0825-20 NY Times Crossword 25 Aug 20, Tuesday

Constructed by: Dave Bardolph
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Quoting Shakespeare

Themed answers are lines from plays by William Shakespeare:

  • 17A 16-ounce sirloin that Shylock brought to the cookout? : THE POUND OF FLESH
  • 27A Mark Antony’s request to the farmer when he realized he didn’t have enough corn for the cookout? : LEND ME YOUR EARS
  • 48A Cry from Hamlet when he spotted his favorite spice mix at the cookout? : AY, THERE’S THE RUB
  • 64A Lady Macbeth’s declaration upon checking the steaks at the cookout? : WHAT’S DONE IS DONE

Bill’s time: 5m 08s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 A bit cracked : AJAR

Our word “ajar” is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which “a char” means “slightly open”.

9 Maker of the first mass-produced car with an all-aluminum body : ACURA

Acura is the luxury brand of the Honda Motor Company. As an aside, Infiniti is the equivalent luxury brand for the Nissan Motor Company, and Lexus is the more luxurious version of Toyota’s models.

15 Unexciting Yahtzee roll : PAIR

The dice game called Yahtzee was introduced in 1956 and is a variant of earlier dice games, especially the game “Yacht” (which even has a similar name). Yahtzee is required playing in our house at holidays. The game involves the rolling of five dice, with the intent of getting certain combinations. A lot of those combinations resemble poker hands, such as “three of a kind”, “four of a kind” and “full house”.

16 Image in an sonogram : FETUS

The word “fetus”, used for an unborn young animal, comes from Latin as one might expect. “Fetus” is the Latin word for the act of hatching or bringing forth a young animal or child. The mistaken spelling “foetus” is seen occasionally, but there’s no historical basis for adding that “o”.

A sonogram is an image made using ultrasound. “Ultrasound” is the name given to sound energy that has frequencies above the audible range.

17 16-ounce sirloin that Shylock brought to the cookout? : THE POUND OF FLESH

Shylock is a character in William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”. Shylock is a moneylender and he gives a loan which is to be secured by “a pound of flesh”. When the money cannot be repaid, Shylock demands his pound of flesh, the collection of which would kill the poor victim of his scheme.

20 Dow Jones, e.g. : INDEX

Dow Jones & Company was founded as a publishing house in 1882 by three newspaper reporters, Charles Dow, Edward Jones and Charles Bergstresser. Today, the company’s most famous publication has to be “The Wall Street Journal”. In 1884, Charles Dow started reporting the average dollar value of the stock of eleven companies, an index which spawned a whole host of metrics that carry the Dow Jones name to this day. The most famous of these metrics is the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), also known as “the Dow 30” or simply “the Dow”.

27 Mark Antony’s request to the farmer when he realized he didn’t have enough corn for the cookout? : LEND ME YOUR EARS

There is a famous speech made by Mark Antony in William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” that starts with:

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar.

34 Brain test, in brief : EEG

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a record of electrical activity caused by the firing of neurons within the brain. The EEG might be used to diagnose epilepsy, or perhaps to determine if a patient is “brain dead”.

35 Weapon with two accents in its name : EPEE

The French word for sword is “épée”. In competitive fencing the épée is connected to a system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

37 Fat in some piecrusts : LARD

Fat, when extracted from the carcass of an animal, is called suet. Untreated suet decomposes at room temperature quite easily so it has to be rendered, purified to make it stable. Rendered fat from pigs is what we call lard. Rendered beef or mutton fat is known as tallow.

48 Cry from Hamlet when he spotted his favorite spice mix at the cookout? : AY, THERE’S THE RUB

A rub is a difficulty or obstruction. The term comes from the game of lawn bowls in which a rub is a fault in the bowling surface. The most famous use of “rub” is in the “To be or not to be” soliloquy from William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”.

To die — to sleep.
To sleep — perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub!

52 Alternative to Levi’s : LEE’S

The Lee company that is famous for making jeans was formed in 1889 by one Henry David Lee in Salina, Kansas.

