0914-20 NY Times Crossword 14 Sep 20, Monday

Constructed by: John Guzzetta
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: Has It Both Ways

Themed answers each HAVE the letters “IT” BOTH WAYS, in both directions:

  • 55A Comes out ahead in either case … as exemplified by 19-, 29-, 36- and 44-Across? : HAS IT BOTH WAYS
  • 19A Major-league team from the Motor City : DETROIT TIGERS
  • 29A “Hold your horses!” : SIT TIGHT!
  • 36A Ballot for candidates of more than one party : SPLIT TICKET
  • 44A Number of minutes on hold before getting a customer representative : WAIT TIME

Bill’s time: 4m 39s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Insect that builds a paper nest : 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.

10 Fig. of total economic output : GNP

A country’s Gross National Product (GNP) is the value of all services and products produced by its residents in a particular year. GNP includes all production wherever it is in the world, as long as the business is owned by residents of the country concerned. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is different, although related, and is the value of all services and goods produced within the borders of the country for that year.

13 Mayberry boy of 1960s TV : OPIE

Opie Taylor is the character played by Ron Howard on “The Andy Griffith Show”. Opie lives with widowed father Andy Taylor (played by Andy Griffith) and his great-aunt Beatrice “Aunt Bee” Taylor (played by Frances Bavier). Ron Howard first played the role in 1960 in the pilot show, when he was just 5 years old. Howard sure has come a long way since playing Opie Taylor. He has directed some fabulous movies including favorites of mine like “Apollo 13”, “A Beautiful Mind” and “The Da Vinci Code”.

17 Lamented Princess of Wales : DIANA

The tradition in the UK is to invest the heir-apparent to the throne with the title of Prince of Wales. Since Prince Charles is that heir today, he is called Prince of Wales and his first wife was known as Diana, Princess of Wales.

18 Sin often associated with green : ENVY

William Shakespeare was one of the first to associate the color green with envy. He called jealousy the “green-eyed monster” in his play “Othello”.

The cardinal sins of Christian ethics are also known as the seven deadly sins. The seven sins are:

  • Wrath
  • Greed
  • Sloth
  • Pride
  • Lust
  • Envy
  • Gluttony

19 Major-league team from the Motor City : DETROIT TIGERS

The origins of the Detroit Tigers baseball team’s name seems a little unclear. One story is that it was taken from the Detroit Light Guard military unit who were known as “The Tigers”. The Light Guard fought with distinction during the Civil War and in the Spanish-American War. Sure enough, when the Detroit baseball team went into the Majors they were formally given permission to use “The Tigers” name by the Detroit Light Guard.

The city of Detroit was founded in 1701 by Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, a French explorer. The original settlement was named for the Detroit River, which in turn takes its name from the French word “détroit” meaning “strait”. Detroit became inextricably linked with the automotive business from the very early 20th century when Henry Ford and others set up manufacturing in the area. This link to transportation led to Detroit’s nicknames “Motor City” and “Motown”. The city’s economic strength declined at the beginning of the 21st century, resulting in a 25% drop in population between 2000 and 2010. Detroit filed for the country’s largest municipal bankruptcy in history in 2013, facing a debt of $18.8 billion. The city exited bankruptcy at the end of 2014.

23 Female deer : DOE

A male deer is usually called a buck, and a female is a doe. However, the male red deer is usually referred to as a stag. The males of even larger species of deer are often called bulls, and females cows. In older English, male deer of over 5 years were called harts, and females of over 3 years were called hinds. The young of small species are known as fawns, and of larger species are called calves. All very confusing …

36 Ballot for candidates of more than one party : SPLIT TICKET

A split-ticket ballot is one in which a voter votes for candidates from more than one political party.

