0813-20 NY Times Crossword 13 Aug 20, Thursday

Constructed by: Jon Olsen
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Three Musketeers

Themed answers each included the letter strings ALL and ONE, with the ALL and ONE swapped in the grid. As the THREE MUSKETEERS say, “ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL”:

  • 57A Group whose motto is a hint to this puzzle’s theme : THREE MUSKETEERS
  • 17A Sign on a mountain roadway : FALLING ROCK ZONE
  • 22A Famed French wine region : RHONE VALLEY
  • 35A Dinnertime annoyance : PHONE CALL
  • 51A Actor with a “Rocky” performance, familiarly : SLY STALLONE

Bill’s time: 11m 50s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Block letters? : SPF

In theory, the sun protection factor (SPF) is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it takes 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn than it would take without protection. I say just stay out of the sun …

4 Clue weapon : WRENCH

Clue is a board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

14 Constellation beneath the tail of Scorpius : ARA

The constellation of Ara takes its name from the Latin word for “altar”.

15 Novelist ___ de Balzac : HONORE

Honoré de Balzac was a French novelist and playwright from the 19th century. Balzac wrote a huge collection of related novels called “La Comédie humaine” (The Human Comedy). The work includes 91 stories, novels and essays, written from 1815 to 1848. Balzac also left 46 unfinished works as part of the collection.

16 Mine, in Marseille : A MOI

Marseille (often written “Marseilles” in English) is the second largest city in France, after Paris. Marseille is also the largest commercial port in the country. I used to live nearby, and can attest that Marseille and environs is a great place to visit …

20 Perennial known for attracting butterflies : ASTER

Apparently, most aster species and cultivars bloom relatively late in the year, usually in the fall. The name “aster” comes into English via Latin from the Greek word “astéri” meaning “star”, a reference to the arrangement of the petals of the flower.

22 Famed French wine region : RHONE VALLEY

The Rhône river rises in Switzerland, passes through Lake Geneva, flows through the southeast of France, and empties into the Mediterranean Sea near Arles.

26 Lead-in to X, Y or Z : GEN-

The term “Generation X” originated in the UK where it was the name of a book by Jane Deverson. Her book detailed the results of a study of British youths in 1964, contrasting their lifestyle to those of previous generations. It was Canadian author Douglas Coupland who was responsible for popularizing the term, with his more successful publication “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture”. By one definition, Gen-Xers were born between 1961 and 1981.

The Millennial Generation are sometimes referred to as “Generation Y” (Gen-Y). Millennials were born after the “Gen-Xers”, from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.

Definitions vary, but it seems that the term “Generation Z” is reserved for the children of “Generation X”, and for the generation that follows the “Millennials” (Generation Y).

27 Apple platform : IOS

iOS is what Apple now calls its mobile operating system. Previously, it was known as iPhone OS.

29 Go, on a Monopoly board, e.g. : START

The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of “The Landlord’s Game” created in 1903 by a Quaker woman named Lizzie Phillips. Phillips used her game as a tool to explain the single tax theory of American economist Henry George. The Landlord’s Game was first produced commercially in 1924. The incredibly successful derivative game called Monopoly was introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow, who became a very rich man when Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game just two years later in 1935.

31 1974 C.I.A. spoof : S*P*Y*S

“S*P*Y*S” is a 1974 comedy starring Elliott Gould and Donald Sutherland as two men mistaken as spies and targeted by the KGB. With all those asterisks in the film’s title, one has to assume the movie was intended to capitalize on the success of the 1970 Gould/Sutherland vehicle called “M*A*S*H”.

33 Heater : GAT

“Gat” is a slang term for a gun that is derived from “Gatling gun”, the precursor to the modern machine gun. The Gatling gun was invented by Dr. Richard J. Gatling in 1861. Apparently he was inspired to invent it so that one man could do as much damage as a hundred, thereby reducing the size of armies and diminishing the suffering caused by war. Go figure …

38 Rocky’s love in “Rocky” : ADRIAN

You might remember Rocky Balboa saying, “Yo, Adrian!” in the original “Rocky” movie. Adrian was Rocky’s wife played by Talia Shire, sister of director Francis Ford Coppola.

