0918-20 NY Times Crossword 18 Sep 20, Friday

Constructed by: Anne & Daniel Larsen
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 11m 43s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7 Purina product : CAT CHOW

Ralston Purina was founded in 1894 as Purina Mills, and originally supplied feed for farm animals. Most of Purina’s brand names include the word “Chow”, e.g. Purina Dog Chow, Purina Horse Chow and Purina Pig Chow. There’s even a Purina Monkey Chow.

16 Young raptor : EAGLET

“Raptor” is a generic term for a bird of prey, one that has talons to grip its victims.

18 Much-discussed immigration measure first introduced in 2001 : DREAM ACT

The DREAM Act is proposed legislation that has been floating Washington around since 2001. The bill provides permanent residency to some immigrants who are deemed to be of good character and who have fulfilled certain conditions mainly related to education or to public service. The acronym DREAM stands for “Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors”.

20 Silver : ARGENT

In heraldry, “argent” is a silver color used to emblazon a coat of arms. The name comes from the Latin “argentum” meaning “silver”.

21 Ape whose name comes from Malay for “man” : ORANG

Orangutans (also “orangs”) are arboreal creatures, the largest arboreal animals known to man. They are native to Indonesia and Malaysia, and live in rainforests. Like most species in rainforests these days, orangutans are endangered, with only two species surviving. The word “orangutan” is Malay, meaning “man of the forest”.

24 Company that makes vegan alternatives to beef and sausage : BEYOND MEAT

Love it …

29 The Liberty Tree and others : ELMS

The original Liberty Tree was an elm that stood near Boston Common and marked the place where folks would rally in the build-up to the American Revolution. The symbolism of the Liberty Tree migrated across the Atlantic during the French Revolution. Revolutionaries planted “Les arbres de la liberté” as symbols of revolutionary hope.

32 Observe Yom Kippur, e.g. : ATONE

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people, and is also known as the Day of Atonement.

33 Adidas alternative : PUMA

Puma is a German company that sells athletic shoes worldwide. The company is most famous for its line of soccer boots.

35 Actress Elisabeth : SHUE

Elisabeth Shue has always been a favorite actress of mine. She has been in several popular films including “The Karate Kid”, “Cocktail”, two of the “Back to the Future” movies, “Leaving Las Vegas”, and my personal favorite “Adventures in Babysitting”. More recently, Shue had a recurring role on the TV crime drama “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”.

37 Tennis’s Kournikova : ANNA

Not only is Anna Kournikova a world class tennis player, but she is also a model. She apparently has a lot of fans because her name is one of the most commonly searched for terms on Google’s search engine …

42 No-win situations : STALEMATES

“Stalemate” is a term used in chess when one player (who is not in check) cannot make a legal move. A game of chess with a stalemate is declared a draw. We use the term metaphorically for a no-win situation in general.

44 Put on a black coat? : TAR

The terms “tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call “tarmac”.

50 Frenzied : IN A PANIC

In Greek mythology, Pan was a lecherous god, one who fell in love with Echo the mountain nymph. Echo refused Pan’s advances so that he became very angry. Pan’s anger created a “panic” (a word derived from the name “Pan”) and a group of shepherds were driven to kill Echo.

57 Capital of the onetime Republic of the Rio Grande : LAREDO

Laredo is a border city in Texas that is situated on the banks of the Rio Grande, across the border from Nuevo Laredo in Mexico.

61 “Bug” : BEETLE

“VW” stands for “Volkswagen”, which translates from German into “people’s car”. The original Volkswagen design was the Beetle and was built under a directive from Adolf Hitler, who wanted a cheap car built that ordinary people could afford to purchase. Hitler awarded the contract to engineer Ferdinand Porsche, whose name (paradoxically) would forever be associated with high performance, expensive cars. The Beetle was the official name of the VW model released in North America, but it was usually referred to as a “Bug” here in the US, and a “Beetle” elsewhere in the world.

Down

2 Congresswoman Ilhan : OMAR

Ilhan Omar has been representing Minnesota’s 5th congressional district in the US House since 2019. At that time, she became one of the first two Muslim women, as well as the first Somali American, to serve in the US Congress.