40 One that gives a hoot? : OWL

Much of an owl’s diet consists of small mammals. As a result, humans have used owls for centuries to control rodent populations, usually by placing a nest box for owls on a property. Despite the fact that owls and humans live together in relative harmony, owls have been known to attack humans from time to time. Celebrated English bird photographer Eric Hosking lost an eye when attacked by a tawny owl that he was trying to photograph. Hosking wrote a 1970 autobiography with the wry title “An Eye for a Bird”.

47 Greek I’s : IOTAS

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, and one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

52 Precollege exam : SAT

Today, the standardized test for admission to colleges is known as the SAT Reasoning Test, but it used to be called the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic Assessment Test, which led to the abbreviation “SAT”.

54 Genetic material : RNA

The two most common nucleic acids are deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA), both of which play crucial roles in genetics. The DNA contains the genetic instructions used to keep living organisms functioning, and RNA is used to transcribe that information from the DNA to protein “generators” called ribosomes.

60 Sources of much spam : BOTS

A bot is a computer program that is designed to imitate human behavior. It might crawl around the Web doing searches for example, or it might participate in discussions in chat rooms by giving pre-programmed responses. It might also act as a competitor in a computer game.

62 Helper in conning : SHILL

A shill is someone planted, perhaps in an audience, with the job of feigning enthusiasm.

63 Nuptial exchange : I DOS

Our word “nuptial” is an adjective meaning “of marriage, of the wedding ceremony”. The term derives from “nuptiae”, the Latin for “wedding, marriage”.

65 Stage before metamorphosis : LARVA

The larva is an intermediate stage in the development of an insect. All four stages are embryo, larva, pupa and imago. “Larva” is a Latin word that can translate as “mask”. The term is used in the context of insects as the larval stage can “mask” the appearance of the adult.

66 Gambling mecca north of Carson City : RENO

The city of Reno’s economy took off when open gambling was legalized in Nevada in 1931. Within a short time, a syndicate had built the Bank Club in Reno, which was the largest casino in the world at the time.

69 Genesis garden : EDEN

According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers, including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

Down

3 Kitchen gizmo for flour : SIFTER

The word “gizmo” (also “gismo”), meaning something the name of which is unknown or forgotten, was originally slang used by both the US Navy and the Marine Corps. The exact origin seems unknown.

5 SiriusXM medium : RADIO

XM Satellite Radio used to be in competition with Sirius Satellite Radio but the FCC allowed the two companies to merge in 2008 forming SiriusXM Radio.

8 Morrison who wrote “Beloved” : TONI

“Beloved” is a 1987 novel by author Toni Morrison. The Pulitzer-winning book was adapted into a 1998 movie of the same name starring Oprah Winfrey.

9 Gala giveaways : SWAG

“Swag” is “loot, stolen property”, and a term that started out as criminal slang in England in the 1830s. “Swag” is also the name given to the promotional freebies available at some events. That said, there’s an urban myth that the promotional version of “swag” is an acronym standing for “stuff we all get”.

11 Home of Carson City: Abbr. : NEV

Carson City is the capital of the state of Nevada, and was named for the Carson River. The river was named for Kit Carson, the scout who accompanied the team of European Americans who first arrived in the area in 1843. Carson City was designated state capital in 1864.

15 Physicist Enrico after whom element #100 is named : FERMI

Enrico Fermi was born in Rome, Italy. He moved to the US just before WWII, largely to escape the anti-Semitic feelings that were developing in Italy under Mussolini. Fermi traveled from Rome to Stockholm in 1938 to receive that year’s Nobel Prize in Physics. Instead of returning to Italy, Fermi and his family traveled on to New York City, where they applied for permanent residency. It was Fermi’s work at the University of Chicago that led to the construction of the world’s first nuclear reactor. Fermi died at 53 years of age from stomach cancer . Cancer was a prevalent cause of death among the team working on that first nuclear pile.

“Fm” is the symbol for the element Fermium. Fermium was discovered as a result of the first hydrogen bomb explosion, in 1952. It is named for Enrico Fermi, a leading Italian nuclear physicist of the day. Fermium is the element with the atomic number of 100.

