0917-20 NY Times Crossword 17 Sep 20, Thursday

Constructed by: Simeon Seigel
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer: And

Themed answers each include an “AND” hidden behind black squares:

  • 34A Tributary of the Potomac : SHENANDOAH RIVER
  • 41A Food item whose name is derived from a comic strip : DAGWOOD SANDWICH
  • 6D Major Nashville landmark : THE GRAND OLE OPRY
  • 9D Financial incentive for an executive to stay at a company : GOLDEN HANDCUFFS

Bill’s time: 12m 29s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7 It’s a wrap : TOGA

In ancient Rome, the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae” or “togas”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

15 About 600 million viewers watched its pilot in 1969 : APOLLO XI

Apollo 11 was the most memorable of all space missions, landing the first humans on the moon on July 20, 1969. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down on the moon’s surface in their landing craft “Eagle”, while Michael Collins orbited in the command module “Columbia”. It was to be the first of five moon landings that would take place from 1969-1972.

17 Pop-up generator : ADWARE

“Adware” is “advertising-supported software”, an application that includes ads in some form so that the developer can generate revenue. Sometimes deceptive practices can be used to entice a user to install such programs, so adware can sometimes be classed as malware (malicious software).

18 Superfan of a certain 2010s pop star : BELIEBER

Justin Bieber is a young pop singer from London, Ontario. Bieber was actually discovered on YouTube by talent manager Scooter Brown. Fans of Bieber call themselves “Beliebers”. Personally, I’m no believer in Bieber …

19 Third word of many a limerick : WAS

No one knows for sure how the limerick got its name, although there does seem to be agreement the name does indeed come from the city or county of Limerick in Ireland. Try this one for size:

There was a young lady named Bright
who traveled much faster than light.
She set out one day
in a relative way,
and came back the previous night.

20 Rx dosages: Abbr. : MGS

Milligram (mg)

There seems to be some uncertainty about the origin of the symbol “Rx” that’s used for a medical prescription. One explanation is that it comes from the astrological sign for Jupiter, a symbol put on prescriptions in days of old to invoke Jupiter’s blessing to help a patient recover.

22 Music holder before cloud storage : CD STAND

The compact disc (CD) was developed jointly by Philips and Sony as a medium for storing and playing sound recordings. When the first commercial CD was introduced back in 1982, a CD’s storage capacity was far greater than the amount of data that could be stored on the hard drive of personal computers available at that time.

In the world of computing, when one operates “in the cloud”, one’s files and key applications are not stored on one’s own computer, but rather are residing “in the cloud”, on a computer somewhere out on the Internet. I do 90% of my computing in the cloud. That way I don’t have to worry about backing up files, and I can operate from any computer if I have to …

23 Nonclotting blood component : SERUM

Blood serum (plural “sera”) is the clear, yellowish part of blood i.e. that part which is neither a blood cell nor a clotting factor. Included in blood serum are antibodies, the proteins that are central to our immune system. Blood serum from animals that have immunity to a particular disease can be transferred to another individual, hence providing that second individual with some level of immunity. Blood serum used to pass on immunity can be called “antiserum”.

25 Supposed crop circle makers, for short : ETS

Don’t believe what you hear. Crop circles are hoaxes …

26 Garden pest : APHID

Aphids are called “greenfly” back in Britain and Ireland where I come from. The most effective way to control aphids, in my experience, is to make sure there are plenty of ladybugs in the garden (called “ladybirds” in Ireland!).

31 In-flight announcement, for short? : APB

An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

37 Starts to de-camp? : AIDES

“Aide-de-camp” (ADC) is a French term that we have imported into English. The phrase translates to “field assistant” and usually applies to the most senior personal aide to a high-ranking military officer or head of state.

41 Food item whose name is derived from a comic strip : DAGWOOD SANDWICH

“Blondie” was created as a comic strip by Chic Young. It was first published in 1930, and is still being created today (although the strip is now controlled by Chic’s son, Dean). The strip spawned a series of radio programs (1939-1950) and a series of “Blondie” films (1938-1950). Blondie Boopadoop married her boyfriend Dagwood Bumstead in 1933. Dagwood slaves away at a construction company run by Julius Dithers, whose wife is named Cora. Another famous character in the strip is Elmo Tuttle, a pesky kid who is always bugging Dagwood.