3 Lucky thing to hit in Ping-Pong : EDGE

Ping-Pong is called table tennis in the UK, where the sport originated in the 1880s. Table tennis started as an after-dinner activity among the elite, and was called “wiff-waff”. To play the game, books were stacked in the center of a table as a “net”, two more books served as “”rackets” and the ball used was actually a golf ball. The game evolved over time with the rackets being upgraded to the lids of cigar boxes and the ball becoming a champagne cork (how snooty is that?). Eventually the game was produced commercially, and the sound of the ball hitting the racket was deemed to be a “ping” and a “pong”, giving the sport its alternative name. The name “Ping-Pong” was trademarked in Britain in 1901, and eventually sold to Parker Brothers in the US.

5 Windflower : ANEMONE

The name “anemone” means “daughter of the wind” in Greek, and at one time it was believed that the wind was what actually caused the flower to bloom. The sea anemone is named for the terrestrial plant even though the sea anemone isn’t a plant at all. The sea anemone is a predatory animal found on the ocean floor.

6 Fortification-breaching bomb : PETARD

In days of old, a petard was a small bomb that was used to breach fortified gates and walls. The phrase “hoisted by his own petard” comes from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, and is a reference to a petard detonating prematurely and blowing up (“hoisting”) the bomber.

7 Crew leader, informally : COX

The coxswain of a boat is one in charge of steering and navigation. The word “coxswain” is shortened to “cox”, particularly when used for the person steering and calling out the stroke in a competition rowing boat.

8 Former U.N. secretary general Kofi ___ Annan : ATTA

Kofi Annan was a diplomat from Ghana who served as General Secretary of the UN for ten years until the beginning of 2007. Annan was born into an aristocratic family, and had a twin sister named Efua Atta. Efua and Kofi shared the middle name “Atta”, which means “twin” in the Akan language of Ghana. Annan attended the MIT Sloan School of Management from 1971-72, and graduated with a Master of Science degree. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001, winning jointly with the United Nations organization itself.

10 Subject of a classic black, white and red poster : CHE GUEVARA

“Guerrillero Heroico” is the name of an iconic photograph taken by Alberto Korda of the revolutionary Che Guevara. With the title translating into English as “Heroic Guerrilla Fighter”, the image shows Guevara in a dark beret, with an “implacable” stare. It is versions of this photo that have been used so many times in tattoos, posters, paintings, etc. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has determined that “Guerrillero Heroico” has been reproduced more than any other image in the history of photography.

13 Occident : WEST

Geographically speaking, the world is sometimes divided into the Orient in the east, and the Occident in the west.

15 Subject in the purview of the Federal Communications Commission : NET NEUTRALITY

The principle of Net neutrality holds that those entities managing the Internet should treat all data passing through equally. The term “Net neutrality” was coined in 2003 by Tim Wu, a media law professor at Columbia University.

28 Soupçon : TAD

“Soupçon” translates from French into English as “suspicion”, and can be used in the sense that a “suspicion” of something is just a hint, a crumb.

36 “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” network : TBS

Samantha Bee is a comedian from Toronto who found fame as a correspondent on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” starting way back in 2003. Bee left “The Daily Show” in 2015 to host her own late-night talk show “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” on TBS.

40 Typographer’s gap : EM SPACE

In typography, there are em dashes and en dashes. The em dash is about the width of an “m” character, and an en dash about half that, the width of an “n’ character. An en dash is used, for example, to separate numbers designating a range, as in 5-10 years. The em dash seems to be going out of style, and indeed the application I am using to write this paragraph won’t let me show you one!

43 Where water samples may be tested, informally : EPA LAB

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

45 Luke Skywalker or Han Solo : REBEL

When the character Luke Skywalker was created for “Star Wars”, he was named “Annikin Starkiller”. Conceptually, he was a 60-year-old war veteran for a while, and also a female at one point. Luke is played by actor Mark Hamill in the “Star Wars” films.