53 ___ & Perrins (sauce brand) : LEA

Worcestershire sauce is a variant of a fermented fish sauce that has been around since the days of the Roman Empire. The modern sauce was developed and marketed by Messrs. Lea and Perrins in the city of Worcester, then in the county of Worcestershire, hence the name. We vegans aren’t supposed to touch it, as it contains anchovies! Oh, and “Worcestershire” is pronounced “wooster-sheer” …

60 Currency of Serbia : DINAR

The dinar is the official currency in many countries, such as Iraq, Tunisia and Serbia. The gold dinar dates back to the early days of Islam, with the name deriving from the Roman currency called “denarius” meaning “ten times” (as it was originally a coin worth ten asses).

Serbia is a landlocked country in southeast Europe. After WWII, Serbia became one of several states making up the nation called Yugoslavia. Serbia became independent again in 2006 as Yugoslavia broke up after the declaration of independence by Montenegro.

64 Lady Macbeth’s declaration upon checking the steaks at the cookout? : WHAT’S DONE IS DONE

Although William Shakespeare did not coin the phrase “What’s done is done”, his use of the expression in his play “Macbeth” is the first recorded instance. Lady Macbeth expresses the sentiment twice:

  • Things without all remedy Should be without regard: what’s done, is done.
  • Give me your hand. What’s done cannot be undone. – To bed, to bed, to bed!
  • 67 Flood embankment : LEVEE

    A levee is an artificial bank, usually made of earth, that runs along the length of a river. It is designed to hold back river water at a time of potential flooding. “Levée” is the French word for “raised” and is an American term that originated in French-speaking New Orleans around 1720.

    69 Europe’s tallest volcano : ETNA

    Mount Etna on the island of Sicily is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy, and indeed the largest of all active volcanoes in Europe. Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Mt. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-gauge railway, and two ski resorts. It is sometimes referred to as “Mongibello” in Italian, and as “Mungibeddu” in Sicilian. The English name “Etna” comes from the Greek “aitho” meaning “I eat”.

    70 Adjective for Caroline : SWEET

    “Sweet Caroline” is a classic soft-rock song written and performed by Neil Diamond. The inspiration for the song was Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President John F Kennedy. Sweet Caroline Kennedy was 11 years old at the time the song was released.

    71 William who took a bow : TELL

    Supposedly, William Tell came from Uri, a canton in the German part of Switzerland. Altdorf is the capital of Uri and is the city where William Tell shot the apple off his son’s head using a crossbow, at least according to legend. There is a bronze statue of Tell that was erected in the city’s marketplace in 1895 to memorialize the event.

    72 Donna of old TV : REED

    Actress Donna Reed hailed from a farm near Denison, Iowa. One of Reed’s more famous roles was playing the wife of Jimmy Stewart’s character in the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”. She won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in “From Here to Eternity”. She also starred in her own sitcom called “The Donna Reed Show” from 1958 to 1966. Late in her career, she played Miss Ellie Ewing in the TV drama “Dallas”, after Barbara Bel Geddes quit the show. Reed ended up suing the company that produced “Dallas” as she was taken off the show abruptly after Bel Geddes decided to return to the show.

    Down

    5 PC component : CPU

    The central processing unit (CPU) is the main component on the motherboard of a computer. The CPU is the part of the computer that carries out most of the functions required by a program. Nowadays you can get CPUs in everything from cars to telephones.

    7 White House worker : AIDE

    The White House was designed by an Irishman. James Hoban from County Kilkenny emigrated to the US in his twenties, and won the design competition for the White House in 1792.

    8 Capri has a blue one : GROTTO

    A grotto is a cave or cavern. “Grotto” is a word that we have imported from Italian, in which language it has the same meaning, or can describe a vault.

    The island of Capri off the coast of Southern Italy has been a tourist resort since the days of ancient Rome. Capri is home to the famous Blue Grotto, a sea cave that is illuminated with sunlight that’s colored blue as it passes through the seawater into the cave.

    10 Bit of animation : CEL

    In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

    11 Some Four Corners natives : UTES

    The Ute are a group of Native American tribes who now reside in Utah and Colorado. The Ute were not a unified people as such, but rather a loose association of nomadic groups. The word “Ute” means “Land of the Sun”, and “Ute” also gave us the state name “Utah”.

