0904-20 NY Times Crossword 4 Sep 20, Friday

Constructed by: Brian Thomas
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 12m 48s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Meme you’ve seen a thousand times, maybe : REPOST

A meme (from “mineme”) is a cultural practice or idea that is passed on verbally or by repetition from one person to another. The term lends itself very well to the online world where links, emails, files etc. are so easily propagated.

10 Adele or Ed Sheeran : BRIT

“Adele” is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older. Her third studio album “25”, released in 2015, broke the first-week sales records in both the UK and the US.

English singer Ed Sheeran has appeared as an actor quite a few times. After several cameos in various films, Sheeran had a substantial role playing himself in the excellent 2019 film “Yesterday”.

14 Nobel Prize winner whose name should ring a bell? : IVAN PAVLOV

Ivan Pavlov was studying gastric function in dogs in the 1890s when he observed that his subject dogs started to salivate before he even presented food to them. This “psychic secretion”, as he called it, interested him so much that he changed the direction of his research and studied the reactions of dogs to various stimuli that were associated with the presentation of food. Famously, he discovered that a dog could be conditioned to respond as though he was about to be fed, just by sensing some stimulus that he had come to associate with food. This might be a bell ringing, an electric shock (poor dog!) or perhaps the waving of a hand. Nowadays we might describe someone as “Pavlov’s Dog” if that person responds just the way he/she has been conditioned to respond, rather than applying critical thinking.

20 128 oz. : GAL

The name of our fluid measure called a “gallon” ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin term “galleta” meaning “bucket, pail”.

25 Drink that may contain aspartame : DIET POP

The amino acids glutamic acid and aspartame are used in the food industry. The sodium salt of glutamic acid is monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer that imparts a savory taste. Aspartame is an artificial sweetener composed of aspartic acid and phenylaniline joined by a peptide bond.

27 Sleep inits. : REM

“REM” is an acronym standing for “rapid eye movement”. REM sleep takes up 20-25% of the sleeping hours and is the period associated with one’s most vivid dreams.

28 First winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novel, 1965 : DUNE

The less than successful 1984 movie “Dune” (directed by David Lynch) was an adaptation of the spectacularly successful 1965 novel of the same name written by Frank Herbert.

34 Congresswoman who said “I want to be remembered as the only woman who ever voted to give women the right to vote” : JEANNETTE RANKIN

Jeannette Rankin was a Montana politician and activist who was elected to the House of Representatives in 1916, making her the first woman to hold a US federal office. Ranking, a Republican, was a lifelong pacifist. Along with 49 of her House colleagues, she opposed the 1917 declaration of war against Germany. Decades later, Rankin was the sole member of Congress to vote against declaring war on Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

38 They might come in saucers, for short : ETS

Disc-shaped flying objects have been reported in the sky since the Middle Ages. In the modern era, the event that launched the term “flying saucer” was a UFO sighting in 1947, which was covered widely in the media. Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine unidentified flying objects in formation near Mount Rainier in Washington. In describing the objects, he repeatedly used the words “saucer”, “disc” and “pie-plate”. Newspapers latched onto the terminology, and we’ve been seeing flying “saucers” ever since.

40 Athlete in the N.B.A.’s Southwest Div. : MAV

The Mavericks (also “Mavs”) are the NBA franchise in Dallas, Texas. The team was founded in 1980, and the Mavericks name was chosen by fan votes. The choice of “Mavericks” was prompted by the fact that the actor James Garner was a part-owner of the team, and Garner of course played the title role in the “Maverick” television series.

41 Largest order of animals on earth, with over 350,000 species : BEETLES

Coleoptera is the taxonomic order containing the beetle species. It is the largest of all the orders, and contains about a quarter of all known animal forms. The name “Coleoptera” was coined in Greek by Aristotle, from “koleos” meaning “sheath” and “pteron” meaning “wing”.

46 Puget Sound predators : ORCAS

George Vancouver was a British explorer, and an officer in the Royal Navy. As well as exploring the coast of Australia, he is best known for his travels along the northwest coast of North America. The city of Vancouver was named in his honor. Travelling with him on his American voyage was a lieutenant Peter Puget, and in his honor, Vancouver named the waters south of the Tacoma Narrows “Puget’s Sound”. Nowadays, the name “Puget Sound” describes an area much greater than Vancouver had envisioned.

47 ___ + Shay, Grammy-winning country duo : DAN

“Dan + Shay” is the stage name used by country music duo Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney.

51 Easternmost point of the Silk Road : XIAN

The Silk Road was a network of trading routes that crossed North Africa and Asia, connecting Europe to West Asia. The routes get the name from the lucrative trade in silk from China.

