice Borg”, the latter being my personal favorite.

6 Dot follower in a nonprofit’s web address : ORG

The .org domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:

  • .com (commercial enterprise)
  • .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
  • .mil (US military)
  • .org (not-for-profit organization)
  • .gov (US federal government entity)
  • .edu (college-level educational institution)

7 In slow tempo : ADAGIO

An adagio is a piece of music with a slow tempo. The “adagio” marking on the score is an instruction to play the piece slowly and in a stately manner. The word “adagio” is Latin for “at ease”.

8 One of 100 on the Hill : SENATOR

The US Senate comprises 100 senators, with each of the fifty states being represented by two popularly elected senators. US senators were appointed by their state legislators from 1798 through 1913, until the Seventeenth Amendment called for popular elections.

19 Hosp. scan : MRI

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine uses powerful magnetic fields to generate images that can be used by medical professionals to diagnose injury and disease.

23 Groups of three : TROIKAS

“Troika” is a Russian word meaning “set of three”. “Troika” can apply to a sled or carriage drawn by three horses, or to a folk dance between one man and two women. The term might also apply to a triumvirate of political leaders.

24 Next year’s soph : FROSH

“Frosh” is a slang term for a college freshman. We call such a person a fresher back in Ireland …

The term “sophomore” has been used for a student in the second year of university since the 1680’s. The original meaning of the word was “arguer”. The term has Greek roots, from two Greek words that have been artificially combined in English. The Greek “sophos” means “wise”, and “moros” means “foolish”.

27 Colorful dish with olives and feta cheese : GREEK SALAD

Feta is a Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk. The cheese is salted and cured in a brine solution for several months before it is eaten.

29 Larceny : THEFT

Larceny is the crime of taking personal property with the intent of permanently depriving the rightful owner. Larceny has been removed from the statute books in Britain and Ireland, where it has been replaced by the more specific crimes of burglary, robbery, fraud and theft. The crime of larceny still exists in the US, where it can be classified into petit larceny and grand larceny. The former is a larceny of less significant amount than the latter, with the differentiating amount varying from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

37 Graduates of basic training, informally : GIS

The initialism “GI” stands for “Government Issue”, and not “General Infantry” as is widely believed. “GI” was first used in the military to denote equipment made from Galvanized Iron and during WWI, incoming German shells were nicknamed “GI cans”. Soon after, the term GI came to be associated with “Government Issue” and eventually became an adjective to describe anything associated with the Army.

40 Machine-gunned from the air : STRAFED

We’ve been using “strafe” to mean “attack on a ground position from low-flying aircraft” since WWII. Prior to that, the word was used by British soldiers to mean any form of attack. It was picked up from the German word for “punish” as it was used in “Gott strafe England” meaning, “May God punish England”.

52 Big Apple school inits. : CCNY

The City College of New York (CCNY) is a college of the City University of New York. The City College was founded as the Free Academy of the City of New York in 1847, and was the first free public institution of higher education in the whole country.

53 “Buenos ___” : DIAS

“Buenos dias” translates from Spanish as “good day”, but can also be used to say “good morning”.

