0828-20 NY Times Crossword 28 Aug 20, Friday

Constructed by: Kate Hawkins
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 14m 02s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Locale with a vaulted roof : APSE

The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

5 Auto roof options : T-TOPS

A T-top is a car roof that has removable panels on either side of a rigid bar that runs down the center of the vehicle above the driver.

10 Band boosters, perhaps : PTAS

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

14 [C’mon, the light turned green!] : [TOOT!]

The first traffic lights date back to 1868 when they were installed outside the Houses of Parliament in London. They resembled the signals already in use for trains, with semaphore arms and red and green gas lamps for nighttime use. That first system was operated manually, by a policeman at the base. Sadly, one police officer was killed just one year after the light’s installation, when the gas system exploded.

15 Dish that might be garnished with nori or negi : RAMEN

Ramen is a noodle dish composed of Chinese-style wheat noodles in a meat or fish broth flavored with soy or miso sauce. Ramen is usually topped with sliced pork and dried seaweed. The term “ramen” is also used for precooked, instant noodles that come in single-serving, solid blocks.

Nori is an edible seaweed that we used to know as “laver” when we were living in Wales. Nori is usually dried into thin sheets. Here in the US, we are most familiar with nori as the seaweed used as a wrap for sushi.

17 Gaelic name for Scotland : ALBA

“Alba” is the Scots Gaelic word for Scotland. “Alba” is the root word that ultimately made its way to the name Albany, the state capital of New York.

19 Lead-in to government or body : ANTI-

Antibodies are y-shaped proteins that recognize antigens on foreign bodies in the body such as bacteria and viruses. The antibodies combine with those foreign bodies and neutralize them.

20 Fleur-de-___ : LIS

“Lys” (sometimes “lis”) is the French word for “lily” as in “fleur-de-lys”, the heraldic symbol often associated with the French monarchy.

24 Fastest creature on two legs (up to 45 m.p.h.) : OSTRICH

The ostrich is a flightless bird that is native to Africa. It is extensively farmed, mainly for its feathers but also for its skin/leather and meat. Famously, the ostrich is the fastest moving of any flightless bird, capable of achieving speeds of over 40 mph. It is also the largest living species of bird, and lays the largest eggs.

26 Bedouin, say : ARABIAN

Bedouin tribes are Arab ethnic groups that predominantly live in the Middle East, in desert areas. Bedouin tribes tend to be nomadic, not settling permanently in one location.

32 Camera film speed inits. : ISO

A photographic film’s “speed” is its sensitivity to light. That sensitivity is given an ISO number such as ISO 100 or ISO 2000. The higher the number, the more sensitive the film is to light.

33 “___ Quiet Uptown” (song from “Hamilton”) : IT’S

“Hamilton” is a 2015 musical based on the life of US Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, as described in the 2004 biography by Ron Chernow. The show opened off-Broadway in February 2015, and transferred to Broadway in August of the same year. Advance ticket sales for the Broadway production were unprecedented, and reportedly amounted to $30 million. The representations of the main characters are decidedly ground-breaking. The show is rooted in hip-hop and the main roles such as Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington are all played by African-American and Hispanic actors.

34 Business plan that’s likely to collapse : PYRAMID SCHEME

A pyramid scheme is a type of business that depends on the energetic recruitment of others into the scheme. New members typically make a payment of some sort to join, and are pressured to recruit their own circle of new paying recruits. Shares of the recruitment payment proceed up the chain so that those in the higher echelons can make a lot of money. The scheme breaks down as more and more members find themselves competing for fewer and fewer potential recruits.

39 Some like it hopped : ALE

The foodstuff that we call “hops” are actually the female flowers of the hop plant. The main use of hops is to add flavor to beer. The town in which I live here in California used to be home to the largest hop farm in the whole world. Most of the harvested hops were exported all the way to the breweries of London, where they could fetch the best price.

40 ___ Bo : TAE

Tae Bo isn’t an ancient martial art, even though it perhaps sounds like one. The discipline was developed as a form of aerobic exercise in the 1990s by taekwondo expert Billy Blanks who gave it the name Tae Bo, a melding of “taekwondo” and “boxing”.

48 First #1 hit for the Spice Girls : WANNABE

The five members of the English pop group the Spice Girls are:

  • Scary Spice (Melanie Brown, or Mel B)
  • Baby Spice (Emma Bunton, and my fave!)
  • Ginger Spice (Geri Halliwell)
  • Posh Spice (Victoria Beckham)
  • Sporty Spice (Melanie Chisholm, or Mel C)

50 Sonata alternative : ELANTRA

The Elantra is a compact car made by Hyundai of South Korea. There was a long-standing dispute between Hyundai and manufacturers Lotus and Mitsubishi. Lotus contended that the Elantra’s name was too close to the Lotus Elan, and Mitsubishi didn’t like the similarity to the Mitsubishi Elante.

