0912-20 NY Times Crossword 12 Sep 20, Saturday

Constructed by: Ryan McCarty
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 19m 17s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Cut along the grain : RIP-SAW

In woodworking, a cut across the grain is known as a cross cut. A cut along the grain is called a rip cut. Most saws are designed to perform the best cross cuts, but there is a special rip saw that more easily cuts straight lines along the grain.

15 Component of ants on a log : CELERY

“Ants on a log” is a snack food prepared by spreading something like peanut butter or cream cheese on celery and placing raisins on top. If you leave out the raisins, the snack becomes “ants on vacation”.

16 Flash setting : DC COMICS

DC Comics takes its name from what used to be a highly popular series called “Detective Comics”. The main competitor to DC Comics is Marvel Comics, and between the two companies, they command 80% of comic sales in the US market. Nowadays of course, a lot of company income comes from movies that use the most popular characters from the original comics.

The Flash is a DC Comics superhero who is nicknamed “the Scarlet Speedster” or “the Crimson Comet”. The Flash’s superpower is his ability to move extremely quickly, with speed that defies the laws of physics.

18 Who shot Mr. Burns on the classic TV episode “Who Shot Mr. Burns?” : MAGGIE

Maggie Simpson is the youngest child of Marge and Homer Simpson on the animated tv show “The Simpsons”. Maggie is voiced by Nancy Cartwright, who also voices Bart Simpson.

In the TV show “The Simpsons”, Mr. Burns is one of the real “baddies” in the cast of characters. He owns the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant where Homer Simpson works.

19 Lowly sorts, in pirate lingo : BILGE RATS

The bilge is the lowest internal part of a ship. The water that collects in there is called bilge water. The term “bilge” is also used as slang for nonsense talk.

22 ___ orange : OSAGE

The Osage orange is also known as the horse apple, and is a deciduous tree native to North America. The wood of the tree was prized by Native Americans, particularly the Osage nation, who used it to make bows. The Osage Orange was also called “bois d’arc” (meaning “bow-wood”) by early French settlers, a reference to the local usage. This French name was corrupted into “bodark” and “bodarc”, another name for the same tree.

24 A.P.R.-lowering option : REFI

Refinance (refi)

Annual percentage rate (APR)

26 Mesoamerican language family with about half a million speakers : ZAPOTECAN

The Zapotec languages are spoken mainly by the Zapotec people from the southwestern-central highlands of Mexico, mainly located in the state of Oaxaca.

Mesoamerica is a region extending from Central Mexico, south to Costa Rica. It is known as an area where societies flourished prior to the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 16th and 17th centuries.

28 Sites of sudden admissions, for short : ERS

Emergency room (ER)

30 Carolers’ wear : SANTA HATS

The word “carol” came into English via the Old French word “carole”, which was a “dance in a ring”. When “carol” made it into English, about 1300 AD, the term was used to describe a dance as well as a joyful song. Around 1500 AD, carols that were sung came to be associated with Christmas.

32 The ___ Five, nickname for the “Queer Eye” cast : FAB

“Queer Eye” is a reality TV show that was launched in 2003 as “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”. Each episode features a panel of gay professional experts in the fields of fashion and design giving a makeover to a straight man.

35 Flip : GO BERSERK

Our word “berserk” meaning “deranged” comes from the “Berserkers”, Norse warriors described in Old Norse literature. Berserkers were renowned for going into battle in a fury, and some believe that they consumed drugged food to get themselves worked up for the fighting ahead.

36 Political commentator Perino : DANA

Dana Perino served as the White House Press Secretary from 2007 until 2009, working in the administration of President George W. Bush. Perino was the second woman to work as White House Press Secretary, with Dee Dee Myers having paved the way during the Clinton Administration.

37 Non-nons? : OUIS

In French, a response on “un questionnaire” (a questionnaire) might be “oui” (yes) or “non” (no).

38 Onetime airer of “Music City Tonight” : TNN

The Nashville Network (TNN) was a country music cable channel that operated from 1983 to 2003. When TNN closed down it was relaunched with a completely different format as Spike, which was marketed as “the first television channel for men”.

40 Kind of mold : JELL-O

If you like Jell-O, then you might want to stop by LeRoy, New York where you can visit the only Jell-O museum in the world. While at the museum, you can walk along the Jell-O Brick Road …

41 Producers of sharp increases in height? : STILETTOS

The stiletto knife was developed in Italy, and is a knife intended for thrusting and stabbing as opposed to slashing and cutting. The term “stiletto” comes from the Latin “stilus”, which was a thin pointed writing instrument used in ancient Rome to engrave wax or clay tablets. And, there are also stiletto heels on some women’s shoes, heels that are long and thin.

43 Score marking to play higher or lower than written : OTTAVA

“Ottava” is the Italian word for “octave”.

45 Summer carnival treat : SNOW CONE

A sno-cone (also “snow cone”) is just a paper cone filled with crushed ice and topped with flavored water. Italian ice is similar, but different. Whereas the flavoring is added on top of the ice to make a sno-cone, Italian ice is made with water that is flavored before it is frozen.