59 Corporate biggie : CEO

Chief executive officer (CEO)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Bay of Pigs locale : CUBA
5 Constricting snakes : BOAS
9 Actor who’s the opposite of subtle : HAM
12 “Moby-Dick” captain : AHAB
13 Large group on the move : HORDE
14 Drink such as Pepsi : COLA
15 Justice’s garb : ROBE
16 Designation on many a driver’s license : ORGAN DONOR (keys of an organ)
18 Bashful : SHY
19 Holder for coffee or beer : MUG
20 Attics : GARRETS
21 Farm building with a loft : BARN
23 Giant … with four of the five letters of “giant” : TITAN
24 Bright, sunny area of a house : FLORIDA ROOM (the Florida Keys)
27 Setting at the prime meridian, for short : GMT
30 Pealed : RANG
31 “No more seats,” in brief : SRO
32 Uncritically enthusiastic, colloquially : RAH-RAH
34 Confess (to) : OWN UP
36 Fruit in Newton cookies : FIG
38 Leather for fine gloves : SUEDE
39 Disdainful looks : SNEERS
41 Seoul automaker : KIA
43 Kind of ball that’s supersoft : NERF
44 President after F.D.R. : HST
45 Launch vehicle for many NASA missions : ATLAS ROCKET (keys in an atlas)
48 Miley who played Hannah Montana : CYRUS
49 ___ scale (rater of mineral hardness) : MOHS
50 Insects that may emerge after 17 years : CICADAS
53 Play-___ (toy clay) : DOH
54 Boat that sailed while it rained for 40 days and nights : ARK
57 Ringlet on a salon floor : LOCK OF HAIR (keys for a lock)
59 Bit of evidence for Sherlock : CLUE
60 Author Rice who created the vampire Lestat : ANNE
61 Pro Football Hall-of-Fame QB John : ELWAY
62 Like pie, it’s said : EASY
63 “Gangnam Style” musician : PSY
64 Salon colorings : DYES
65 Dedicated poems : ODES

Down

1 Autos : CARS
2 “This doesn’t look good …” : UH-OH …
3 Wee one’s sun protection : BABY BONNET
4 “Honest” president : ABE
5 Tennis champ Bjorn : BORG
6 Dot follower in a nonprofit’s web address : ORG
7 In slow tempo : ADAGIO
8 One of 100 on the Hill : SENATOR
9 Sharpen : HONE
10 Oodles : ALOT
11 Destination of the rover Perseverance : MARS
13 Hunting dogs : HOUNDS
14 ___ on the cob : CORN
17 Serious stage plays : DRAMAS
19 Hosp. scan : MRI
22 Bicker : ARGUE
23 Groups of three : TROIKAS
24 Next year’s soph : FROSH
25 Things to be mowed : LAWNS
26 Doggie’s sound : ARF!
27 Colorful dish with olives and feta cheese : GREEK SALAD
28 Mother: Sp. : MADRE
29 Larceny : THEFT
33 Intuitive feeling : HUNCH
35 “Yes, proceed!,” quaintly : PRAY DO!
37 Graduates of basic training, informally : GIS
40 Machine-gunned from the air : STRAFED
42 Weapons storehouse : ARMORY
46 In profusion, as plant growth : LUSHLY
47 “This is so-o-o amazing!” : OOH!
48 What you can’t have and eat, too, it’s said : CAKE
50 Applaud : CLAP
51 Charged particles : IONS
52 Big Apple school inits. : CCNY
53 “Buenos ___” : DIAS
55 Sly stratagem : RUSE
56 Typically lost items that are “found” in the starts of 16-, 24-, 45- and 57-Across : KEYS
58 Wonderment : AWE
59 Corporate biggie : CEO

12 thoughts on “0810-20 NY Times Crossword 10 Aug 20, Monday”

  1. 6:56 Straightforward. Had ADMIT before OWNUP. Unfamiliar with the term GARRETT. Had ARRETTS and needed the cross to get the G. Also unfamiliar with the expression “FLORIDA ROOM”. I’ve always just called it a “Sun Room”

  2. Although my time was 7:47, I didn’t exactly takeoff when I did this puzzle. One problem was not knowing how to spell Miley CIRUS. Like Ron, I was unfamiliar with GARRETT and FLORIDA ROOM.

    Felt like a Monday puzzle, and today feels like a Monday. Sigh..

    Best –

  3. No errors. Like others never heard of FLORIDA ROOM.. Also , never heard the phrase PRAY DO?? I guess you could put PRAY in front of a lot of words and it’s apparently useable.

  4. I was trying to think of a joke about “what do you call a Florida room in Florida?” Turns out that apparently Floridians use the same term for their outdoor

  5. I was trying to think of a joke about “what do you call a Florida room in Florida?” Turns out that apparently Floridians use the same term for their outdoor room additions. Lynn Lempel, our constructor today, is from Florida and may have some first-hand usage of the term.

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