42 Hideo who threw no-hitters in both the American and National Leagues : NOMO

Hideo Nomo is a former professional baseball pitcher from Osaka, Japan. After achieving success in Japan, Nomo became the first Japanese-born player to appear in Major League Baseball in the US. Nomo threw two no-hitters while playing here in the Majors. He is the only Japanese-born player to have thrown even one no-hitter.

46 Fitting nickname for athletes at Whittier College : POETS

Whittier College was founded as a Whittier Academy in 1887. It was named for Quaker poet John Greenleaf Whittier, and indeed, the school’s sports teams are known as the Whittier Poets.

47 “Deadline: White House” channel : MSNBC

MSNBC was founded in 1996 as a partnership between Microsoft (“MS”) and GE’s “NBC” broadcasting operation. Microsoft only owns a minority share in MSNBC today, but is still an equal partner in the separate company that runs msnbc.com.

49 Photographer Goldin : NAN

Nan Goldin is an American photographer who works out of New York, Berlin and Paris.

51 Actor with a “Rocky” performance, familiarly : SLY STALLONE

If ever there was a movie that defines a career breakthrough for an actor, it would have to be “Rocky” for Sylvester Stallone. Stallone was a struggling actor in 1975 when a Muhammad Ali fight inspired Stallone to write a screenplay for a boxing movie, which he did in just three days. His efforts to sell the script went well but for the fact that the interested studios wanted a big name for the lead role, and Stallone was determined to be the star himself. Stallone persevered and “Rocky” was eventually made with him playing the title role of Rocky Balboa. The movie won three Oscars, and “Sly” Stallone had arrived …

56 Dental crown alternative : ONLAY

“Inlay” is another word for a filling in dentistry. An “onlay” is similar to an inlay. An onlay not only fills a hole in the tooth but it is also built up to replace a missing cusp. It’s sort of halfway between a filling and a crown, I suppose.

57 Group whose motto is a hint to this puzzle’s theme : THREE MUSKETEERS

“All for one, and one for all” is a motto associated with the title characters in the Alexandre Dumas novel “Three Musketeers”. Actually, it is the motto of the Three Musketeers along with their comrade d’Artagnan …

61 Property claim : LIEN

A lien is the right that one has to retain or secure someone’s property until a debt is paid. When an individual takes out a car loan, for example, the lending bank is usually a lien holder. The bank releases the lien on the car when the loan is paid in full.

63 City that’s home to the Sugarloaf Cable Car, informally : RIO

Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city in Brazil (after São Paulo). “Rio de Janeiro” translates as “January River”. The name reflects the discovery of the bay on which Rio sits, on New Year’s Day in 1502.

The Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was named for its shape, which resembled conical mold of sugar that was the traditional form from concentrated refined loaf sugar. The Portuguese name for the peak is “Pão de Açúcar”, which translates to “Loaf of Sugar”.

64 Crispy brisket bits : ENDS

Brisket is a cut of beef from the lower chest of the animal. The brisket muscles contain a large amount of connective tissue, so brisket can be a tough cut and needs to be carefully cooked. It is often braised and cooked as a pot roast, especially as a holiday dish in Jewish cuisine.

65 They might appear in cameos : ONYXES

Onyx is a form of quartz that comes in many different shades, but most often it’s the black version that’s used for jewelry. The name “onyx” comes from the Greek word for “fingernail”, as onyx in the flesh color is said to resemble a fingernail.

Cameo is a method of carving, often the carving of a gemstone or a piece of jewelry. The resulting image is in relief (sits proud of the background), whereas an engraved image would be produced by the similar carving method known as intaglio. Nowadays, the term “cameo” is used for any piece of oval-shaped jewelry that contains the image of a head, usually in profile (maybe even a photograph).

66 Chinos color : TAN

Chino is a twill cloth that is most often used to make hard-wearing pants. The pants have come to be referred to as chinos. Chino cloth was originally developed for use by the military, but quickly became popular with civilians.