51 E.U. member since 1973 : IRE

The island of Ireland is politically divided between the Republic of Ireland in the south and Northern Ireland in the north. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, and covers about one-sixth of the island.

59 Animated feature Oscar winner after “Zootopia” : COCO

“Coco” is a 2017 Pixar movie about a 12-year-old boy named Miguel who ends up in the land of the dead by accident. There, he seeks out the help of the great-great-grandfather to get back to his family in the land of the living.

“Zootopia” is a 2016 Disney animated film about a rabbit police officer and a red fox con artist who team up to uncover a bizarre conspiracy.

60 Article of faith : TENET

A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “he holds”.

61 Two people in People, maybe : ITEM

An unmarried couple known to be involved with each other might appear in the gossip columns. This appearance as “an item” in the papers, led to the use of “item” to refer to such a couple, but only since the very early seventies.

There used to be a “People” page in each issue of “Time” magazine. This page was spun-off in 1974 as a publication of its own, which we now call “People” magazine. “People” is noted for its annual special editions with features such as “Best & Worst Dressed” and “Sexiest Man Alive”. The “Sexiest Man Alive” edition now appears at the end of November each year. The first choice for “Sexiest Man” was Mel Gibson, in 1985.

62 Certain address starter : HTTP

“http” are the first letters in many Internet links. “http” stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. More secure and “safer” websites (like this one!) use links starting with “https”, which stands for “http secure”).

63 Secret admirer of Lily Potter in the Harry Potter universe : SNAPE

Severus Snape is a character in the “Harry Potter” novels by J. K. Rowling. He was played by the wonderful Alan Rickman on the big screen.

In the world of “Harry Potter”, Harry’s mother was Lily Potter née Evans. Lily Evans had magical abilities even though she was born to Muggles, individuals with no magical powers. Lily married James Potter. Lily and James were murdered by Lord Voldemort, leaving their child Harry an orphan.

64 Kind of therapy : GENE

Gene therapy is an experimental technology used to treat disease. The basic principle is to transplant genes into a patient’s cells in order to cure a disease caused by the absence of those genes.

Down

4 Subject of a station update, for short : ETA

A schedule (sked) might show the estimated time of arrival (ETA) of a plane or bus, perhaps.

5 Genre of the “Serial” podcast : TRUE CRIME

“Serial” is an investigative journalism podcast that is a spinoff from the radio show “This American Life”.

6 Coates who wrote “Between the World and Me” : TA-NEHISI

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a journalist and author from Baltimore, Maryland. His 2015 book “Between the World and Me” won that year’s National Book Award for Nonfiction. Coates also made a name for himself in the world of comic books, and is the writer of a “Black Panther” series for Marvel Comics.

7 Opposite of stet : OMIT

“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

10 Awkward thing to witness while third-wheeling, in brief : PDA

Public display of affection (PDA)

11 Lymphoid lump : TONSIL

The palatine tonsils are located at the back of the human throat. The exact role that tonsils play isn’t completely understood, but it is known that they are in the first line of defense in the body’s immune system. They provide some level of protection against pathogens that are ingested and inhaled.

13 Inside dope : SKINNY

The use of the word “skinny”, meaning “information”, comes from WWII military slang for “the truth”. The term is probably a derivative of the expression “the naked truth”, which is evocative of “skinny-dipping”.

Apparently, “to dope out” is a slang term meaning “to figure out, infer from available information”. Our use of the word “dope” to mean “inside information” probably comes from horse racing. The idea is that a bettor might have information about which horse has been drugged (doped) to influence its performance.

21 Marcel Marceau character : BIP

Marcel Marceau was the most famous mime of all time, and a native of Strasbourg in France. He is perhaps most associated with the character Bip the Clown who he played onstage. Marceau made a cameo appearance in Mel Brooks’ “Silent Movie”, portraying himself. In the scene, Mel Brooks is asking Marceau to appear in his movie (a question asked silently of course, in subtitles), and Marceau turns to the camera and speaks the only word in the whole film, “Non!” (French for “No!”). The mime speaks! Brilliant …

22 Villainous title in science fiction : DARTH

The top 5 movie villains in the American Film Institute’s list “100 Years … 100 Heroes & Villains” are:

  1. Dr. Hannibal Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs”
  2. Norman Bates in “Psycho”
  3. Darth Vader in “The Empire Strikes Back”
  4. The Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz”
  5. Nurse Ratched in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”

27 Decimal : BASE-TEN

Our base-10 numeral system is also known as the decimal (sometimes “denary”) numeral system. Another common numeral system is base-2, which is also known as the binary system.

