0815-20 NY Times Crossword 15 Aug 20, Saturday

Constructed by: Joe DiPietro
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 19m 34s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

11 “No ___” : MSG

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of a naturally-occurring,non-essential amino acid called glutamic acid. It is used widely as a flavor enhancer, particularly in many Asian cuisines. Whether or not it is harmful seems to be still under debate. I say that something produced in a test tube shouldn’t be in our food …

14 Romance novelist’s award : RITA

The RITA Awards are presented by Romance Writers of America (RWA) to authors exhibiting excellence in the genre of romantic fiction. The RITA is named for the RWA’s first president, Rita Clay Estrada.

16 One of the pioneers of the internet : AOL

Founded as Quantum Computer Services in 1983, the company changed its name in 1989 to America Online. As America Online went international, the acronym AOL was used in order to shake off the “America-centric” sound to the name. During the heady days of AOL’s success the company could not keep up with the growing number of subscribers, so people trying to connect often encountered busy signals. That’s when users referred to AOL as “Always Off-Line”.

24 Lead-in to gender : CIS-

The term “cisgender” is now used as the opposite of “transgender”. Cisgender people have a gender identity that matches the sex they were assigned at birth.

28 Like most proverbs, in brief : ANON

Anonymous (anon.)

35 Playwright who wrote “We are all born mad. Some remain so” : SAMUEL BECKETT

An Irishman I may be, but I have sat through several plays by Samuel Beckett (the Irish dramatist) and I have yet to come away feeling satisfied that I spent my time well. Of course I am in the minority, as Beckett’s play “Waiting for Godot” was once voted the most significant English language play of the 20th century. Maybe I will give “Waiting for Godot” another chance one day, but I doubt it …

40 1962 Stanley Kubrick film : LOLITA

Stanley Kubrick’s “Lolita” is a 1962 film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Vladimir Nabokov. English actor James Mason stars as a middle-aged man obsessed with a teenage girl, played by 14-year-old Sue Lyon. The cast also included Shelley Winters and Peter Sellers.

49 It self-replicates : DNA

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)

52 With 55-Across, film comedy bomb of 1994 : IT’S …
(55A See 52-Across : … PAT)

Comic Julia Sweeney is perhaps best known for playing the androgynous character Pat on “Saturday Night Live”. Pat appeared in a 1994 movie called “It’s Pat”, which is one of the worst films of all time, or so I am told …

53 Brokerage giant founded in 1991 : E*TRADE

E*Trade is mainly an online discount brokerage. It was founded in 1982 in Palo Alto, California, and I used to drive by its headquarters almost every day. The company is now run out of New York City. E*Trade used to produce those famous Super Bowl ads with the talking babies staring into a webcam.

54 Diner manager in “Garfield” : IRMA

“Garfield” is a comic strip drawn by Jim Davis since 1978. Garfield is an orange tabby cat. Davis named his cartoon hero Garfield after his own grandfather.

Down

5 Landscapers may find them hard to handle : CACTI

The cactus (plural “cacti”) is a member of a family of plants that are particularly well-adapted to extremely dry environments. Almost all cacti are native to the Americas, although some succulent plants from the old world are similar in appearance and are often mislabeled as “cacti”.

6 Asylums : ARKS

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.

Asylum (plural “asyla”) is a Latin word meaning “sanctuary”.

7 Big manufacturer of bar code scanners : NCR

NCR is an American company that has been in business since 1884 and was originally called the National Cash Register Company. The company has done well in a market where new technologies seem to be constantly disrupting the status quo. NCR is a leading supplier of automated teller machines (ATMs) and barcode scanners.

10 Beehive State city : OREM

Orem, Utah was originally known as “Sharon” (a Biblical name), then “Provo Bench”, and in 1914 it was given the family name of a local railroad operator called “Orem”. Orem gave itself the nickname “Family City USA” and sure enough in 2010, “Forbes” rated Orem the 5th best place in the country to raise a family.