44 Many a craft beer : ALE

The many, many different styles of beer can generally be sorted into two groups: ales and lagers. Ales are fermented at relatively warm temperatures for relatively short periods of time, and use top-fermenting yeasts, i.e. yeasts that float on top of the beer as it ferments. Lagers ferment at relatively low temperatures and for relatively long periods of time. Lagers use bottom-fermenting yeasts, i.e. yeasts that fall to the bottom of the beer as it ferments.

47 Nimbi : HALOS

The Greek word “halos” is the name given to the ring of light around the sun or moon, which gives us our word “halo” that is used for a radiant light depicted above the head of a saintly person.

A nimbus (plural “nimbi”) is a halo, or an aura. “Nimbus” is Latin, and can also translate as “cloud”.

49 Section of the Chipotle menu : TACOS

Chipotle Mexican Grill is a chain of casual dining restaurants that was founded and is now headquartered in Denver, Colorado. For several years, the major investor in Chipotle was McDonald’s. The chain is named for the smoke-dried jalapeño called a “chipotle”.

51 Thoughtless sender of emails? : SPAMBOT

Spambots are nasty little computer programs that send out spam emails and messages, often from fake accounts. This blog gets about 300 spam comments a day that I have to delete, almost all of which are written by spambots.

59 Like the browser windows of a multitasker : KEPT OPEN

A web browser is a piece of software used to access the World Wide Web. The first web browser was called “WorldWideWeb” and was invented in 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee, the man who created the World Wide Web. The browser known as Mosaic came out in 1993, and it was this browser that drove so much interest in the World Wide Web, and indeed in the Internet in general. Marc Andreessen led the team that created Mosaic, and he then set up his own company called Netscape. Netscape created the Netscape Navigator browser that further popularized the use of the Web starting in 1994. Microsoft responded by introducing Internet Explorer in 1995, which sparked the so-called “browser war”, a war that Microsoft clearly won. As Netscape floundered, the company launched the open-source Mozilla project which eventually led to the Firefox browser. Apple then came out with it’s own Safari browser in 2003. Google’s Chrome browser, introduced in 2008, is by far the most popular way to view the Web today.

63 “Indubitably!” : YES SIREE!

Something described as indubitable cannot be doubted.

66 Kind of disease with a telltale bull’s-eye rash : LYME

Lyme disease is an infectious disease that is becoming more and more common. The condition takes its name from the town of Lyme, Connecticut where several cases were diagnosed in 1975. Humans catch the disease when bitten by infected ticks. If caught early enough, the disease is usually treated successfully with antibiotics.

67 Split : SCHISM

A schism is a split or division, especially in a religion.

Down

2 Newswoman Kotb : HODA

Hoda Kotb is an Egyptian-American television journalist who is perhaps best known as a co-host of the NBC morning show “Today”. She is also the author of the bestselling autobiography “Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee”.

4 George’s lyricist brother : IRA

Ira Gershwin was the lyricist who worked with his brother George to create such American classics as the songs “I Got Rhythm” and “Someone to Watch Over Me”, as well as the opera “Porgy and Bess”. After George Gershwin died, Ira continued to create great music, and worked with the likes of Jerome Kern and Kurt Weill.

6 Major Nashville landmark : THE GRAND OLE OPRY

The Grand Ole Opry started out as a radio show in 1925 originally called the WSM “Barn Dance”. In 1927, the “Barn Dance” radio show was broadcast in a slot after an NBC production called “Musical Appreciation Hour”, a collection of classical works including Grand Opera. In a December show, the host of “Barn Dance” announced, “For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from Grand Opera. From now on we will present the ‘Grand Ole Opry'”. That name was used for the radio show from then on.

7 Key under a tilde : TAB

Like most features on our computer keyboards, the tab key is a hangover from the days of typewriters. When using a typewriter, making entries into a table was very tedious, involving lots of tapping on the spacebar and backspace key. So, a lever was added to typewriters that allowed the operator to “jump” across the page to positions that could be set by hand. Later this was simplified to a tab key which could be depressed, causing the carriage to jump to the next tab stop in much the same way that the modern tab key works on a computer.

The tilde diacritical mark (~) is very much associated with the Spanish language. We use the name “tilde” in English, taking that name from Spanish. Confusingly, the word “tilde” in Spanish is used more generally to mean “accent mark, diacritic”, of which a “~” is just one. What we call a “tilde” in English is usually referred to as a “virgulilla” or “tilde de la eñe” in Spanish.

8 Kuwait is a member of it, in brief : OPEC

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in 1960 at a conference held in Baghdad, Iraq that was attended by Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Nine more countries joined the alliance soon after, and OPEC set up headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and then Vienna, Austria in 1965. The basic aim of OPEC was to wrest control of oil prices from the oil companies and put it in the hands of the sovereign states that own the natural resource.