20 Three-time Pro Bowler ___ Beckham Jr. : ODELL

Odell Beckham Jr. is a National Football League wide receiver from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 2014, “OBJ” made a much-applauded one-handed catch while falling backwards to score a touchdown for the New York Giants against the Dallas Cowboys, a move that some have dubbed the greatest catch ever made.

33 Green-fleshed fruit : KIWI

What we call kiwifruit today (and sometimes just “kiwi”) used to be called a Chinese gooseberry. Marketing folks in the fifties decided to call it a “melonette”, and then New Zealand producers adopted the name “kiwifruit”.

37 “Tiny” Dickens boy : TIM

“Tiny Tim” is the nickname of Timothy Cratchit, a character in the Charles Dickens novella “A Christmas Carol”. Tiny Tim is the son of Ebenezer Scrooge’s underpaid clerk Bob Cratchit, and is a sickly child. Famously, the child utters the words “God bless us, every one!” at Christmas dinner, which words are repeated by the author at the end of the story.

38 Singer Urban : KEITH

Keith Urban is a country singer from Australia who was actually born in New Zealand. He moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1992, and married Australian actress Nicole Kidman in 2006.

39 A narcissist has a big one : EGO

Narcissus was a proud and vain hunter in Greek mythology. He earned himself a fatal punishment, being made fall in love with his own reflection in a pool. So, take was he by his own image, that he could not leave it and wasted away and died by the pool. Narcissus gives us our term “narcissism” meaning “excessive love of oneself”.

45 What good movie trailers do : TEASE

The term “trailer” was originally used in the film industry to describe advertisements for upcoming features. These trailers were originally shown at the end of a movie being screened, hence the name. This practice quickly fell out of favor as theater patrons usually left at the end of the movie without paying much attention to the trailers. So, the trailers were moved to the beginning of the show, but the term “trailer” persisted.

46 Gridiron scores, for short : TDS

Touchdown (TD)

We never used the word “gridiron” when I was growing up in Ireland (meaning a grill used for cooking food over an open fire). So, maybe I am excused for taking two decades living in the US to work out that a football field gridiron is so called because the layout of yard lines over the field looks like a gridiron used in cooking.

50 Jeans brand popular in the 1980s : SASSON

Maurice Sasson is a brand of jeans owned by Jordache.

53 Book of maps : ATLAS

The famous Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator published his first collection of maps in 1578. Mercator’s collection contained a frontispiece with an image of Atlas the Titan from Greek mythology holding up the world on his shoulders. That image gave us our term “atlas” that is used for a book of maps.

56 Mallorca, e.g. : ISLA

The Island of Majorca (“Isla Mallorca” in Spanish) is Spain’s largest island, and is located in the Mediterranean Sea. The population of the island ballooned over the past few decades as Majorca became a mecca for tourists from all over Europe.

57 Bangkok native : THAI

Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand. The exact etymology of the name “Bangkok” seems unclear, although “bang” is a Thai word for “a village situated on a stream”.

58 Something “in the hand” that’s “worth two in the bush” : BIRD

The oft-quoted phrase “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” comes from the world of falconry. The idea is that a bird in the hand (the falcon) is more valuable than two birds in the bush (the prey).