55 Juul, e.g., informally : E-CIG

An electronic cigarette (also called an “e-cigarette”) is a battery-powered device that resembles a real cigarette. The e-cigarette vaporizes a solution that contains nicotine, forming a vapor that resembles smoke. The vapor is inhaled in a process called “vaping”, delivering nicotine into the body. The assumption is that an e-cigarette is healthier than a regular cigarette as the inhaled vapor is less harmful than inhaled smoke. But, that may not be so …

57 Seat of Washoe County : RENO

Reno, Nevada was named in honor of Major General Jesse Lee Reno, a Union officer killed in the Civil War. The city has a famous “Reno Arch”, a structure that stands over the main street. The arch was erected in 1926 to promote an exposition planned for the following year. After the expo, the city council decided to keep the arch and held a competition to decide what wording should be displayed, and the winner was “The Biggest Little City in the World”.

59 Nutritious breakfast cereal : MUESLI

“Muesli” is a Swiss-German term describing a breakfast serving of oats, nuts, fruit and milk. “Muesli” is a diminutive of the German word “Mues” meaning “puree”. Delicious …

Down

2 “Oh What a Circus” musical : EVITA

“Evita” was the follow-up musical to “Jesus Christ Superstar” for Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Both of these works were originally released as album musicals, and very successful ones at that (I remember buying them when they first came out). “Evita” was made into a film in 1996, with Madonna playing the title role and Welsh actor Jonathan Pryce playing her husband Juan Perón.

4 Like the families portrayed on “Gilmore Girls” and “Full House” : ONE-PARENT

“Gilmore Girls” is a comedy show that originally aired from 2000 to 2007 on the WB. The title characters are mother and daughter Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, played by Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel.

“Full House” is a sitcom that originally aired from the late eighties through the mid-nineties. It’s all about two men helping a third man raise his three young daughters after his wife is killed by a drunk driver. Bob Saget plays the widowed father, and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen play the youngest daughter. A sequel titled “Fuller House” started airing on Netflix in 2016.

11 She took a seat to take a stand : ROSA PARKS

Rosa Parks was one of a few brave women in days gone by who refused to give up their seats on a bus to white women. It was the stand taken by Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955 that sparked the Montgomery, Alabama Bus Boycott. President Clinton presented Ms. Parks with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996. When she died in 2005, Rosa Parks became the first ever woman to have her body lie in honor in the US Capitol Rotunda.

15 Brightest star in Lyra : VEGA

Vega is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra. Vega (along with Altair and Deneb from other constellations) is also part of the group of three stars that is called the Summer Triangle. Vega is the star at the right-angle of this triangle.

23 Noodle : BEAN

“Noodle” and “bean” are slang terms for the head.

31 Hoot and holler : RAISE CAIN

As Cain was the first murderer according to the Bible, he is associated with evil or trouble. The idiom “raise Cain” is the equivalent of “raise Hell” and “raise the Devil”. In all cases, the meaning is to bring back evil or to cause trouble.

34 Underwear brand : JOE BOXER

Joe Boxer is a brand of men’s underwear that is sold exclusively at Kmart and Sears.

39 Letters typed with the right ring finger : ELS

There is an alternative to the annoying QWERTY keyboard layout. Dr. August Dvorak came up with a much simpler and more efficient layout in 1936. The Dvorak layout is supposed to allow faster typing rates and to reduce repetitive strain injuries.

42 Dance seen in 2-Down : TANGO
(2D “Oh What a Circus” musical : EVITA)

The dramatic dance called the tango originated in the late 1800s in the area along the border between Argentina and Uruguay. Dancers and orchestras from Buenos Aires in particular traveled to Europe and beyond in the early twentieth century and brought the tango with them. The tango craze first struck Europe in Paris in the 1910s, and from there spread to London and Berlin, crossing the Atlantic to New York in 1913.

43 Expensive beer chaser? : … SNOB

A beer snob might opt for a more expensive beer.

50 Wedding dress that’s often red : SARI

The item of clothing called a “sari” (also “saree”) is a strip of cloth, as one might imagine, unusual perhaps in that it is unstitched along the whole of its length. The strip of cloth can range from four to nine meters long (that’s a lot of material!). The sari is usually wrapped around the waist, then draped over the shoulder leaving the midriff bare. I must say, it can be a beautiful item of clothing.