33 Creamier alternative to a cold brew : ICED LATTE

The term “latte” is an abbreviation of the Italian “caffelatte” meaning “coffee (and) milk”. Note that in the correct spelling of “latte”, the Italian word for milk, there is no accent over the “e”. An accent is often added by mistake when we use the word in English, perhaps meaning to suggest that the word is French.

37 Plot point in a rom-com : MEET CUTE

“Meet cute” is a term used since the 1930s or 1940s for a scene in a film or TV show in which a future couple have an amusing first encounter.

38 Component of the pill : ESTROGEN

The primary female sex hormone is estrogen (also “oestrogen”). The term “estrogen” comes from the Greek “oistros” meaning “verve, inspiration” and the suffix “-gen” meaning “producer of”.

“The Pill” is more correctly called “the combined oral contraceptive pill”. The formulation is a combination of an estrogen called estradiol and a progestogen called progestin.

45 Like Sartre’s “No Exit” : ONE-ACT

“Huis Clos” means “behind closed doors” in French. It is the title of Jean-Paul Sartre’s one-act play that we in the English-speaking world would better recognize as “No Exit”. The play features four characters who are trapped in a room that they discover is actually located in Hell. One of the characters is Estelle Rigault, a society woman who married her husband for her money, and then has an affair that results in a child whom she murders. Heavy stuff! “No Exit” is the source for one of Sartre’s most famous quotations, “Hell is other people”, meaning that Hell isn’t found in torture or physical punishment, but in the torment inflicted by others.

Jean-Paul Sartre was a leading French philosopher, as well as a writer and political activist. Sartre also served with the French army during WWII and spent nine months as a prisoner of war having been captured by German troops. He was one of the few people to have been awarded a Nobel Prize and to have then refused to accept it. Sartre was named winner of the prize for Literature in 1964, for his first novel “Nausea”. Before his win, Sartre knew that his name was on the list of nominees so he wrote to the Nobel Institute and asked to be withdrawn from consideration. The letter somehow went unread, so he found himself having to refuse the award after he had been selected.

47 Bit of ink : TAT

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are sometimes referred to as “ink”.

53 ___ Bar (protein snack) : LUNA

The LUNA Bar is a nutrition bar introduced in 1999 that is aimed at women. Apparently, the bar was created by a group of female employees at the Clif Bar company to address nutritional needs specific to women.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Locale with a vaulted roof : APSE
5 Auto roof options : T-TOPS
10 Band boosters, perhaps : PTAS
14 [C’mon, the light turned green!] : [TOOT!]
15 Dish that might be garnished with nori or negi : RAMEN
16 Join in space : DOCK
17 Gaelic name for Scotland : ALBA
18 Ally : UNITE
19 Lead-in to government or body : ANTI-
20 Fleur-de-___ : LIS
21 Appearing highly embarrassed : BEET RED
23 Go for the bronze? : SUN
24 Fastest creature on two legs (up to 45 m.p.h.) : OSTRICH
26 Bedouin, say : ARABIAN
28 One might be left in the dust : SHOE PRINT
30 Rebound : RALLY
31 Get on board? : SURF
32 Camera film speed inits. : ISO
33 “___ Quiet Uptown” (song from “Hamilton”) : IT’S
34 Business plan that’s likely to collapse : PYRAMID SCHEME
39 Some like it hopped : ALE
40 ___ Bo : TAE
41 Word repeated before “1, 2, 3” : TEST …
43 Turn : SPOIL
46 Pearly whites that aren’t white : GOLD TEETH
48 First #1 hit for the Spice Girls : WANNABE
50 Sonata alternative : ELANTRA
51 E.U. member since 1973 : IRE
52 Lets have it : YELLS AT
54 Sleep on it : COT
55 Theme park conveyance : TRAM
57 Water from a water fountain : SPURT
58 Persians, e.g. : RUGS
59 Animated feature Oscar winner after “Zootopia” : COCO
60 Article of faith : TENET
61 Two people in People, maybe : ITEM
62 Certain address starter : HTTP
63 Secret admirer of Lily Potter in the Harry Potter universe : SNAPE
64 Kind of therapy : GENE