When Mormon pioneers were settling what is today the state of Utah, they referred to the area as Deseret, a word that means “beehive” according to the Book of Mormon. Today Utah is known as the Beehive State and there is a beehive symbol on the Utah state flag. In 1959, “Industry” was even chosen as the state motto, for the term’s association with the beehive.

22 Protest : PLAINT

A plaint is a grouse, a complaint.

24 Part of a place setting : CUTLERY

We mainly use the word “cutlery” these days to describe the implements used for eating food, i.e. knives, forks and spoons. In earlier times, the term “cutlery” referred more specifically to “cutting” tools.

27 Only musician to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 as both a vocalist and an instrumentalist : HERB ALPERT

Herb Alpert still plays the trumpet today, but he is also a talented painter and sculptor. His works are seen regularly in exhibitions all around the world.

33 Artichoke heart? : CEE

The heart of the word “artichoke” is a letter C (cee).

34 Comfort Inn competitor : LA QUINTA

The first La Quinta hotel opened in 1969 in San Antonio, Texas. “La Quinta” is Spanish for “The Villa”.

The Comfort Inn chain is part of Choice Hotels International. I stay in Comfort Suites every so often. They’re usually not at all bad for the price …

35 ___ fly : SAC

That would be baseball.

40 Scrim material : LINEN

“Scrim” is the name given to that transparent fabric that hangs down onto a theater’s stage, often used with special lighting for various effects.

41 Pablo Neruda’s “___ to Wine” : ODE

Here’s the first verse of Pablo Neruda’s poem “Ode to Wine” …

Day-colored wine,
night-colored wine,
wine with purple feet
or wine with topaz blood,
wine,
starry child
of earth,
wine, smooth
as a golden sword,
soft
as lascivious velvet,
wine, spiral-seashelled
and full of wonder,
amorous,
marine;
never has one goblet contained you,
one song, one man,
you are choral, gregarious,
at the least, you must be shared.

42 Late civil rights leader John : LEWIS

John Lewis is a civil rights leader, a prominent leader in the 1963 March on Washington in which Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. Lewis suffered a fractured skull as he walked at the head of the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma on Bloody Sunday. Lewis was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1987, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 by President Obama.

44 “Ich liebe dich” : German :: “___” : Spanish : TE AMO

“I love you” translates into “te amo” in Spanish, “Ich liebe dich” in German, and “je t’aime” in French.

47 No goldbrick : DOER

A goldbrick is someone who lies down on the job, someone who shirks his or her responsibilities. “Goldbrick” arose as slang during WWII, when it meant “to swindle, cheat”. The term was a play on the old confidence trick of selling fake gold bricks.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Unrepaired : AS IS
5 Terse turndown to an invitation : CAN’T GO
11 “No ___” : MSG
14 Romance novelist’s award : RITA
15 One taking a bow : ARCHER
16 One of the pioneers of the internet : AOL
17 Internet marketing metric : AD CLICK RATE
19 Smallest possible band : DUO
20 Commands : BEHESTS
21 Monkey : TAMPER
23 Shows friendliness, in a way : SAYS “HI”
24 Lead-in to gender : CIS-
25 One of the film-directing Wachowskis : LANA
27 Word whispered by the quiet old lady in “Goodnight Moon” : HUSH
28 Like most proverbs, in brief : ANON
29 An order might be one : SECRET SOCIETY
34 Bar requirement : LIQUOR LICENSE
35 Playwright who wrote “We are all born mad. Some remain so” : SAMUEL BECKETT
36 Shade at the beach : AQUA
37 Caper : LARK
38 ___ classic : CULT
39 Sharp : SLY
40 1962 Stanley Kubrick film : LOLITA
46 Like some winter windshields : ICED UP
48 This might be cast in a police drama : WIDE NET
49 It self-replicates : DNA
50 Not stay on the same page, say : OPEN A NEW TAB
52 With 55-Across, film comedy bomb of 1994 : IT’S …
53 Brokerage giant founded in 1991 : E*TRADE
54 Diner manager in “Garfield” : IRMA
55 See 52-Across : … PAT
56 Not just rank : ROTTEN
57 It appears in stacks : SOOT