    The Four Corners region of the US surrounds the meeting point of the four states of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. The Four Corners is the only point in the US that is shared by four states.

    12 Fraternity activity : RUSH

    A rush is a drive by a fraternity or sorority to recruit new members on campus.

    18 Rust, chemically : OXIDE

    Rust is iron oxide. Rust forms when iron oxidizes, reacts with oxygen.

    19 Madame, across the Rhine : FRAU

    In German, a “Herr” (Mr.) is married to a “Frau” (Mrs.), and they live together in a “Haus” (house).

    The river running through Europe that we know in English as the Rhine, is called “Rhein” in German, “Rhin” in French and “Rijn” in Dutch.

    26 Spring time : LENT

    In Latin, the Christian season that is now called “Lent” was termed “quadragesima” (meaning “fortieth”), a reference to the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert before beginning his public ministry. When the church began its move in the Middle Ages towards using the vernacular, the term “Lent” was introduced. “Lent” comes from “lenz”, the German word for “spring”.

    27 1960s counterculture guru Timothy : LEARY

    Timothy Leary was a psychologist and writer, an icon of the sixties counterculture and a promoter of the use of LSD. Leary popularized the phrase “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out” in the sixties. After he died, some of Leary’s ashes were “buried” in space, launched aboard a rocket that contained the ashes of 24 other people including “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry.

    28 “Snowy” bird : EGRET

    The snowy egret is a small white heron that is native to the Americas. At one time the egret species was in danger of extinction due to hunting driven by the demand for plumes for women’s hats.

    30 First Nobel laureate from Ireland : YEATS

    Irish poet and dramatist William Butler Yeats won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923 for “inspired poetry” that gave “expression to a whole nation”. Yeats was Ireland’s first Nobel laureate.

    31 Things that rhythm lacks? : A-E-I-O-U

    There are no vowels in the word “rhythm”.

    32 Aretha Franklin’s genre : R AND B

    I think that Aretha Franklin, the “Queen of Soul”, had a tough life. Franklin had her first son when she was just 13-years-old, and her second at 15. In 2008, “Rolling Stone” magazine ranked Franklin as number one on its list of the greatest singers of all time.

    33 ___ terrier : SKYE

    The Skye terrier is a breed of dog that is actually under threat of extinction. A few years ago, there were only 30 Skye terriers born in the breed’s native land of the UK. The breed was named for the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

    34 Old isle of exile : ELBA

    I had a lovely two-week vacation in Tuscany once, including what was supposed to be a two-night stay on the island of Elba. I had envisioned Elba as a place full of history, and maybe it is, but it is also overrun with tourists who use it as a beach getaway. We left after one day and we won’t be going back again …

    38 Roald who wrote “The BFG” : DAHL

    “The BFG” is a 1982 children’s book by Welsh author Roald Dahl. The initialism in the title stands for “Big Friendly Giant”. Dahl dedicated “The BFG” to his daughter Olivia, who had passed away at the age of 7 in 1962. Steven Spielberg made a 2016 movie adaptation of the book under the same title.

    41 Department store eponym : KOHL

    Kohl’s is a department store chain with its headquarters in a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The store takes its name from the founder, Maxwell Kohl.

    46 English city north of Sheffield : LEEDS

    I went to school for a while not far from Leeds in West Yorkshire in the north of England. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, Leeds was a major center for the production and trading of wool, and then with the onset of mechanization it became a natural hub for manufacture of textiles. These days Leeds is noted as a shopping destination and so has been dubbed “the Knightsbridge of the North”.

    Sheffield is a city in the north of England, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Sheffield is famous for its production of steel, for being the setting of the film “The Full Monty” … and for being home to my alma mater, the University of Sheffield!

    49 Actress Tara : REID

    Tara Reid is an actress known for roles she played on television and the big screen. My guess is her most-remembered performances were in the “American Pie” series of movies in which she played Vicky. Sadly, Reid succumbed to the pressure to alter her looks with plastic surgery. In interviews, she has shared that her first experience under the knife “went wrong” leading to more surgeries in attempts to rectify the resulting deformity.