The State of Kuwait sits at the northern tip of the Persian Gulf, famously sharing a border to the north with Iraq. After WWI, Kuwait was a Protectorate within the British Empire and then gained independence from the UK in 1961. Iraq annexed Kuwait in 1990, which led to the Gulf War of 1990-1991.

11 Gluten-free noodle variety : SOBA

Soba is a thin Japanese noodle made from buckwheat flour. In Japan, the word “soba” tends to describe any thin noodle, in contrast with the thicker noodle called “udon”.

21 Hero : SUB

A hero is a submarine sandwich. The hero originated in New York City in the 1800s among Italian immigrants who wanted an Italian sandwich that reminded them of home. The name “hero” was coined in the 1930s, supposedly by a food critic in the “New York Herald Tribune” when he wrote that “one had to be a hero” to finish the gigantic sandwich. Hero is a prevalent term to this day in New York City, reserved for a submarine sandwich with an Italian flavor.

23 Muscle-to-bone connector : SINEW

“Sinew” is another name for “tendon”. Tendons are bands of collagen that connect muscle to bone. Tendons are similar to ligaments and fasciae, which are also connective tissue made out of collagen, but ligaments join bone to bone, and fasciae connect muscle to muscle. We also use the term “sinew” to mean muscular power.

26 Carne ___ : ASADA

The name of the dish called “carne asada” translates from Spanish as “roasted meat”.

30 Meas. equal to 180°/π : RAD

The radian is a unit of angular measure. The unfortunate radian has been demoted, as the SI unit of angular measure is the steradian.

31 Spring month in Paris : AVRIL

In French, “avril” (April) is followed by “mai” (May).

32 Chain where you can buy wet or dry food : PETCO

Petco is a chain of retail stores that sells live animals and pet supplies. The Petco logo includes the two company mascots, Red Ruff the dog and Blue Mews the cat.

36 Midwest tribe : IOWAS

The Iowa Native American people are a Siouan nation. The Iowa speak the Chiwere language, along with the Missouria and Otoe tribes.

47 Housekeeping 101 : HOME EC

Home economics (home ec)

48 Totals: Abbr. : AMTS

Amount (amt.)

51 Scottish isle connected by road bridge to the mainland in the 1990s : SKYE

The Isle of Skye is off the northwest coast of Scotland in the Inner Hebrides. It is the second largest island in the country, and has been linked to the mainland by a road bridge since 1995. I’ve never been there, but I hear the views are spectacular.

53 Place for an icon in church : 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.

56 Artist given the derisive nickname “Avida Dollars,” an anagram of his full name : DALI

Artist Salvador Dalí liked to make a splash in public. He was known to walk an anteater on a lead around Paris. He also brought an anteater on stage to an interview on “The Dick Cavett Show” in 1970.

60 Elizabeth Warren, ___ Herring : NEE

Elizabeth Warren is the senior US Senator from Massachusetts, and the first female to hold that office for her state. Warren is a prominent Democratic and is a favorite of the progressive wing of the party.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Savings bank, informally : THRIFT
7 It’s a wrap : TOGA
11 Cry and cry : SOB
14 “Whoopee!” : HOORAH!
15 About 600 million viewers watched its pilot in 1969 : APOLLO XI
17 Pop-up generator : ADWARE
18 Superfan of a certain 2010s pop star : BELIEBER
19 Third word of many a limerick : WAS
20 Rx dosages: Abbr. : MGS
22 Music holder before cloud storage : CD STAND
23 Nonclotting blood component : SERUM
25 Supposed crop circle makers, for short : ETS
26 Garden pest : APHID
29 Held up : BORNE
31 In-flight announcement, for short? : APB
34 Tributary of the Potomac : SHENANDOAH RIVER
37 Starts to de-camp? : AIDES
39 + … with a hint to four pairs of answers in this puzzle : AND
40 Ish : SORTA
41 Food item whose name is derived from a comic strip : DAGWOOD SANDWICH
44 Many a craft beer : ALE
45 Runs : FLEES
47 Nimbi : HALOS
48 Absorbed, as a loss : ATE
49 Section of the Chipotle menu : TACOS
51 Thoughtless sender of emails? : SPAMBOT
55 “Delish!” : YUM!
56 Pop : DAD
59 Like the browser windows of a multitasker : KEPT OPEN
61 “F,” on a form : FEMALE
63 “Indubitably!” : YES SIREE!
64 “Get what I’m talkin’ about?” : FEEL ME?
65 Just squeeze (out) : EKE
66 Kind of disease with a telltale bull’s-eye rash : LYME
67 Split : SCHISM