Han Solo is the space smuggler in “Star Wars” played by Harrison Ford. Ford was originally hired by George Lucas just to read lines for actors during auditions for “Star Wars”, but over time Lucas became convinced that Ford was right for the pivotal role of Han Solo.

47 Sportscaster Andrews : ERIN

Erin Andrews is a sports reporter. I don’t watch much in the line of sports but I do know Ms. Andrews for her appearances on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2010. She did quite well and made it to the final of the show. And then she was hired as the show’s co-host alongside Tom Bergeron. And then they were both let go …

48 First queen of Carthage : DIDO

Dido was the founder of Carthage, and the city’s first queen. Some sources use the name “Elissa” for the same person.

49 Member of the South Asian diaspora : DESI

People from the Indian subcontinent might refer to themselves as “desi”.

“Diaspora” is a Greek word meaning “a scattering of seeds”. I guess I’m one of the Irish seeds …

51 Hangings in la Galleria degli Uffizi : ARTE

The Uffizi Gallery (“Galleria degli Uffizi” in Italian) is one of the oldest art museums in the western world and is housed in the Palazzo degli Uffizi in Florence, Italy. The Palazzo was built in 1560, intended to house the offices of the Florentine magistrates. This original usage gave the gallery its name, as “uffizi” is Italian for “offices”.

53 One with tens of millions of Instagram followers, maybe : IDOL

Instagram (often abbreviated to “Insta”) is a photo-sharing application, one that is extremely popular. Instagram started in San Francisco in 2010. Facebook purchased Instagram two years later, paying $1 billion. The billion-dollar Instagram company had just 13 employees at the time of the sale …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Part of a boot : TOECAP
7 Purina product : CAT CHOW
14 “Finished!” : I’M DONE!
15 “You wish!” : NOT A HOPE!
16 Young raptor : EAGLET
17 Highs and lows, e.g. : EXTREMES
18 Much-discussed immigration measure first introduced in 2001 : DREAM ACT
20 Silver : ARGENT
21 Ape whose name comes from Malay for “man” : ORANG
23 “I reckon” : YUP
24 Company that makes vegan alternatives to beef and sausage : BEYOND MEAT
29 The Liberty Tree and others : ELMS
32 Observe Yom Kippur, e.g. : ATONE
33 Adidas alternative : PUMA
34 Vacation locale for President Gerald Ford : VAIL
35 Actress Elisabeth : SHUE
36 Hauled : TOTED
37 Tennis’s Kournikova : ANNA
38 Wails : SOBS
39 Pat on the back, maybe : BURP
40 Upright : ERECT
41 “You have a point …” : I SEE …
42 No-win situations : STALEMATES
44 Put on a black coat? : TAR
46 Nice things to get on the back, but not on the face : SLAPS
47 Cleaned up, in a way : EDITED
50 Frenzied : IN A PANIC
55 Area including Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas : RICE BELT
57 Capital of the onetime Republic of the Rio Grande : LAREDO
58 “It sounds to me like …” : I DARE SAY …
59 Follows, as advice : ACTS ON
60 Rubberized, maybe : NONSLIP
61 “Bug” : BEETLE

Down

1 One-to-one, say : TIED
2 Congresswoman Ilhan : OMAR
3 Lucky thing to hit in Ping-Pong : EDGE
4 Fountain option : COLA
5 Windflower : ANEMONE
6 Fortification-breaching bomb : PETARD
7 Crew leader, informally : COX
8 Former U.N. secretary general Kofi ___ Annan : ATTA
9 Linger : TARRY
10 Subject of a classic black, white and red poster : CHE GUEVARA
11 Earth, to us : HOME PLANET
12 Many a tournament : OPEN
13 Occident : WEST
15 Subject in the purview of the Federal Communications Commission : NET NEUTRALITY
19 In-tents experiences? : CAMPOUTS
22 Method of attack : GAME PLAN
24 Opera’s Don Pedro and Don Pasquale, e.g. : BASSI
25 Shared values : ETHOS
26 “Just watch me do it!” : YOU BET I CAN!
27 Race cars, typically : ONE-SEATERS
28 Soupçon : TAD
30 Chop : MINCE
31 Blind spots? : SLATS
36 “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” network : TBS
40 Typographer’s gap : EM SPACE
43 Where water samples may be tested, informally : EPA LAB
45 Luke Skywalker or Han Solo : REBEL
47 Sportscaster Andrews : ERIN
48 First queen of Carthage : DIDO
49 Member of the South Asian diaspora : DESI
51 Hangings in la Galleria degli Uffizi : ARTE
52 Place to find the birds and the bees? : NEST
53 One with tens of millions of Instagram followers, maybe : IDOL
54 Part of an obstacle course : CONE
56 Race unit : LAP

