0827-20 NY Times Crossword 27 Aug 20, Thursday

Constructed by: Nancy Stark & Will Nediger
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Chatterbox

Themed answers each include a rebus square (BOX) filled with a synonym of “CHATTER”:

  • 58A Windbag, as seen three times in this puzzle? : CHATTERBOX
  • 17A Discussing : TALKING ABOUT
  • 33A “Imagine that!” : WHADDAYA KNOW!
  • 40A Obstacle-based competition show, informally : NINJA WARRIOR
  • 6D Cause of dread : BUGABOO
  • 26D White-water rental : KAYAK
  • 41D Scavengers on Luke Skywalker’s home planet : JAWAS

Bill’s time: 13m 56s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Halima Aden became the first Sports Illustrated model to wear one in 2019 : HIJAB

Some Muslim women wear a hijab in the presence of males outside of their immediate family. A hijab is a veil covering the head and chest. Some also wear a niqab as part of the hijab, which is a cloth that covers the face. Other Muslim women wear a burqa, which covers the whole body from the top of the head to the ground.

6 Luxuriate : BASK

Our verb “to bask”, meaning “to expose one to pleasant warmth”, is derived from the gruesome, 14th-century term “basken”, meaning “to wallow in blood”. The contemporary usage apparently originated with Shakespeare, who employed “bask” with reference to sunshine in “As You Like It”.

10 Animal tracker’s clue : SCAT

“Scat” is a term routinely used by hunters and trackers for non-human animal feces.

14 Romance, in one of the Romance languages : AMOUR

In French, “amour” (love) is an “affaire de coeur” (matter of the heart).

15 Sch. with the song “Hail to the Hills of Westwood” : UCLA

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) gets more applications from potential students than any other university in the country. UCLA also has more students enrolled than any other university in the state.

20 CPR pro : EMT

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

30 Dubuque residents, e.g. : IOWANS

The city of Dubuque, Iowa is named for a pioneer from Quebec who arrived in the area in 1785. That pioneer was one Julien Dubuque.

32 Comportment : MIEN

One’s mien is one’s bearing or manner. “Mien” shares the same etymological root as our word “demeanor”.

37 The Admiral Benbow in “Treasure Island,” e.g. : INN

I’d say that the most celebrated work from the pen of Robert Louis Stevenson (RLS) is “Treasure Island”, which was originally written as a series for a children’s magazine in 1881. I remember “Treasure Island” as the first “real” novel I read as a youngster …

40 Obstacle-based competition show, informally : NINJA WARRIOR

“American Ninja Warrior” is an entertaining, televised sports competition that is a spin-off of the very popular Japanese show “Sasuke”. Competitors have to navigate their way through a series of very challenging obstacles in the fastest time possible.

43 Term for a naval builder that looks like an aquatic insect : SEABEE

The Seabees are members of the Construction Battalions (CB) of the US Navy, from which the name “Seabee” originates. There’s a great 1944 movie called “The Fighting Seabees” starring John Wayne that tells the story of the birth of the Seabees during WWII. The Seabees’ official motto is “Construimus. Batuimus”, Latin for “We build. We fight.” The group’s unofficial motto is “Can Do!”

45 Drink once advertised as “Twice as much for a nickel” : PEPSI

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.

49 Stat for a starter : ERA

Earned run average (ERA)

53 Cream ___ : ALE

A cream ale is an American beer that is similar to a pale lager, even though it truly is a top-fermented ale.

56 Galileo’s birthplace : PISA

The city of Pisa sits right on the Italian coast, at the mouth of the River Arno. The city is perhaps most famous for its Leaning Tower. The tower is actually the campanile (bell tower) of the city’s cathedral, and it has been leaning since it was completed in 1173. Just shows you how important good foundations are …

Galileo Galilei may be the most famous son of the city of Pisa in Italy and was considered by many to have been the father of modern science. In the world of physics, Galileo postulated that objects of different masses would fall at the same rate provided they did so in a vacuum (so there was no air resistance). There is a story that he dropped two balls of different masses from the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa to demonstrate this, but this probably never happened. Centuries later, Astronaut David Scott performed Galileo’s proposed experiment when he dropped a hammer and feather on the moon during the Apollo 15 mission and we all saw the objects hit the moon surface, at exactly the same time.