Down

1 Travels à la Theodore Roosevelt in 1909-10 : SAFARIS

President Theodore Roosevelt left office in March 1909, and a few days later headed off on an African safari. If you’d like a firsthand account of Roosevelt’s adventures on the trip, you can read “African Game Trails” written by the President after he returned to the US.

2 What might be in trouble if it’s out of the woods? : PRO SHOP

That would (“wood”!) be golf …

5 ___ Cephas Jones, Emmy winner for “This Is Us” : RON

Actor Ron Cephas Jones is perhaps best known for portraying chess master Bobby Fish on the Netflix superhero series “Luke Cage”, and Randall Pearson’s biological father William “Shakespeare” Hill on the TV drama “This Is Us”.

“This Is Us” is a television drama that debuted in 2016. The storyline centers on three siblings and their parents. Two of the siblings are the surviving members of a triplet pregnancy. The parents decide to adopt a child born on the same day as the surviving siblings. The adopting family is white, and the adopted child is black.

6 Winner of the 1966 World Cup: Abbr. : ENG

The 1966 FIFA World Cup was held in England, and marked the only time that the English team has won soccer’s most prestigious tournament.

8 Rooster, at sunup : CROWER

The term “rooster” dates back to the late 1700s, and is used to describe an adult male chicken, primarily here in the US. “Rooster” originated as an alternative to “cock”, as puritans objected to the association with the slang usage of the latter term.

9 Actress Anne : HECHE

My favorite movie starring the actress Anne Heche is “Six Days Seven Nights”, a romantic comedy in which she plays opposite Harrison Ford. Heche is noted for her difficult private life. She wrote that her father had molested her as a child and gave her a sexually transmitted disease (he later revealed that he was homosexual, and died of AIDS). Heche dated comedian Steve Martin for two years, and then lived with comedian Ellen DeGeneres for three. Soon after breaking up with DeGeneres, she started exhibiting eccentric behavior for a while, claiming that she was the daughter of God, and that she would take everyone back to heaven in her spaceship. Happily, I think things have calmed down for her in recent years.

11 Blend : AMALGAM

Amalgam is an alloy of mercury with some other metal. Many dental fillings are made of an amalgam of silver and mercury. We started using “amalgam” to mean “blend of different things” around 1790.

12 “Tartuffe” playwright : MOLIERE

“Molière” was the stage name of French actor and playwright Jean-Baptiste Poquelin. It is amazing how well the comedies of Molière, written in the 1600s, entertain us on stage today. Among his best-known plays are “The Misanthrope”, “The School for Wives” and “Tartuffe or the Hypocrite”.

13 February 4th, for many? : SILENT R

The 4th letter in the word “February” is a silent letter R.

The name of the month February comes from the Latin word “februum” meaning “purification”. The Romans had a ritual named Februa (purification) on February 15th every year. I don’t think many people pronounce the first letter R in “February”, leaving it silent, but I could be wrong …

18 Wolf ___, sea urchin predator : EEL

Sea urchins are globular, spiny creatures found just about everywhere in the ocean. The “roe” of a sea urchin is eaten as a delicacy in several cuisines around the world. In a sushi restaurant, the sea urchin roe is called “uni”. The term “roe” normally means “fish eggs”, but in the case of the sea urchin it refers to the gonads of both the male and female.

23 Like soy milk : VEGAN

A vegan is someone who stays away from animal products. A dietary vegan eats no animal foods, not even eggs and dairy that are usually eaten by vegetarians. Ethical vegans take things one step further by following a vegan diet and also avoiding animal products in other areas of their lives e.g. items made from leather or silk.

25 Amount in red : NET LOSS

To be in the red is to be in debt, to owe money. The expression “in the red” is a reference to the accounting practice of recording debts and losses in red ink in ledgers. The related phrase “in the black” means “solvent, making a profit”.

30 Tax evasion agts. : T-MEN

A T-man is a law-enforcement agent of the US Treasury (T stands for “Treasury”).

32 What the nests in bird’s-nest soup are made of : SPIT

An edible bird’s nest is the key ingredient in the Chinese delicacy bird’s nest soup. Edible bird’s nests are pricey, fetching thousands of dollars per kilogram. Most nests used in cooking are the nests made by small birds called swiftlets. Those nests comprise interwoven strands of cement-like saliva.