Down

1 Become more relaxed : THAW
2 Newswoman Kotb : HODA
3 Feuds : ROWS
4 George’s lyricist brother : IRA
5 Subcontracted, with “out” : FARMED …
6 Major Nashville landmark : THE GRAND OLE OPRY
7 Key under a tilde : TAB
8 Kuwait is a member of it, in brief : OPEC
9 Financial incentive for an executive to stay at a company : GOLDEN HANDCUFFS
10 Stars : A-LISTERS
11 Gluten-free noodle variety : SOBA
12 They work as a team : OXEN
13 Middle finger, with “the” : BIRD
16 No-fault rulings at court? : LETS
21 Hero : SUB
23 Muscle-to-bone connector : SINEW
24 Lunar phenomenon : MOONSET
26 Carne ___ : ASADA
27 Small glass container : PHIAL
28 Avoid commitment : HEDGE
30 Meas. equal to 180°/π : RAD
31 Spring month in Paris : AVRIL
32 Chain where you can buy wet or dry food : PETCO
33 Guy friends, in slang : BRAHS
36 Midwest tribe : IOWAS
38 Prepare runny, as an egg : SOFT-BOIL
39 Drink suffix : -ADE
46 For argument’s sake : SAY
47 Housekeeping 101 : HOME EC
48 Totals: Abbr. : AMTS
51 Scottish isle connected by road bridge to the mainland in the 1990s : SKYE
52 Sneaky look : PEEK
53 Place for an icon in church : APSE
54 Be lousy (with) : TEEM
56 Artist given the derisive nickname “Avida Dollars,” an anagram of his full name : DALI
57 Charitable giving : ALMS
58 Consider : DEEM
60 Elizabeth Warren, ___ Herring : NEE
62 Verbal shrug : MEH

16 thoughts on “0917-20 NY Times Crossword 17 Sep 20, Thursday”

  1. 21:41 A few miscues early, one of which was ADD vs. AND (the key to the puzzle). Struggled in the center a bit – the key to solving the puzzle – and once I got AND the light went on, though at 04:30 it was once again a bit dim, and I crawled home (a la @Duncan), but on what felt like more level ground at that point.

  2. 13:43, no errors. Cool puzzle.

    Thanks to all for the sympathetic responses yesterday. It appears that the coronavirus was not responsible for my brother’s condition, though his sudden decline remains something of a mystery.

    So … be safe, all … 😳.

  3. 21:45, no errors. @Ron, we were only 4 seconds apart! Very clever and enjoyable puzzle. I can’t always say that about the Thursday rebuses. My slowdown came from putting COAT in before TOGA.

    1. I was going to put in SARI for 7A at first pass, glanced at 8D and knew that it had to be something else since 8D was most assuredly OPEC. Of course, that thinking often gets me fixing a lot of entries!

  4. 25:16. I had a very busy Thursday so posting a day late. Agreed – interesting construction.

    I kept wanting to say GOLDEN parachute which could be an enticement to stay if you were going to earn one. It was wrong anyway, but it took me too long to figure that out.

    Didn’t know what a DAGWOOD SANDWICH was. I guess it’s almost a generic term for any huge multi-layered sandwich.

    Also had THE EAGLE before APOLLO XI. It fits, but alas it’s wrong.

    Best –

  5. No errors but I still don’t get 29A as “held up”.. I looked it up. Still don’t get it.
    I actually knew 30D so I was pretty stuck with 29A as BORNE…

    Got the theme early and that helped for a much quicker finish.

  6. 49:40 no errors…this is one where the theme actually helped me finish the puzzle…I started out thinking rebus but then the light came on.
    Stay safe😀
    Go Ravens

  7. 33 minutes. No errors. Unfortunately it took me longer than it should have to figure out the theme. Once done, not too difficult.

  8. 21:47, no errors. Went into several blind alleys. Initially entered SERUM in 23A, but erased it because it didn’t fit with GRAND entered in 6D. Took a while to see the theme, and change 6D to THE GR.

  9. I had several mis-starts, but finally got up to speed. Eventually finished with no errors.

    Slower than a turd of hurdles.
    DuncanR! nudge nudge

  10. At least you could say what the “pairs” are. This was an insane waste of time, and no fun at all. Even after seeing the answers it was just a groaner. Boooooo

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