61 Painted Desert feature : MESA

The Painted Desert in Arizona is a beautiful badlands area noted for colorful rock formations. The name was given way back in 1540 by the Spanish, and is an English translation of the Spanish name “El Desierto Pintado”.

62 What usurers do : GOUGE

Usury used to be the practice of simply lending money at interest, but the term now refers to lending at rates of interest that are excessive.

63 Urgent order : ASAP

As soon as possible (ASAP)

Down

2 Certain religious leader : IMAM

An imam is a Muslim leader, and often the person in charge of a mosque and/or perhaps a Muslim community.

4 Cousin of a puffin : AUK

Auks are penguin-like sea birds that live in colder northern waters including the Arctic. Like penguins, auks are great swimmers, but unlike penguins, auks can fly.

Puffins are seabirds that are found in the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans. They feed primarily by diving into the water to catch fish, and are known for their ability to swim underwater using a “flying” technique.

6 Cause of dread : BUGABOO

“Bugaboo” is another term for “bogeyman”, an imaginary and scary creature used to frighten children.

7 Something to squirrel away? : ACORN

There are several species of gray squirrel that are native to North America. Even though I live here in the west of the continent, I am most familiar with the eastern gray squirrel. That’s because that particular species was introduced into Italy in 1948, and now the whole continent is overrun with the animal. The result in Britain and Ireland is that the native red squirrel population is now endangered and there are active programs to eradicate the invading species. There was even a plan to have celebrity chefs promote gray squirrel recipes in an effort to cull the population!

8 Dickensian setting : SLUM

Charles Dickens was an English novelist who achieved great success in his own time, and is still regarded as perhaps the greatest novelist of the Victorian period. Many of his novels explored the plight of the poor in Victorian society, perhaps driven by his own experiences as a child. Dickens had to leave school to work in a factory after his father was thrown into a debtor’s prison. As a result, Dickens had to educate himself. He is said to have pioneered the serial publication of narrative fiction, with his first success coming with the 1835 serial publication of “Pickwick Papers”. And, everyone’s favorite has to be his 1843 novella, “A Christmas Carol”.

10 “Murder, ___ Wrote” : SHE

“Murder, She Wrote” is a mystery television show with the lead character Jessica Fletcher, a mystery writer who is also an amateur detective. Fletcher is played by the charming Angela Lansbury. The show was created by Richard Levinson and William Link who had just failed with the TV series “Ellery Queen”, which was pulled after only one season. “Ellery Queen” was also about a mystery writer who was an amateur detective.

12 U.S. city named for a European capital : ATHENS, OHIO

Athens, Ohio is home to Ohio University.

18 Word between here and there : NOR

“Neither here nor there”

26 White-water rental : KAYAK

There is a type of boat used by Inuit people called an “umiak”. . The term “umiak” means “woman’s boat”, whereas “kayak” means “man’s boat”.

27 “Fold” opposite : I’M IN

That might be poker, for example.

29 Food that’s cut diagonally : PENNE PASTA

Cylindrical pasta is known in general as “penne”, and there are many variants. For example, ziti is a particularly large and long tube with square-cut ends. “Penne” is the plural of “penna”, the Italian for “feather, quill”.

30 Security fig. : ID NO

Identity document (ID)

34 Main ingredient in the German stew hasenpfeffer : HARE

I would probably capitalize the German noun “Hasenpfeffer” …

“Hasenpfeffer” is a rabbit or hare stew from Germany. The meat in the stew is braised with wine and the sauce thickened with the animal’s blood. The name “Hasenpfeffer” comes from the German “Hase” meaning “hare” and “Pfeffer” meaning “pepper”.

35 Cable news host Melber : ARI

Ari Melber is a television journalist and chief legal correspondent for MSNBC. He has hosted his own daily show called “The Beat with Ari Melber” since 2017.