48 Ostracized group in the Bible : LEPERS

The horrible disease known as leprosy is also called Hansen’s disease, named after the Norwegian physician famous for isolating the bacterium that causes the disease. We can use the term “leper” to mean someone in general who is shunned by society.

49 ___ March (annual event since 2017) : WOMEN’S

The Women’s March is a worldwide protest that has been held since January 2017, following the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Estimates are that between 1.0 and 1.6 percent of the US population participated in the protests in the US, and that more than 7 million people participated worldwide. That first year, protest marches took place on all 7 continents, including Antarctica!

Down

2 Bucktooth, e.g. : INCISOR

The incisors are the front teeth, of which humans have eight. The term “incisor” comes from the Latin “incidere” meaning “to cut”.

4 Polluted, in a way : SMOGGY

“Smog” is a portmanteau formed by melding “smoke” and “fog”. The term was first used to describe the air around London in the early 1900s. Several cities around the world have a reputation of being particularly smoggy. For example, the most smog-plagued city in Latin America is Mexico City, which is located in a highland “bowl” that traps industrial and vehicle pollution.

7 Channel that airs many B&W films : TCM

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is one of my favorite television channels as it delivers just what its name promises, i.e. classic movies.

9 Some Prado masterpieces : EL GRECOS

El Greco (“the Greek”, in Spanish) was the nickname of the artist whose real name was Domenikos Theotokopoulos. El Greco was born in Crete in 1541, and moved to Venice to study art when he was in his early twenties. A few years later he moved to the city of Toledo in central Spain, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life.

The Museo del Prado is in Madrid, the capital of Spain, and has one of the finest art collections in the world. The gallery’s most famous work is “Las Meninas” By Velazquez.

12 Rewards for regular-season winners, maybe : BYES

The word “bye”, as used in sport, originated in cricket. A bye is a run scored due to an error by the wicketkeeper (similar to a catcher in baseball) when he fails to stop a ball bowled by the bowler (like a pitcher in baseball). Later the word “bye” in sport came to mean the position of a player in a tournament who is left without a competitor when the rest have drawn pairs. In these commercial times, those byes tend to be awarded to the best (seeded) players, so that the most popular players always advance past the first round of competition.

17 Mike and Carol Brady, on “The Brady Bunch” : STEPPARENTS

In the TV show “The Brady Bunch”, the mom is Carol Brady, formerly Carol Martin, played by Florence Henderson. The dad is Mike Brady, played by Robert Reed.

26 ___ cards (ESP testing items) : ZENER

Zener cards were developed in the early thirties by psychologist Karl Zener for use in experiments related to extrasensory perception (ESP) that he conducted with his colleague J. B. Rhine. These five simple and distinctive cards replaced the standard deck of cards that had been used in trials up to that point. The five symbols used on the cards are a circle, a cross, three wavy lines, a square and a star.

27 Slangy sedative : TRANK

A tranquilizer (familiarly “tranq, trank”) is a downer, a drug designed to reduce tension or anxiety. Tranquilizers can also be used to sedate animals.

31 Strike that’s barely struck : FOUL TIP

That would be baseball.

34 Relatives of bloodhounds : BASSETS

The basset hound wouldn’t be my favorite breed of dog, to be honest. Basset hounds have a great sense of smell with an ability to track a scent that is second only to that of the bloodhound. The name “basset” comes from the French word for “rather low”, a reference to the dog’s short legs.

Bloodhounds have an amazing sense of smell, and have been bred to track humans in particular. Bloodhounds have been used to follow humans since the Middle Ages.

35 Author who popularized the demon Mephistopheles : GOETHE

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer (among many other things). Goethe’s most famous work is probably his play “Faust”. This epic work was published in parts, starting in 1808. The work was only published in toto after his death in 1832.

36 Counterpart of a brick-and-mortar business : DOT-COM

A dot-com is a company that primarily makes it money by providing products and services using its online presence.

39 Strictly uphold : HEW TO

To hew to something is to conform to it, especially to a rule or principle.

40 Prominent part of a bloodhound : JOWL

The term “jowl” can be used for the jaw or cheek, and more specifically for a fold of flesh hanging from the jaw.

42 Early movie mogul Marcus : LOEW

Marcus Loew was a New Yorker born into a poor Jewish family. He started out in a penny arcade business and used its profits to buy into a nickelodeon. He built a whole chain of movie theaters, and then moved into the production of films so that he could guarantee supply of features that he could show in his theaters. Eventually he pulled together the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) film production company, and sadly passed away just three years after he inked the deal.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Cut along the grain : RIP-SAW
7 Collection of offers? : THE MOB
13 “Them” : ENEMIES
15 Component of ants on a log : CELERY
16 Flash setting : DC COMICS
18 Who shot Mr. Burns on the classic TV episode “Who Shot Mr. Burns?” : MAGGIE
19 Lowly sorts, in pirate lingo : BILGE RATS
21 Goes so-o-o slowly : DRAGS
22 ___ orange : OSAGE
23 Unenthused response : MEH
24 A.P.R.-lowering option : REFI
25 Really digging : NOSY
26 Mesoamerican language family with about half a million speakers : ZAPOTECAN
28 Sites of sudden admissions, for short : ERS
29 A pop : PER PERSON
30 Carolers’ wear : SANTA HATS
31 Middle-distance options on fairways : FIVE IRONS
32 The ___ Five, nickname for the “Queer Eye” cast : FAB
35 Flip : GO BERSERK
36 Political commentator Perino : DANA
37 Non-nons? : OUIS
38 Onetime airer of “Music City Tonight” : TNN
39 Multitudes : HOSTS
40 Kind of mold : JELL-O
41 Producers of sharp increases in height? : STILETTOS
43 Score marking to play higher or lower than written : OTTAVA
45 Summer carnival treat : SNOW CONE
46 One pile of laundry : WHITES
47 “What are you waiting for?!” : GET ON IT!
48 Ostracized group in the Bible : LEPERS
49 ___ March (annual event since 2017) : WOMEN’S