60 Very close pal, informally : BFF

Best friend forever (BFF)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Insect that builds a paper nest : WASP
5 Takes a breather : RESTS
10 Fig. of total economic output : GNP
13 Mayberry boy of 1960s TV : OPIE
14 Make legal : ALLOW
15 Logs, for a fire : FUEL
16 Riddled (with) : RIFE
17 Lamented Princess of Wales : DIANA
18 Sin often associated with green : ENVY
19 Major-league team from the Motor City : DETROIT TIGERS
22 Frozen H2O : ICE
23 Female deer : DOE
24 Not quite right : AMISS
27 Start of a tennis rally : SERVE
29 “Hold your horses!” : SIT TIGHT!
32 Variety : ILK
34 Prefix often associated with green : ECO-
35 “You there!” : HEY!
36 Ballot for candidates of more than one party : SPLIT TICKET
40 One that gives a hoot? : OWL
42 Humor : WIT
43 Container at a beer bash : KEG
44 Number of minutes on hold before getting a customer representative : WAIT TIME
47 Greek I’s : IOTAS
51 Two-___ sword : EDGED
52 Precollege exam : SAT
54 Genetic material : RNA
55 Comes out ahead in either case … as exemplified by 19-, 29-, 36- and 44-Across? : HAS IT BOTH WAYS
60 Sources of much spam : BOTS
62 Helper in conning : SHILL
63 Nuptial exchange : I DOS
64 At no cost : FREE
65 Stage before metamorphosis : LARVA
66 Gambling mecca north of Carson City : RENO
67 Gave a meal to : FED
68 Helpers : AIDES
69 Genesis garden : EDEN

Down

1 “People are saying …” : WORD IS …
2 Each : APIECE
3 Kitchen gizmo for flour : SIFTER
4 Equal : PEER
5 SiriusXM medium : RADIO
6 Best of the best : ELITE
7 Part of a window blind : SLAT
8 Morrison who wrote “Beloved” : TONI
9 Gala giveaways : SWAG
10 Item with cross hairs : GUNSIGHT
11 Home of Carson City: Abbr. : NEV
12 Two-___ toilet paper : PLY
15 Physicist Enrico after whom element #100 is named : FERMI
20 Three-time Pro Bowler ___ Beckham Jr. : ODELL
21 Dine : EAT
25 “Nevertheless, ___ persisted” : SHE
26 Porker’s quarters : STY
28 Big shot, for short : VIP
29 Italian for “seven” : SETTE
30 French for “here” : ICI
31 Tick-___ : TOCK
33 Green-fleshed fruit : KIWI
36 How a person might feel after being passed over for a promotion : SLIGHTED
37 “Tiny” Dickens boy : TIM
38 Singer Urban : KEITH
39 A narcissist has a big one : EGO
40 Be in debt : OWE
41 Lump of chewing gum : WAD
45 What good movie trailers do : TEASE
46 Gridiron scores, for short : TDS
48 Sent to another team : TRADED
49 “Can I get a volunteer? Somebody …?” : ANYONE …?
50 Jeans brand popular in the 1980s : SASSON
52 Do, as a crossword : SOLVE
53 Book of maps : ATLAS
56 Mallorca, e.g. : ISLA
57 Bangkok native : THAI
58 Something “in the hand” that’s “worth two in the bush” : BIRD
59 Something an informant might wear : WIRE
60 Very close pal, informally : BFF
61 Mine cart contents : ORE

13 thoughts on “0914-20 NY Times Crossword 14 Sep 20, Monday”

  1. 7:46 including 2 min. looking for a fat finger typo. Also had GDP before GNP.

    @Nonny – I also did the Birnholz puzzle in the WA Post, but I started last night after 11 pm. Caught the theme fairly early and could fill in the reveals before stepping thru the answers that gave them, but struggled in SE portion of puzzle. That’s 2 weeks in a row he’s created a very intriguing puzzle.

  2. @Ron. Same. I spent 2 minutes looking for a fat finger error. Messed up my average slow Monday time. 9:57. No matter how easy, I just can’t go faster than 7-8 minutes on the tablet. It doesn’t always record my finger taps either. Oh, well…

  3. 14:58 no errors…the theme was an afterthought…I wanted to fit eternity into 44A but it just didn’t want to go.
    Stay safe😀
    Go Ravens (better than yesterday I hope)

  4. No errors. Good, average puzzle for a Monday. To my chagrin, I thought that ODELL Beckham, Jr. was a “bowler” (as in rolling a ball toward pins). Thus I thought maybe bowling had some sort of championship among “pros”. Anyway, I think I can remember ODELL’s correct sport next time it comes up.

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