36 Participant in a sting? : WASP

While the wasp is considered to be a nuisance by many, the insect is very important to the agricultural industry. Wasps prey on many pest insects, while having very little impact on crops.

38 One-named Italian male model : FABIO

Fabio Lanzoni (usually called just “Fabio”) is an Italian fashion model and all-round celebrity. Fabio’s real claim to fame was his appearance on the cover of many, many romance novels in the eighties and nineties.

41 Scavengers on Luke Skywalker’s home planet : JAWAS

In the “Star Wars” universe, the Jawa are a race of rodent-like pygmies who live on the desert planet called Tatooine.

44 One of the four humors : PHLEGM

In days past, health was said to depend on the balance between the body’s four “humors”, four vital fluids. These humors were blood, phlegm, yellow bile (aka “choler”) and black bile. Excesses of yellow and black bile were thought to produce aggression and depression. As a result, we use the terms “bile” and “choler” today to mean “ill temper” and “anger”.

45 “___ Pig” (children’s TV show) : PEPPA

“Peppa Pig” is a children’s animated show that is produced in the UK and airs all over the world. There’s even a Peppa Pig World theme park located in Hampshire, England.

52 Fritz Lang collaborator ___ von Harbou : THEA

Fritz Lang was an Austrian-born American filmmaker. His masterpiece “Metropolis” was produced in Germany in 1927, a work of science-fiction that explored the struggle between workers and owners in a capitalist society. “Metropolis” was the most expensive silent movie ever made. One of Lang’s more famous sound films is “M”, which stars Peter Lorre and was released in 1931.

54 Elite seats : LOGE

In most theaters and stadiums today, “loge” is the name given to the front rows of a mezzanine level. Loge can also be used for box seating.

57 Reptile with a bad bite : ASP

The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

59 Joey who’s friends with Owl : ROO

Like most of the characters in A. A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh”, the kangaroo named “Roo” was inspired by a stuffed toy belonging to Milne’s son Christopher Robin.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Halima Aden became the first Sports Illustrated model to wear one in 2019 : HIJAB
6 Luxuriate : BASK
10 Animal tracker’s clue : SCAT
14 Romance, in one of the Romance languages : AMOUR
15 Sch. with the song “Hail to the Hills of Westwood” : UCLA
16 “Thirty days ___ September …” : HATH
17 Discussing : TALKING ABOUT
19 Resounding comeback? : ECHO
20 CPR pro : EMT
21 Entry-level workers? : DOORMEN
23 Nest egg source : HEN
24 British nobility title : BARON
25 Squeezing : EKING
27 Drive : IMPEL
30 Dubuque residents, e.g. : IOWANS
32 Comportment : MIEN
33 “Imagine that!” : WHADDAYA KNOW!
37 The Admiral Benbow in “Treasure Island,” e.g. : INN
38 “All will be well” : FEAR NOT
39 “Just like I told you!” : AHA!
40 Obstacle-based competition show, informally : NINJA WARRIOR
42 Reply to “Can this be true?” : IT IS
43 Term for a naval builder that looks like an aquatic insect : SEABEE
44 Like some medical tests, briefly : PRE-OP
45 Drink once advertised as “Twice as much for a nickel” : PEPSI
46 Generation ___ (cohort born in the early 2010s) : ALPHA
49 Stat for a starter : ERA
50 Staple breakfast in Scotland : OATMEAL
53 Cream ___ : ALE
56 Galileo’s birthplace : PISA
58 Windbag, as seen three times in this puzzle? : CHATTERBOX
60 Strokes : PETS
61 Painted Desert feature : MESA
62 What usurers do : GOUGE
63 Urgent order : ASAP
64 The right way? : EAST
65 Small particles : MOTES