    51 Las Vegas player : RAIDER

    The Las Vegas Raiders football team was founded in 1960, and was originally intended to play in Minnesota. Instead, the team played in Oakland from 1960 to 1981 and then spent 12 years in Los Angeles before returning to Oakland in 1995. In 2017, the Raiders announced their plan to relocate to Las Vegas starting in 2020.

    58 Patella’s place : KNEE

    The patella is the kneecap. The bone’s Latin name is “patella”, which is a diminutive form of “patina”, the word for “pan”. The idea is that the kneecap is pan-shaped.

    59 Member of an elite team : SEAL

    “SEAL” is an acronym used by the US Navy’s SEa, Air and Land teams. The SEALs were born out of the Navy’s special warfare groups from WWII, like the Underwater Demolition Teams and the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons. The Navy SEAL unit was established soon after President Kennedy’s famous speech in which he announced the plan to put a man on the moon, as in the same speech the president allocated $100m of funding to strengthen special operations forces. The Navy used some of this money to set up guerrilla and counter-guerrilla units, which soon became the SEALs.

    62 Either of two wives of King Henry VIII : ANNE

    Anne Boleyn was the second wife of Henry VIII of England. Anne was found guilty of high treason after about a thousand days of marriage to Henry, accused of adultery and incest (probably trumped-up charges). She was executed, but perhaps her legacy lived on in her only child, as her daughter reigned for 45 very prosperous years as Queen Elizabeth I.

    Anne of Cleves was the fourth wife of King Henry VIII. It seems that Anne’s arranged marriage to Henry was doomed from the day the two met soon after she arrived in England. Henry just wasn’t attracted to her, but the couple went ahead with the wedding. The marriage was annulled six months later on the grounds that it had not been consummated. Anne lived the rest of her life in England, and in fact outlived Henry’s five other wives.

    Complete List of Clues/Answers

    Across

    1 A bit cracked : AJAR
    5 Perch for a mountain goat : CRAG
    9 Maker of the first mass-produced car with an all-aluminum body : ACURA
    14 Like an area that’s off-limits : NO-GO
    15 Unexciting Yahtzee roll : PAIR
    16 Image in an sonogram : FETUS
    17 16-ounce sirloin that Shylock brought to the cookout? : THE POUND OF FLESH
    20 Dow Jones, e.g. : INDEX
    21 One less than penta- : TETRA-
    22 Reluctant to make eye contact, maybe : SHY
    23 Three on a sundial : III
    25 End part : TAIL
    27 Mark Antony’s request to the farmer when he realized he didn’t have enough corn for the cookout? : LEND ME YOUR EARS
    34 Brain test, in brief : EEG
    35 Weapon with two accents in its name : EPEE
    36 Quarterback ___ : SNEAK
    37 Fat in some piecrusts : LARD
    39 Opposite of tautness : SLACK
    42 Wee : TINY
    43 Toast, essentially : BREAD
    45 Jerk, slangily : TOOL
    47 Laudatory poem : ODE
    48 Cry from Hamlet when he spotted his favorite spice mix at the cookout? : AY, THERE’S THE RUB
    52 Alternative to Levi’s : LEE’S
    53 ___ & Perrins (sauce brand) : LEA
    54 “How adorable!” : AWW!
    57 Things guitarists and prospectors both use : PICKS
    60 Currency of Serbia : DINAR
    64 Lady Macbeth’s declaration upon checking the steaks at the cookout? : WHAT’S DONE IS DONE
    67 Flood embankment : LEVEE
    68 Genuine : REAL
    69 Europe’s tallest volcano : ETNA
    70 Adjective for Caroline : SWEET
    71 William who took a bow : TELL
    72 Donna of old TV : REED