Down

1 Stuck : AT A LOSS
2 Make final improvements to : POLISH UP
3 A play to one’s emotions : SOB STORY
4 Subject of a station update, for short : ETA
5 Genre of the “Serial” podcast : TRUE CRIME
6 Coates who wrote “Between the World and Me” : TA-NEHISI
7 Opposite of stet : OMIT
8 One using an exercise wheel, maybe : PET RAT
9 Cruel countenance : SNEER
10 Awkward thing to witness while third-wheeling, in brief : PDA
11 Lymphoid lump : TONSIL
12 Honest-to-goodness : ACTUAL
13 Inside dope : SKINNY
21 Marcel Marceau character : BIP
22 Villainous title in science fiction : DARTH
25 “Fa la la la la, la la la la,” e.g. : REFRAIN
27 Decimal : BASE-TEN
29 Acknowledge, in a way : NOD TO
33 Creamier alternative to a cold brew : ICED LATTE
35 Ease : ALLAY
36 Professional pitcher : SALES REP
37 Plot point in a rom-com : MEET CUTE
38 Component of the pill : ESTROGEN
42 “Here’s where I am” : THAT’S ME
43 It’s on-again, off-again : SWITCH
44 Oscine : songbird :: psittacine : ___ : PARROT
45 Like Sartre’s “No Exit” : ONE-ACT
46 Smooth writing implement : GEL PEN
47 Bit of ink : TAT
49 High scores : BESTS
53 ___ Bar (protein snack) : LUNA
56 Challenge for a barber : MOP
58 Fix : RIG

16 thoughts on “0828-20 NY Times Crossword 28 Aug 20, Friday”

  1. 15:30, no errors. Seems as if this one almost had a mini-theme, what with all the colors being mentioned: green, red, bronze, white, gold, cream, and maybe even “alba” (Latin 😜).

  2. 28:21 Rarely notice the themes until Bill’s explanations, now I didn’t notice the color “theme” until Nonny pointed it out… Is there a theme here? 🙂

  3. 28:53. The SE corner slowed me down. MEETCUTE.? Seriously? Persian cats✔️ Persian dogs✔️…oh, yeah. RUGS. Drat.

  4. 28:43. One of those “it was easy except when it wasn’t” type grids. Every time I thought I was gaining momentum and was going to race to the finish line, I’d come to a screeching halt. Long answers probably saved me. Took a while getting started as well.

    TAN before SUN, SALESMAN before SALESREP, and I thought I was very clever getting IHOP right away for 1A. Ouch.

    Not one of my better efforts, but at least I got credit for completing it on the app. Debut effort for the setter. Pretty good puzzle for a debut.

    Best –

  5. 36:41 I was about 2/3 done in about 15 minutes and then the Lizard brain turned into a pollywog (at best). Just stared at NE corner and S central area. Complete Blanks. Stopped at about 28 mins and took a break. That seemed to break the cobwebs free.
    Finally came up with DOCK. Also had TAN before SUN. Had AMPS for a long time before PTAS. Had ICE, but could not add the LATTE. Similarly had TEETH, but not the GOLD. For 14 A I had HONK, then MOVE, finally TOOT. Unfamiliar with ALBA for Scotland. 52A I kept thinking “Lets have it” was about a “Let” in tennis and what happens then. Even when I filled via crosses I still had to stare at it a minute to finally get it.

    Recently read a National Geo article about Ostriches (Sept 2020) so 24A was a gimme.

    It looks like I’m the slowest one today.

    1. Answer to 10 A is an abbreviation, but not so indicated in the clue (just in case our debut setter reads this 😊)

  6. Add me to the MAN/TAN club. Cleaned that up and finished WNE,
    although I had to correctly guess the S in ISO/..HISI. I don’t understand YELLS AT for 52 Across? Anyone?

    1. When you “Let someone have it” you are probably yelling at them or cussing them out, perhaps giving them a smack of some sort/

  7. 1:15:00 and of course one error…I had spirt for spurt.
    @Dave…boy is your father going to let you have it for what you did ergo yell at.
    Stay safe😀

    1. This probably won’t “translate properly”. At the Large Aerospace Co. in Seattle that I used to for I told people about the etymology of the word EXPERT. You kind of have to say it to have it make sense.

      Ex – means former
      Spurt – a drip under pressure.

      EXPERT or EX-SPURT???

  8. 28:42, no errors. Fell into several rabbit holes: 5A HATCH before T-TOPS; 5A HATE CRIME; 9D HATER; 26A SAHARAN before ARABIAN; 36D SALESMAN which led me to FLUME/SPUME in 57A before SPURT. Happy for a clean Friday fill.

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