54 ___TV (WarnerMedia channel) : TRU

truTV is a Turner Broadcasting cable network that launched in 1991 as Court TV. The name, and programming, was changed to truTV in 2008.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Meme you’ve seen a thousand times, maybe : REPOST
7 Theater section : ACT
10 Adele or Ed Sheeran : BRIT
14 Nobel Prize winner whose name should ring a bell? : IVAN PAVLOV
16 What a lock on a bridge can symbolize : LOVE
17 Trucker’s tracker : MILEAGE LOG
18 In deep water : ASEA
19 ___ class (provider of an aerobic workout) : STEP
20 128 oz. : GAL
21 Many June celebrants : GRADS
22 Land east of the Eastern Desert : ARABIA
25 Drink that may contain aspartame : DIET POP
27 Sleep inits. : REM
28 First winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novel, 1965 : DUNE
29 Year, in Portuguese : ANO
30 Vanilla-flavored drink : CREAM SODA
33 Golden ___ (vanilla-flavored snack) : OREO
34 Congresswoman who said “I want to be remembered as the only woman who ever voted to give women the right to vote” : JEANNETTE RANKIN
36 “I got this!” : ON IT!
37 “Hold your horses!” : NOT SO FAST!
38 They might come in saucers, for short : ETS
39 Notice : ESPY
40 Athlete in the N.B.A.’s Southwest Div. : MAV
41 Largest order of animals on earth, with over 350,000 species : BEETLES
43 Tears : SPREES
46 Puget Sound predators : ORCAS
47 ___ + Shay, Grammy-winning country duo : DAN
49 “Shoot!” : RATS!
51 Easternmost point of the Silk Road : XIAN
52 Vacation destination : RESORT AREA
55 Juul, e.g., informally : E-CIG
56 High-level criminal? : CAT BURGLAR
57 Seat of Washoe County : RENO
58 Hubbub : ADO
59 Nutritious breakfast cereal : MUESLI

Down

1 Lips : RIMS
2 “Oh What a Circus” musical : EVITA
3 Less bright : PALER
4 Like the families portrayed on “Gilmore Girls” and “Full House” : ONE-PARENT
5 Vacation destination : SPA
6 It is avoided while playing it : TAG
7 ___ prima (painting technique) : ALLA
8 Hipsters : COOL DUDES
9 Rating for “Full House” : TV-G
10 Movie mall cop : BLART
11 She took a seat to take a stand : ROSA PARKS
12 “Ta-da!” : I’VE DONE IT!
13 One of about 500 million needed to fill an Olympic swimming pool : TEASPOON
15 Brightest star in Lyra : VEGA
21 “Shucks!” : GEE!
23 Noodle : BEAN
24 Very big : IMMENSE
26 Going away : IN A ROMP
28 A bit crazy : DOTTY
30 Hockey face-off site : CENTER ICE
31 Hoot and holler : RAISE CAIN
32 Doesn’t move another inch : STOPS DEAD
33 In a mean way? : ON AVERAGE
34 Underwear brand : JOE BOXER
35 Way off : AFAR
39 Letters typed with the right ring finger : ELS
42 Dance seen in 2-Down : TANGO
43 Expensive beer chaser? : … SNOB
44 Counts’ counterparts : EARLS
45 Lift : STEAL
48 About : AS TO
50 Wedding dress that’s often red : SARI
52 DVR manufacturer : RCA
53 Main ingredient in a hurricane cocktail : RUM
54 ___TV (WarnerMedia channel) : TRU

9 thoughts on “0904-20 NY Times Crossword 4 Sep 20, Friday”

  1. 15:23, no errors. I was mystified by “lock on a bridge” when I finished last night, but I just now looked it up and was, once again, reminded of what it refers to:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_lock

    I wonder if I’ll remember it the next time I come across it … 😳.

    And I can’t help but observe that Paul Blart has one of those last names that, for better or worse, one tends to remember … 😜.

  2. 25:56 Well, Like @Steve I also struggled with the NW and added the SE as a kicker. I started with SPIN for 19A, the aerobic workout. Should have know better as I met my wife in a STEP class. After blanking most of it out, I put in PALER for 3D and that was enough to help me fill it all in. Amazing how one word will do that.

    In the SE I had STOPSCOLD for 32D and ORSO for 48D (about). Once I cleaned up those two, I zipped thru the rest of the SE, the last corner to fall.

    Now I also know Pavlov’s first name as a result of the puzzle.

    I was in Italy 2 summers ago and we saw those love locks somewhere, I just can’t remember where. At least I remember I was in Italy.

  3. @Juju … The answer is not “IN A ROOM”, but “IN A ROMP”. Both it and “GOING AWAY” are slang terms (not very familiar to me, so I might have this slightly wrong) referring to the manner in which a race has been won (by a significant margin): “He won in a romp.” “He won going away.”

    And Paul Blart is a character in a series of movies (none of which I have seen … the trailers were more than enough for me) starring one Kevin James. The first one in the series is “Paul Blart: Mall Cop”; please watch it for me and post a review … 😜.

  4. 27:27. At least it’s a nice number. My nemesis was the NW like A Steve and Ron. Also had SPIN before STEP class. Worse yet I had TWO PARENT before ONE PARENT. Needless to say I’m not familiar with either show.

    DIET POP makes me cringe. Anytime I hear “pop” for what I call a “soda”, it’s like fingernails on a chalkboard. I’m not sure why. Probably some undiagnosed disorder I have.

    Best –

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