Down

1 About 5% of the world’s population : ARABS
2 Finer cut, usually : SIDE-A
3 Anxious : ITCHY
4 Something the force is responsible for? : SALES
5 Landscapers may find them hard to handle : CACTI
6 Asylums : ARKS
7 Big manufacturer of bar code scanners : NCR
8 “You really have a warped mind!” : THAT IS SICK!
9 Receive surprising news : GET A SHOCK
10 Beehive State city : OREM
11 Prepared to move to the sticks? : MADE A NEST
12 Bit of unpleasantness : SOUR NOTE
13 ___ Worms (1980s toys) : GLO
18 “In a way” : ISH
22 Protest : PLAINT
24 Part of a place setting : CUTLERY
26 “___ news?” : ANY
27 Only musician to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 as both a vocalist and an instrumentalist : HERB ALPERT
29 Shown in more than one place : SIMULCAST
30 Make match : EQUATE
31 “That’s my ___” : CUE
32 Arrives at in a vehicle : ROLLS UP TO
33 Artichoke heart? : CEE
34 Comfort Inn competitor : LA QUINTA
35 ___ fly : SAC
40 Scrim material : LINEN
41 Pablo Neruda’s “___ to Wine” : ODE
42 Late civil rights leader John : LEWIS
43 Prelim : INTRO
44 “Ich liebe dich” : German :: “___” : Spanish : TE AMO
45 Time spent close to home : AT BAT
47 No goldbrick : DOER
48 Stay close to shore, say : WADE
49 Dance move : DIP
51 ___ Sherman cigars : NAT

15 thoughts on “0815-20 NY Times Crossword 15 Aug 20, Saturday”

  1. 39:17 With a couple look-ups. Back to reality after a super-quick Fri. My missteps to numerous to mention – well a couple – BAR fly vs SAC fly and No BIG vs. No MSG. At least I had one letter in each of those correct. I was doing it at 01:30 because I couldn’t sleep, but that’s a pretty lame excuse. Moving onward…

  2. 23:43, no errors. A struggle, as I recall, but I’m now sufficiently shell-shocked from doing today’s (Newsday) “Stumper” that I barely remember this one … 🤪.

  3. 40:37. Even the easy ones seemed hard in this one. I just never got comfortable. When I finished and looked back, it didn’t look all that difficult. One bright spot is I got CEE for “Artichoke heart?” right away. I think that means I’ve done too many of these things.

    Best –

  4. Well, that was pathetic. 41:53 and like @Ron F, needed a few lookups. On the bright side, I had a nice MTB ride with my daughter on Galbraith Mountain. Warm and sunny in Bellingham, WA today.

  5. Don’t worry my friends, I’m here to claim last place with 59:54. Worked it until I got stumped, mowed the lawn, then got the SW corner. Last to fall was the NW and that was after another mowing break…. tough one for me! But the lawn got mowed….

  6. 27 down. That can’t be right … “only musician…”
    George Benson, Diana Krall, Harry Connick. No. No. No.
    Louie Armstrong. Yes indeed!
    Hello Dolly.

  7. The Billboard Hot 100 chart began in August, 1958 (#1 was Ricky Nelson’s “Poor Little Fool”). This is a singles chart which today incorporates data from air play, sales (both retail and internet) and streaming. Herb Alpert remains the only musician to have hit the top of this chart as an instrumentalist (1979, “Rise”) and vocalist (1968, “This Guy’s in Love with You”). The chart merely indicates a track’s popularity, not its quality or worth, both of which are probably impossible to measure statistically.

  8. 28:55, no errors. Went through the entire grid with only a couple of wild guesses, written lightly. The guess I felt most confidence in was 40D IVORY (thinking scrimshaw material). Ready to give up on this grid. Second pass through, the clues started to make more sense.

  9. Took some doing just to find the first small crack in this one. Once I got some leverage, she fell quickly.
    SATURDAY- NO ERRORS !
    My wife will be so proud!

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