22 thoughts on “0918-20 NY Times Crossword 18 Sep 20, Friday”

  1. What? Am I the first to leave a comment today? Well, OK then. 20:45 no errors. I had a few missteps early on as I scurried around the grid but as I filled more in, everything cleared up. Less than 2X Bill’s time on a Friday. I take it.

    1. @Steve & @Jeff – The web site had some issues early this morning. I tried to post around 6 a.m. and got what looked like a spam blocker notice and it kicked me completely off the site. I tried a couple times before getting thru with my post below.

    2. @Steve & @Jeff – There was an issue early this morning. I tried to post around 6 a.m. and the site gave me a notice that looked like I was trying to invade Bill’s site. Kicked me off a couple times. I ran some early morning errands, venturing out in our smoky skies, and could post around 10:30 as logged below

  2. Where is everyone today? I have to assume the site wasn’t up earlier. It pays to be chronically late…

    25:24. Did this late last night after a very long day. Not a very difficult puzzle, but I had a lot of “oh yeah, I knew that” kind of moments. Morning caffeinated puzzles go more smoothly.

    BEYOND MEAT? Sounds like a brand name for beef jerky.

    Didn’t know PETARD. I wanted to put in a more modern “bunker-buster”, but it obviously didn’t fit.

    Best –

  3. 22:55 Could fill in only 4 entries at first pass. Just kept chipping away at it and I was done before I knew it. Not too bad for a Friday. I know the expression “hoisted by his own petard” and its general meaning, but did not specifically know what a petard was.

  4. I’ve tried twice to make a REPLY to @Steve telling him and Jeff that there were issues posting early this morning – I originally tried about 6 a.m. Pacific, but got error pages and the site kicked me completely off. I finally posted at 10:24 above. And each time I tried to REPLY to @Steve’s comment – around 12:00 or so Pacific – it seemed to disappear into the ether. When I tried to do that with Bill’s “Commenting Problem” below, that entry also disappeared into the Ether (“Three become solvent” – A “Rationer’s clue for Ether I found)

    Maybe this one will make it.

    PS – I cleared my cache, browsing history, re-entered site from scratch, etc. and that still didn’t keep me out of the ether.

    1. @Ron. I knew there were issues. I got the same spam blocking message and gave up. I just got back from a bike ride and saw that my blocked message miraculously appeared. Weird.

  5. 23:25….on a Friday? Me? Never…and yet it happened. Delayed entry, was working on railroad track repair at the museum, just got home to work the puzzle. Probably a good thing based on what I’m reading regarding early posting attempts. Likely will save Saturday’s to do on Sunday as I have a full day of mostly sitting planned for me 🙂

  6. Enjoyable Friday challenge. The southern tier slowed me down but finished WNE. Almost went with RACEBELT/DADO thinking maybe a NASCAR reference to the south and unsure of DIDO but decided against it. I needed this one.

  7. Years ago my family ordered a glass goblet with our “family crest” from some supposed heraldry outfit. The description of the crest was ‘a knot argent on a field azure’. We figured it was legit ‘cause it looked like a pretzel and we’re big on snacking.

  8. From wiki:
    “Hoist with his own petard” is a phrase from a speech in William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet that has become proverbial. The phrase’s meaning is literally that a bomb-maker is blown up (“hoist” off the ground) by his own bomb (a “petard” is a small explosive device), and indicates an ironic reversal, or poetic justice.[1]

  9. Very smooth sailing for a Friday. One error… I had urgent instead of argent. You learn something every day. Happy to learn this one.

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