34 Kevin who played Hercules : SORBO

Actor Kevin Sorbo is best known for playing the leads in the TV shows “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” and “Andromeda”. Sorbo married actress Sam Sorbo in 1998, after meeting her on the set of “Hercules”.

39 Sea creature pictured on the flag of Anguilla : DOLPHIN

The genus of fishes known as Anguilla is made up of freshwater eels. These eels spend their lives in rivers, lakes or estuaries but return to the ocean to spawn. The genus gives its name to the island of Anguilla, a British overseas territory in the Caribbean Sea. The island was so named because it is said to be shaped like an eel.

44 Illness that tonic water was invented to treat : MALARIA

Malaria is a disease passed onto humans by mosquitoes. As a result of the disease, a parasite invades human red blood cells and multiplies causing fever and possibly coma or death. Over 750,000 people died from malaria in 2009, out of 225 million cases reported.

The original tonic water was a fairly strong solution of the drug quinine dissolved in carbonated water. It was used in tropical areas in South Asia and Africa where malaria is rampant. The quinine has a prophylactic effect against the disease, and was formulated as “tonic water” so that it could be easily distributed. In British colonial India, the colonial types got into the habit of mixing in gin with the tonic water to make it more palatable by hiding the bitter taste of quinine. Nowadays, the level of quinine in tonic water has been dropped, and sugar has been added.

48 Benjamins : C-NOTES

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.

52 Reason to lower the bar : LIMBO

The limbo dance originated on the island of Trinidad in the Caribbean. The name “limbo” is an alteration of our word “limber”, which isn’t surprising given what one has to do to get under that bar!

55 Part of the eye : LENS

The lens in the eye can change shape, and in so doing change its focal length. This change allows the eye to focus on objects at different distances. The shape of the lens alters due to the action of the eye’s ciliary muscles.

59 “Kid-tested” cereal : KIX

Kix cereal has been around since 1937, would you believe? Kix used to be just puffed grains, processed to give the characteristic shape. Then the decision was made to add sugar to get better penetration into the young kid marketplace. Sad really …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Block letters? : SPF
4 Clue weapon : WRENCH
10 They may be cured : HAMS
14 Constellation beneath the tail of Scorpius : ARA
15 Novelist ___ de Balzac : HONORE
16 Mine, in Marseille : A MOI
17 Sign on a mountain roadway : FALLING ROCK ZONE
20 Perennial known for attracting butterflies : ASTER
21 Simple bike trick : WHEELIE
22 Famed French wine region : RHONE VALLEY
26 Lead-in to X, Y or Z : GEN-
27 Apple platform : IOS
28 Disconnect : SEVER
29 Go, on a Monopoly board, e.g. : START
31 1974 C.I.A. spoof : S*P*Y*S
33 Heater : GAT
34 Put on low, in a way : SIMMER
35 Dinnertime annoyance : PHONE CALL
38 Rocky’s love in “Rocky” : ADRIAN
41 Crew mover : OAR
42 Hideo who threw no-hitters in both the American and National Leagues : NOMO
46 Fitting nickname for athletes at Whittier College : POETS
47 “Deadline: White House” channel : MSNBC
49 Photographer Goldin : NAN
50 Greeting in 63-Across : OLA
51 Actor with a “Rocky” performance, familiarly : SLY STALLONE
54 “Do tell!” : SPILL IT!
56 Dental crown alternative : ONLAY
57 Group whose motto is a hint to this puzzle’s theme : THREE MUSKETEERS
61 Property claim : LIEN
62 Cook slowly, in a way : BRAISE
63 City that’s home to the Sugarloaf Cable Car, informally : RIO
64 Crispy brisket bits : ENDS
65 They might appear in cameos : ONYXES
66 Chinos color : TAN