Down

1 Not at all fancy : HATE
2 Certain religious leader : IMAM
3 Unpleasant surprise : JOLT
4 Cousin of a puffin : AUK
5 Word with party or shower : BRIDAL …
6 Cause of dread : BUGABOO
7 Something to squirrel away? : ACORN
8 Dickensian setting : SLUM
9 Writer DiCamillo with two Newbery Medals : KATE
10 “Murder, ___ Wrote” : SHE
11 Laugh uproariously : CACHINNATE
12 U.S. city named for a European capital : ATHENS, OHIO
13 It doesn’t cover much : THONG
18 Word between here and there : NOR
22 Just starting to learn : NEW AT
24 Soul singer ___ E. King : BEN
26 White-water rental : KAYAK
27 “Fold” opposite : I’M IN
28 Show in parts : MINISERIES
29 Food that’s cut diagonally : PENNE PASTA
30 Security fig. : ID NO
31 Cause for nose-pinching : ODOR
33 “Would that it ___” : WERE
34 Main ingredient in the German stew hasenpfeffer : HARE
35 Cable news host Melber : ARI
36 Participant in a sting? : WASP
38 One-named Italian male model : FABIO
41 Scavengers on Luke Skywalker’s home planet : JAWAS
42 Plan with a “Simple” variety : IRA
44 One of the four humors : PHLEGM
45 “___ Pig” (children’s TV show) : PEPPA
46 Stockpile : AMASS
47 Unleash upon : LET AT
48 Overly rehearsed : PAT
51 Top : ACME
52 Fritz Lang collaborator ___ von Harbou : THEA
53 Share a side : ABUT
54 Elite seats : LOGE
55 Members of a defunct union : EXES
57 Reptile with a bad bite : ASP
59 Joey who’s friends with Owl : ROO

18 thoughts on “0827-20 NY Times Crossword 27 Aug 20, Thursday”

  1. 38:40 with one lookup. Just stared at much of the right side for a long time. Knew there was a Rebus with KAYAK, but what and where. Had the wrong rebus for the NINJA for a long time. For 17A, TALKINGOUT seemed quite reasonable. Could only think of ATHENS, GA for the longest time and was trying to find a rebus there. Have not heard the term Gen ALPHA. Unfamiliar with the four Humors; obviously know PHLEGM, but not in that context.
    Also unfamiliar with the word CACHINNATE.

    Given my long-winded time this morning, I was not CACHINNATING, just sighing and scratching my head a lot.

  2. 17:36, no errors. Took me a while to remember that there’s an ATHENS in OHIO and I stared at CACHINNATE for at least a minute before deciding that all the crossing entries were so solid that it had to be correct. I was still surprised when it turned out to be correct (and I can’t wait to use it in casual conversation … 😜).

  3. Oh, this is painful to admit…1:01:24. I think all the things that you guys questioned individually were all the things that slowed me down collectively. Never have seen “Ninja Warriors”, knew nothing of “cachinnate”, had “hashing over” for a short while, knew “kayak” had to be an answer, but how? This while having “chatterbox” filled in…just wasn’t my day, and we still have Friday and Saturday coming….

  4. 36:50. Like @Ron, one look up. I got two of the three rebuses (rebi?) and just using G for GAB got me the gold. When I stuck GAB in, it wouldn’t take it. Oh, well. Done and done.

  5. 35:04. Ugly with a capital ugh. I feel like I fell for every trick in this puzzle, and my mind just wasn’t prepared for Thursday mischief from the setters.

    Part of the issue is that I’m still peeved over having one of my solved puzzles not count on the NYT app. Not to worry. I’ve hired an attorney and we have a court date set with the International Crossword Court in The Hague to settle the dispute.

    SCAT confused me. I was thinking it was someone looking for their runaway cat. Hearing “SCAT” would mean the cat was close to someone else and it would help you find your runaway cat. Yes – I really thought this. I was completely wrong, but I got it right in the puzzle. Sheeesh.

    CACCHINNATE is an interesting one. Wordplay says the last time the NYT had the word in a puzzle was 50 years ago, and it was used only one other time. Two appearances in 100 years. Now three.

    Interestingly, CACHINNATE comes from the world of poker: “With the pot growing and Jim holding a 6, 7, 9, and 10, he was hoping to CACHINNATE and win the hand.”

    Best –

  6. Couple fries short of a Happy Meal. I thought this one was kind of a mess even though I admire all constructions.

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