    Down

    1 Voting no : ANTI
    2 Legend of pop music : JOHN
    3 Like wine and cheese, typically : AGED
    4 Lure deceptively : ROPE IN
    5 PC component : CPU
    6 Chew someone out, maybe : RANT
    7 White House worker : AIDE
    8 Capri has a blue one : GROTTO
    9 Things to get in order : AFFAIRS
    10 Bit of animation : CEL
    11 Some Four Corners natives : UTES
    12 Fraternity activity : RUSH
    13 Like a fireplace the morning after, say : ASHY
    18 Rust, chemically : OXIDE
    19 Madame, across the Rhine : FRAU
    24 Handfuls for a babysitter : IMPS
    26 Spring time : LENT
    27 1960s counterculture guru Timothy : LEARY
    28 “Snowy” bird : EGRET
    29 Fish with no pelvic fins : EEL
    30 First Nobel laureate from Ireland : YEATS
    31 Things that rhythm lacks? : A-E-I-O-U
    32 Aretha Franklin’s genre : R AND B
    33 ___ terrier : SKYE
    34 Old isle of exile : ELBA
    38 Roald who wrote “The BFG” : DAHL
    40 Barracks item : COT
    41 Department store eponym : KOHL
    44 Recessed, as eyes : DEEP-SET
    46 English city north of Sheffield : LEEDS
    49 Actress Tara : REID
    50 Armed guard, perhaps : ESCORT
    51 Las Vegas player : RAIDER
    54 Leatherworking implements : AWLS
    55 “That was close!” : WHEW!
    56 Sand castle destroyer : WAVE
    58 Patella’s place : KNEE
    59 Member of an elite team : SEAL
    61 Word often followed by a colon : NOTE
    62 Either of two wives of King Henry VIII : ANNE
    63 Show literacy : READ
    65 Casual shirt : TEE
    66 “___ bite!” : I’LL

    16 thoughts on “0825-20 NY Times Crossword 25 Aug 20, Tuesday”

    1. 6:47 No issues. The grid had READ, REED, and REID in it. Guess if my name were RIED, I’d feel left out. Also always thought it was “AH, There’s the rub”. And good tidbit about ACURA and all-aluminum body.

      Knew 8D Immediately since we were at the Blue Grotto 2 summers ago. Real tourist thing, but still kind of a cool experience.

    2. 8:07, no errors. In 2007, I chose to see Mount Vesuvius instead of the Blue Grotto. Maybe in my next life (if it’s still there 😜) …

      1. Nonny –

        From yesterday – interesting you worked with Leon Uris’ son. I went to college with his nephew. I mostly remember his thick British accent, and Leon Uris wasn’t British so perhaps Leon’s sister lived in England. He had a different surname so I assume his mom was Leon’s sister.

        Uris’ papers are kept at the HRC building at the University of Texas. I don’t know his connection there, but there must be something.

        Small world.

      2. We also hiked up Vesuvius – not a long hike at about 40 minutes – and then toured Herculaneum at its base. Not nearly as crowded as we presumed the town of Vesuvius would be. All great experiences.

    3. I seem to be getting slower on the easy ones. What’s up with that? Maybe I shouldn’t do them as soon as I awake. 14:13!!!

    4. 9:22. Interesting theme. I tried doing the theme answers from memory, but that idea did not go well. At all. I thought it was “therein lies the rub”..and several other gaffes.

      I thought 9A would be DeLorean, but it didn’t fit, and I guess those were stainless steel and not aluminum. Weren’t they all laced with cocaine too, or was that just DeLorean himself?

      This was officially my 1000th puzzle completed on the NYT app. I thought they’d send me a set of steak knives or something, but I got nothing. When I started doing these things, I did the first few dozen on paper so I’ve done a few more than a thousand, but not many more. 1000 is pretty accurate. Wonder if I’ll be any better at 2000?

      Best –

      1. I don’t keep records but I have been doing puzzles for more than 30 years. I normally do 20 puzzles a week, and rarely miss any. I would say that I have done at least 25,000. puzzles over the years.

    5. 20:15 no errors.
      16A…an sonogram?…really?
      Stay safe.
      Last night the Ravens looked like a high school football team👎

      1. Agreed. Disappointed to see how outclassed the Ravens were while the Chiefs performed like champs. Main difference is Mahomes’ great passing and a set of very skilled receivers.

        Very impressive (as was today’s puzzle, I might as well add.)

    6. Very nice puzzle. I knew all the Shakespearean quotes. The only play mentioned today that I have not seen is “The Merchant of Venice”. Mostly I depend on movie or television adaptations in order to learn the Bard.

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