Down

1 Travels à la Theodore Roosevelt in 1909-10 : SAFARIS
2 What might be in trouble if it’s out of the woods? : PRO SHOP
3 Bookstore section : FANTASY
4 Spins : WHIRLS
5 ___ Cephas Jones, Emmy winner for “This Is Us” : RON
6 Winner of the 1966 World Cup: Abbr. : ENG
7 Here-there link : NOR
8 Rooster, at sunup : CROWER
9 Actress Anne : HECHE
10 Visibility reducer : HAZE
11 Blend : AMALGAM
12 “Tartuffe” playwright : MOLIERE
13 February 4th, for many? : SILENT R
18 Wolf ___, sea urchin predator : EEL
19 Enters, as data : KEYS IN
23 Like soy milk : VEGAN
24 Like most ice rinks : OVAL
25 Amount in red : NET LOSS
30 Tax evasion agts. : T-MEN
32 What the nests in bird’s-nest soup are made of : SPIT
34 Kevin who played Hercules : SORBO
36 Irritating inconvenience : HASSLE
37 Pessimist’s word : CAN’T
38 John or Paul, but not Ringo : APOSTLE
39 Sea creature pictured on the flag of Anguilla : DOLPHIN
40 Ran again : REAIRED
43 Ready for trouble : ON ALERT
44 Illness that tonic water was invented to treat : MALARIA
45 Sole heir, perhaps : ONLY SON
47 “Let me go now” : MY TURN
48 Benjamins : C-NOTES
52 Reason to lower the bar : LIMBO
53 Las Vegas-to-Denver dir. : ENE
55 Part of the eye : LENS
58 “Supposing …” : SAY …
59 “Kid-tested” cereal : KIX
60 Language suffix : -ESE

14 thoughts on “0813-20 NY Times Crossword 13 Aug 20, Thursday”

  1. Interesting gimmick. I got it pretty quickly…kind of. Some confusion of across VS down for the switcheroo. I had a mix of them. Finally straightened it out. 33:30 and glad to get it.

  2. 21:58. Kind of got the theme answers all at once after being all over the grid in “search and destroy” mode for most of the time. Pretty cleverly done. However, I was deeply saddened that there was no mention of the groups famous candy bar.

    I attended Hideo NOMO’s no-hitter in Baltimore while he was playing for Boston. I was there on business, and my cousin was a local radio personality at the time so we sat in the press box. Early in the game a foul ball flew back and hit a cup of ice water right between us, scattered the water all over us and hit my cousin in the leg. The next morning on the radio, he pulled his pants down on air and showed the crew his bruise.

    For the record, I always pronounce the “r” in February…actually both “r’s”.

    I think I’ll pass on the bird’s nest soup. Cement-like saliva is not my cup of tea.

    Best –

    1. @Jeff … Re the pronunciation of “February”: I’m with you! (But I’m afraid we’ve become a minority!)

  3. 33:00 Struggled with this one. Once I got the 3 Musketeers I knew it would be ONE and ALL. But where was the question. Took a while to figure that out. And then kind of stumped in the NW corner. So did 2 lookups, then it all made sense. Not one of my better efforts.

  4. 24:01 somehow I knew the constructors would mess with my head on a Thursday and that “falling rock zone” was much too simple for the day. of the week…

  5. Wow, what a puzzle.. Took about 30 minutes. I enjoyed this one. Loved the baseball bruise story from Jeff.

    And what about that “SPIT NEST”.. Holy cow, people actually eat that stuff??

  6. 20:56, 24 errors… Another good example of a grid with extremely poor communication that should have never been published. I figured out what the gimmick was intended to be very quickly, but wasn’t sure by what was given if things were not meant to work in the across or down direction. Guessed the intention of the constructor wrong – of course the constructor didn’t communicate the intention AT ALL.

  7. 1:05:34 with one error…my heart just wasn’t into this one because we woke up this morning to discover we had been robbed…55 years of feeling safe and secure in this house are now gone.
    Stay safe and lock your windows as well as your doors

    1. I’m sorry to hear that, Jack … and I can empathize: The area I moved into seven months ago is mostly okay, but there are a lot more thefts in the neighborhood and the “Ring” system I have tells me about them.

      I really, really want to rewind to the beginning of 2020 and start over … 😳. (And, of course, it could always be worse, I guess … )

  8. Never got it. I thought I had to have “all”,”for”,”one”,”one”,”for” and
    “all” strung though the solution.

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