Down

1 Band with the 1974 hit “Come and Get Your Love” : REDBONE
2 Bucktooth, e.g. : INCISOR
3 Student body activity? : PE CLASS
4 Polluted, in a way : SMOGGY
5 Novelist Bender : AIMEE
6 Small dam : WEIR
7 Channel that airs many B&W films : TCM
8 Passenger car attachments : HEADRESTS
9 Some Prado masterpieces : EL GRECOS
10 Groupie : MEGAFAN
11 Etymology, for example : ORIGIN
12 Rewards for regular-season winners, maybe : BYES
14 Racket pros : SCAM ARTISTS
17 Mike and Carol Brady, on “The Brady Bunch” : STEPPARENTS
20 Putting in a tight spot : SHOEHORNING
26 ___ cards (ESP testing items) : ZENER
27 Slangy sedative : TRANK
29 Covers, as a pothole : PAVES OVER
30 Hiss : SIBILATE
31 Strike that’s barely struck : FOUL TIP
32 Unfair trick : FAST ONE
33 ___ Dolohov, one of the Death Eaters in Harry Potter books : ANTONIN
34 Relatives of bloodhounds : BASSETS
35 Author who popularized the demon Mephistopheles : GOETHE
36 Counterpart of a brick-and-mortar business : DOT-COM
39 Strictly uphold : HEW TO
40 Prominent part of a bloodhound : JOWL
42 Early movie mogul Marcus : LOEW
44 Behind : ASS

14 thoughts on “0912-20 NY Times Crossword 12 Sep 20, Saturday”

  1. Wow Nonny, good time for not knowing what time it is!

    Not so much for me 59:45 with numerous lookups. Mr. Burns(never heard of/saw it), TCM and TNN(don’t watch TV), Ants on a log was new to me, just looking forward to Monday now…

  2. 35:24, and very surprised that I didn’t have to search for any incorrect entries. Lots of false starts but I finally got it. Quite a challenge for me…just what I like. Really made me think. And bonus…less than twice Bill’s time. OTOH, @Nonny really killed it today. Good job!

  3. 1:13:34 With a couple look-ups at the end. I got the center in about 20 minutes then stared at the 4 corners for about 20 minutes. Took a break and then a light bulb (very dim, I might add – I installed a dimmer switch yesterday and must have left it on in my brain) came on for the SE, NE, NW, and SW in that order. Well not quite in the SW – I transposed OUIS to OIUS. I knew the answer was the French but was not actually reading what I had typed so I got hung up on FOILTIP and just could not come up with GOBERSERK, tho I had most of the letters filled in. As I said, brain kind of dim today. Felt like a “real” Sat. for me.

    As mentioned – @Nonny crushed it.

  4. 34:01. I know what time I did this. Otherwise, I’d have finished 20 minutes earlier apparently.

    Hard one. Very few short answers so footholds were originally good guesses. Very compartmentalized, and those are always hard. Several “aha” moments after several times I felt stuck in this one.

    Good friend of mine just visited Oaxaca and Zacotecas. That’s the only reason I got ZACOTECAN or ZENER. Good fortune. The pictures from that area are amazing, incidentally. Oaxaca is beautiful. Even native Mexicans have a hard time understanding their dialect.

    TRANK? Really?? People say that?

    Best –

  5. About an hour.. Never heard of CELERY ANTS so I was hung up on that corner.. So I came up with GAGA FAN and THE GOB… Even though I never heard of HEW TO it worked out in the SE corner.. Then I used OCTAVA for 43A Instead of OTTAVA so I missed that.. Overall, I’m happy for a Saturday but I didn’t finish clean.

  6. Should have known that after Friday’s oddly rapid completion that I’d hit the wall today. Threw in the towel trying to crack the north west. Toughie.

  7. 28:06, no errors. Vaguely remembered ZENER cards from ‘Ghostbusters’; only way I would have gotten ZAPOTECAN. Very slow and deliberate solve. Haven’t the spelling TRANK before, would have thought ‘TRANQ’ would be the correct spelling.

  8. DNF in 1:00. Crank. No Z for Zener. And other than dccomics and ripsaw the NW stumped me. I was going for river rats and stoned. Tough one, but I don’t do “lookups”.

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